Simms at The River’s Edge Celebrates Women Anglers

The inaugural Women Are Fly event kicks off tomorrow (Friday, May 13th) at Simms At The River’s Edge West in Montana, USA. Women Are Fly is the evolution and progression of one of the largest women’s fly fishing gatherings in the country, Chica de Mayo.

Originating in 2009, Chica de Mayo’s achievements and longstanding celebrated reputation paved the way for a more eloquent, meaningful, and inclusive opportunity. Women Are Fly will amplify and enhance the event’s original objectives — to remove barriers of entry to fly fishing, to help women feel comfortable and confident in fly shops, to share conservation updates, and also to provide a vast and powerful network of supportive, passionate women anglers that possess the desire to not only learn, but also to share their knowledge and experiences with others.

“These last two years have reminded us that fishing is more than an activity, it provides a connection to nature, people, and ourselves,” says Simms VP of Community and Culture, Diane Bristol.

“I’ve missed seeing these women and sharing our fishing passion. I like the chance to evolve this event with new activities. And as a group that has been growing the sport, I’m especially excited to bring more people together to have a larger voice for conservation.”

Beginning in the spring of 2020, the greater fishing community experienced a growth trajectory like never before. Two years later, the rate of growth has only increased and women are arguably the fastest growing angler classification. Women Are Fly aims to take the original objectives one step further and engage deeper and more frequently with both seasoned and novice women anglers alike. Historically, Chica de Mayo was one weekend during the spring. This Women Are Fly event will kick off in the same fashion but also provides a platform for more in-person events and activations throughout the year.    

“We are beyond thrilled to host this inaugural Women Are Fly event,” says Reba Brinkman of Simms at The River’s Edge. “We are all extremely proud of the growth, engagement, and strength the women’s fly-fishing community has gained over the course of the past two years. Now that we can comfortably host events in person, we have a real opportunity to build upon the momentum we are experiencing by engaging with more women, more frequently, and on a deeper, more personal level.” 

Check-in for the 2022 Women Are Fly gathering begins at 4pm at Simms at The River’s Edge West and will be followed by a fashion show at Simms’ Headquarters. Then, Trout Unlimited’s Gallatin Home Rivers Initiative Project Manager, Connor Parish and the Upper Missouri River Project Manager, Ashley Brubaker will speak about Montana conservation and upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Simms ambassador and founder/owner of Riverside Anglers, Alice Owsley, will be the evening’s keynote speaker. Introduced to fresh and saltwater fly fishing at a young age, Alice is an accomplished fly tyer, conservationist, and seasoned professional Montana Guide. Owsley has been a member of the International Women Fly Fishers since its inception in 1996.

The evening will close with a social hour to provide time for networking and plenty of raffle drawings, all of which go to support another Bozeman and women’s-based organisation, Casting for Recovery.

On Saturday, May 14th, starting at 9am, Women Are Fly continues with educational instruction on all aspects fly fishing including casting, knot tying, fly selection and more. These courses cater to beginners as well as advanced anglers. 

To learn more, click here: 2022 Women Are Fly