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Opinion: What does your local fly shop have to do with ICAST?

Is it ‘totally’ veritas?

First, not everyone that fly fishes will be able to go to the ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) and IFTD (International Fly Tackle Dealer) combination show in Orlando next week. Secondly, not every fly shop owner/manager will be attending either. Lastly, how will you be able to tell what those with a vested in the fly fishing industry … product hawkers’ reviews say about that new, “faster than a speeding bullet” XYZ product. Is it ‘totally’ veritas? Well, this is where your local fly shop gets to be your advocate.

Urban Angler is the only dedicated fly fishing shop in NYC. They are serving 8,000,000 people. Our editor, Capt. Andrew Derr was the former GM for Jon Fisher's now famous shop.

Urban Angler is the only dedicated fly fishing shop in NYC. They are serving 8,000,000 people. Our editor, Capt. Andrew Derr was the former GM for Jon Fisher’s now famous shop.

Sales reps are the window into any industry

Fly shop owners and managers, and contemporary fly fishing product and services sales reps deal, mostly, in a veritas environment, and have comparable skill sets. It is not at all similar to a drug company sales rep relationship with a medical doctor. Their academic experience separates them by a wide margin. That is the case in many industries, but not ours.

A sales rep in the fly fishing industry usually cares a lot about whether the product they represent performs as advertised. The drug rep? Let’s be kind here and say that he or she will move on to the next drug – too bad about those side effects.

Your local fly shop owner/manager has an added and accepted responsibility of sussing out the performance of that XYZ product. If he or she champions that new XYZ product and it is a sub-par performer in the field – the fly shop probably loses a customer – forever. Fly shops do not like that.

Money is not cheap – as Yogi used to say

Post the ICAST/IFTD show, the new Best of Show products will make a landscape tour to every fly shop across the land, and those new products will fly out the door, and Christmas will be saved by another kind of savior. Mo Betta fly fishing accoutrements for us.

The lesson here is that if the ad you see in Fly Rod & Reel, Field & Stream, online or anywhere tickles your fancy – stop by your fly shop for a take it to the bank review, and your hands-on test drive.

NOTE: Featured Image is of Red’s Fly Shop.

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