At last count, there were 29.9 million anglers (16 years old and older) in the United States, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2006 report, issued this May. Although the number of anglers fell by 12 percent from 2001 to 2006, the report notes that "expenditures for fishing equipment (rods, reels, etc.) and fishing trips increased 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
The Wildlife Service estimated that fishing was a $40.6 billion industry in 2006, and a 2004 Harris poll identified it as the fifth most popular leisure activity in the country, ranking just below movie watching and just above computer-related activities.
William C. Bullock III, executive director of the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, Vermont, maintains that more books have been penned about fishing than all other sports combined..