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Community is Key to Retaining Female Fishing Participants

Community is Key to Retaining Female Fishing Participants

By Stephanie Vatalaro

Jan 26, 2023

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.

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.

Stephanie Vatalaro
Stephanie Vatalaro
Stephanie Vatalaro is vice president of communications for the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and its Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar campaigns where she works to recruit newcomers to recreational fishing and boating and increase awareness of aquatic conservation. Stephanie grew up in the Florida Keys as the daughter of a flats fishing guide. Outside of work, you can find her fishing and boating with her family on the Potomac River in the Northern Neck of Virginia.