More and more women are discovering the pleasures of fly fishing as a sport. This is no longer an activity pursued mainly by men as a “good ol’ boys” fishing camp getaway. Personally, it pleases me to see women anglers on the streams. There are enough challenges and rewards to go around.
Actually, the number of people taking up fly fishing is increasing generally. As the baby boomers age, leisure activities for both men and women are expanding from tennis to golf to include more fly fishing. A recent survey provided by the Outdoor Industry Foundation shows more than 18 million people are active fly fishers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that fishing license sales over a recent five year period increased by over 10%, and that there were over a billion fishing trips made, about 21 fishing outings per person.
These sources also state that about 30% of these anglers were women and girls. Word and enthusiasm is spreading, with over 4.5 million more people becoming interested in the sport last year. Interestingly, over 40% of these new comers were female!
These trends are being noticed throughout the industry. Fishing trade shows and exhibitions are increasingly focusing on gear and clothing specifically designed for women. Fly fishing clubs, blogs and newsletters for women fly fishing enthusiasts are becoming more popular.
I’ve noticed more women window shopping at the local fly fishing shop. Staff at the Minturn Anglers shop in Denver tell me they see more and more women here, and that their Minturn and Vail stores confirm the trend. As expected, these professionals are prepared to offer expert advice to women about equipment and fly fishing clothing. Many women, singly or as a group, take advantage of the fly fishing instructional sessions offered by Minturn for both those new to the sport as well as women wanting to improve their skills. Guided expeditions just for women or for mixed groups are becoming more and more popular.
Pass this message on to your wife or daughter and their friends. The passion for fly fishing is too good not to share!