The following are all excerpts; No More “Participation” Trophies (Angling Trade); What Needs to Change in Fly Fishing … Now (Fly Fishing Travel), and Nymph Fishing, There’s Nothing Wrong With It (Gink+Gasoline)

Angling Trade No More “Participation” Trophies by Kirk Deeter / Click here to read complete story (pg) 6

. . . It used to be that the unwritten rule was to treat products from fly manufacturers with kid gloves. (After all, they spent all that money and effort making a nice product that might grow the market!). If you didn’t like it, you followed the same rule “Thumper” implied in Bambi: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” And heaven forbid you said anything that was off line with what one of your advertisers had to say in their press releases!

Well, you know what? The advertisers don’t support the magazines and websites enough to justify that attitude anymore.  And if they think they get more mileage out of greasing someone with a free widget so they’ll say something nice about it on a blog (or put it in their film!)…  that’s fine, you ultimately get what you pay for.  But if you’re a media professional (and I don’t use that term loosely), you’re starting to realize that there’s actually more money in honesty than there is in kissing manufacturers’ asses these days.  The worm has turned.  Maybe that puts the squeeze on the print mag, but then again, maybe it opens an opportunity.  It’s certainly good for consumers (and probably retailers) who will increasingly depend on savvy information, and less on scripted sales pitches, to influence decisions.

. . . We’re not out to get anyone, and we have no axe to grind. No More “Participation” Trophies
But when the sleeve starts to fall off the rain jacket because the stitching is literally shredded by the wind in Tierra del Fuego (it really happened) I’m going to write about it.

When the 12-weight, $850 rod explodes on the first tarpon hooked (saw that too), why would a writer feel compelled to keep that under wraps? Is that really serving the interests of the consumer?

And, yeah, by the way, I think it’s also fair to test the warranty on that 12-weight, since the consumer bought that, whether they really wanted to or not.  How long does it take to get fixed?  What does it really cost?  What’s the rod like when you get it back?

We’re going to get rid of the participation awards. Because if you want to know what will really help this industry grow and get stronger, for both retailers and manufacturers, it’s being less soft, and working harder to achieve nothing short of total excellence and
supreme VALUE.

What Needs to Change in Fly Fishing … Now / No link available

Elitism

Ever wonder what we look like in the eyes of accomplished conventional anglers?! Let’s chill. It’s fishing. Did it make you uncomfortable that I did not write “fly” before “fishing” in that last sentence? If you have a $100 rod that you fish and love, embrace it. Don’t look at it as a lesser rod because we over value the newest, most expensive gear nowadays. And just because something new comes out, doesn’t mean we all need to flock to it as the new gold standard that we all must have.

Pro staffs

I remember the first time I was on a pro staff. I was honored. Interestingly, my shop sales of that brand went through the roof shortly after. I was not an extraordinary angler. However, the sales rep knew I’d sell more product and sport their gear in the shop if I was on their pro staff. When I left the shop, I was canned from the pro staff immediately. There are legit pro staffs – actual professional staffs of expert anglers that serve the brand in more ways than advancing their marketing and sales needs. What we have now is a mockery of the concept.

Fake ultimate experts

One great thing about fly fishing is that the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know. And any honest angler ought to recognize that she/he could spend his/her life devoted to learning and still not know it all. So who are all of these new experts in their 20s/early 30s that know everything?!

A good angler recognizes that there is always a lot to learn. Case in point: April Vokey, who is perhaps one of the most famous fly anglers in the world.

From 60 Minutes:

April Vokey: “I’m not a great caster. I am not a great fly tyer. I am not a great writer. I’m not the best at any of those things.”

Bill Whitaker: “So what makes you so good at this?”

April Vokey: “I love it more than anyone I know.”

We need more of this honesty. Those who know it all are pretending. And if a young angler somehow does know it all, that’s a shame. April Vokey has enough respect and love for the sport to recognize that despite the fact that she is an outstanding angler, there will always be people that we all should look up to for their talents. In any field, experts know that there is always a great deal to learn.

Soul surfers recognize that ego and the pursuit of praise are destructive to the spirit of the sport. Some say that the best surfer in a session is the one having the most fun. Perhaps we could embrace soul fly fishing as a value.

Nymph Fishing, There’s Nothing Wrong With It by Louis Cahill / Click here to read complete story

It seems like every where I look, I see blog posts all over the place chastising and bad mouthing nymph fishing.

I hear comments claiming nymph fishing is nothing more than mindless fly fishing. That watching indicators floating down the river all day is boring. So let me ask you this, does it make since to instead fish a dry fly if your chances of catching fish are slim to none? To me, that’s what’s boring and ridiculous. My objective on the water is always to decipher what the fish are predominantly feeding on, and then fish the appropriate rig and fly that allows me to imitate it to my best ability. Whether or not the fly pattern is a wet or dry fly has no bearing to me at all. All that matters is that it’s the right choice for the moment. To frown upon nymph fishing and purposely avoid it, even when it’s obvious it’s an anglers best bet for success, is like a golfer choosing to putt with a driver instead of a putter. It will work but it’s obviously not the best gear choice.

We don’t go through life purposely choosing to take the most difficult path in the off chance we’ll find success. Just as in fly fishing, it doesn’t make any sense to fish one method of fly fishing over another just because it feels more pleasing to the soul.

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