A view from the river bank
Here is one writer's take on the recent FFR Show in Denver Colorado. He has a limited experience with fly fishing and makes some points about the industry that some of the manufacturers and retailers out there might do well to take note of.
First he describes why he is not more into fly fishing even though he had a taste of it:
I haven't fished with a fly rod since because I found fly-fishing to be expensive and difficult.
Then he describes a seminar at the show that spoke about the challenges facing the fly fishing industry:
The very first seminar I attended at the FFR convention was about the challenges fly-fishing enthusiasts have in getting people to take up their sport. The speaker repeatedly drove home the point that the primary hurdles fly-fishing has to overcome are the perceptions that it is an expensive and difficult sport. He didn't do his sport any favors by repeatedly referring to those of us skilled in the use of spinning rods as "Bubba fishermen."
Something seems out of sorts here, but our author manages to come through the day with a positive outlook on our sport...sort of....
Still there is the problem of affordability, but Sage and Redington will be doing their part by offering complete introductory packages for beginners. Most of these kits include a decent rod, reel, line, leader and a few accessories, and are relatively inexpensive when compared to some other products we saw. I really did learn you don't have to spend $1,000 to get into fly- fishing. A decent set of gear for beginners can be had for well under $500.
He then decides what you spend on your sport is all relative, comparing an expensive fly rod to a new rifle or set of golf clubs. Did we manage to recruit him into the ranks of the fur and feather crowd? You be the judge.
Will I join the ranks of fly-fishermen anytime soon? I don't know, but my mind is more open to it now than it's ever been before.
As an avid fly fisherman I love the sport and probably see it through rose colored Costa del Mar sunglasses. Sometimes it pays to have a look at what you love through someone else's eyes.
I have my own thoughts, but for the moment what do you think non-flyfishers really see when they look at our sport from the outside?