Last night I was sitting at the club meeting with my friend George. He's 87 and can't fish anymore, but still regularly attends the monthly programs. It's his big night out.
Looking around the room it was obvious that attendance is down by nearly 1/2 of what it was just a few years ago, and he pointed out to me that everyone there was "old",... his word. He was right. Out of the whole room it looked to me that there was only 2 people who were under the age of 50. A mother and son.
He mentioned that club membership has dropped from a high of around 340 just 5 years ago to close to 200 today.
The monthly program that I went to last night was free and open to the public and featured a power point by a respected fly fishing author from Maine. There was a raffle (I won
) Tying demos and plenty of "fish fellowship"
Our club offers classes over the winter and announced the schedule last night that will include beginning fly tying, advanced fly tying, saltwater fly tying, beginning fly fishing, saltwater fly fishing, and rod building.
Our club has a presence at numerous shows and public service events every year, maintains "club water", and is a leader with important legislative and environmental issues.
And yet we're loosing members. George says it's the economy.... I'm not sure about that.
I think people just don't know what they're missing out on.
I urge all fly fisherman to join or at least check out their local FFF and TU clubs.
You'll get a lot out of it.