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Old 02-13-2008, 08:30 PM
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nvr2L8 nvr2L8 is offline
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Default Why fly shops close

The fishing report today said:


There are several reasons for the fly fishing business decline.
  • One is fly fishing participation is falling off. Hard to imagine this unless there are that many fly fisherpersons dying off. Once you get started, who can stop? It's like losing interest in breathing. Maybe only the addicts log onto this board, but it's hard to see interest waning among the faithful.
  • Second, big box stores have opened in markets once dominated by small stores. I've been there. Unless you hunt with really big guns or fish with really big lures, there isn't much there for fly fishers. After my extensive market research (?), I have to say "the smaller the better".
  • Third, the economy is soft. I still don't believe we are in a recession but many people do. Once you make the initial investment, one doesn't have to spend that much on fly fishing. One might choose to have a rod in every weight and two reels for each rod (one overline and one underline - and possibly a third that actually matches the reel) but you can fish a lifetime if you choose to with not that much cost after you once get rigged up. It's all a matter of choice (like so many other things). I probably spend much more than I have to and could get by with much less if I was truly in an economic pinch. (Haven't there been some discussions lately about cane poles and mono line?)
  • Fourth, the cost of fuel has been rising sharply. This one I can sort of buy. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to look out our windows and see the Smokies - most folks are not that fortunate and to them I extend heartfelt sympathies.
I don't dispute the fact that fly fishing is on the decline but it boggles my mind as to why. I don't dispute your conclusions for the general public, Byron, but it's hard to imagine any little thing like a recession or $100/bl oil keeping me off the streams.

Long live fly fishing; long live the small fly shop; long live the community of fisherpersons; tight lines till I can't hop rocks!
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:50 PM
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Jubal Jubal is offline
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I frequent the fly shop in my town and try my very best to give him 100% of my business. I work for a company that DEPENDS on other local small business to stay open...and make money! And I also love to visit other shops and pick their brains while in their area.

I went down to the fly show in Charlotte this past weekend and had a ball just meeting shops/guides/writers I've learned of over the years. I even bought a dozen flies (like I need anymore) from Jim Cassada. He commented twice his flies were not the cheapest and I said cheapest don't catch fish and I'd rather spend my money with him, someone who knows the flies work and won't come undone after the first strike.

.....and I agree the big box stores try and stick fly fishermen in a box...limited supplies I can actually use on my tiny streams and pitiful looking flies.

Keep up the good work LRO, hope to see you this summer if I get time to make the trek.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:59 PM
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Well, in your descriptions you answered a few of the questions yourself.

After the initial investment we do stop spending as much. A fly shop killer! We need more new anglers.

Big Store fly shops like the Bass Pro in Nashville have excellent fly shops in them.

And yes gas prices are making me spend less on everything!
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:46 PM
Hal M Hal M is offline
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Default Why flyshops close

Charlie B.

Amen to your last 2 lines !!!

Hal
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:15 PM
Byron Begley Byron Begley is offline
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Charlie,

When I write the fishing report every day I only spend an hour on the whole process. What I forgot to mention is the most important fact. Children are not getting into outdoor sports. As older people die off there are not people to take their place as those who love the outdoors. It is a sad situation. Also many of the fly shops have been on the fence of either hanging on or folding. Another sad situation.

Byron
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:15 PM
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David Knapp David Knapp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
Once you make the initial investment, one doesn't have to spend that much on fly fishing.
You must not tie flies yet... I really have to keep spending a lot of money on tying supplies... It is impossible to go into a shop with a quality selection of tying materials and come out without any...meaning I keep wandering into LRO and coming back out with a bag full of goodies.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nvr2L8 View Post
One is fly fishing participation is falling off.
It's not just fly fishing - all forms of fishing (and hunting) are falling off. We're losing the youngsters, and there are many reasons - an increasingly urban population, separated from the land, the insidious effects of television, video games, and the very 'net we're posting on, and the like. We might not notice it, as we're caught up in the sport and we don't have access to the numbers like the Game&Fish folks do, but it's there.

