I was feeling overworked and under appreciated
the other day and my husband JC, also known as
Castwell, offered to take me out to dinner. I
declined, but later thought better of it and
changed out of my grungies to some decent clothes,
washed my face and brushed my hair and we headed
to a reasonably new Asian restaurant which we've
been to a few times. The lady at the counter
informed us as we headed toward the dining area
they no longer had a menu and you had to choose
your meal from the grill. Since I wanted a
particular menu item, we left.
As we walked to the car, we discussed what had
just happened. Our conclusions, ordering off
the menu required more employees, more food,
more costs. Bottom line? There were no other
customers in the place. It was 6:30 p.m. on a
Wednesday. They won't make it until spring.
We were willing to give the new place our business,
we had not had dinner there, but we had stopped
there for lunch on occasion.
There is a very good Mexican restaurant next
door, but we weren't hungry for Mexican food.
So we drove a few blocks to another Asian place
we knew and had a very good dinner.
For the most part we have a lot of choices here
for a small community - not everyone is lucky
enough to live where they have any choices.
However, we no longer have a fly shop here in
town at all. There is one down in Silverdale
about 10 miles away, and one in Bainbridge also
about 10 miles. Which is better than many
communities. One of the reasons we don't have
a fly shop here is mostly we don't have any fish,
but that's another story - and I'm not going
there right now.
The shop in Silverdale is more of what we call a
'cross-over' shop. They carry spinning rods,
boat rods and fly fishing rods. Gear rods for
the folks who troll for salmon, and even 'snoopy'
rods for kids. I'm sure there's some 'sticker
stock' when the spinning rod guys see some of
the prices on fly rods, but nothing like the
reaction of the guys in the south who fish for
bream, redears and gills. About half of this
country doesn't have any trout within a reasonable
drive. Are we just going to ignore them? Seems
to me that's what's been going on in the fly fishing
world for a long time. (We don't here at FAOL
in case you haven't been paying attention.)
"$500 for a fly rod to catch 8 inch gills?
You've got to be out of your mind!"
Well, think about it. How about a $500 rod
to catch 8 inch trout? Isn't that the truth?
Do you really think most of what is caught is
18 inch trout and 15 pound steelhead?
I wrote something on the Bulletin Board last
week 'off hand' about maybe that's why fly
fishing is in trouble. Fly fishing isn't
in trouble at all - but some of the business
side of fly fishing is. Some of it is too
many fly shops in a region, poor management,
attitude or service, and competition by the
'big box' stores.
My personal opinion is a great deal of the
marketing done by manufacturing companies,
the RBFF (Recreational Boating and Fishing
Foundation) the folks who spend the bucks
you pay in the excise tax, has been so far
off the mark it is laughable. Add to that
the attitude of the gurus who dream up the
ads showing beautiful gals groomed to the
teeth with perfect everything showing off
fish you absolutely know they didn't catch
...well, you get the drift.
Maybe the rod companies would do better to
show some guy with rolled up sleeves wading
wet showing off his prize bream. Opps. Did
I a say a bad word?
Where are the new fly fishers coming from?
Well, it's not from women is it? That was
a bust, no pun intended. A big push for 'families'
- and outside of fly fishers who already 'get it'
isn't happening either. In some regions the big
deal is carp fishing! Not everyone can afford the
big ticket trips for bonefish, much less the
off-shore blue water trips. Carp are fun. Why
not? I've heard some of the rod and reel companies
haven't figured out yet the sales of the 8 and 9
weight outfits are not being used for trips to the
Bahamas or Belize. But I suppose it might hurt
their corporate image to have a carp in their
catalog. I do remember a time when bonefish were
considered bait for billfish, and trashfish otherwise.
Where it is happening is the spin fishers who have
found ultra light, and then decide to see what other
ways there might be to have fun.
Isn't that what fly fishing is about? Having fun?
It's about having choices!
How many of you came to fly fishing via
spin fishing? Maybe via the ultra light
route? Ring any bells?
I've always felt fly fishing was about
having fun...not about how snazzy it was
to catch a particular 'type' of fish. If
it pulls, and I get to pull back that's fun.
If sometimes it pulls harder than I do, or
smarter, or faster, that's all part of the
game. Do I lose fish? (Naw, well occasionally.)
Sure I do - the fish I lose I probably remember
better than ones I catch - and the truth be known
I've killed some I wish I hadn't.
Some of our readers have had an opportunity
to fish in almost every state in the US.
I haven't. If I did I would fish for whatever
fish there were to fish for. No turn up the
nose and say, well, gee, you don't have trout?
I'd love to see one of the big name rod companies
come out with an absolutely killer catalog before
the next Denver Fly Tackle Dealer Show with a
terrific cover shot of their best fly rod and
a smallmouth bass (or bluegill) and one very
happy fly fisher.
Think anyone will do it? ~ DLB
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!