Is Fly Fishing Growing or Dying in Terms of Popularity?


I have slowly started to become more and more interested in fly fishing over the last few months and have put a lot of time into researching it. Society has been changing drastically, which makes me wonder what is happening to fly fishing in terms of popularity.

Is fly fishing becoming more or less popular? Many studies have shown that the hobby of fly fishing is growing in popularity. Although the growth may currently be slower, there is a lot of potential for increased growth in the near future.

There are many statistics that involve fly fishing that paint a hopeful image of the future of this hobby. Women are one of the biggest sources of growth for fly fishing. Keep reading to understand better fly fishing’s growth rate and also how it impacts the U.S. as a whole.

The Potential for Fly Fishing Growth

The Outdoor Foundation provided a lot of very interesting and useful statistics that I have been able to use throughout this article.

Fly Fishing has never been the most popular type of fishing, but over the years it has consistently grown slowly, but surely. Only 2.7% of anglers say that their first fishing experience was going fly fishing. The Outdoor Foundation says that about 6-10 million people go fly fishing ever year.

If you stop and think about that for a minute, this is a huge amount of people! It is definitely safe to assume that out of those millions of people there are moms and dads who are showing the hobby to their kids and teaching them the ways.

Over the last 8-10 years fishing, in general, had been slowly declining in popularity. However, in 2017, there was a huge influx of a few million fishers. This spike gives a lot of hope to the fishing community as a whole.

On paper, a few extra million people fishing a year may not seem that impressive, but you can bet that a big majority of those fishers are going stick around.

Not only that, but they will start to bring their friends and family along with them in the future and the further growth rate will only increase. Many people from this influx of fishing will surely pick up fly fishing, even if it wasn’t at the start.

About 21 million people are thinking about getting involved in fishing in the next year. This is great news! The more people that get involved in fishing in general means that there will be some good growth in the fly fishing community.

As mentioned before, fly fishing isn’t usually the first choice for new fishermen because it takes a bit more time and practice to learn, but it is often the next step once someone has developed a love for fishing.

Since 2006 the participation rates of women in fly fishing have raised 25%

Almost 13% of fly fishing participants are new to the sport in any given year. This is a great sign for the growth of fly fishing. More and more people are joining and making it grow to places that it has never been before. That adds up to hundreds of thousands of new fly fishers every year.

Women make up a huge part of fly fishing, and they are a huge part of fly fishing’s growth. They have become the fastest growing demographic in the sport and make up about 31% of all flyer fishers. That number continues to jump up drastically as the years go on.

Since 2006, the participation rates of women in fly fishing have raised 25%. In 2016 a study reported from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation said that there were 2 million women that participated in fly fishing that year.

Previous years only recorded a couple hundred thousand! Women are the future of the sport and are helping to continue to make it amazing!

General Statistics on Fishing Growth and Impact

Since the beginning of our time here on Earth, humans have been using fishing to their advantage. Countries across the world rely on fishing for many different types of reasons.

In the U.S., fishing has been a huge American past time since the foundation of the country. Not only is it popular for recreational purposes, but it makes up a huge part of our economy as well.

Recent studies show that there are about 40 million fishers in the United States. 6-10 million are fly fishers. Fly fishing has never been quite as popular as bait fishing or other fishing techniques.

This, in part, is due to the fact that fly fishing is a bit more difficult and requires a lot more out of a participant. When someone is bait fishing, they can sit back in a chair and wait for as long as it takes.

Fly fishing takes more attention than that. Many times a fly fisher will need to get into the water and mend the line in order to get the catch. This challenge is why many people love it, but also why not every person is interested in it.

3.8 million anglers in the United States report that they go fly fishing on a regular basis. If you think about it that is a huge amount of people that are going on fly fishing trips multiple time each year.

Over three million people say that when they fly fish, it is regularly in freshwater locations.

15.8% of the U.S. population reports that they participate in fishing at least once a year and it is said that in the U.S. about 890 million fishing trips are taken annually.

From an economic standpoint, Forbes measured that more than 46 million licensed fishes generate over $48 billion in retail sales with $115 billion in impact on the nation’s economy. Out of these, it is estimated that around 828,000 people find employment through fishing.

By comparison, the fly fishing industry part of these calculations accounts for a little less than $1 billion in impact on the nation’s economy.

About 39% of active fishers are over the age of 45. 29% are in the 25-44 age range. 15% of adults over the age of 25 say that fishing is their favorite outdoor activity. Studies show that about 1/4 of fishers are female.

Why Should One Fly Fish

Fly fishing is known to many as the epitome of fishing. It takes the sport/hobby to a whole new level. There are totally different techniques and strategies to fly fishing that aren’t in bait fishing. Many people also refer to their fly fishing experiences as thrilling and exciting.

A very interesting aspect to fly fishing that attracts so many people is how engaged one has to be. When someone fly fishes, they can sometimes be within just a few feet of the catch. With the clear slow current of a stream, the fisher can watch the whole experience unfold.

The interaction with the fish, the bait, and then the bite is something that people who fish from boats or the shore might never get the opportunity to see.

Those who invest the time and resources into fly fishing never regret it. It is a great way to get more acquainted with nature, create memories with family, and challenge yourself a bit. It is one of America’s best past-times.

Related Questions

What is the best age for someone to start fly fishing? Fly fishing is a great hobby for anyone to pick up, no matter their age. However, a good age for a kid to start learning how to fly fish is anywhere between 8-10 years old. This is a good time for them developmentally because they will be able to be strong and dextrous enough to handle a fly rod.

How much does it cost to start fly fishing? On average, the cost to start up fly fishing will be about $200. This will get you a rod and some of the basic gear you will want. With some extra research, you could easily spend more than this or less if needed.

Tim Butala

My name is Tim and I have been a fisherman my whole life. My favorite fish to go after is a Stripped Bass.

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