As the holidays creep up on us and winter bares down, the Fly Fishing Show and companies in the fly fishing industry prepare for exhibitions all over the country. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, its a great time to take a class, attend seminars and brush up on all things fishing. It’s also a great time to check out new products, talk directly with manufacturers and reps and often, try out gear risk free. This opportunity can often be priceless – especially for women.
Zen Tenkara is a 100% women owned company…a first of its kind. But we are “gender neutral”. We don’t design and make rods for men or for women. We design and make rods for anglers. And, we’ve never really focused on being woman-owned. The industry is changing and over the last 5-10 years, I know I’ve seen and experienced a difference in the acceptance level of females on the water and in this industry. In recent years a multitude of companies have popped up, some owned by women, some partially owned by women and some simply focused on products for women in the fly fishing world.
Many of the big players in fly fishing, like the Simms and Patagonia companies, are dedicating great efforts to accommodate female anglers, not only by designing gear specifically for the female angler, featuring women in advertisements and media but also honoring women who have contributed to the industry. It’s a welcomed change and one that the Fly Fishing Show is embracing.
Currently there is a Women’s Showcase section within the Fly Fishing Show venues. This area is sponsored by Dun Magazine and United Women on the Fly. While Zen Tenkara will not be located in the Women’s Showcase area this year, we will be supporting it. This year they’re offering something unique and new, a Women’s Fashion Show and Gear Fit. This will be held on Saturday, January 4th from 2-5pm at the Denver Fly Fishing Show. This is a free event and is aimed at showcasing women’s technical fishing apparel and an opportunity to try on various manufacturer’s waders and get help with personalized fitting and size recommendations.
This is fantastic! I remember years ago when buying my very first part of waders. I drove into Denver from Fort Collins to Bass Pro because they had the largest selection of different wader brands. I thought it would take me 30 minutes to chose a pair and be out of the store. Three hours later, sitting on the floor of the store, surrounded by waders that didn’t come close to fitting me, I was exhausted (and almost in tears). Buying my first pair of waders was supposed to be a fun and exciting event that turned into a physical workout and nothing but frustrations. After settling on a pair, then paying extra money to have the boots switched out for a different size, I thought, “this surely doesn’t welcome women into the sport of fly fishing”.
The industry has come a long way and while there’s still room for improvement, it wonderful to see the options we now have, not only in waders, but packs, boots and other necessities while on the water. I know my wardrobe is filled with Simms, Patagonia and Orvis pants, shirts, sweaters and jackets that I travel in, fish in and live in. Plus, there’s now a whole market for the stuff that isn’t a necessity but is awfully fun to have, wear or use: want trout print leggings? They’re out there! How about a gold or sterling reel pendant? It’s available. So whether you use a reel or a tenkara rod, or both, if you’re a woman fisher, you need to attend this event. Hope to see you there.
Tight lines and happy fishing,
Karin Miller, Owner and Founder