the buzz on the flyfishing biz
THE FLY SHOP ISSUE
Shops Rule Consumer Opinions/ Hot Retailers in a Cold Market/ Beyond Fly Shop 101/ Mentors Matter/ Hardy Aims High/ Good Books JUNE2009AnglingTrade.com
the buzz on the flyfishing biz
Kirk Deeter firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor
18 Competing in a Slow
Economy Over 1,300 flyfishing consumers indicate their preferences for finding information and buying product, and believe it or not, the fly shop is still the key… here’s the data and what it can mean to you. By Steve Schweitzer
22 Hot Dealers in a Cold
Market Find the fly shops that are
weathering tough economic times, and you’ll learn that they all share these 10 business habits in common. By Tom Keer
6 Editor’s Column “Dancing with them That Brung You.” Are we in this together? Or is it every company for itself? One thing is certain… you’ll never have better customers and business partners than the ones working with you now. By Kirk Deeter
8 Currents AFFTA lures dealers to FFR... A second coming of the movie... A new travel network opportunity… A dealer protection program, and more news from the North American flyfishing industry.
26 Recommended Reading Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying Tying can buoy sales… this book is a concise primer from one of the best innovators around. And Miles Nolte’s Alaska Chronicles is an insider’s account of working rivers north.
30 Advanced Shop Class Last issue was the “Teaching” issue… now it’s time to start thinking beyond “101” level courses to strengthen the profit connection with customers.
28 Reflections on a Mentor Gary LaFontaine’s willingness to mentor this young writer (among many) is still paying dividends, long after his passing. Who will you take under your wing? By Greg Thomas
By Joe Cermele
Tim Romano email@example.com Editor-at-Large
Charlie Meyers firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director
Tara Brouwer email@example.com brouwerdesign.com Copy Editors
Mabon Childs, Sarah Warner Contributing Editors
Tom Bie Ben Romans Andrew Steketee Greg Thomas Contributors
Joe Cermele, Tom Keer, Brian McClintock, Ben Romans, Steve Schweitzer, Greg Thomas Photos unless noted by Tim Romano Angling Trade is published four times a year by Angling Trade, LLC. Author and photographic submissions should be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Angling Trade is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and/or photo submissions. We ask that contributors send formal queries in advance of submissions. For editorial guidelines and calendar, please contact the editor via E-mail. Printed in the U.S.A.
36 Backcast Reach out and touch your customers. Contact is key… and you must take the initiative. Three shop owners explain why.
34 Hardy Jumps the Pond
Mail Address: PO Box 17487 Boulder, CO 80308 Street Address: 3055 24th Street Boulder, CO 80304 AnglingTrade.com
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Britain’s most iconic brand is making waves again in the United States, this time fueled in large part by its Grey’s product line. By Kirk Deeter
By Charlie Meyers
Advertising Contact: Tim Romano Telephone: 303-495-3967 Fax: 303-495-2454 email@example.com
And in this corner…the all-new, long-distance, rocket-launching, wind-cheating, fly-by-wire, laser-guided Champion of the World. Hail Mary to the no-way bait ball beyond the break? Hitch up
TCX SERIES your pants, rear back and…BOOM! Big brown with a PhD in
Nice Try sipping midges on the far bank across two seams and
an eddy line? BAM! Longshot permit way out past the edge of reason? POW! How you like me now? Fear no wind. Fire when guides say wait. Tighten your loops, all hands on deck, look alive. The water is wide—go long or go home. Casting magic from the guru of graphite. Built by Sage. Feel the love.
© 2009 All rights reserved.
Joe Cermele is the associate online editor for Field & Stream. Though desk-bound in NYC during the week, his mind lives on beaches and rivers throughout the Northeast. On the upside, he gets to indulge in the finest liverwurst and onion sandwiches in NYC, and you can find him at noon most days at the Times Square Deli (Madison and 33rd).
Tom Keer is the guy we turn to when we need a frank story on a hot issueâ€Ś candor is not an issue for Tom. He has worked in several sections of the flyfishing industry for nearly 20 years. Heâ€™s now a full-time freelance writer who digs clams and picks oysters when heâ€™s not writing, fishing, or hunting.
Brian McClintock is communiations manager for the Thodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and Angling Tradeâ€™s Beltway insider. He brings us a report on AFFTAâ€™s Congressional Casting Call, held last April on the Potomac.
Ben Romans is another Angling Trade contributing editor. Weâ€™ve received more positive feedback on Benâ€™s smackdown article on public access vs. mutant pigs in private water (Dec. 2008 Access Issue), than anything else weâ€™ve run to date.
Steve Schweitzer is the former vice president of sales and marketing for Whiting Farms, and has been in the flyfishing business in some role or another for the past 15 years. His writing work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Trout, Fly Fisherman, and over a dozen books on fly fishing and tying.
Anglerâ€™s Accessories proves again and again that high quality fly fishing accessories donâ€™t have to be expensive to be great! Call, fax or email for our full-color 2009 catalog.
15353 E. Hinsdale Circle, Unit F, Centennial, CO 80112 $$+ ,-- . $$+ ,- firstname.lastname@example.org
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Greg Thomas is the managing editor for Fly Rod & Reel, and a contributing editor for Angling Trade. His work in flyfishing has been prolificâ€” from books, to magazine, newspaper, and online articles. We found his eloquent essay on mentor Gary LaFontaine to be especially thought-provoking.
Anglerâ€™s Accessories does NOT carry firearms.
BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHICH ACCESSORIES YOU MAY NEED...
I had dinner with my guide friend Tad Howard not long ago, and the conversation centered on
the tough economy, and the challenges of making a living in flyfishing these days.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
+WVUMZÆaÅ[PQVOUMLQIPI[LWVMITW\\WJZQVOVM_ anglers to the dance and keep them there. Now, the knee-jerk reaction for many companies is to cut costs by cutting ads. No ads, no pages in magazines. No websites either, other than amateur ones. No pro media, no pro information. No pro information, no anglers. It’s a lose-lose cycle. There will be more attrition. I’ve heard manufacturers say things like there are too many magazines now, and the world would be simpler and better without some. I’ve also heard some say—and I think in some “The one thing you have to remember is that the customers cases their actions speak louder than words—that you have now are the best ones you’ll ever have,” he said. there are too many retailers, and a culling of the herd is in order. How true. <PI\¼[ÅVM1\UIaJM\Z]M1\PQVSPW_M^MZ\PM[IUM I’d expand that reasoning to include the business partherd-culling logic applies to some manufacturers. ners who are working with you now are the best you’ll ever have. The banker who approves a loan now… the There are hundreds of product manufacturers in the manufacturers who deliver on their promises now… the ÆaÅ[PQVO_WZTL5IVaUISQVOOWWL[\]NN5IVa_Q\P retailer who’s moving your products now… the company great ideas. Some of them care about the viability of that backs a warranty now… the employee who is putting the specialty retailer. From others, I see a lot of smoke in the extra effort now… the accounts receivable person IVL^MZaTQ\\TMÅZM?PMV\PMKPQX[IZMLW_VI[\PMa who cuts you some slack now… the person who pays his are now), some manufacturers are going to leave retailor her bills on time now… ers holding the bag. It’s that old 80-20 rule, where 80 Those are the people who matter most. If and when the percent of the heavy lifting gets done by 20 percent of market worm turns, their efforts and loyalty should be the companies. rewarded. I, for one, am keeping tabs. You know who brung you to the dance. It’s pretty easy to One of my favorite singer-songwriters, Stacey Earle, resee who’s in it for the long haul with the specialty retailers corded a song some years ago titled “Dancin’ With Them and who isn’t. That Brung Me.” Her point is, she believes as a country girl matter of principle, in dancin’ with the fella that For the record, Angling Trade is. brought her to the ball. We’ve hitched our wagon to the notion that this market 1\PQVS\PI\VW_M[XMKQITTaM^MZaWVMQV\PQ[ÆaÅ[PQVO will live, thrive and/or die by the fate of the specialty industry needs to reach out and keep dancin’ with them retailer. That’s what we’re all about. that brung ‘em. That’s also why this is “The Fly Shop Issue.” Not a lot of I’m talking, foremost, about the specialty retailer. The promo-speak in here. Instead we loaded it with hard data manufacturers that rode through the boom in the 90’s and case histories on what successful shops are doing to VMML\WZMUMUJMZ\PI\\PW[M_PW¹JZ]VO»MUº\PMXZWÅ\ survive. Because that’s what you wanted. WXXWZ\]VQ\QM[_MZM\PMÆa[PWXXMWXTM5IVaWN \PMULW 1PWXMaW]ÅVL\PQ[Q[MPMTXN]TIVL1TWWSNWZ_IZL\W Likewise, I think the shop owners should embrace the your comments. at brands that helped build their businesses, and also realize “them that brung you” the money you made in better - Kirk Deeter, Editor times, in many cases, were reps and guides. email@example.com 6
Why You Need to Come to FFR… This Year Especially
fortune to extend your business travel Ja\_WLIa[<PQVSWN Q\Å[PQVOQV Colorado during the prime time of the year on pristine waters on the cheap. AW]OM\PMZMIVL\PMUIaÆQM[IVL\PM trout, will be waiting.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
?PI\_QTT)..<)LWJa_IaWN Å[PQVO food, and lodging on September 8th? Get yourself to Elevenmile Canyon. Elevenmile is one of the hottest places \WÅ[PWV\PM;W]\P8TI\\M:Q^MZIVL September is possibly one of the best months to be there, this is where the blue-winged olives come to play. Or bring a few hoppers too.
