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Old 10-11-2012, 09:06 AM
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Arrow Fly fishing clubs

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.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:42 AM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

I am being funny here to a small extent, but am serious about possibly needing to change how the club reaches out to younger people.

FREE: Will watch your kid for 2 hours Saturday morning AND teach them how to fish.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

I am currently the vice-president of my local fly club and will serve as president next year. Like your club, our average member is "old". Well how about if instead of saying "old" I say "older". Our board of directors is looking at ways to increase membership of "younger" members. At this point I would say we are working on it and don't have one easy answer that just solves the problem.

I don't think it has much to do with the economy. My take on it is that young parents are taking their kids to more and more activities and making time for a fly club is difficult for this demographic.

Part of our efforts to attract younger members and to retain the members we have was a survey we recently conducted. The younger members wanted to see more programs that dealt with fish other than Trout and Steelhead. That was not a surprise to me but I think it was to some of our club members.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:39 AM
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I would love if there was one of those in the Fort Lauderdale area
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

We saw the same thing hapen here in Somerset, PA. the club dwindled and aged to the point it dissolved. Very Sad as it was the only community Fly club in the area. I response, I started a club in my school. It covers grades 6 through 12 and we tie, cast, and have taken a few trips to fish.

I highly encourage you to reach out to the schools. 1. you have to get them young and spark the interest then. 2. Many can't get to community meetings because parents are too busy (uh...yeah) to get their children to a meeting.

There is loads of help out there, but it takes someone to initiate it.....go for it! The intrinsic rewards are amazing!
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

I think it boils down to getting the younger generation more involved in fishing. In my local chapter I am the youngest club member by about 20 years, not that I care but it seems there is a large gap in the 20-40 rage which is interesting. I would be inclined to believe that should be the most active group of people. This might be attributed to a bad economy or no time because of work but it is troubling.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

If my chapter of TU wasn't such a joke, I would be a lot more involved.

I am probably one of the youngest guys around here that fly fishes and I love every aspect of it, including keeping my local rivers clean. Just need to find the right club.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

Reaching out to the youth is the answer. The clubs that set up programs tailored to our young people are the clubs that stay around. I've witnessed this first hand and it works!
Not every kid wants to fly fish but in my experience with the Boy Scouts 2 or 3 of every 15 that go for fly fishing merit badge or attend a casting or tying class get hooked. I have boys now men who still call me today 10 ,20 years later "Hey Mr.B want to hit the stream?". Very gratifying to say the least.
One very important point that has the greatest impact is take them fishing! It doesn't matter if it's bluegills on poppers at the local pond or bucktails for snapper blues at the beach , take them fishing . When individual club or organization members take an interest in a kid or two your membership will grow. Take them fishing the key to success!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by littledavid123 View Post
I am being funny here to a small extent, but am serious about possibly needing to change how the club reaches out to younger people.

FREE: Will watch your kid for 2 hours Saturday morning AND teach them how to fish.
Nicely said. Or how about

All youth under 20 Win an iphone5 or Clone upgrade for longest most, accurate cast, biggest fish, and best fly creation.Can You master Fly Fishing?

Then hope it is enough to get them hooked on what its "really" all about. Kidding, but not entirely

I agree. To get more young people, you need to get their attention somehow. Maybe bundle it with other activities they may enjoy (when they do go outside), like camping hiking, or wilderness survival.

So many young people now a days are owned by a monitor of some kind. Really is a shame. They're all becoming such wonderful virtual adventurers and killers though.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Fly fishing clubs

Quote:
Originally Posted by noreaster View Post
So many young people now a days are owned by a monitor of some kind. Really is a shame. They're all becoming such wonderful virtual adventurers and killers though.
sorry to say it, but maybe thinking like that is what turns us young guys away from you older guys in local clubs
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