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Shoeman

Thanks for the link. A good read for sure and I agree with a lot of what the author said. Ever since I started tossing a fly and that has been some 35 years now there has been an increasing notion that fly fishing is an elitist activity directed toward high incomes and toward people who look down on others who do not use a fly rod. This perception, in my opinion, has been generated by a lot of the fly fishing magazines and certainly by the influx of television shows the worst being Fly Fishing the World by John Barrett. Mr Barrett takes rock stars, movie actors and politicians out to remote places in the world and it is obvious that for many it is the first time they have ever flyfished.They take helicopters to their locations and they have guides who tie on their fly and net their fish for them. No wonder people think that flyfishing is an elitist activity!


And to the fly fishing magazines. I have subscribed to all of them over the years. They have gravitated toward the elitist notion also. The magazines used to be so useful with how to articles and flytying articles directed to us so called middle class. Over the years they have gone away from that directive and gravitated to who wants to go to Belize, Chile, Argentina or to Russia. I have stopped subscribing to most of them. I get full color advertisements in the mail every year telling me for just $5000 per week I can stay where very few have fished. Now you tell me, what is the average Joe or Jill supposed to think when they first entertain the thought of flyfishing.

I get a different take of flyfishing in my world. Go to the MidWest Flyfishing Expo and look at the people there. They are just like the average guy or gal who casts out worms and spinners for fish but they do it with different equipment. They have average incomes just like everyone else. The people who I flyfish with over the years do not talk down to fishermen who use other equipment. We just like the way we do it and that is a personal thing. That is the same reason that I bowhunt with traditional equiptment and do not gun hunt. That is the challenge I like. And the perception that it is hard to flyfish and takes a lot of time to learn is false. It is no different than learning to toss a spinner across a log with pinpoint control. They all take practice to develop the skill needed to be successful.

The biggest problem to people wanting to learn to cast a fly is the lack of local fly shops. I live in the Royal Oak area and there used to be a decent amount of local shops that catered to the upcoming fly fisher and fly tier. Not so anymore. They are for the most part nonexistent outside of the Orvis shop in Royal Oak and BassPro and Calelas if you want to call those fly shops. If you know a guy or gal who flyfishes and can help you learn a little that greatly helps. If you didn't know someone that is where the local shop came into play. Alas they are not there anymore.

Its hard to pinpoint when this elitist attitude started but it does continue on and I think not for the good.. And I am sure that the fly fishing only waters does not help at all. I guess that I would rather see them as catch and release waters open to any legal method. The perception of elitist is there I think for the above stated reasons but myself and all those I have fished with do not pertain to that idea. Some may have other opinions but that is my feeling.

Bob
 

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Here's my reply on another forum


You know back in the 70's (and probably to this day) Outdoor Life, Field and Stream used to clog their ad-filled rags with safaris and boar hunts that were not accessible to the general readership.

Like Fly Dog, I let all of them expire. My arsenal of rods, reels and gadgets are quite sufficient. Now it's all about repair or replacement of worn/abused components. Thankfully most are under a long term guarantee.

Also through sites such as this and countless others, we have enough guys out reviewing new lines, rods, ect.

I'll be brutally honest though, I started flyfishing (if I can call it that) back in the late 70's, but didn't jump in with both feet until about 10 years ago when I could really afford to diversify for all the species I target. I did subscribe to all the publications just get a feel of what's out there and what may apply to my methods. Now it's what can't I target with the long rod....

We already mastered catching fish with hardware, rubber and bait. It was a new challenge. (don't get me wrong, I have no issues with fishing with bait, lures, whatever...) I just tried taking it to a different level and something to do during the off-season, since ice fishing consumed my body more that trying to a run a marathon.

