In 2009 the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation undertook a survey which disclosed some fascinating facts concerning fly fishing which we think are deeply disturbing. The findings were summarized as follows:
"Fly fishing attracts the smallest number of participants, with a niche audience in 2008 of 5.9 million Americans or just over two percent of the population. Its participants are predominantly Americans ages 45 and older, and most fall in the $100,000 or more income bracket. Unlike with many other outdoor activities, the participation rate among these older enthusiasts is twice as high as participation among youth.
Fly fishing has significant growth opportunities across a number of demographics, particularly females (20.2% of participants), minority groups (20% of participants) and youth (12.4% of participants). Easy access to great fly fishing areas across the country results in a broad representation, though the most popular region is the ‘Pacific.’"
Why do we find this disturbing? Simple because it underlines one of our biggest objections to public perceptions of fly fishing. The notion that it is expensive, elitist and difficult. This is an abject nonsense. There is nothing hard about fly fishing. It is not expensive. And there is nothing elitist about it. Why is it that so many old guys do it and are keeping it to themselves? If you tried it you would find out. It can be as easy as you want or as hard as you want. You can simply enjoy the basics of fly fishing, or you can immerse yourself so deeply into its finer points to such an extent that you will become boring – except to other equally deeply immersed adherents.
And if you have it in mind that mostly old rich guys do it because it is slow and easy, just get yourself into a single person cataraft, hook a 5lb rainbow trout and then try and row down through a few class 3 or class 4 rapids holding the rod in your teeth trying not to lose the fish until you get to some slow water so you can net it.
What we do know is that wherever there is public access to water, be it freshwater or saltwater and some fish, there is an opportunity to fly fish. If you live downtown in some city and think that the only fly fishing is in the Rocky Mountains, don't be fooled. If you want proof get yourself a copy of a video called "Urban Warfare" featuring Barry Reynolds. It is all about fly fishing for carp in downtown Denver. If you ever wanted proof that you can fly fish anywhere this is it.
So with that in mind we have put together a selection of value oriented fly fishing equipment which should easily equip you completely to be able to go to your nearest waterway and try it out. The cost of completely equipping yourself is far less than you could imagine. You can be competely equipped for less than the cost of a snowboard a pair of skis, a bike
So if you enjoy fishing, and have always wondered about fly fishing, there is no reason to put it off any longer. Don't be fooled by the old boys. Fly fishing is for everyone.