Take advantage of this. If not yourself, someone who represents you should be QV,MV^MZNWZ..:IVL\PMÅ[PQVO ?MVMML\WJM\ITSQVO\WMIKPW\PMZ1N you’re not sure why, go back and read my column again.) 5W[\QUXWZ\IV\Ta_M[PW]TLJMÅ[Ping together. This is the chance. Take advantage of it. -KD
Bob White to Exhibit in If you want to kick it up a notch, you’re Denver _MTWUM\WÅ[PXZQ^I\M_I\MZWV\PM6WZ\P Orvis How about a worTLKTI[[_M[\MZVÅ[PQVO Fork at seriously reduced access rates. Cherry trip on the cheap? Creek We have set up a super-budget lodging Sure, there are always business reasons option at Camp Alexander Boy Scout +WTWZILW_QTT[XWV[WZIVM`PQJQto attend the trade show. If ever there tion of sporting art by Bob White, a :IVKP7ZaW]KIV\ISMIL^IV\IOMWN were a year to tune into the trends and other reduced rates to stay at a local VI\QWVITTaSVW_V[XWZ\QVOIZ\Q[\IVL the scuttlebutt… to voice your concerns B&B right on the river. Fish till you AT contributor), who was recently and opinions in person… to affect some can’t cast anymore, and then you can inducted into the Fresh Water Fishpositive change on your business… and chill out with kindred spirits, or head off ing Hall of Fame for his work. The to put inside information to your advan- \W?WWLTIVL8IZS_PMZM\PM+Za[\WTI event will be held on July 3rd, 4th, tage… well, this is it. Bar and Grill will be anxiously awaitIVL\PNZWU)5\W85I\\PM ing your arrival. There will be a band But there’s another reason. It’s why Orvis Cherry Creek Store. O rigiwe’re all involved in this craziness in the to serenade you while you buy cheap nal oil paintings, watercolors a nd beer and burgers. Depending on how ÅZ[\XTIKM1\¼[ITTIJW]\\PMÅ[PQVO pencil renderings, as well a s l imited much you drink and eat, you’ll shell out If you want to get after some prime time IJW]\ J]KS[0WXMN]TTaaW]_WV¼\ edition prints, and stationery w ill be on display and available for p urÅ[PQVOQV\PM:WKSQM[IVLI\\PM[IUM drink too much, as you still have a bit chase. A free pencil remarque a nd time share the experience and some in- of a drive after leaving the bar.) Then, sights with other dealers from around the back to the Camp Alexander Boy Scout shipping is included with the p urcountry, here’s your chance. And if cost :IVKPNWZTWLOQVOAW]ZÅ[PQVOIVL chase of any limited edition p rint. is a concern, you’re out of excuses. lodging on the 8th and 3 “squares” on Call 303-355-4554 for information. Wednesday the 9th could cost you less 7V?MLVM[LIa;MX\MUJMZ!\P\PM The Second than $40 total. LIaJMNWZM\PM.Ta.Q[PQVO:M\IQTMZ Coming? AFFTA and Angling Trade will be coor- Where else are you going to get a Sony is releasLQVI\QVOIVQVKZMLQJTMÅ[PQVOWXXWZ\]- Å[PQVO\ZQXQV+WTWZILWNWZTM[[\PIVI ing A River Runs nity, just for retailers. couple hundred bucks? Also, consider Through It on )..<)Q[WNNMZQVOIVWXXWZ\]VQ\a\WÅ[P this: Thursday, September 10th is the Blu-ray this miles of prime public and private water. NZMM1VL][\Za*ZMISNI[\I\..:7V summer. The Thursday the 10th, AFFTA has a proThey’re recruiting local ambassadors company has to point you in the right direction. And fessional development speaker talking produced all new about “ Keeping your Business Healthy AFFTA is subsidizing the whole effort features on the disc including new to keep things affordable. From lodging in this Turbulent Economy.” Lunch is QV\MZ^QM_[_Q\P:WJMZ\:MLNWZLIVL to river access to entertainment… it’s all included at these educational seminars. even some special “Fly Fishing 101” part of the deal. AFFTA has gone above and beyond pieces. The package will include a \WQVKMV\aW]\W^Q[Q\<PMÅ[PQVO_QTT 32-page collectible book and will hit If you follow AFFTA’s simple travel guide, you won’t need to spend a small be great. stores on July 28. 8
ZMVIUML2QU:IVOM6I\QWVIT+I[\QVO Call is the venue where the National Fish 0IJQ\I\)K\QWV8TIVIVVW]VKM[Q\[ Waters to Watch and there are awards to honor conservation work within the ÆaÅ[PQVOKWUU]VQ\a\PM)UMZQKIVIVL hickory shad runs are the main event. <PMZM\]ZVWN \PM[MÅ[PZ]V[_PQKP_MV\ ¹<PQ[Q[I^MZaLQNÅK]T\LMKQ[QWVNWZ NZWUP]OMV]UJMZ[QV\PM [WN Å[P all of us here at G.Loomis, especially to a non-existent population in 1970s to since making custome rod blands for IZMZOMVKMQV\PM8W\WUIK:Q^MZ\WLIa steelhead anglers was how we got our is one of the nation’s great conservation [\IZ\I[IÅ[PQVO\IKSTMKWUXIVaJIKSQV KKM[[[\WZQM[5IVaÅ[P_MZMKI]OP\WV the ‘80s,” Holt said. “While we realize the Monday event, but also at the day’s there’s an avid following among custom precursor, the Family and Youth Castrod makers for our blanks, the growth ing Call, which saw record numbers of we’ve experienced on a worldwide basis attendance this year, with crowds topping \WTMIZVPW_\WÆaÅ[P\QMÆQM[IVL NWZW]ZÅVQ[PMLZWL[¸IVLM[XMKQITTa W]ZÆaZWL[_Q\PJW\PÆa\IKSTMLMITMZ[ experience the outdoors. in the U.S. and abroad—makes this the -Brian McClintock right decision and direction for our busiReminder: Take the “Clean Anness success in the future. gling Pledge” AFFTA Hosts a Somber You can do so by logging on to www. Casting Call cleanangling.org, and make an effort \PQ[[MI[WV\WQVNWZUÅ[PQVOKWUpanions of the importance of being Loomis Ends Custom Blank Production G.Loomis has decided to exit custom rod blanks production by the end of 2009, according to company executive director Bruce Holt.
The National Casting Call has become an establishment in Washington, D.C. )LIa_PMZM\PMÆaÅ[PQVOQVL][\Za conservation organizations, and politicians gather to celebrate the good work that anglers do to preserve our nation’s Å[PMZQM[0W[\MLJa\PM)UMZQKIV.Ta Fishing Trade Association on April 27, the Casting Call took on a memorial tone this year, as it was renamed in honor WN 2QU:IVOM:IVOM)..<)¼[TMOQ[TItive representative and co-founder of the <PMWLWZM:WW[M^MT\+WV[MZ^I\QWV8IZ\nership, was instrumental in starting the ÅZ[\+I[\QVO+ITTaMIZ[IOW\W[PW_ D.C. politicos the role that anglers play not only in the conservation of our natural resources, but also to the economy. The weather at this year’s casting call was vastly improved from the previous years, which led to more boats on the water and more shad caught. While the newly
^QOQTIV\<PM+TMIV)VOTQVO8TMLOMIVL links for more information about aquatic nuisance species can be found on simmsÅ[PQVOKWU]VLMZ\PM¹:M[W]ZKM[º\IJ Great Bay Chimes in with “Dealer Protection Program” In response to a note from Bill Leuchten of .ZWV\:IVOM)VOTMZ[QV*W]TLMZ+WTWZILW regarding manufacturers selling direct via websites, Angling Trade received a number WN MVMZOQbMLZM[XWV[M[8MZPIX[UW[\ interesting was a note from David Gibson WN 6M_0IUX[PQZMJI[ML/ZMI\*Ia:WL Co., who enlightened us on his company’s ¹,MITMZ8ZW\MK\QWV8ZWOZIUº Here’s the deal in a nutshell. If a dealer KIZZQM[/ZMI\*IaZWL[_PQKPIZMITT=; made, and retail at $330 on average), and a consumer within a 60-mile radius of that shop purchases a Great Bay rod online, the dealer is still given full shop margin on that sale. It’s that simple. To learn more about the product and the program, see greatbayrods.com. continued on next page...
The Product Buzz Clackacraft Â Fly Â Pod
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Itâ€™s Â not Â often Â that Â someone Â hands Â you Â a Â piece Â of Â gear Â and Â asks Â â€˜what Â would Â you Â do Â different?â€™ Â But Â thatâ€™s Â exactly Â what Â Clackacraft Â did Â when Â \PMaI[SMLI]\PWZW]\Ă…\\MZIVL;TQLM Inn Â lodge Â owner Â Kelly Â Galloup Â for Â his Â QVX]\<PMZMT\"\PM.Ta8WL
â€œWe Â moved Â the Â front Â and Â back Â seats Â a Â little Â closer Â to Â the Â bow Â and Â stern,â€? Â Galloup Â says. Â â€œIt Â helps Â spread Â the Â weight Â of Â the Â boat Â out Â a Â little Â more Â and Â puts Â more Â distance Â between Â two Â casters Â so Â there Â are Â fewer Â mid-air Â tangles. Â We Â also Â changed Â the Â standing Â braces Â so Â they Â reach Â a Â little Â higher Â on Â the Â leg Â rather Â than Â just Â at Â the Â knees Â so Â anglers Â can Â feel Â more Â stable.â€? Gone Â is Â the Â rowerâ€™s Â bench Â locker. Â Instead, Â there Â are Â two Â parallel Â storage Â TWKSMZ[_Q\PMVW]OPZWWUNWZ8.,[ boxes, Â or Â even Â two-piece Â rod Â tubes. Â Clackacraft Â even Â offers Â options Â like Â rod Â racks Â and Â under-the-seat Â coolers Â to Â capitalize Â on Â space.