A good friend of mine described it perfectly. "If I'm gonna get skunked, let it be on the long rod".....lol

It was easy to realize that commercially tied bugs didn't fit my style, neither did fishing floating lines for what I was trying to obtain in many cases. Yeah, by the time I was done I filled the coffers of the advertisers, shops and manufacturers. Not to mention my basement looks like I run a trap line...lol

Close to getting out of hand after buying several rod weights from 2-10 and extra spools for integrated sink tips, full sinkers, the lightest reels known to man, I dropped a bundle.

Joe makes very valid points, especially when it comes to being intimidated walking into a flyshop in pursuit of "lesser species"

Honestly, most of the dryfly proponents would crap their pants if they ever hooked into a 5+ smallie on the long rod

Sorry guys! Don't mean to be the FNG casting stones, but that editorial hit home!

_______________________________

I think much of the attitude toward newbies and the ones without clue seemed very discouraging for me. Sell, sell, sell... Fools...

Luckily, I was somewhat versed by reading on here and other venues to not be intimidated, but I pity the fool that went in naked

The decline was inevitable, mostly due to the economy, but there's no excuse for the arrogance and eventually for the demise of many shops or the sport as far as growth is concerned
 

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Honestly, most of the dryfly proponents would crap their pants if they ever hooked into a 5+ smallie on the long rod
No matter how many times you do it, you still have to poop just a little. LOL
 

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I like to fly fish as much as the next guy, but I don't do it exclusively. Having said that, one of the main problems I see, with the exception of cost, is the confusion on things, such as different lines, say fast forward, full sink, partial sink, etc, etc. Perhaps, one of the things these mags could do, would be to have articles explaining these types of things. I agree, that publishing articles about far off destinations is probably worthless at best, but on the other hand, it gives us all something to dream about.

Somehow, it needs to be explained that fly fishing isn't as hard to do as its made out to be, and for a beginner, it can be a fairly reasonable expense, although a snoopy rod ain't in the offering.

It needs to also be said, that fly guys, and spinning guys all have the same dreams while fishing, we all want to catch that fish of a life time, but some, its just a way to get away from it all. It behooves all of us if we can get more people into fishing in general, and if fly fishing is one way to do it, then fine.
 

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What I like about Eastern Fly Fishing magazine is they have articles about places that you actually may get to fish in your lifetime. That and many of the issues are likely to have as many articles featuring warm water rivers and lakes as they do trout streams.
 

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I chatted with Joe for a few moments in Cinci last week.
He is certainly passionate about the sport and his role in it.
Joe is as dynamic in his presentations, as in his written words.
If fly shops would heed his words, we may have more than one in SE Michigan.
If more people would replace their childs Wii remote with a Snoopy or Barbie Pole,the industry would be in better shape.
There are a lot of choices for free time out there that vary dramatically in participation cost and commitment. I have chosen mine.

Thanks for posting Ralf.
 

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I agree with all that has been said, but to be honest, I'm not sure the major offender may be internet forums. In the age of the net, I think the first place most folks probably look when they have an interest in something is the net.

You take a look at most of the dedicated fly fishing forums around, anytime there is a question about getting started, the standard consensus answer is - go big, or go home. All the "experts" seem to consider themselves equipment connoisseurs.

I can't remember the last rod I picked up that wouldn't easily throw out 30' of line (including a $30 EC Featherlight). But to the "experts", if an outfit isn't approaching 4 figures, it's unfishable. It's really not surprising a 12 (or 42) year old kid who might be interested doesn't get turned off real quick.
 

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You take a look at most of the dedicated fly fishing forums around, anytime there is a question about getting started, the standard consensus answer is - go big, or go home. All the "experts" seem to consider themselves equipment connoisseurs.

I can't remember the last rod I picked up that wouldn't easily throw out 30' of line (including a $30 EC Featherlight). But to the "experts", if an outfit isn't approaching 4 figures, it's unfishable. It's really not surprising a 12 (or 42) year old kid who might be interested doesn't get turned off real quick.
Kind of a weird analogy, but fly fishing gear is marketed just like golf gear. Unless you have the technique down a $500.00 driver is not going to instantly make you hit it long and straight. As someone who is just getting in to fly angling I think that it would be pretty naive of me to think that a $1500.00 rod and reel combo along with a nice pretty wardrobe from Orvis including a shirt the color of an Easter egg is going to instantly allow me to catch monster browns. Maybe I am way off.
 

