Sacred Spaces

Words by Bridget Moran

Women in fly fishing

“Women in fishing deserve their sacred spaces”

Women are held in different regards when it comes to fishing. In some places, I’m condescendingly questioned and tested, as if I couldn’t possibly know what I’m doing. I walk into a fly shop with my boyfriend, Colin, and ‘Chad’ behind the counter pushes past me to cater to Colin (poor guy couldn’t care less about fishing). In other places, a singular woman gets invited as a last minute addition to a trip (or a film…) so that organizers can check the “diversity box.”

Neither of these approaches sit well with me.

Women in fishing deserve their sacred spaces—environments where they can shamelessly flaunt their identities, insecurities, dance moves, beer belches, and record-setting catches; places where they don’t have to compete (if they don’t want to); and most importantly, spaces where they don’t, for a second, question their own safety. As it stands, the male-dominated culture of fishing can’t always be that place for women.

I also want female anglers to be the norm. We’re not something to be shown off, nor are we to be tossed in for the sake of ‘diversity.’ Not all of us want to be separated from the general population of anglers. Sometimes I just want to go on that salmon trip with the guys I trust and not have to do an interview about how this trip is different for me because I’m a woman. 

These two things—having sacred spaces and seamless inclusivity—aren’t mutually exclusive. We can have both, and until the dominant culture can ensure our safety, we’ll need those sacred spaces. But I also believe that we can celebrate women’s inherent uniqueness as anglers without holding them at an arm’s length from the broader conversation. The fishing community is figuring this out, slowly but surely and certainly thanks to thousands of women willing to push the envelope every day. 

So, what can our well-intentioned gentlemen do to help move the needle for women anglers? Foremost, dedicate yourself to continued learning and don’t get wrapped around the axle if/when you make a mistake. Ask women you’re close to (not random ones on the street or at the coffee shop. They’re busy. Please do not bother them—especially the ones with headphones on) what it is they want or need to make them feel empowered on the water, and then do those things. Think critically about what you and your buddies do or do not do that would make someone feel unsafe or unwelcome. Key into things that make women uncomfortable and call those things out. Women have to do a lot of heavy lifting in terms of general survival, so any effort men can make in terms of checking unsafe rhetoric/behavior would be much appreciated.

What’s cool is that there will probably be women who disagree with me. Women aren’t monolithic. Our needs and preferences differ. Honor that. While the approach may vary, the goal is always the same: help us feel safe, welcome, and rad.

*Writer’s note: when I say ‘women,’ I mean trans women just as much as I mean women assigned so at birth. I mean Black women, Indigenous women, Asian women, Latina/e women, recognizing that race, sex, gender, age, socioeconomic status, and many more elements of people’s identities intersect in different ways to create different experiences.

-Bridget Moran

Bridget Moran getting rad on the river

Bridget Moran

Bridget grew up squid fishing in the Puget Sound with her dad on cold, wet school nights. After nearly three decades in Western Washington, she remains an avid angler and coldwater conservationist. Bridget works for American Rivers, focusing on hydropower reform and federal river protection campaigns in the Puget Sound and Columbia River basins. She is also the president of North Sound Trout Unlimited and has published the occasional piece of writing in Dun Magazine, The Flyfish Journal, and Moldy Chum. When her head’s not buried in conservation projects, Bridget lets loose in rivers with rods and in the mountains on bikes and skis. 

A note from DRYFT

On this International Women’s Day, let’s commit to working towards a world where everyone has equal opportunities to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. Let’s continue to challenge ourselves and others to break down barriers and create more inclusive outdoor spaces. Together, we can make a difference and create an inclusive future for all.

Outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting have historically been dominated by men, making it difficult for women and other underrepresented groups to feel welcome or have access to the resources they need to participate.

As a company that makes women’s specific fishing gear, we’re continually taking feedback and making improvements, and continuing to learn and grow towards the goal of making the outdoors a truly open and inclusive space for all to enjoy. The work is ongoing, but together we can make progress. Thank you for being here and showing up to help by supporting all women in the industry, in the workplace, out on the water, and everyday. 

Thank you.

-Nick, Sam and the DRYFT Team.

“I did a ton of research before choosing these waders. I’m 5’5”, plus size, and the search for inclusive sizing was daunting. I’m sick of sportswear companies that think only straight-size people enjoy the outdoors. So glad I came across Dryft! … Feels good to support a business that cares about the environment, nails customer service, and is in touch with real outdoor adventurers and their needs! 10/10 would recommend!”  

Verified Purchaser  1/25/23

Small Business Saturday

The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday, and is a way to focus support for small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country who have decided to go it alone without corporate backing.

DRYFT™ is a small independently owned and operated business, run by long time friends and co-founders Nick and Sam. 

Alongside family members we run daily operations and oversee all aspects of the business together. We can’t thank you enough for your business and support this year and would like to take the opportunity to let you know that we truly appreciate you and hope you enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. 

Happy fishing to you,

 -Sam & Nick   

New SEEKR Convertible Waders

Tap into your inner Farmer John in the new SEEKR Convertible Waders

Based on the popular OG S14 waders the new mid-weight SEEKR waders convert from chest high to waist highs in a snap. The new SEEKR Convertible Waders are fully constructed of our mid-weight four-layer breathable and 100% waterproof DWR coated fabric in ‘denim’ print. Made for your next quick and light fishing mission.

Are wading pants the next big thing? 10 reasons why you should own a set of waist waders.

You may be familiar with waist waders, but are you still using full chest waders every time you go fishing?