Actually, the biggest reason is the parents - in general, our fast-paced society is creating detached, disinterested parents - too busy working late hours to pay for a house that's too large and expensive, and the kids are dumped in day care. Of course, a lot of the parents have no connection to the outdoors, either.

In many ways, I was fortunate that my parents met and married a little beyond the average age; my father was from a simpler time, and he introduced me to fishing, not knowing the Pandora's box he was opening. Anyway, I feel fortunate to be able to pass this on to my children, but in many ways they are now the exception, not the rule.

Back to the specific topic of fly fishing - there was a upward spike in fly-fishing numbers after "the movie" came out, but like most items in pop culture, the numbers fell off afterwards. So, if we're to have a future with this sport, the motto "take a kid fishing" needs to be acted upon.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:00 AM
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I can assure you all that my kids as soon as they are old enough to hold a rod and not want to step on it they will be on the water next to me. And when their children are at that point in their lives they will know me and the outdoors to the fullest. We can't take for granted having the smokies in our backdoor. My kids already love driving through and exploring in my Jeep with the top and doors off. I love where I live and never plan on leaving. This is God's country.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:17 AM
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Fishermansfly Fishermansfly is offline
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Default Ohhh yea!

Ditto to what PA said....the farther you get into this sport the more money it drains from your bank account. I think the more serious you get in this sport the more money you dish out....Sure you can set a modest budget and hit the creek all summer....Or you can do what I do...

Get a new rod (to fix my casting abilities)...New reel (make line pick up quicker allowing that "One more cast").....New line (to cast farther and more accurate and "up" the fish death toll).....New equipment; waders, vest, bags, etc... (this would stretch the imagination if I went on to talk about me constantly buying new equipment)...That just covers the fishing season and that's not counting the flies....

Then you have the winter/cold months...still fishing non the less! These months are compounded with pretty consistant tying and returning to LRO to purchase some new "gotta have material" My wife hates hearing that...Just kidding!! Then I spend a vast majority of time online looking at what's new coming for the new season...Now readjusting and rehashing your inventory trying to make things smaller and make yourself generally more efficient on the water....Countless hours logged on the computer on various message boards and various fly fishing sites....

One more aspect you can't forget about is the constant nagging feeling I have to want to buy a boat...The more I think on it...the more I feel as if I would be headed down the road of divorce! Having a new boat would require new gear to through on the boat and in general things to make your day in the boat easier!

The more time I spend in this sport, the more time the sport spends consuming me. It's simply turned passion into obsession. I'm a fairly young guy now, and I hope I get the opportunity to spread the word and mend lines with some of the younger folks in life. It truely is an amazing sport and everytime I think of someone who says, "Why do you fly fish?" I can only think of the film produced for last years The Drake Magazine contest. The film that won...It was a well thought out film short and to the point...

Little River Outfitters won't be going anywhere anytime soon, not If my bilfold has anything to do with it! And I say that's ditto'd by all of your loyal followers!

~Brett
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:21 AM
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I think "the movie" made FF temporarily chic just like "O Brother Where Art Thou" made some folks believe they liked bluegrass for a while.

The topic of not getting kids involved is a disturbing one and it's not the kind of thing where you can go start a kids program without dedicated parents involved. They can't just drive their kids to a fly fishing day like driving them to a soccer game or a dance lesson. It takes a lifelong commitment that outlasts fads. Guess it's up to as as parents and grandparents to make sure that we get the young ones involved. Fly fishing is a much healthier alternative (in more ways than just the physical aspects) than many of the other instant gratification kinds of past times kids can get into but they'll never get the chance if we don't make the time and patience investment to get them out there.

Re: the money thing - The nice thing about getting hooked on this sport is that it gives the spouse and kids an easy option for special-day gifts. That LRO gift card is easy for them to produce and easier for us to use; and the fly shop reaps the rewards along with us.
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