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Old 01-04-2017, 10:26 AM
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Default Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

I have been reading here and other places that interest in FF is on the decrease nation wide, but interest in fishing in general is going up.

I wonder if this is just a natural cycle of some sort and interest will rise again over time (this is what I suspect) OR will we continue to see declines until we hit some base level and stay there for the foreseeable future?
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

Without sound empirical evidence from AFFTA (American Fly Fishing Trade Assoc.) it would be hard to comment with any authority or credibility to your question. A simple Google search only revealed numbers from 2012 and that information cannot be used credibly.

Anecdotally speaking I see a surge with respect to streamer fishing. Working PT in a fly shop here in St. Louis many of our new customers are under the age of 30, want a 7 or 8wt and are interested in tying up large articulated patterns. Is this just a trend? Perhaps, but it is nice to see the enthusiasm these younger anglers are bringing to the game.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

Going off no facts, just pure speculation, but I'd imagine a portion of fishing's growth can possibly be tied to youtubers. I love watching 1rod1reel, jonb, lunkers, etc etc. It almost satisfies the fishing desire when I cant go out, and most of their videos are pretty entertaining. But none of them really fly fish. They're hunting for LMB on baitcasters or spinning rods.

Perhaps fly fishing isnt losing any followers, but if spin fishing keeps growing it would make fly fishing look less popular by comparison. Its the same slice of pie, only the pie is now bigger.

Its only a matter off time before some 20 year old kid drops out of college to start a fly fishing youtube channel with his friends. Then every 14 year old will be running out to get a fly outfit.

It'd be interesting to know the actual data points. But that's because I do that kind of stuff for a living. Only I deal with candy and groceries...
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

I agree with that. My home waters are more crowded than ever and I am booked up with clients about as much as I can handle...but that is all anecdotal evidence. Perhaps my original statement was flawed and we are not seeing a decrease in interest in FF. Hard to know.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:44 AM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

A few quick thoughts and some big ole spitballs.

I think that the droughts in the west have an impact to the overall numbers.
Who feels good about fishing for trout, salmon, steelhead, shad in a tepid trickle?
We used to see a short lived upswing in lake watercraft sales, extra spools, full sinking lines, basic stillwater fly sales, etc. whenever we hit a drought period.
Some of those decided to follow the path of least resistance ( " if what you want or need is a real boat, then buy a real boat." ), which lead them to other forms of fishing or reverting to forms of fishing they already knew.
Others just hung it up for the duration.
Some of those found other activities that were less percipitation dependant to fill the void, some never returned.

For others still, life moved on.
Big booms in the number of 30 somethings to middle aged anglers during the 90's had to see them age out of the wading sport at some point.
Some face it and buy a power boat to stay in the game aiming more at lakes and the salt, others see it as a wade / " one with the river" or nothing proposition.
Putting away $$$ for childrens college and housing will take the wind out of most anyones travel and gear budget.

The 2008 crash, high fuel prices leading up to it, would've put the bite on many who couldn't afford fly toys plus travel.
So on top of college funding, now you've got a huge hit to your retirement planning....and where does fly gear, weekend lodging and travel costs rank in their priorities?
Remember in the ramp up to the fall of '08, there were many posts about gas prices forcing fly anglers to reconsider the range of their weekend and annual trips..
Did local lakes and their old abu type gear start looking better?

I know our shops and travel bookings took it in the shorts following 911 ( 2001), we were just starting to see real growth after the dot com bust.
The fall of '08 could've been the nail in the coffin.
Then there's the burnout factor. A lot of folks just don't stay with any activity for more than a few years.
They perfer to experience many things, rather than be totally consumed by a single pursuit for a lifetime.

Too many variables, but there is one constant. People come and go. Visiting this site is proof of that.
Dave
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

As Trout Trekker said - there are lots of variables. Without knowing how the interest in FF is measured, it is a tough task to do any analysis. Accurate analysis is impossible.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

Is there a dip in fly fishing or a dip in selling overpriced fly fishing gear?
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

I would love to see a dip in fly fishing interest. Rivers are over-crowded as it is.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
I would love to see a dip in fly fishing interest. Rivers are over-crowded as it is.
But if you removed all the fly fishermen, they would still be overcrowded with spin fishermen that have no problem standing shoulder to shoulder in the stream. At least fly fishermen tend to have a little distance between them.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Is the dip in fly fishing just a cycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by parsond View Post
I have been reading here and other places that interest in FF is on the decrease nation wide, but interest in fishing in general is going up.
My anecdotal evidence based on what I see locally is that is a true statement. Spin fishing is definitely up, and it includes the millennials we accuse of sitting in the house playing on the internet. I've never seen so many young people with canoes and kayaks on the water then the past few years. $100 and you can get started spin fishing with some gear that won't torment you. Try that at a fly shop. Still pretty rare when I see three fly fisherman the same day.
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