When Orvis announced a few months back its effort to bring “gender parity” to the fly fishing world, it seemed to me to be, as much as anything else, a good business decision. Women make up half the populace about about 30 percent of the fly-fishing market these days (that’s up from about 25 percent less than a decade ago). Marketing to women makes sense.
But when I watched the short video below, I was surprised at the push-back Orvis got for its 50/50 on the Water campaign in the form of a voicemail (expertly presented in the video, by the way). The notion of Orvis creating “gender warfare” in the fly-fishing market never occured to me, and I was taken aback by the anonymous caller who claimed the company was doing just that.
Honestly, bringing more women into the craft is good for everybody, from fly-fishing gear and apparel manufacturers, to retailers and to conservation groups like TU, where women represent a significant opportunity for membership growth and volunteer engagement. Gender warfare? That’s sadly short-sighted.
The more, the merrier, I say.
— Chris Hunt