KITTaZMILa\WĂ…[PNZWU\PM_WZLOW For Â more Â information Â visit Â Clacka. KWUWZKITT ! Â¸*MV:WUIV[ Various Â Products Â from Â Â Dry Â Fly Â Distilling Whiskey, Â vodka, Â and Â gin, Â d istilled Â i n Â Spokane, Â Washington, Â Â N ot Â a Â gimmick. Â Tastes Â g ood. Â Â Try Â it Â yourself. Â Â Enough Â s aid. Â Â Â ,ZaĂ†aLQ[\QTTQVOKWU
DriGrip Â Fishermanâ€™s Â Â Formula Â Sunscreen This Â is Â a Â fragrance-free Â What Â makes Â the Â side Â lockers Â even Â more Â ;8.V[KZMMV\PI\ â€œWeâ€™ve Â been Â friends Â with Â Kelly Â for Â a Â unique Â is Â they Â are Â strong Â enough, Â and Â can Â be Â safely Â applied Â long Â time, Â and Â he Â has Â the Â 16-foot Â hull, Â low Â enough, Â to Â support Â the Â weight Â of Â JMNWZMIVLL]ZQVOĂ…[PQVO but Â he Â always Â had Â some Â thoughts Â on Â the Â a Â full-grown Â man. Â In Â the Â past, Â gear, Â _Q\PVWMNNMK\WVĂ†QM[WZ storage Â issueâ€”that Â there Â wasnâ€™t Â enough Â coolers, Â and Â other Â boat Â elements Â made Â IĂ†aTQVM<PQ[PaXWIT[\WZIOMNWZO]QLM[Âş+TIKSIKZIN\8ZM[Qit Â tough Â to Â move Â around, Â but Â now Â itâ€™s Â TMZOMVQKXW_LMZLZa;8. dent Â Bruce Â Belles Â says. Â â€œHe Â mentioned Â simple Â and Â safe. Â They Â make Â it Â easier Â 30 Â sunscreen Â provides Â that Â when Â he Â guided Â in Â Michigan Â he Â to Â get Â in Â and Â out Â of Â the Â boat, Â or Â swap Â the Â necessary Â protection Â had Â an Â aluminum Â boat Â custom Â built Â seats Â when Â two Â anglers Â have Â a Â midfrom Â e xtreme Â sun Â exposure Â without Â with Â his Â ideas Â in Â mind Â and Â he Â loved Â ZQ^MZ+PQVM[MĂ…ZMLZQTT)VL\PMaNZMM[ the Â greasy Â residue Â of Â typical Â sunscreen Â it. Â So Â I Â asked Â him Â to Â take Â one Â of Â our Â up Â space Â so Â whoever Â is Â at Â the Â oars Â has Â model Â boats Â that Â we Â use Â for Â promotions Â UWZMZWWU\WTMIVW^MZIVLVM\Ă…[PWZ products. Â Its Â unique Â powder Â base Â and Â design Â the Â boat Â he Â had Â in Â mind. Â KWUXTM\MIVaW\PMZWV\PMĂ†a\I[S[VW dries Â quickly Â so Â it Â will Â not Â transfer Â any Â greasy Â residue Â to Â hands Â and Â skin. Â With Â the Â model Â boat, Â some Â pieces Â of Â pun Â intended). ;QVKMQ\OWM[WVLZaaW]ÂźTTĂ…VLMaM balsa Â wood, Â some Â popsicle Â sticks, Â and Â â€œOne Â of Â his Â basic Â complaints Â we Â irritation Â is Â virtually Â eliminated Â We Â some Â glue Â he Â went Â to Â workâ€”and Â a Â heard Â was Â clients Â showing Â up Â over\M[\MLQ\WV\PMĂ†I\[IVLI\IT\Q\]LM#Q\ month Â later Â the Â boat Â showed Â up Â in Â our Â packed Â with Â rod Â tubes Â and Â gear, Â and Â works. Â See Â drigrip.com. WNĂ…KM1TWWSMLI\Q\IVL[IQLÂť\PQ[TWWS[ all Â the Â extra Â stuff Â ended Â up Â laying Â in Â good!â€™ Â And Â so Â far, Â the Â response Â has Â been Â the Â bottom Â of Â the Â boat Â and Â in Â the Â way. Â Gerberâ€™s Â New Â Fishing Â Tool overwhelming. Â Mike Â Lawsonâ€™s Â got Â one Â Gerber Â recently Â Then Â when Â you Â add Â roll-up Â tables Â on Â order. Â So Â does Â Jack Â Dennis. Â They Â all Â introduced Â the Â The Â and Â packable Â chairs, Â and Â there Â just Â see Â the Â advantages Â of Â this Â new Â model.â€? .TQ3Ă…[PQVO\WWTI really Â wasnâ€™t Â adequate Â storage,â€? Â Belles Â multi-tool Â designed Â says. Â â€œTo Â me, Â the Â rod Â lockers, Â the Â long Â 1VIV]\[PMTT\PM.Ta8WL\ISM[\PM [XMKQĂ…KITTa_Q\P already Â innovative Â design Â of Â a Â 16-foot Â storage, Â have Â the Â most Â appeal. Â Before Â anglers Â in Â mind. Â The Â these Â came Â along, Â there Â was Â no Â good Â +TIKSIKZIN\48IVLZMWZOIVQbM[Q\\W FliK Â includes Â long Â place Â to Â store Â long, Â two-piece Â rod Â maximize Â the Â use Â of Â space, Â storage, Â needle-nose Â pliers Â tubes. Â Now Â you Â can Â keep Â everything Â and Â functionality. for Â quick Â and Â easy Â tucked Â away Â and Â safe.â€? Some Â of Â the Â new Â highlights Â include Â a Â removal Â of Â hooks. Â Â redesigned Â anchor Â foot-release, Â a Â stern Â Like Â other Â Clackacraft Â boats, Â the Â F ly Â Anglers Â can Â also Â sharpen Â their Â hooks Â 8WLQVKT]LM[IaMIZO]IZIV\MM storage Â shelf, Â and Â ventilated Â storage Â _Q\P\PMQVKT]LMLĂ…TMIVLK]\PWWS[ against Â punctures Â or Â leaks, Â the Â oars, Â with Â the Â pinch Â cutters. Â Â It Â also Â includes Â lids Â on Â all Â three Â seats Â that Â allow Â wet Â seats, Â a nchor, Â a nd Â t railer Â a nd Â i s Â b asiscissors, Â bottle Â opener, Â knife Â blade, Â gear Â to Â breathe. continued on next page...
The Rise Series
We admit it. You might fall for its looks first, but youâ€™ll come to love it for its toughness. We started with our bomb-proof CD series and made it even lighter and smoother. Fully machined from 6061 T6 aluminum, this reel is just as durable as it is pretty.
"!)."2)$'% )3,!.$ 7! s 7772%$).'4/.#/-
[I_IVLÆI\IVL8PQTTQX[PMILLZQ^ers. We recently used it on a bass trip I[_MTTI[WV\PMÆI\[IVL\PW]OP\Q\ performed exceptionally well. See gerber.com for information. Circle Hooks for Trout? Bluewater anglers have realized the benMÅ\[WN KQZKTM hooks by way of reduced Å[PUWZ\ITQ\a for years now. <PMVM_5WNÅ\\)VOTQVO;a[\MUQ[IV M`KQ\QVOÆaÅ[PQVOQVVW^I\QWVLM^MTWXML[XMKQÅKITTa\WIT[WZML]KM\ZW]\ IVLW\PMZ[XMKQM[UWZ\ITQ\a_PMV KI\KPIVLZMTMI[MÅ[PQVO=VTQSM \ZILQ\QWVITÆQM[\QMLWV2[\aTMPWWS[ 5WNÅ\\ÆQM[IZMPWWSTM[[IVL[-
pended on the leader above a uniquely designed and rigged circle hook. Virtually all Å[PKI]OP\_Q\P\PM5WNÅ\\;a[\MU are hooked in the jaw -- and accidental deep hooking, gill hooking and foul hooking are all but eliminated. Because the circle hook is barbless, most Å[PKIVJMZMTMI[ML_Q\PW]\ZMUW^QVO \PMUNZWU\PM_I\MZ;MMUWNÅ\\IVgling.com for details. Boss Tin’s Make-a-Weight is Putty Perfect If you haven’t seen the writing on the wall about further restrictions on TMIL][MQVÅ[PQVO\IKSTMMO6I\QWVIT8IZSZM[\ZQK\QWV[WVTMILaW]
need to wake up and smell the coffee. Lead is dead, or it very well could be very soon. For a tungsten putty that i s e asy to use and environmentally f riendly, check out BossTin’s Make-a-Weight. Extensive field tests impressed u s. It’s malleable, but holds form. I t leaves no sticky residue o n h ands, clothing or gear. And it s inks. Simply pinch off the appropriate amount and roll it onto your l eader. Before casting put your l ine w ith \PMX]\\aQV\W\PM_I\MZ\W[M\Q\\PM cold temp l ocks it in place). A djustUMV\[IZMY]QKSIVLMI[a8WZ\QWV[ can be removed and reused, a s c urrents and river depths dictate. I t’s exceptionally versatile, effective, a nd eco-friendly. See bosstin.com for more information.
