Women Fly Fishing Statistics

Are there more women fly fishing these days? What are the facts? Would you be surprised to learn that one in four fly fishing enthusiasts is a woman?

First of all, there are more people fly fishing in general – both men and women. There’s a book from 1996 called Boom, Bust & Echo by David Foote that predicted fly fishing would eventually replace golf as the number one leisure sport due to the fact that Baby Boomers are getting older. Think about it – the number one leisure sport at one time was tennis, and then the Boomers got older and took up golf. Now fishing is becoming more and more popular and women fly fishing are increasing accordingly.

Some fly fishing demographic facts;

Fly Fishing Statistics from the Outdoor Industry Foundation Survey

Number of Participants - 18.2 million

Number of Enthusiasts - 2.9 million

Percentage of participants 65% male 35% female

Percentage of enthusiasts 75% male 25% female

(Not sure what the difference between a participant and an enthusiast is. To fly fish is to be an enthusiast in my opinion so let’s focus on those numbers for the most part.)

Average number of outings - 18 per year...up from the previous year

Age 16-24 - 25%

Age 25-34 - 26%

Age 35-44 - 9%

Age 45+ - 40%

44% married

56% unmarried

Household Income in thousands

less than 40k - 30%

40-80k - 38%

80k plus - 32%

One of the great reasons the sport is growing for women is due to the efforts of Casting For Recovery. Casting for Recovery® (CFR), founded in 1996, is a national non-profit support and educational program for breast cancer survivors. Through 2½-day retreats, the sport of fly-fishing is used to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. The effective balance between the physical benefits of the gentle exercise provided by fly-fishing and the counseling curriculum benefits women at any age and any stage of treatment or recovery.

The program allows women to get away from their cancer, while providing support from the medical/psychosocial professionals present at every retreat. Such a great program and a great reason to get women fly fishing.

Fly fishing used to be a, “good ol’ boys” club and the members were older white collar males who made a lot of money and wanted to be associated with an exclusive sport. Statistics now show that one in four of the folks you see standing in a river waving a stick are women fly fishing – probably single and well-to-do.

You go girl.


Come fishing with me in Northern Colorado!


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