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Topic: Attracting New Fly Fishers, Stuff That Appeals to Today's Youth< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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robk Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2007,21:10  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thought I would start a new thread rather than continue to corrupt the silk line one.

It has been stated that the number of fly fishers in the US continues to decline. The problem may be world-wide. I am not sure if any serious study of this has  been undertaken. Perhaps others know the answer to that? My purely non-scientific assessment is that less than 1% of the US fly fishing population is under 25. Is it like that in Europe, NZ, Australia and Asia?

Many have suggested that the continued health and development of the sport is dependant on attracting young people. If this is so, (and I suspect it is) how do we do that? Occasionally, a fishing magazine article will lament the diminishing numbers, but not provide any innovative thoughts about how to address the problem. The "Take a Kid Fishing Campaign" while admirable, may not be a succesful strategy.

I would like to throw out the idea that we need to find alternative ways to at least get the attention of the 20 somethings. Can we piggyback on green movement stuff? What about marketing models from other sports? Let's not overlook gambling, sports drinks and of course the unbiquitous iPod.

Or, do we just enjoy more solitude on our favorite waters and hope that does not mean their life as fly fishing venues will not exceed our own lifespans.

Your thoughts?
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 15 2007,21:36 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

robk, you are addressing an issue that is very important to me. I have been fly fishing 30+ years and love the sport and have taught my kids the same. for the past 10 or so years I have been teaching fly fishing to youth groups mostly scouts, but will volenteer and teach for any group that wants to learn more about this sport. I have had the pleasure of watching kids go from awkward rod flailing to competent casters and had the joy of seeing them land many fish.i have developed the program I use to focus on the following:

It's not about the fish but the jouney and experience
convervation and good resource stewadship
and most importantly fun.

in the last few years this program has exploded on me and I am now getting more requests than I know how to handle (this is a good thing) I hold casting clinics 2 times a week and arange fishing outing on a monthly basis for the kids. some of these kids and there parents have become avid FFer's.

for those who want to help our sport and provide positive influance in the lives of the next generation of FFer's contact your scout council or local youth group and offer to put on a program or clinic or just take a group of kids fishing.


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umm, Steve Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,04:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This will probably turn out to be an unpopular opinion, but I don't want to see anyone "brought" or "attracted" to the sport by virtue of a concerted effort.

The ones that you want will come.
The ones that will benefit the sport will be attracted by the sport itself.

I saw more dilettantes than devotees on the streams as a result of the movie "A River Runs Through It", for example.
That's not a shot at your work Jason, just an observation of the result.

IMHO, it's better that the fly fisherman count replenish itself naturally, instead of using planters...


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,05:16 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Rob

There's a load of numbers thrown about and very little to back them up. In the UK we have some large and very ambitious schemes aimed at introducing kids to fishing - not all fly.

There is some evidence that flishing and particularly fly fishing in the UK tends to recruit thirtysomethings and older. That makes sense here because fishing ain't cheap.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,07:18 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Difficult too when fishing for stocked fish is ridiculed.

Fishing for stocked fish is all that there as a realistic aspiration for many starters.

I think the commercial arm might be best approached to organise something, business seems to me at least, to be hardly booming, though I do my bit.

To some too fishing might be perceived as cruel or anti-environmental.

What about this idea:?

We approach the large companies and ask them to create a cheap but functional beginners outfit.

Volunteers are given a free sample and supply of kits.

Promotional films and leaflets are made available.

Volunteers go out to schools, scout groups, prisons and get some free kit as a reward - a new line after selling two starter kits.

Firstly though fly fishing needs to rid itself of this wild fish only phoney war, and get a cohesive voice - sexyloops could lead here?


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,11:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Or we could just send you out Compagnito and see what happens...

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,13:38 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm ready to follow orders as long as Stoat & Magnus aren't giving them.

I think I might not have the right interpersonal skills mix?
:O


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,17:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The efforts of some (like Lefty) to reduce the cost of quality fly gear is a good step.  Imagine the cost to outfit your son and daughter with fly gear.  I agree with Compagnito that large companies might donate gear to orgs that teach kids.  

The reality is that taking a kid fishing (bait/lure/whatever) is more important than teaching them fly fishing right off the bat.  

Can't believe I'm going to (partly) agree with Compagnito again, but I do think it is tough to find places to take a kid fishing that 1 - are beauiful, exciting, natural places and 2 - have fishing that is good and easy enough for a beginner to meet with success.  Remember, step one in the progression is to just catch something.  Not sure if stocking is the answer.  

I'd like to see fish and game agencies set aside certain areas for kids.

I'd love to see some landowners step up to the plate and offer access for kids learning to fish on their farm ponds.

Another big thing has to do with our attitudes.  There is such a preference for trout here in the US, but they require more gear to catch, and often more skill, with tougher access, than other fish.  In many places, you can go catch a load of smallmouth bass, bluegill, whitefish, etc without so much difficulty.  When I was guiding, and had children on the trip, I approached the day differently than if I was guiding someone more experienced.  We went to place with lots of small fish and lots of willing whitefish (which many trout guys dislike).  Kids don't care what they reel up, as long as it's slimy and wiggling.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,23:17 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In the US, fly fishing does not have to be an expensive sport.  Like mattklara points out, the myriad farm ponds and small creeks in every state hold a number of fish that come readily to the fly. Many of these are on public lands or have reasonable access for local kids. Bluegills and small bass are almost suicidal. A $50 outfit (rod, reel and line) would be more than adequate for 99% of these waters. The profit margin on these items would be very low, but so what? Loss leaders are a common approach in sales and marketing.

Not sure if that formula would work in Europe or NZ/Oz? What does a day on the bank of a reservoir cost now?

Maybe one of the approaches possible in the US is to draw interest from the Bass fishing crowd. Solid corporate sponsorship has kept that sport quite robust. Indeed, it seems to be booming. While many will continue to flip, pitch, crank and spin for bass, I am sure a reasonable % would find fly fishing interesting enough. Maybe a fly division can be incorporated into bass tournaments? The guys could still use their flashy 500HP boats. Since many bass guys seem to be tackle junkies, the new line of rods reels and lines would be like a new source of drugs :D

Steve. I understand your point, but I think most of those folks vaporized within 5 years of "the movie". They went on to other fads like Cuban cigars, Hummers and the Adkins diet.  

Rob
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Mat M Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 18 2007,23:24 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think online mags like this and films like running down the man, the hatch and others will help to ignite the imagination of younger guys.

Mat


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