Why are there so few female fly fishers? Fly fishing writer, Joan Mead-Matsui investigates fly fishing for women and shares her reasons females should try this feel-good sport today.

I’ve pondered this question many times since I participated in my first trout season opening day eight years ago. I was surrounded by men along the streams – not a female fly fisher in sight!

There are many, many outdoors-oriented women who love to immerse in nature, but haven’t yet experienced the peace and tranquility that comes from spending a day on the water, or the camaraderie that stems from being on a women’s fly fishing retreat.

If you’re a lady who loves the outdoors and haven’t tried fly fishing, you simply don’t know what you’re missing!


Smiling person in cap and sunglasses casting fishing line under blue sky

5 reasons women love fly fishing


Time to rejuvenate

After a day in pursuit of trout in tranquil rivers, streams and lakes, like those at Brush Creek Ranch and French Creek Sportsmen’s Club in Wyoming USA, you will feel rejuvenated

Leave it to Mother Nature to remind us that the lush greenery, sweet-scented air, and the peaceful sounds of moving water are therapeutic and revitalizing.

The truth is, nothing quite compares to the exhilaration that fly fishing brings!

Time to relax

Whether you decide to embark on women’s fly fishing trips, or just take a day on the water, it’s an opportunity to leave your hurried life behind.

It’s a welcome reprieve from work, electronics and household chores, and every minute wading equals one less worry, as your fly line drifts downstream.

Adults-only fly fishing lodge, Triple Creek Ranch in Montana is the perfect escape.

Aerial shot of brown river green grassy banks and two people fishing

Photo: The Ranch at Rock Creek

A chance to feel present

Whether you fish alone or with a friend, your focus will turn to your surroundings and factors that weigh heavily on your ability to deliver the fly to the fish: the water level, color and temperature, wind, the best flies to use...

Fly fishing is a solitary sport at times, but it is also an ideal setting to strike up a conversation with a fellow angler. 

Unique travel opportunities

There are myriad fly fishing ranches and lodges all over the world, where you can indulge your new passion in style.

Hone your skills on a women’s fly fishing trip to New Zealand’s glorious Huka Lodge! Another New Zealand lodge, Owen River Lodge is the ideal fly fishing destination if you love dramatic scenery and exhilarating adventures – you can even take a helicopter to some seriously remote fishing spots!

Or why not take a peaceful fishing vacation to Big Hole Lodge in Montana, USA.

Many fly fishing ranches and lodges like C Lazy U Ranch, and The Ranch at Rock Creek welcome families, groups and of course, the solo angler.

Two people standing by a river wearing hats and sunglasses one holding a fishing rod

Photo: C Lazy U Ranch


There’s no denying that women are underrepresented in the fly-fishing world, but the number of fly fishing females is growing.

Trout Unlimited (TU) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America's watersheds and coldwater fisheries.

There are 94 local TU chapters and councils that have an active women’s fly fishing initiative program, according to Beverly Smith, Trout Unlimited Vice President for Volunteer Operations.

"Generally, these are initiatives of TU chapters – i.e., a chapter that puts on regular fishing and conservation events that are women-specific,” says Beverly. 

Two people wearing hats next to grassy hill one holding a fish

Photo: Big Hole Lodge

In some cases, she notes, TU has partnered with affinity groups like PDX Women on the Fly, whose mission it is to connect passionate female anglers and engage them in conservation efforts. Find your Trout Unlimited Chapter here.

The very first International Women’s Fly Fishing Day was celebrated on Saturday 12th September, 2020 and aims to bring female fly fishers together from all over the world, virtually, for one day to celebrate fly fishing for women and to encourage role models who will support new women taking up fly fishing.

We’ve partnered with the owners of world-class luxury fly-fishing ranches and lodges, along the famed waterways and Blue-Ribbon fisheries in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and New Zealand.

These fly fishing ranches and lodges cater to all levels; from the beginner to the experienced angler, and offer lessons by certified instructors and guides.

Suite interior at Huka Lodge New Zealand overlooking a garden and river

We’ll help you narrow your options to suit your every mood, whether you prefer a luxury fishing lodge or one that suits your rustic side. 

Once you’ve decided on a destination, why not take the time to connect with other women who fly fish?  

Original article written by Joan Mead-Matsui; award-winning journalist, travel writer, blogger and female fly fishing aficionado.

Co-written, edited and created by Kate Hammaren; luxury and adventure travel writer, editor and world traveler.

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