She’s Fly is a new online fly fishing shop that offers Zen Tenkara rods, lines and gear. While they cater to female anglers, they service all people and do things a little differently. Their goal is to create “comfortable, confident anglers, regardless of race, gender identity or experience”. That’s language you don’t often hear in the fly fishing industry.
Here’s a short interview with Owner/Founder Dylan Demery. She started shesfly.com with Co-Founders Emily Anderson and Jaclyn Fitzgerald this year amidst the crazy of Covid.
Tell me about She’s Fly – How it came about, why did you start the business and the people behind it.
When I was looking for waders to fit me, I had trouble finding anything. I went online and bought something cheap in a men’s size and ended up with something that doesn’t go over my boobs and has huge booties and long legs. So then I had to get bigger boots to fit the booties. Fly shops near me didn’t have much selection either. Jaclyn and Emily were part of my girls’ fly fishing tribe and we were all experiencing the same thing at local shops – a lack of women’s gear and the feeling that we didn’t really belong when we walked in the store. I thought, “there has to be a better way to get.” I talked about it with Jaclyn and Emily and we decided to open our own store. We wanted to create a different experience and that’s what we’re setting out to do with She’s Fly.
What’s your fishing backgrounds?
I started fly fishing in 2012, Jaclyn has been fly fishing since 2007, and Emily has been doing it since probably 2016. Both Jaclyn and Emily spin-reel fished for most of their lives. I didn’t start fishing at all until my late husband Tony passed away, then I started using his gear to get out on the water and help me heal.
How is She’s Fly different than other online fly shops?
We’re different in our approach – we aim to create an inclusive environment that is open to anyone, but definitely with a strong focus on products by and for women and on helping people new to the sport learn more about it. We don’t think you need to have the best, most expensive, trendy gear to go out on the water. We want our customers to feel comfortable and confident on the water and be their own guides. We don’t have a brick-and-mortar store because we want more flexibility with our business model. We will grow and change with the market and iterate on what works and what doesn’t. Our shop is online but we are also offering trunk shows and virtual fittings. In 2021, we’ll be adding more services including lessons, trips, and more Virtual Confluence topics.
Why do you think so many women are now entering the sport, and also the business of fly fishing?
I think women are being seen and heard more than we have in recent years. 2016 changed the game for women entering politics and speaking loud about experiences we’ve had across every aspect of our lives. Maybe we’re taking more risks and trying new things because of the collective voice we’re now amplifying. Whatever it is, I think it’s gorgeous!
You offer regular fly fishing gear and tenkara gear. Why do you think that’s important?
I think it’s great to have options. When I first learned about Tenkara, I had already learned to fish with a regular rod and reel. I thought, “If I would have known about Tenkara, I might have tried that first!” Well, now I know. I want other people to know and be able to have the option. I think there are situations where one might be more desirable than the other. And why not try out all the options? It’s fun!
What did you enjoy most about your personal tenkara fishing experiences?
I appreciated the portability, the ease of set-up, and figuring out the different ways to cast and “reel in.” One thing I love about fly fishing is that I’m always learning. Tenkara keeps me on my toes, there’s so much to learn.
For those people just getting into fly fishing, what’s 2 bits of advice would you give?
1. Don’t spend a bunch of money on expensive gear! The fish don’t care what rod you have or waders you wear. And if you break your rod or ruin your waders, you’ll be pissed.
2. Take a casting lesson, it will change everything you do!
Anything else you’d like others to know about She’s Fly?
I would just love for people to check out our site and give us feedback. We grow and change through feedback from the community, it makes us better.