Every fly fisherman knows that a slicker line means longer casts, more control, longer casts, less wear and tear from abrasion, longer casts and more durability. Oh, and longer casts. So, in their relentless pursuit of perfection (and that few extra feet), RIO’s Labcoats began reformulating conventional chemical compounds and material combinations, right down to the polymeric mix level. The results are found in RIO’s new XS Technology™ – a pairing of two entirely new chemical compositions, creating a glass-smooth surface and a super slick coating that repels the accumulation of dirt and grime. XS Technology now produces a line that is so slick it actually tops out our ultra-sensitive friction-coefficient-measuring instrument. Nothing, not ours or any other lines we’ve tested, have even come close. So, how slick is it? Think loafers on a spring creek boulder... and a line that stays slicker cast after cast after longer cast. www.rioproducts.com ©RPI, Inc. All rights reserved
RIO’S REVOLUTIONARY NEW
Michalak and The Fly Shop Launch Travel Network to Include Specialty Shops Nationwide
Written by Kirk Deeter
Fact One: Travel is an avenue that can generI\MZM^MV]MNWZ[XMKQIT\aÆaZM\IQTMZ[6W\WVTa does travel offer direct referral/commission opportunities, it also offers reciprocal sales opXWZ\]VQ\QM[Ja_IaWN OMIZIVLIKKM[[WZQM[)LL to that the opportunity to expand your visibility and enhance consumer loyalty, and it’s easy to see how travel can be a key element in the busiVM[[[\ZI\MOaWN IVa[I^^a[XMKQIT\aÆa[PWX
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
.IK\<_W"<PMUIZSM\NWZÆa\ZI^MTTQSMW\PMZ I[XMK\[WN \PMÆaÅ[PQVOQVL][\ZaKIVJM\ZQKSa M[XMKQITTaVW_+][\WUMZZMKZ]Q\UMV\Q[IV M`XMV[Q^MXZWXW[Q\QWV+][\WUMZZM\MV\QWVLMXMVL[WVMVZQVOIY]ITQ\aM`XMZQMVKM1VW\PMZ words, there is little margin for error when you [MVLK][\WUMZ[XIKSQVO\WM`W\QKLM[\QVI\QWV[ Fact Three: In an era when the “selling specialty products through specialty shops” ideal is pressured on a variety of fronts—perhaps most notably the Internet and big box stores— specialty retailers are looking for partners that XIaUWZM\PIVTQX[MZ^QKM\W\PMQZQV\MZM[\[ Interestingly, in the context of travel, a new XZWOZIULM[QOVML\WPMTXÆa[PWX[M`XIVL\PMQZ \ZI^MTNWW\XZQV\KWUM[NZWUIVW\PMZÆa[PWX° IK\]ITTa<PM.Ta;PWXQV:MLLQVO+ITQNWZVQI 14
Of course, if you asked the average consumer angler in Colorado or Michigan, for example, what they know about The F ly Shop, the catalog comes to mind, as does the roster of exotic destinations and travel services The F ly Shop represents. Michalak’s company has been engaged in discovering, and representQVOI^IZQM\aWN PQOPMVLÆaÅ[PQVO destinations and lodges—many on an exclusive basis—for over 30 years.
In my personal experience, when Mike Michalak, owner of The F ly Shop, offers up an idea, it’s usually worth paying attention. His track record speaks for itself. The F ly Shop is now one of the largest specialty retail operations in the world, with a healthy business model balanced on, among other things, localized shop and guide operations in the northern California region, travel, catalog mailings that reach over 300,000 consumers at a clip, website-based sales, schools and instructional programs, and specialty-branded products. A few years ago, Fly Fishing Trade \PMXZMLMKM[[WZWN \PQ[UIOIbQVM of which I was also editor) ran a piece on Michalak and his business practices. In the piece, Michalak offered to mail copies of The F ly Shop’s policy and procedures guide \WQV\MZM[\MLÆa[PWX[IZW]VL\PM country. Hundreds of retailers took Mike up on his offer, and he mailed the information at his expense.
Now, Michalak and The Fly Shop are launching a new program, in which The Fly Shop will make available its “Signature Destinations”—places like ,I^M-OLWZN ¼[:][\QK<ZW]\+IUX[QV Alaska, and Estancia Maria Behety on \PMNIJTML:QW/ZIVLMQV<QMZZILMT Fuego in Argentina—available as travel destination offerings for an expanded roster of geographically-spread retailers throughout America. Basically, The Fly Sop is opening up its travel “jewel box,” making available to IVM_VM\_WZSWN [XMKQIT\aÆaZM\IQTMZ partners the opportunity to not only send clients to exclusive The Fly Shop operations from Kamchatka to Chilean 8I\IOWVQIJ]\IT[WOM\IXQMKMWN \PM action in doing so. I asked Michalak, point blank, if his motivation is to buoy sales in a tough travel market, or if he had broader motives. He replied that the Signature Destinations he represents are operating near capacity now. Soft economy or not, \PMJM[\Å[PQVOQV\PM_WZTLQ[[\QTT\PM JM[\Å[PQVOQV\PM_WZTLIVLUIVaWN the people who go to these places are repeat customers. From what I heard, Michalak seems focused on the notion of buoying continued on next page...
are a cross section of the world’s finest fly fishing lodges, camps and outfitters. They represent more than 30 years of field exploration, experience and hands-on involvement by our travel team.
Let us help put that experience to work in your fly shop! Until recently, these “Signature Destinations” have been represented exclusively by The Fly Shop™ and our very small network of angling travel agencies and a few fine fly shops worldwide. It’s an approach we’ve found successful, but one that we’re about to change.
We here at The Fly Shop™ feel there’s been a lot of fly industry lip service about “specialty products for specialty shops” and a definite and disconcerting shift in the distribution of fly fishing rods, reels, lines and the rest of what has made independent fly shops successful. Add to that the on-line discounting trend, manufacturer direct purchasing, a worldwide web “free for all” for fly fishing goods, travel, and service. Then couple all that with the current economic crisis and it’s obvious we have to change our tactics if fly shops want to do more than survive.
We’re not looking for representation of our “Signature Destinations” in every shop in America and we don’t want to further homogenize the look of an industry whose stores are already becoming much too similar. Our goal is to find an even greater collective strength by working together with a select number of geographically distinct shops interested in promoting what we’ve already proven is an honor roll of great international fishing spots. Tierra del Fuego Our “Signature Lodges” are acknowledged as the finest and most popular in the “Land of the Giants”!
Chilean Patagonia Lodges are popping up everywhere in Chile, yet our four “Signature Lodges” are renowned as the standard of comparison in Patagonia.
We’ll tailor a commission and referral structure for your shop that will reward you for your performance while guaranteeing that the relationship with the clients you send to our “Signature Destinations” will be respected and honored indefinitely. We won’t “poach” your travellers, and if we’re needed to help answer their tackle questions, they’ll be referred back to you for the sale. Alaska Kamchatka Belize New Zealand Mexican Yucatan
Our “Signature Destinations”
from Dave Egdorf’s rustic trout camp in Alaska to the luxurious lodges of Estancia Maria Behety in Tierra del Fuego are time-tested locations that have earned the stamp of approval from thousands of anglers and have met the highest performance standards in the fly fishing industry. They didn’t get blind endorsements from us purchased with a checkbook. From our remote Kamchatka bush camps to our luxurious Tierra del Fuego sea trout lodges these are among the most famous fly fishing experiences on the planet.
We’ll work with you to customize an approach for your shop to effectively and profitably promote these top-of-the-line destinations that your customers have been reading about in magazine articles and our catalogs for decades.
If your interested, give our travel department a call or e-mail us and we’ll respond promptly with a full explanation of our Signature Fly Shop concept. (800) 669-3474 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.theflyshop.com Redding California
and sends that customer off to El Saltamontes in Chile. Great, the Michigan shop earns a commission, and the K][\WUMZÅ[PM[INIV\I[\QKTWLOM° but what happens two years down the road, when that customer contacts The F ly Shop about a return trip, or even a gear question? the relevance of specialty retailers in dictating the terms of future market evolution, not only in terms of travel, but also beyond.
“We’re not going to poach customMZ[º5QKPITIS[IQLÆI\Ta¹?M¼ZM going to credit the source shop with a commission on repeat business, and when we get the gear question, we’re
“If you’re looking for the quick dollar, by booking a group to Alaska, and thinking only short-term, I have been doing this for 30 years, and I can tell you that does not work,” Michalak said. Indeed having a track record that extends back 30 years is probably more valuable to potential members of a Signature Destinations network than _PI\5QKPITISKITT[\PM¹:MILMZ[¼ Digest accelerated learning course in how to do travel successfully.”
¹<PMLIa[WN IÆa[PWXQVWVMXIZ\WN \PMKW]V\ZaXMZKMQ^QVO\PMÆa[PWXWV the other side of the country as just another competitor are gone, or at least they should be,” Michalak explained. ¹)TTZM\IQTMZ[VMML\WÅVL_Ia[WN _WZSing together. Every man for himself isn’t going to work 10 years down the road. Working with the right people on the best products, and in this case, travel opportunities, will. “The Fly Shop Signature Destinations )OMVKa_PQKP_QTTQV^WT^MW\PMZ[PWX[ moves us into a new realm as an angling \ZI^MTIOMV\)VLQ\¼[WVTa\PMÅZ[\[\MX in what I hope will be the addition of a Signature Fly Shop product network.” Another point-blank question: Does \PQ[WXMV\PM8IVLWZI¼[*W`WN QV\ZWducing a faithful customer to another retailer, in effect creating chinks in a retailer’s own sales armor? The shop in Michigan, for example, introduces a faithful customer to the program,
referring that person to the original shop for the sale. We are going to honor our partners and our referrals QVLMÅVQ\MTa?MPI^M\PMLI\IJI[M management system in place to facilitate that right now. “Yes, I’m going to make my share of the money on booking the travel, but one thing I’ve learned is that I make my money when people go back to a destination they like.” As such, Michalak warns that he’s not looking to collaborate with shops that simply want to line up the short-term, one-shot, party-of-eight junket to Alaska.
