BOZEMAN, MONTANA: The River’s Edge West and SIMMS Fishing Products recently hosted the largest women’s fly fishing event in Montana, the United States, and well, probably in the world! On May 6th, from 1:00 – 5:00 PM, over 200 women showed up for the 9th Annual Chica de Mayo. This free event celebrates women in fly-fishing and offers educational clinics, guest speakers, prizes, cocktail party and networking, and much more.
“Back in May 2009, when we first held this event, we were sort of just “testing the waters” and hoping for 20 to 30 women to show up – we had about 60 gals show up and we couldn’t believe it. Each year after that first event, more and more women continue to show up and bring their friends,” said Sarah Clark, The River’s Edge, Master Event Coordinator. “We have reached maximum capacity at around 200+ women consistently showing up the past few years now. I even have a handful of ladies that have attended every Chica de Mayo event – that’s so cool!”
Throughout the event, merchandise sales and pink bucket raffles also raise funds for Casting for Recovery – a non-profit organization that offers breast cancer survivors a unique retreat program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.
“From this year’s fundraising, a check for $5,000 was presented to Casting for Recovery – double the amount raised last year,” said Diane Bristol, SIMMS Sr. Director, Employee & Community Engagement. “Between this and the continued growth in participation, it indicates that women are not only excited to potentially win an amazing prize, but also really want to support other women and get out fly fishing.”
“We’re so pumped to be the charity partner of Chica de Mayo,” said Casting for Recovery Executive director Whitney Milhoan, “The outpouring of love and support from Simms, The River’s Edge, and the women’s’ fly fishing community at this event is so incredible. All of the money raised will be applied directly toward providing healing fly fishing experiences for women with breast cancer. We’re so grateful!”
The fact that Chica de Mayo is pulled off each year on a small budget shows what creative planning, industry support, and generous donors can build. Looking forward to the 10th annual Chica de Mayo, there are many new ideas being generated to make this milestone year an epic celebration of women who fly fish. Could you or your business support us in 2018? Could you simply fund this entire event being held in the Bahamas, with private jet rides for participants? Just kidding…#maybe. The River’s Edge and Simms Fishing Products have already started brainstorming and are excited for next May!
The River’s Edge West is located next to Simms Fishing Products at 59 North Star Lane, Bozeman, MT 59718. Simms Fishing Products is located at 177 Garden Drive, Bozeman, MT 59718.
The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women. View all posts by The WON