Friday, December 22, 2017

Fly fishing increasingly popular among women

Fly fishing on the Steelhead River in British Columbia (Photo by Adrienne Comeau)
In good news for rural areas that depend on recreational tourists for revenue, fly-fishing is becoming increasingly popular among women, the only growing demographic in the sport. "Women make up about 31 percent of the 6.5 million Americans who fly-fish, according to the most recent study by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation," John Clarke reports for The New York Times. "In 2016, more than two million women participated in the sport, an increase of about 142,000 from the previous year."

Sports-equipment and apparel companies are rushing to cater to the new market: Patagonia sells a full line of apparel for female fly-fishers; and Orvis, Simms, Costa and Yeti have launched a program called "Come Fish With Us" that aims to achieve an even gender split among fly-fishers by 2020. The program will expand next spring with outreach events to educate women on gear and skills as well as arrange mentoring opportunities for women in businesses that serve fly-fishers. There's even a quarterly magazine, DUN, dedicated to women who fly-fish.

What caused this rise in interest for women? Jeff McGlothlin, an instructor and photographer from Bozeman, Mont., told Clarke that "Many women I teach to fish are in it less for the fishing itself, and more for the excuse to be outside. . . . Many liken it to yoga; a quiet, meditative getaway from daily stressors."

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