Ah yes, Mr. And Mrs. America and all the fly fishers
of the world. There is good news and it is about time.
Not that it hasn't been on the way for several months,
actually more than a year or so, it has but sometimes
these things need time to get all formulated and such
by those who make a living doing these things. The word
is in and it is good.
Here how it all shapes up. First of all, you guys with
the shirt protectors and slip-sticks, relax. This is not
going to be one of those reports studded with numbers and
ratios and other boring information to those of us who are
nearly normal. I have read a reasonably trustworthy and
mostly accurate report and it backs up some of the other
information I have gleaned over the past months.
Sure we took a bad hit when the terrorists destroyed the
World Trade Center. It messed up a lot of fly-fishing travel
plans among other things. As it filtered down it affected
the manufacturers as well. Stagnant market. Tough to keep
pumping out products. It jammed the whole machine.
Now I would like to be able to give you detailed numbers
up to this month but cannot. However the full reports I
do have are up to just a few months ago and they look
good on all fronts.
By that I mean that we all are going to the fly shops and
buying stuff. High priced things from the pro-shops are
moving well. The well-stocked fly shop is seeing an increase
in sales and merchandise is rotating on the pegs. The big-box
guys are causing their problems but are keeping the entry
level well supplied. Some of the figures for the whole industry
are in the 30% up range. That is good for all concerned.
This means the manufacturers can slowly bring all employees
on line, fill in slack areas in production, fill the 'pipe-lines'
again, offer deals to the various shops now that the customer
has found his way back to the front doors and has discovered
a bit of extra cash.
This portends good health for the whole industry. True that
several, make that many, fly shops fell by the wayside. Some
rode the wave of the movie and realistically could not have
been expected to survive any problems. The problems arrived
and they folded. Other shops who were marginal for any of a
variety of reasons closed and for some that was a sad occasion
and we may have lost some valuable assets. The result is the
law of supply and demand has been fulfilled and it seems pretty
close to coming into balance once again.
The new goodies will continue to be invented, developed and
will show up at your favorite fly shop. Clubs will hold their
meetings and plan trips to wondrous places. Flies will get
tied. And fish will get fooled by them. Life is good. Again.
Have a great year. ~ JC