Today the world celebrates International Women's Day, and fieldsports brand Orvis is launching a new campaign to get more women out on to the water.

Fieldsports brand Orvis has launched a new campaign to encourage more women to take up flyfishing and “advance gender parity” in the sport.

The 50/50 on the Water initiative seeks to get more women on to the river by lowering potential barriers to the sport and celebrating their role within it.

More options for families

Orvis said it acknowledges “safety concerns” and will find solutions such as increased access to group excursions. It will also provide more options for families and children to get out on the water, development more women-specific gear and use social media to provide an online venue for women anglers to address topics of interest on a “consistent, grass-roots basis.”

There will  be opportunities for tailored learning and adventure experiences, and Orvis also plans to highlight the role of women in conservation and said that with women flyfishing leaders and guides, such as renowned anglers Marina Gibson, Tiggy Pettifer and Fly Odyssey director Gilly Bate, at the forefront, the campaign will celebrate the role of women in conservation efforts.

It said: “Partnering with other conservation groups, 50/50 on the Water aims to promote women anglers and their influence in maintaining healthy fisheries. We see women as a driving force in integrating conservation into the sport.”

Orvis shooting waistcoat

This shooting waistcoat may look a little odd but I think you will wonder how you ever managed without it…

Help from industry partners

Orvis has also encouraged other industry partners to help complement its campaign by considering actions of their own over the coming year — either by running an outreach event to educate women anglers on gear choices, designing women-specific classes to build fishing skills, to host fishing trips to test these skills on the water or to set up mentoring opportunities for the next generation of guides and industry leaders.

Authentic voices

“Orvis’ goal is to broaden the visual library of the sport by featuring the adventures of women anglers, including those of all ages, body types and angling levels. Integrating women in fly-fishing social media is an important aspect of the campaign, leveraging the grass-roots efforts of allied influencers to inspire and pave the way,” said Orvis.

“Beyond images, hearing authentic women’s voices and their emotional connection to the sport is an integral part of ongoing editorial efforts in both print and Web media. Further, we seek to showcase women angling as one aspect of a life lived in outdoor pursuits.”