Big fishy while wearing dryft waist high waders

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to consider using waist high waders for some of your fishing adventures. From comfort to backups, there are a lot of reasons to consider using wading pants instead of full waders at least some of the time. Read below for 10 reasons why you should consider adding a set of waist high wading pants to your gear collection.

1. Waist high waders are comfortable and easy to use

Especially on warmer days wearing waist high waders can be much more comfortable than full waders. Most of the time when we’re fishing out of a boat we never wade deeper than our waist, and in small creeks and rivers it’s easy to cross in many places without wading deep. Waist high wading pants are the easiest and quickest waders to get in and out of. Since they only pull up to your waist there is no shimmying or working the shoulder straps up and into place. For quick and dirty fishing missions they can’t be beat.

2. Wading pants work great as a backup set

Rotating between multiple sets of waders means you aren’t fishing your main chest waders every time you go out. This means you can thoroughly dry them out between uses and get an overall longer usable life out of them. Things happen with normal use, and if you need to do a repair or send your main waders in for repair it’s nice to have a backup. Wading pants are great for that as they cross over to many other uses, and generally cost less than comparable chest waders.

small river fishing in waist high waders

3. Versatility.

A large percentage of the average anglers fishing trips do not involve wading beyond waist deep. This is leading to more and more people realizing the benefits that waist high waders provide, for comfort and ease of use. Should you only own wading pants? Probably not if you intend to wade new waters and do deep crossings at times. Owning a set of full chest waders and wading pants helps you choose the right tool for the job.

4. Long term durability

Having and rotating between multiple sets of waders will extend the usable life of each. By allowing a wader to fully dry out between uses it helps to keep the materials from breaking down over time. The main reason to fully dry your waders inside and out after every use is to avoid mildew growing on the inside which can damage the fabric and seam tape. Some amount of condensation will always be present on the inside of waterproof breathable waders, simply because of how the waterproof breathable fabric functions. We recommend rotating between different sets of waders while on multi day fishing trips, or at home if you’re fishing every day, and hanging each to dry fully between uses.

Warm weather alpine fishing with waist high wading pants

5. Waist waders are better for summer and warm weather use

Wading pants are cooler during periods of warm weather. Heat is trapped in the core area of chest waders, making them a great option for cool weather. But when the mercury climbs and the water is still too cool to wet wade (or unsafe to do so) a good set of waist high waders is invaluable.

alpine lake hike in backpacking with waist high waders

6. Wading pants rule for packability

If you’re like us then you probably enjoy getting out beyond the crowded access points and exploring areas where you are more likely to encounter bear tracks than signs of other humans. Wading pants are lighter and smaller than full waders, so pack down and fit inside backpacks better. For this reason we like to carry the SEEKR waist high waders in our backpacks up into alpine lakes for summer backpacking trips.

7. Wading safety

Waist high waders limit how deep you can wade, which can help prevent wading too deep. A lot of guides prefer their clients in wading pants, which helps keep them in shallower water and avoids the need for an emergency rescue. If you tend to wade beyond safe limits at times, maybe consider trying waist high wading pants to put a cap on how deep you can go in.

waist high waders are great for boat fishing

8. Great for boat fishing

If you do a lot of boat fishing a good set of waist high waders will suit your fishing style well. When boat fishing all day then the deepest you’ll likely wade is knee deep or so to get in and out of the boat. Having waders on will keep you dry from rain, and give you the option to wade deeper than rain boots will allow if needed.

9. Style. Wading pants just plain ol’ look cool.

‘Nuff said.

10. Value (cost) of waist waders is lower than full chest waders.

Coming in below the cost of comparable waders, they make a great second set for warm days and to use as backups. The SEEKR waist high wading pants complement our S14 chest waders well, while in the GD series you can set yourself up with the Session GD Wading Pants for the full featured and most durable option. For the ladies we offer a full featured women’s waist high Session Wading Pant option that complements the S14 Women’s waders well.

And those are our 10 reasons why you may want to consider adding a good set of wading pants to your fishing gear collection. Check out the styles we offer below and click through on each to read more details.

DRYFT Waist high wading pants

New Sun Wizard UPF hooded shirts

The new Sun Wizard UPF hoodie is here. Featuring a full printed water camouflage pattern that blends into the background for stealthy ambush approaches on the flats, river, or while boat fishing. This UPF shirt is comfortable, and keeps you safe from harmful UV radiation from the sun.

  • UPF 50+ solar protection.
  • Antimicrobial and moisture wicking microfiber polyester.

Combine this new shirt with a Grey Wizard Sleeve for neck and face protection, and the SEEKR Wading Pants and BKCNTRY Waterproof Hip Pack for a bomber day on the water.

Cutthroat release sequence [photo gallery]

Sometimes the release is the best part. Watching this cutthroat swim back to go do fishy things was a highlight of the day. Flip through the images for the release sequence.

Happy Earth Day 🌲

Year round we plant one tree along salmon bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest with every wader purchased through our website, but in celebration of Earth Day we’re doubling that to two trees planted through the end of April.

Please join us in planting trees as well by following the link below to our partner, One Tree Planted, where you can make a difference today by planting a tree.

Earth Day 2022 - One Tree Planted and DRYFT

Five star products that plant trees for Earth Day

Extended Play – The Ethan Parsons story

Ethan lost the use of his lower body as a teenager due to a rare medical condition. Facing the very real prospect of not surviving a series of surgeries that could help alleviate his paralysis Ethan has decided to learn to live with the cards life dealt.

Fly fishing has become a saving grace for Ethan as he returns to the water and the sport he loves in this triumphant story.

Please enjoy this short film while considering the strength of the human spirit and the power of positivity that Ethan displays.