When you think about everything from finding the best guides a nd lodges, to dealing with p olitical hiccups, f lu outbreaks and s uch… this 30 years of past experience is a platform retailers can leverage for their own f uture b enefit. T he “of a retailer, for a retailer” a spect o f the plan is sure to g arner attention as well. To get more details on how this program could be customized to include you and your shop, E-mail \ZI^MT(\PMÆa[PWXKWU#WZXPWVM 800-669-3474. at
Competing In A Slow Economy
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Five facts you need to know right now
not show any correlaWritten by Steve Schweitzer tion of age to Internet I was given the classic assignment of developing a business plan purchasing I[IÅVIT5*)XZWRMK\1\]ZVML\WITWKITKWUXIVa-TSPWZV habits. In .Ta:WL[IVLI[SMLW_VMZ*ZQIV+PI^M\QN PM_I[QV\MZM[\ML fact, the data After a few minutes of agreeable head-nodding, we sketched shows an out his business’s pain points. equal dis<PMÅZ[\\PQVO_MZMITQbMLQ[\PI\-TSPWZVZMITTaLQLV¼\SVW_ tribution of its customers like it should. Brian had some gut hunches but Internet purchases despite age. This is good news, as couldn’t cleanly answer the acid-test question of “who buys \PMZMQ[I[\ZWVOKWZZMTI\QWVWN WTLMZÆaÅ[PMZ[PI^QVO from you and why?” That point of realization drove the need more disposable income. to conduct primary research before developing a bunch of halfFACT #2: Quality products at reasonable prices trump a wide hatched tactics. product selection. <PMZ^MaZMT\[KWVÅZUML[WUMO]\P]VKPM[J]\UWZM importantly shed light on who is and isn’t buying from Elkhorn 158)+<<7A7=:*=;16-;;"<PMZMQ[VWVMML\W[XZMIL your inventory investment too thin by carrying a wide SKU and why. The analysis yielded some very unexpected and surrange. Don’t try to be all things to all people unless you can prising results. Without this deep knowledge of the customer, afford to carry that inElkhorn’s sales-boosting tactics would have been built in the ventory load. Focus on dark, yielding potentially misleading strategies. your core competency. <PQ[IZ\QKTMQ[\PMÅZ[\XIZ\WN \_WIZ\QKTM[_PQKP_QTTPMTXaW] If you are known to be rethink your business and how to grow sales in a slumping \PMJM[\Æa\aQVO[PWX MKWVWUa<PQ[IZ\QKTM_QTTOQ^MaW][WUMQV[QOP\QV\WÅ^MSMa around, ensure you things Elkhorn learned about competing in a weak economy. carry the best selection The second article will explore tactics you can quickly impleof quality materials. If ment to invigorate sales in your own business. you are a destination BACKGROUND shop, ensure you carry a wide selection of expendables and have the best guide staff To provide context, Elkhorn received over 1,300 survey around. Whatever you do carry, make sure you have enough of responses world-wide from current product owners and it and make sure it is quality stuff. non-owners alike. The survey covered basic demographics, experience level, product ownership and product perception. WHAT THE DATA DOESN’T SHOW: 61% of all responBesides reaping some valuable information about Elkhorn’s LMV\[ZIVSMLPI^QVO9]ITQ\a8ZWL]K\[I[\PMQZW^MZITTV]UJMZ marketplace and competitors, some interesting and surprising one ranking. NIK\[KIUMNZWU\PMZ^Ma*MTW_IZMÅ^MSMaTMIZVQVO[\PI\ FACT #3: If you are applicable to your current business as well. want to sell big .)+<"0ITN WN ÆaÅ[PQVOX]ZKPI[M[IZMKWVL]K\ML^QI ticket items, make the Internet. them available on a try-before- 158)+<<7A7=:*=;16-;;"1N aW]IZMV¼\\IXXQVO buy basis. into the Internet as a sales channel you are leaving money on the table. 158)+<<7 ?0)<<0-,)<),7-;6¼<;07?"8WX]TIZJMTQMN Q[\PI\WTLMZÆaÅ[PMZ[X]ZKPI[MTM[[WV\PM1V\MZVM\ \PIVaW]VOMZÆaÅ[PMZ[<W\PMKWV\ZIZa\PMLI\ILQL 18
continued on next page...
A7=:*=;16-;;" >IT]MQ[LMÅVMLI[" the price is right if
the Â perceived Â value Â is Â greater Â than Â the Â actual Â price. Â How Â do Â you Â increase Â the Â value Â in Â the Â customerâ€™s Â mind? Â Â Easy: Â let Â them Â try Â products Â before Â they Â buy Â them. Â Â If Â a Â customer Â is Â balking Â at Â paying Â $1,000 Â NWZIY]ITQ\aĂ†aZWLIVLZMMTKWUJW insist Â they Â try Â it Â for Â a Â day Â on Â a Â guided Â trip Â or Â a Â local Â stream Â or Â pond, Â maybe Â M^MVZMV\QVOILMUWW]\Ă…\NWZIUWLM[\ price. Â Â Consumers Â are Â savvier Â now Â than Â \PMa_MZMR][\Ă…^MaMIZ[IOW<PMaM`XMK\ more Â value Â for Â every Â dollar Â spent. Â Â Value Â can Â be Â as Â simple Â as Â extending Â trust, Â e.g., Â Â â€œHey, Â I Â trust Â you Â with Â this Â rodâ€Śgive Â it Â a Â spin, Â bring Â it Â back Â and Â let Â me Â know Â what Â you Â think.â€? Â Â Share Â the Â risk Â with Â them Â and Â youâ€™ll Â convert Â more Â lookers Â into Â buyers.
were Â treated Â and Â what Â their Â experience Â was Â like Â in Â your Â shop. Â Â Ensure Â your Â shop Â is Â well-maintained Â and Â merchandised. Â Â Greet Â your Â customers Â one-on-one Â and Â make Â them Â feel Â like Â no Â one Â else Â is Â more Â important. Â Â Even Â though Â they Â may Â not Â buy Â something Â \PMĂ…Z[\\QUM\PMQZQV[\WZMM`XMZQMVKM will Â dictate Â if Â they Â come Â back Â and Â buy Â I\IN]\]ZMLI\M#IVLUWZMQUXWZtantly, Â if Â they Â become Â evangelists Â for Â your Â shop.
?0)<<0-+0):<,7-;6Âź< ;07?")OMQVĂ†]MVKMLZM[XWV[M[ The Â younger Â crowds Â prefer Â chat Â ZWWU[Ă†a[PWX[5QLLTMIOMLIVL pre-retirement Â crowds Â use Â all Â chanWHAT Â THE Â DATA Â DOESNâ€™T Â SHOW: Â The Â survey Â told Â us Â the Â older Â one Â VMT[MY]ITTa:M\QZMUMV\IOMLNWTS[ gets, Â the Â less Â apt Â they Â are Â to Â trying Â out Â XZMNMZZML_WZLWN UW]\PĂ†a[PWX[ gear. and Â catalogs Â over Â chat Â rooms Â and Â FACT Â #4: Â Fly Â shops Â and Â word Â of Â mouth Â company Â websites. Â Â Consider Â building Â different Â marketing Â strategies Â to Â reach Â are Â the Â most Â popular Â methods Â consumdifferent Â age Â classes. Â Â Communicate Â ers Â hear Â of Â new Â products with Â them Â via Â the Â channel Â they Â pay Â attention Â to Â the Â most. Â Â Example: Â Create Â some Â buzz Â on Â Internet Â chat Â sites Â and Â your Â own Â website Â for Â the Â younger Â crowd. Â Â Donâ€™t Â expect Â to Â reach Â the Â older Â crowd Â in Â the Â same Â manner. Â Â In Â ITTKI[M[_WZLWN UW]\PQ[SQVO#\ZMI\ everyone Â like Â gold. FACT Â #5: Â Consumers Â still Â spend Â WVĂ†aĂ…[PQVOX]ZKPI[M[L]ZQVO Â slumping Â economies How Â Do Â Consumers Â Hear Â About Â Fly Â .Q[PQVO8ZWL]K\[' 1. Â Fly Â Shops 2. Â Word Â of Â mouth 5IOIbQVM[ZM^QM_[IZ\QKTMUMV\QWV[ 4. Â Catalogs \QM.Ta7]\LWWZ;PW_[ Â magazine Â ads AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
6. Â Internet Â chat Â rooms 7. Â Company Â websites 8ZM[[ZMTMI[M[ 158)+<<7A7=:*=;16-;;" <ZMI\aW]Z_ITSQVÂź[TQSMOWTL#\PMa will Â spread Â the Â word Â on Â how Â they Â 20
158)+<<7A7=:*=;16-;;" Even Â during Â tough Â economic Â times, Â consumers Â still Â want Â to Â buy Â hobby Â stuff. Â Â
:MTI\Q^MTaQVM`XMV[Q^MQ\MU[TQSM\QXXM\Ă†aTQVM[XTQ\[PW\IVLĂ†QM[[PW]TL always Â be Â in Â stock. Â Â Those Â are Â instant Â OZI\QĂ…KI\QWVX]ZKPI[M[\PI\SMMXK][tomers Â coming Â back Â for Â more. ?0)<<0-+0):<,7-;6Âź< SHOW: Â Â While Â income Â level Â had Â little Â bearing Â on Â the Â responses, Â age Â did. Â Â The Â most Â cautious Â age Â group Â was Â 41-50year-olds. Â Â The Â least Â cautious Â group Â was Â 31-40-year-olds Â and Â those Â 65 Â or Â over. Â Â This Â stands Â to Â reason Â as Â the Â KTW[MZWVMQ[\WZM\QZMUMV\\PM more Â he Â may Â be Â worried Â about Â savings Â during Â a Â slumping Â economy. PUTTING Â IT Â ALL Â TOGETHER <PMĂ†aĂ…[PQVOKWVUMZ\WTL][\PM QVLQ^QL]ITĂ†a[PWXÂź[^IT]MXZWXW[Q\QWVQ[ still Â ringing Â loud Â and Â clear Â and Â is Â more Â valuable Â than Â ever. Â Â The Â consumer Â wants Â a Â quality Â product Â selection, Â not Â quantities Â of Â average Â stuff. Â Â The Â consumer Â wants Â to Â try Â products Â out Â before Â a Â purchase, Â something Â a Â big Â box Â usually Â doesnâ€™t Â offer. Â Â Consumers Â still Â go Â to Â the Â TWKITĂ†a[PWXNWZ\PM[SQVVaWV\PMTI\M[\ OMIZVW\\W\PMTWKITJQOJW`<PMĂ†a [PWXQ[\PMQVNWZUI\QWVOI\MSMMXMZ#\PM old Â adage Â of Â â€œinformation Â is Â powerâ€? Â is Â certainly Â applicable. Â Â We Â also Â learned Â consumers Â arenâ€™t Â afraid Â of Â spending Â QVI[PWXWZWV\PMVM\#aW]PI^M\WJM where Â they Â want Â to Â buy. Â Â While Â there Â will Â always Â be Â a Â certain Â percentage Â of Â the Â crowd Â that Â shops Â only Â on Â price Â T]ZMLJaI^MZIOMY]ITQ\a[\]NN I\JQOJW` volume-moving Â prices), Â a Â vast Â majority Â donâ€™t Â shop Â only Â on Â price. Â
Look Â at Â hard Â times, Â a Â recession Â or Â a Â LMXZM[[QWV_PI\M^MZaW]_IV\\WKITT it) Â as Â an Â opportunity Â to Â win Â the Â loyalty Â of Â more Â consumers. Â Â During Â down Â economic Â times, Â consumers Â tend Â to Â look Â around Â more. Â Â It Â is Â now Â that Â you Â have Â an Â opportunity Â to Â convert Â Help Â your Â customers Â buy, Â donâ€™t Â make Â aW]ZĂ†a[PWX\PM,MXIZ\UMV\WN *][QVM[[ those Â lookers Â into Â customers. Â Â Those Â 8ZM^MV\QWV)VM`IUXTM"-UX\a[PMT^M[ conversions Â are Â all Â incremental Â sales Â you Â didnâ€™t Â have Â during Â good Â economic Â donâ€™t Â send Â a Â signal Â to Â your Â shoppers. Â Â \QUM[)VLR][\\PQVS_PI\SQVLWN Donâ€™t Â allow Â necessary Â items Â to Â run Â out. Â Â
impulse Â items Â for Â Books & DVDs. Affordable Â anglers Â of Â all Â types Â & Â budgets
1. Â Can Â I Â Â - Â A) Â clearly Â characterize Â the Â types Â of Â customers Â who Â buy Â from Â me Â or Â B) Â do Â I Â rely Â on Â business Â just Â â€œhappeningâ€?? 2. Â Do Â I Â - Â A) Â clearly Â know Â why Â customers Â buy Â from Â me Â or Â B) Â do Â I Â think Â I Â know?
