Monday, September 15, 2008

Denver is like REALLY expensive... rather than focus on the negative, here's a lovely Tramea macelata.  A Black Saddlebags.

Okay, that's over.

I'm in Denver, which as I said, is very expensive.  Nice downtown, hybrid buses, etc., but still...spendy.  I'm here as a guest of Outdoor Retailer, who is trying to figure out a way to help the paddlesports market.  The current show is too early, and getting earlier, and the
 paddlesports people are seeing fewer and fewer of their accounts attend shows because it's still to busy to attend.  Hard to buy for a following year unless you've finished at least half of the current one, right?

One reason to meet here is that the Fly Fishing Retailer trade show is here.  The timing of the show would be good for us.  But the overlap in demographic...well, let's look at the scoreboard:

Fly Fishing Retailer 2008

Women: 6
Kids: 12
Minorities: 1
White guys in their 50s: too many to count.

Okay, if you're trying to picture a sustainability plan for fly might think that someone would want to attract some women, some kids, etc.  I asked the editor of Fly Fisherman magazine what percentage of the market is women.

His answer:  4%.

I need to move on to something humorous.  Oh yes...the Oakley booth!

The marketing person who designed this show booth should be fired.  I don't mean their employment terminated, they should be burned at the stake.  Why would anyone...ANYONE...think that a fly fisherman would be attracted to this behemoth?  Maybe they mixed up the venues and the Model A station wagon with the wicker fenders went to the X-Games Mountain Dew Grindathon and this came here instead.  Notice the line of customers waiting to talk to one of the energetic reps reclining on the couch.  No wonder Oakleys are so freaking overpriced...they spend more on marketing than they do on polycarbonate.

The one ray of sunshine...this sweet tot learning to cast from her father.

Unless this sport's doomed.  I like to be optimistic.  So let's get this young lady and a few thousand more like her fishing...or paddling...or anything except X-Box.



pete witucki said...

"anything except X-Box," huh? would you settle for Nintendo Wii Fly-Fishing? (ok, not fly fishing, but it's only a matter of time...)

ktoy said...

We got a fly rod in our daughter Joanna's hands (2+ years old) and our best friend said "Your daughter has a better roll cast than I do!". Now we just have to bring some other little kids along next time! Seriously though, it's a spendy sport, but we've got a fly tying vice and our best friend makes fly rods; this could be a way for our girls to get into it from a different angle.

This is an art as well as a sport. Gotta get the cherubs involved in order to save it!!!!

canoelover said...

Amen, Kristin...

Wii might make someone a better caster, to be honest. I saw some mighty poor casting at the demo pools! Holy cow...

Cat Pippitt said...

Amen. I love fly-fishing--I stink at it (though I did catch a little one on the Brule once), but I think it's just fabulous. Someone told me that women cast better "naturally", that they don't power the rod too much. Dunno. I'm shocked about that figure of 4% and agree that it's a pretty stupid plan for sustainability of the sport. I hope they'll figure that out? Maybe?