Fly fishing is considered a sport mostly dominated by men. In a recent report on The New York Times, women are now regarded as “the fastest growing demographic in fly-fishing,” but challenges still persist and include finding the right gear and getting the right skills.
There are so many opportunities for women in the sport and industry leaders are saying that this is a promising avenue to cultivate. Out of the 6.5 million Americans who are into fly fishing, 31 percent of them are women, the report added.
Data from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation also revealed that more than two million women have participated in fly fishing back in 2016. This number increased 142,000 from the previous year.
Some have already started revolutionizing the sport. These names include South Carolina’s Katie Cahn, Georgia’s Cassie Spurling, Tennessee’s Jen Ripple, North Carolina’s Abbi Bagwell, and more. All of these ladies have been brought to the sport from fascinating stories of their past and of their families, Blue Ridge Outdoors reported.
However, the sector is still met with challenges particular in educating more women on fly fishing and making the right choices when it comes to the equipment. Spearheading a new initiative that only started over the summer is apparel and equipment provider Orvis, and their program centers on the goal to have “an even gender split in fly-fishing by 2020.”
In partnership with Costa and Yeti and Simms, the group plans to expand the program through organizing outreach events to educate women on choosing the best gear, building their skills, and arranging opportunities to further teach female guides to become industry leaders, the New York Times report added.
Fly fishing and women
There are several reasons as to why fly fishing has also become attractive to women. Fly-fishing guide Katie Taylor said that the sport “takes so much patience and nurturing.” She recently returned from a trip to Bristol Bay in Alaska where she led a group of six women and guided them about the outdoor activity.
Taylor added, “It deepens our connection to natural rhythms, and that brings humility and the understanding that you are part of something that’s much larger than our own personal self.”
Moreover, there are also women who have likened the sport to doing yoga, meditation, and other gateways that combat daily stressors. Montana fly-fishing instructor and photographer Jess McGlothin mentioned this as some of the reasons and said that women are beginning to spend more time in the outdoors.
Some have even expressed their willingness to become a guide and also earn a living from this profession. Aside from the actual activity, they believe that the trips are also rewarding. For instance, Camille Egdorf, a guide with Bozeman’s Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, uses her skills to provide tips on fishing rivers and how to slow down the back cast.
Her husband, who is also a veteran angler, supports her so well and also provides her with guidelines along the way. Many companies have also now started to launch their own equipment line for women interested in fishing.