5. Â Am Â I Â - Â A) Â known Â as Â a Â trustworthy Â X]Z^MaWZWN XZWL]K\Ă…[PQVOQVformation Â or Â B) Â seen Â as Â a Â shop Â that Â only Â gives Â out Â information Â if Â there Â is Â XW\MV\QITUWVMaQV^WT^ML'MO1ÂźTT\MTT aW]\PMTI\M[\Ă…[PQVOPW\[XW\[QN aW] J]aĂ†QM[Â°WZQN aW]TWWSTQSMI[MZQW][ buyer, Â Iâ€™ll Â take Â the Â time Â to Â walk Â through Â the Â proâ€™s Â and Â conâ€™s Â of Â the Â reels Â I Â have Â for Â sale.) If Â you Â answered Â B Â to Â any Â one Â of Â the Â questions, Â you Â probably Â arenâ€™t Â optimized Â to Â win Â over Â new Â consumers. Â Â <PMY]M[\QWV[IJW^MKPIZIK\MZQbMĂ…^M must-have Â competencies Â to Â be Â competitive Â in Â a Â sour Â economy: 1. Â Know Â your Â customer 2. Â Know Â their Â needs Â and Â why Â they Â buy Â from Â you
Use Â our Â Newsletter Â to Â stock Â whatâ€™s Â hot Â and Â sell Â more Â at Â better Â margins! Â Â
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3. Â Am Â I Â - Â A) Â maximizing Â the Â potential Â of Â online Â sales Â to Â supplement Â in-store Â \ZINĂ…KWZ*_IQ\QVO\W[MMQN \PMÂš1V\MZnet Â will Â be Â the Â next Â big Â thingâ€?? 4. Â For Â large Â purchases, Â am Â I Â - Â A) Â willing Â to Â share Â try-before-you-buy Â risk Â with Â the Â customer Â or Â B) Â do Â I Â use Â traditional Â show-n-tell Â methods Â of Â salesmanship Â to Â convince Â the Â buyer Â to Â spend Â big Â chunks Â of Â money?
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Hot Dealers in a Cold Market Written by Tom Keer
No one involved in the 1990’s flyfishing boom predicted the current state of plummeting sales. A consistently shrinking customer base. Terrorism. War. Rising energy costs. Inflation. Unemployment. Recession. Just over a decade ago, flyfishing manufacturers were really developing gear. Over 1200 fly shops were busy selling that gear, and thousands of guides were busy taking customers on trips with their newly purchased gear. Heady times for sure. 6W_\PMÆaÅ[PQVOQVL][\ZaPI[ILMKQ[QWV\WUISMIVLQN you want something sugar coated, go buy a doughnut. What is on the table is a simple decision: Do I want to succeed or is it best to close my doors? While the light at the end of the tunnel is temporarily disconnected, there is still hope. There are enough success stories within the four walls of our own industry. I believe that there are many talented dealers, lodges, and guides. I’ve selected four dealers from four different regions who are representative of deciding to succeed in spite of a declining market. Each one has weathered a variety of storms, from competition, natural disaster, rising unemployment rates, higher costs, and the like. Still, they post IVV]IT\WXTQVM[ITM[QVKZMI[M[I[_MTTI[VM\XZWÅ\QVKZMI[M[ Before we review them individually, what are their characteristics as a group? 1. They take planned and calculated risks. 2. They consistently work hard. 3. They work smart. 4. They are creative and innovative. 5. They are savvy. 6. Mediocrity is not in their vocabulary. 7. They are results oriented. 8. All are focused on solutions. 9. They have a vision and plan accordingly to bring it to fruition. 10. They ask for help when they need it.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Who would advise a business owner in an industry with a decade-long decline to expand? No one, but the following four did anyway: South Central: A Little Less Conversation, A Little More )K\QWV-T^Q[8ZM[TMa The Great Smoky Mountains have long been a strong LM[\QVI\QWVNWZÆaÅ[PQVO;WUMNWTS[TQSM2QU*IJJMLQ\WZWN Gray’s Sporting Journal IVL*IZKTIa+ZMMS8ZM[[¼2QU)VSMZPIQT from this region of Tennessee, and the Tellico Nymph was LM^MTWXMLPMZMI[_MTT*aZWVIVL8I]TI*MOTMaTI]VKPML 22
4Q\\TM:Q^MZ7]\Å\\MZ[QV<W_V[MVL Tennessee in 1994. The original store was 400 square feet.
“We did not anticipate the increase in box-store competition within a 40-mile radius of our store,” said Begley. “Bass 8ZW;PWX[/IVLMZ5W]V\IQVIVL7Z^Q[ “After our initial launch, we found our each added company-owned stores. So, sales were tracking far ahead of projec_MZMLMÅVMLW]ZJ][QVM[[WJRMK\Q^M[)[ tions,” Begley said. “Our programs box stores are able to inventory millions were well received and we were growQVO?MVW\QKML\PMÅZ[\[QOV[WN LMKTQVM of SKUs, we couldn’t. We conceded right when we needed to expand. We to them on the clothing categories, and had spent three years planning our ZMXW[Q\QWVML4:7\WNWK][WV\IKSTM expansion, and while it did not make We’ve always been committed to personsense in the big picture, we moved ITQbML[MZ^QKMJ]\_MIT_Ia[ÅVL_Ia[ forward anyway.” to exceed our customers’ expectations. 8ZWXMZNWZMKI[\QVOQ[KZQ\QKITNWZW]Z\_W In order to realize their dream, the sales channels, and we are constantly *MOTMa[\WWS[QOVQÅKIV\ZQ[S[<PMa purchased a commercial lot, and built evaluating and anticipating trends. Our a 7,000-square-foot building with retail goal is to maintain proper year-round and back-storage space, classrooms, and inventory levels, and the combination of WNÅKM[<PMa\ZQXTML\PMQZW]\ZMIKPXZW- historical sales data combined with foregrams to include more schools, quarcasting keeps us in an in-stock position. terly special events, and free seasonal We realize most every sale.” seminars on weekends. Vendors were added, and product lines were expand.WZ\PMÅZ[\\QUMQV.Q[PQVO<IKSTM ed. The Begleys are conservationists, :M\IQTMZ¼[PQ[\WZa4Q\\TM:Q^MZ7]\Å\\MZ[ and they selected both national and ZMKMQ^MLI 8MZNMK\;KWZMQV5IZKP regional groups alike to work with. 2009. That new award sits next to their ¹1VILLQ\QWV\WÅ[PQVOIVLP]V\QVOTQSM 2004 Orvis Dealer of the Year plaque. Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, and 5QL)\TIV\QK"8ZWXMZ8ZMXIZI\QWV8ZMCCA, we also focus on general interest ^MV\[8Q[[8WWZ8MZNWZUIVKM OZW]X[TQSM\PM4Q\\TM:Q^MZ?I\MZ[PML Friends of the Great Smoky Mountain -^MZ\PQVSWN W_VQVOÅ^MÆaÅ[PQVO 6I\QWVIT8IZSIVL\PM/QZT;KW]\[º*M- retail stores? Tony Gehman of TCO gley said. “We are big supporters of the Fishing worked for 11 years to achieve 4Q\\TM:Q^MZ+PIX\MZWN <=I[_MTTº his goal. As the use of technology increased, /MPUIVWXMVMLPQ[ÅZ[\[\WZMQV:MILthe Begleys studied, learned, and apQVO8MVV[aT^IVQIQV! !)N\MZPITN I XTQML<PMQZÅZ[\[\MX_I[KZMI\QVOIV information-based website. A few years later, they had another tough decision to make: the repositioning of a decade-old catalogue into a state-of-the-art website. “In 1996, paper and mailing costs were [QOVQÅKIV\TaTM[[M`XMV[Q^M\PIVIV e-commerce site,” said Begley. “In the ‘90’s it made sense for us to shoot, layout, print and mail a catalogue. Now it does not. So we folded our general consumer model into an e-commerce site. We now reach more than 100 times more customers than our catalogue ever LQLIVL_MZMITQbMI[QOVQÅKIV\KW[\ [I^QVO[\W4:7
dozen years, he had a taste for the business and made a decision to thoroughly [MZ^QKM\PMMI[\MZV8MVV[aT^IVQIÆaÅ[Ping market. Gehman studied dozens of markets, analyzed trends, created a J][QVM[[XTIVIVLM[\IJTQ[PMLIÅVIVKQITXTIV)N\MZ\PM[Q`8¼[_MZMLWVM KIUM\PMZWTTW]\*ZaV5I_Z8MVV[aT^IVQIQV4ISM8TIKQL6M_AWZS QV;\I\M+WTTMOM8MVV[aT^IVQIQV +IZTQ[TM8MVV[aT^IVQIQV To most consumers and shop owners, it seemed like Gehman had struck the lottery and expanded, but that’s not true. “I had an idea, but it was big enough to sink me,” Gehman said. “The decade that I spent studying retail, real estate, IVLÅVIVKQIT\ZMVL[ÆM_Ja1NWK][ML on how to make my plan work. My sales reps provided pockets of regional as well as national sales trends for review, and were very helpful. Ultimately I knew that I’d need to make a [QOVQÅKIV\ÅVIVKQITKWUUQ\UMV\WVZMIT estate, build outs, marketing, inventory, I87;[a[\MUIUWVOW\PMZÅ`MLIVL variable expenses. It seems like the exXIV[QWVPIXXMVMLW^MZVQOP\#[WUM\QUM[ it feels that way, even to me.” Gehman’s multiple brick-and-mortar locations resulted in a seldom out-of-stock scenario. By managing his inventory he achieves higher-than-industry standard inventory turns. continued on next page...
