At Free Fly, we're surrounded by strong women. We join our customers and ambassadors as a team of weekend warriors and outdoor enthusiasts. We want a place at the campfire and together, we’re getting there.

This year, the conversation surrounding International Women’s Day is balance for better. We are not in this alone — it takes a community to strive forward towards change. In an industry where women have often been forgotten, we're excited to engage in the conversation and play our part in getting everyone around the fire.

For International Women’s Day, we caught up with a few of the women of Free Fly to celebrate their achievements and talk about what we can do to continue the progress towards equality in the outdoor industry.

Jenna Elliot | Free Fly Co-Owner, Boy Mom, Ocean Lover

In addition to being a co-owner, Jenna oversees marketing and women's product development at Free Fly. When she's not working, you can find Jenna wrangling her two toddler sons, taking a dip in the ocean, or cooking up a seafood feast for friends and family.

What are you most proud of in your life to date?

Leaving a corporate career after 8 years to move across country and build Free Fly with my husband and brother.  

One piece advice you'd give to every woman is…

Trust your gut and have confidence in your decision-making skills.  We question ourselves far too often.

Is there a common stereotype in the industry that we should break?

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, we've seen a lot of brands create a women's product by taking their men's styles and applying a 'shrink it and pink it' mentality. It's the worst. At Free Fly, we've worked to build a product line that's built for women, by women — focusing on fit and performance for her.

Jennifer Tatelman | FF Ambassador, Animal lover, Hot Sauce Connoisseur, Angler

Jennifer is a FF ambassador and the founder of FlyandFlow, a women’s fly fishing company with the mission of bringing together all levels of female anglers on the water and creating further opportunity for women within the fly fishing industry. Other passions in life include a tremendous love for animals, hot sauce, wine, and meeting interesting and passionate people from all different walks of life.

What are you most proud of in your life to date?

Leaving a family business to pursue a career in fly fishing was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one that I am truly proud of. We often look at change in our lives as something to be fearful of, but it’s how we handle these changes and what we make of them that brings about positive change.

One piece advice you'd give to every woman is…

Love yourself. You can’t offer others happiness unless you give it to yourself first.

How do you think we can work together to bring more opportunities to females in the outdoor industry?

This is so key! Specifically within the fly fishing industry, women are the fastest rising demographic to date. Let’s continue to provide opportunity for women within the industry by being inclusive, creative, and mindful of this growing change. The reality is, fishing isn’t about speed, strength, or endurance. Fishing levels the playing field for the female angler (and all anglers) to become knowledgeable and seasoned within the sport. Breaking down these barriers for women allows for overall growth in the outdoor industry and ultimately further protection of our natural resources.

Caroline Irwin | FF Ambassador, Traveler, Fly Casting Pro, Mom

Caroline is a FF ambassador and mom of two. She enjoys teaching fly casting lessons, cooking, music, painting, and has found a career that she loves in medical device sales. When her and John (her adventure partner, best friend, and husband) aren’t working, they’re fly fishing and traveling as a family to places they can take their wading boots. Her parents raised her to know she can do anything without barriers — and she aspires to have her children know the same thing.

What are you most proud of in your life to date?

I’m most proud to look back at the moments I was broken down or challenged in my career and how they became stepping stones to this life I am now living. I’m confident I will continue to strive to learn and grow.

How do you think we can work together to bring more opportunities to females in the outdoor industry?

Honestly, I feel there are more women participating in previously male-dominated segments of the outdoor industry, now more than ever — so, if we continue to provide events, seminars, travel opportunities, and merchandise targeting women and men alike, then my daughter will never have to answer this same question.

One piece advice you'd give to every woman is…

My advice to live a happy and fulfilled life to do these three things:

  • Love yourself and others

  • Have a purpose

  • Take care of your body

We hope these stories inspire everyone to do their part in bringing our world to a place of balance where we all have a voice or, if you will, a foot in the mud.

This is just the beginning of the conversation. To learn more about International Women’s Day visit the website here. #balancedforbetter