Within the past decade the female presence within the fly fishing community has grown exponentially- being called "the largest growing demographic" in the sport. Female anglers are no longer just tagging along with the boys, but actively working in the industry. Female guides, fly shop owners, and influencers have become much more common in the recent years.
The New York Times recently published an article about female involvement in what they call "the most male-dominated outdoor sport". The article details a few female pioneers of the "50-50 On The Water" movement- an initiative with a goal to have an even gender split by the year 2020. There are currently 2 million + women that participate in the sport, and that number is only growing. The movement is supported by Orvis, Simms, Costa, and Yeti. Check out the article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/sports/fly-fishing-women.html
While the campaign is gaining popularity on a national level, Due South has been working to get more women out on the water right here in the high country. This past season we estimated taking 160+ women out on the water in addition to being the only fly shop with female staff. We feel that gender shouldn't be used as criteria to exclude anyone who has a passion for the sport.
Part of our support of the 50-50 campaign is to offer women the options they need to get out on the river. Female specific gear, such as waders, packs, and rods, make it easier for women to fish on their own. Due South strides to be an industry leader on every aspect of the industry, but with female staff, we make this a priority. The boys won't tell you this, but it's not a rare occasion that the girls out-fish them; to us, female anglers not only mean the sport is growing but it means that the sport is becoming more modern and leaving the stereotypical "fly fishing is for old men" behind.