The fishing industry has seen an influx of female participation over the last several years. But it’s not sticking. Women make up nearly 45% of newcomers to fishing each year, but they represent just 37% of participants overall. According to new RBFF research in partnership with Ipsos, the key to retention is creating a space and place for women to build community.
The 2023 Virginia Fly Fishing & Wine Festival held January 14-15 in Doswell, VA, did just that. Thirty women, some coming from as far as Georgia and Maine, attended the festival’s first-ever Beyond the Cast: Women’s Fly-Fishing Symposium. The program, created by women for women educated attendees on fly fishing techniques and included a pre-program “meet and greet” along with some other non-traditional sessions on savvy shopping and how to interact safely with wildlife.
Over two days, the participants had a chance to really get to know each other, share fishing tips and tricks, and open up about their challenges as female anglers. During the 2-day program, they created community and even established a Facebook group to stay in touch.
Fly fishing instructor and guide Kiki Galvin put it best… “We want to fish and hang. That’s all there is to it.” And local/regional events do just that!
If you’re considering a women’s event for your agency, business, or event, make sure to review and share the latest insights on this important emerging audience.