¹4ISM8TIKQLLQLVW\Å\UaUWLMT and was an interesting growth opportunity. Many of our customers PILJMMV\ZI^MTQVO\W\PM4ISM8TIKQL ZMOQWVIVLQ\Å\W]ZUWLMT?Q\P W]ZTWKITO]QLMVM\_WZSIVLW]ZÆa Å[PQVO[KPWWT[\PMZMT\_I[IVQV PW][MLM[\QVI\QWVTWKI\QWV:MUW\M UIVIOMUMV\KIVJMLQNÅK]T\J]\QV this instance a partnership with Jerry Botcher at the Hungry Trout was critical. With his lodging and restauZIV\QVKTW[MXZW`QUQ\a\W\PMÅ[PMZaQ\ was perfect.” “The bottom line in this business is people,” Gehman said. “I hired the JM[\1MUXTWaMM[1KW]TLÅVLIVL then trained them consistently. Our customers have responded, and our business continues to grow. The more you study, the more things fall into place.”
Northeast: Go Hard or Go Home Manhattan, NYC, America’s most cosmopolitan city, comes with one catch: it’s expensive. The new AberKZWUJQMIVL.Q\KP.QN\P)^MV]M was the most successful retail store in 2008 NYC. While their gross sales/ square foot ranged between $8000$10,000, $800/square foot is the average. With rents ranging from $450-$1380/square foot, every retailer has to hustle. And sandwiched in between the national retailers is Jon Fisher and his Urban Angler. Founded in 1988, The Urban Angler had been around long enough to have picked all the low-hanging sales fruit. )[6M_AWZS¼[XZMUQMZÆaÅ[PQVO venue, its two channels of distribution J][QVM[[JZQKSIVLUWZ\IZIVLUIQT order), foreign business, a guide net-
_WZSLM[\QVI\QWV\ZI^MTÆa[KPWWT[ clinics and outreach programs grew throughout the 1990’s. Fisher was in a comfortable place until a quadruple rent increase threatened. In a bold move, Fisher decided to expand. ¹5IZOQV[QVÆaÅ[PQVOIZMV¼\I[PQOP as in other industries, so when we outgrew our old location I needed to be very careful that our expansion didn’t KWUMI\IVM`XMV[M\WW]ZXZWÅ\ margin,” Fisher said. “If I focus only on top-line sales growth I’ll go out of J][QVM[[1V[\MIL1[\]La/5:71 KIZMN]TTaIVLXTIKMXZM[MI[WVIVLÅTT QVWZLMZ[[WI[\WMVZMXZWÅ\IJQTQ\aº As a cost savings to The Urban Angler, Fisher relocated his store to a 3,300-square-foot space in the Flatiron District on Fifth Avenue. The location is in perfect proximity to his target customer base and foot \ZINÅK[WWVMXZWJTMU_I[[WT^ML Still, the exorbitant rent did not allow NWZIUIQTWZLMZN]TÅTTUMV\IZMINWZ his overhauled Internet business. The solution? A second retail location in a less expensive area.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
While it sounds like the tail wagging the dog, Fisher made a strategic move in opening up Urban Angler, Arlington in Virginia. He bought an M`Q[\QVOÆaÅ[PQVOJ][QVM[[\PI\[\IaML true to it core tackle-model. The 3,500 square feet of retail space acKWUUWLI\M[_ITSQVK][\WUMZ\ZINÅK and an additional 3,500 square feet handles back storage space for order N]TÅTTUMV\¹?M_MZMIJTM\WILLZM[[ two issues, those being to expand our brand presence and increase our sales. Annual gross sales continue to climb as they have since our expansion.”
Conservation has been a big part of the shop’s business model for two decades. “There is a big green movement, and at one point or another we’ve been heavily involved with most KWV[MZ^I\QWVOZW]X[<PMTQ[\Q[TWVO#
J]\NÅKMQ\\W[IaW]ZZMKMV\ILLQ\QWVQ[*T]M7KMIV KPW[MVJMKI][MWN W]Z[QOVQÅKIV\QV^WT^MUMV\QV\PM [IT\_I\MZÅ[PMZQM[º
XWVLITTQVIVIZMI_Q\PQVKZMI[ML\ZINÅKÆW_[)KZMI\Q^M mezzanine design makes for additional retail space while allowing for indoor casting.
:WKSa5W]V\IQV["1UXZW^Q[M)LIX\7^MZKWUM and Survive
“Savvy dealers look not just towards gross sales, but net XZWÅ\5ISQVOXZ]LMV\J][QVM[[LMKQ[QWV[ZMOIZLQVO margin funded expansion plans. Industry standards are a given 50%, but many manufactures offer in season or promotional discounts of up to 65%. By realizing an extra $50.00 per rod sale extended across 50 rods, the $2500 adLQ\QWVITVM\XZWÅ\N]VL[IL^MZ\Q[QVOWZW]\ZMIKPMNNWZ\[IVL the positive trend continues.”
In 1996, Colorado Springs’ Dave Leinweber approached Angler’s Covey ownership with the idea of opening a satellite location. The business was founded in 1981, was growing, and a second location made sense. The second location did not happen, and as fate would have it, by 1999 Leinweber owned the retail business, the property and the loans in their entirety. “Shortly after I owned Angler’s Covey we had the total 0IaUMV_QTLÅZM\PI\LM^I[\I\ML+PMM[UIV+IVaWVIVL affected Deckers. We feel those effects today. I just had to roll up my sleeves and work more creatively.”
I only need to look at my own bank account to know \PI\_M¼ZMQVLQNÅK]T\\QUM[*]\\PM[MNW]ZLMITMZ[PI^M shown that growth is possible. And to a degree, Death of a Salesman’s Willie Loman was right when he said “the world is your oyster….but you can’t crack it open lying on a mattress.” at
Several years ago, Leinweber outgrew his space. “It needed more space. To arrive at a design I decon[\Z]K\ML\PM[XWZ\WN ÆaÅ[PQVOQV\W[MK\QWV[)\\PM core is the cast, which therefore means that to successfully sell rods you need a place to cast. For most of the year, casting rods outside is a treat, but our winters are tough. My solution? I decided that we’d need an QVLWWZIVLIVW]\LWWZKI[\QVOIZMI6M`\ÆaÅ[PQVOQ[ an individual sport. As a retailer, I wanted full assortments of all vendors’ products. But they had to be inventoried properly with a focus on visual merchandising techniques and contribute to the bottom line. I approached each of my vendors with a proposal to work together, and we did. I wish I could just carry best sellers, but the reality is I’ll miss sales if I do. There is a balance that I study every day.”
As a result, Angler’s Covey has an excellent representation of products from many manufacturers, and decisions are JI[MLWV/5:71
-Study your Market.
Leinweber is education-oriented, and devotes a tremendous amount of his time to bringing new participants into the sport.
The result? Angler’s Covey is now in a new location, housed in an 8,755-square-foot building, with 2,000 square feet rented to tenants, 5,000 square feet of selling space, two outdoor casting ponds, one indoor casting
Tony Gehman TCO Fly Shop !8MVV)^MV]M :MILQVO8)!! 610-678-1899 ___\KWÆaÅ[PQVOKWU
Jon Fisher The Urban Angler-New York 206 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floot New York, NY 10010 212-689-6400 www.urbanangler.com Dave Leinweber Angler’s Covey 295 S 21st Street Colorado Springs, CO 80904 719-471-2984 www.anglerscovey.com
Tips of the Trade: 8TIV8TIV8TIV
-Community Involvement and outreach programs regardless of age.