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I have to say, after reading the blog, I couldn't agree more. I do think its not necessary to join groups such as TU, or any other group, and this has nothing to do with the recent gear regs. What I do believe is, find the equipment you can afford, don't be ashamed of any of it, if you can't afford the top of the line, now, perhaps later you can. It isn't about trying to look like you just walked out of an Orvis catalog, its about your experience, and experiencing the sport.

I don't fly fish nearly as much as some of you guys, but I have no problem with it, in fact, I encourage it if it will bring more outdoors pursuits for people.

Sometimes I think we have to realize that, unfortunately, fly fishing has created its own stigma, and that can be blamed on the magazine articles, but also the somewhat snobby attitudes of some, not all, fly fishermen.

As for the magazines, its interesting how they come to writing articles that they do. All magazines start out pretty simple, but over time they check their demographics of the readership. If its discovered that most of their readers are doctors, lawyers, or those that are deemed to be upper class, these articles, and the advertising, will correspond. For example, if they find that most readership is doctors, look a the adds, they'll be for such things as Rolex, Mercedes Benz, etal., and will most likely go to glossy pages. They print what sells, and cater to the buyer, which is polar opposite to what fly fishing companies should be doing. There is a need at both ends of the scale.

With the advent of less and less fishermen/women, it would seem to me, that stepping back and starting from the beginner would be the best practice, but sometimes, old habits are hard to break.

Whether we fly fish, or spin fish, we need to find ways to encourage the younger generations to get out there and give it a try. Let them feel the experience of the outdoors, just like most of us did in our younger days. Thats how you can get the numbers up.
 

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Toto,

You raise an interesting point regarding distribution demographics for the glossies. I would guess (only a guess) that the majority of subscribers to the glossies are middle class. I would also guess (again, only a guess) that the majority of respondants to high end advertising are also middle class. My last guess (definitely still just a guess) is that a much greater percentage of high wage earning subscribers respond to luxury advertising than do middle class, thus making the retun on investment potential greater for luxury ads. Given our current economic climate, I would say it is likely that there just isn't much return potential on adverstisement of entry level products. A stated by so many, the content will follow the advertising.

Regarding involvement in TU, FFF, or any other relevant organization, you are correct in that we don't all need to join. My reason for suggesting enrollment is that one method of affecting change is to participate in an organization that has a recognized voice within our sport. But this can not outweigh the importance and reward of fishing with a child.
 

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Shoeman
Ever since I started tossing a fly and that has been some 35 years now there has been an increasing notion that fly fishing is an elitist activity directed toward high incomes and toward people who look down on others who do not use a fly rod.

BOB T said it right.
I have fished and hunted with him for many years and he is the farthest from ELITE than anyone I know. Acutally, he is quite crude! LOL:lol:

Fishing should be a personal thing and everyone should do it they way they enjoy it best.

Good personal ethics is what matters most above anything else.
 

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Kind of a weird analogy, but fly fishing gear is marketed just like golf gear. Unless you have the technique down a $500.00 driver is not going to instantly make you hit it long and straight. As someone who is just getting in to fly angling I think that it would be pretty naive of me to think that a $1500.00 rod and reel combo along with a nice pretty wardrobe from Orvis including a shirt the color of an Easter egg is going to instantly allow me to catch monster browns. Maybe I am way off.
Maybe it just the nature of the beast. I'll risk using another analogy - Bow hunting. Back when I first started flyfishing, I used to spent alot of time shooting a bow and arrow. Back then, both sports basically consisted of some sort of stick(s) and a string. Very basic stuff.

Both sports seemed to follow a similar path against a similar time line. Technology was applied, up went complexity and the prices. I can't say for sure exactly why, but it seems like fly fishing is not unique in it's evolution.
 
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