-Solicit advice from manufacturers and sales reps and cross-reference with your own research and experience.
-Obstacles to success are KWV[\IV\:MV\QVKZMI[M[ ZM\IQTKWUXM\Q\QWVÅZM[ drought, and deluge are a given. Focus on what you need to do to grow.
8TIa\WaW]Z[\ZMVO\P[ -Service the heck out of your customers. ;\INN \ZIQVQVOIVL8ZWL]K\ Knowledge-rep clinic-ing are key. -Gross sales are important, /5:71Q[KZQ\QKIT
AW]¼ZMITZMILaIÅ[PMZman….become a retailer.
-Creative, out-of-the-box, solutions-oriented thinking wins the game. 25
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
“We offer classes followed up by local guiding and then a TWaIT\aXZWOZIUITTLM[QOVML\WSMMXÅ[PMZUMVÅ[PQVO We’re customer service focused, and have found numerous ways to differentiate ourselves.”
Byron and Paula Begley Daniel Drake 4Q\\TM:Q^MZ7]\Å\\MZ[ 106 Town Square Drive Townsend, TN 37882 865-448-9459 ___TQ\\TMZQ^MZW]\Å\\MZ[KWU
Reviewed by Kirk Deeter
We’ve talked a lot in recent issues of Angling Trade about how Æa\aQVO can buoy shop sales in a tough economy. Here is the catalyst for OM\\QVOXMWXTM\W\QMÆQM[_Q\PMNNMK\_ZQ\\MVQVXTIQVTIVO]IOMJaWVMWN \PMJM[\Æa innovators in America, Charlie Craven. <WJMXMZNMK\TaJT]V\\PQ[Q[\PMJM[\Æa tying book I’ve seen in years, period, because it goes well beyond the “how”
and d ives right into the “why.” Sure you get the step-by-step instructions to tie some of the most basic and effective patterns around, from Woolly Buggers to Stimulators, to Copper Johns, but the reader also learns why they should select certain materials for certain flies, and why they should attach and why they should proportion elements of flies the way Charlie does. I’ve always thought fly tying is as much about rationale as it is routine, and the rationale had always been sorely underserved in most books I’ve read. This book fills that need to a “T.”
It’s also worth noting that Stackpole did a nice job on the production end with high quality images and design. This book is an artifact. It had to be. Anyone who _IV\[\WSVW_PW_\W\QMI8ZQVKM nymph can get the recipe over the Internet. But here, the reader has a complete resource, with straightshot advice and instruction that would complement any tying bench or bookshelf. Get a copy and leave it by the active tying vise in your shop. Then get a bunch more to sell to your customers. Every tier you create will pay dividends. This is an ideal primer.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Reviewed by Kirk Deeter
You should check W]\\PMV sell) Miles Nolte’s compelling, honest, and gritty work in The Alaska +PZWVQKTM[. The work is a collection of semidaily reports from a season of guiding in Alaska. That, in and of itself, is ample fodder for some good storytelling, and Nolte doesn’t hold back. His writing appeals to me by virtue of its honesty and 26
[QUXTQKQ\a;]ZMaW]OM\\PMÅ[P stories, but you also get the client meltdowns, the cold hamburgers, bloodied bodies, fatigue, bears... essentially the guide world all-access pass, and that ultimately makes the real Alaska experience come alive. The book is more than worth reading for its candor alone, and the visual images that the reader derives from all of that. It’s also an interesting project in that the content essentially backed its way into hardcover, having initially been posted on the message board of T he Drake magazine website. As such it wasn’t a “been there done that”
story, rather a “being here, doing this” thread that connected over 3,000 online message board readers from Singapore to Germany. It will be interesting to see how this website-to-book phenomenon works. My guess is that it is one of the few QN IVaÆaÅ[PQVOJWWS[\PI\¼[JMMV released with its own audience already in tow, which cannot be a bad thing. Where there is substance there is value, and where there is value, books will sell. I have long believed that the ZMITJ[\IVKMQV\PMÆaÅ[PQVO_WZTL inevitably lives amongst the guides. There is plenty of all that in T he )TI[SI+PZWVQKTM[. You’ll enjoy it, and so will your customers. at
The kudos just keep coming ... “I haven’t found a distance it doesn’t cast well, with no effort on my part! Lays down a lot of leader, as gently as a puff of smoke.” – Buzz Bryson, Fly Rod & Reel magazine To read more raves about the Helios, visit www.orvis.com/heliosraves
Fly Rod & Reel Reader’s Choice 2008
Reflections on a Mentor Written by Greg Thomas
I met Gary LaFontaine while negotiating the banks of the Clark Fork River on a cold winter day in Missoula. He Â was Â strolling Â into Â Hellgate Â Canyon Â along Â a Â trail Â adjacent Â to Â the Â University Â of Â Montana Â campus. Â I Â was Â stomping Â out Â of Â Hellgate, Â half-frozen Â and Â frustrated, Â having Â just Â been Â handed Â my Â ass Â by Â the Â trout.
Photo Courtesy thebookmailer.com
â€œI Â got Â one,â€? Â I Â lied Â when Â LaFontaine Â asked. Â Noting Â his Â Ă†aZWLIVLIVWXXWZ\]VQ\a for Â one-upmanship Â I Â said, Â â€œYouâ€™ll Â be Â lucky Â to Â catch Â IĂ…[P\WLIaÂşILLQVOÂš\PM midges Â arenâ€™t Â really Â coming Â WNN IVL\PMZQ[QVOĂ…[PIZM in Â the Â middle Â of Â the Â river. Â I Â wouldnâ€™t Â even Â bother Â if Â I Â were Â you.â€?
LaFontaine Â let Â a Â knowing Â smile Â creep Â across Â his Â face Â and Â said, Â Âš1][ML\WKI\KP[WUMĂ…[PPMZM[W1ÂźTTI\TMI[\OQ^MQ\I\ZaÂş Then, Â he Â added, Â â€œWhat Â are Â you Â studying?â€? â€œJournalism,â€? Â I Â beamed. Â â€œIâ€™m Â the Â outdoors Â writer Â for Â the Â university Â newspaper. Â Iâ€™m Â going Â to Â be Â a Â free-lance Â writer Â as Â soon Â as Â I Â graduate Â this Â spring.â€?
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
â€œWell, Â thatâ€™s Â ironic,â€? Â he Â said. Â â€œI Â was Â the Â outdoors Â writer Â for Â the Â university Â newspaper Â about Â 20 Â years Â ago. Â Now Â I Â make Â my Â TQ^QVO_ZQ\QVOIJW]\Ă†aĂ…[PQVOÂş Then, Â as Â he Â dug Â in Â a Â pocket Â for Â his Â business Â card, Â and Â despite Â that Â juvenile Â superiority Â tone Â in Â my Â voice, Â he Â made Â an Â offer: Â â€œI Â liked Â going Â to Â school Â here Â and Â itâ€™s Â a Â great Â program. Â The Â professors Â teach Â you Â how Â to Â write, Â but Â Iâ€™ve Â always Â been Â disappointed Â that Â they Â donâ€™t Â teach Â students Â how Â to Â make Â a Â living. Â Give Â me Â a Â call Â if Â you Â have Â any Â questions Â about Â the Â business Â IVLTM\Âź[Ă…[P[WUM\QUMÂş
1ZM\ZMI\ML\W\PMKZI_T[XIKM_PQKPPIZJWZMLILQZ\Ă†WWZIVL a Â $50 Â per Â month Â price Â tag. Â It Â was Â where Â I Â belonged Â given Â my Â belligerent Â and Â embarrassing Â rant Â to Â LaFontaine. Â Earlier Â that Â LIaQ\[MMUMLIXXZWXZQI\M\W\MTTI[\ZIVOMZPW_Q\_I[#I\\PM \QUM1\PW]OP\JMQVOIĂ†aĂ…[PMZUIVPILI[U]KP\WLW_Q\P demonstrating Â expertiseâ€”on Â and Â off Â the Â streamâ€”as Â anything Â MT[M:MKTQVQVOQVI\MV\[\IZQVO]XI\M`XW[MLJMIU[IVLI labyrinth Â of Â fresh Â spider Â webs, Â I Â determined Â my Â attitude Â had Â a Â lot Â to Â do Â with Â how Â I Â and Â fellow Â newcomers Â were Â treated Â when Â MV\MZQVO^IZQW][Ă†a[PWX[I[QN _MÂźL\ZIKSMLU]LIKZW[[\PM Ă†WWZJaI[SQVO\PMLQNNMZMVKMJM\_MMVITIZ^IMIVLX]XIM# I[QVS\QX^MZ[I[PWW\QVOPMIL#IJZWWS\ZW]\^MZ[IJ]TT \ZW]\#\PM[\ZWVOMZWN \PM\_WÂ¸@WZ@#IVL^IZQW][W\PMZ basics Â anglers Â need Â to Â know Â as Â they Â enter Â the Â sport. Â Sometimes, Â I Â recalled, Â we Â didnâ€™t Â even Â ask Â questions Â because Â we Â LQLVÂź\_IV\\WMVL]ZM\PM_ZI\P?PMV_M^Q[Q\MLĂ†a[PWX[_M TWWSML\PZW]OP\PMĂ†aJQV[IVLM`IUQVML\PMOMIZIVLSMX\ our Â ears Â open Â to Â other Â conversations, Â trying Â to Â pick Â up Â the Â information Â we Â needed Â without Â getting Â lambasted. Â Sitting Â in Â the Â dungeon Â that Â day, Â I Â vowed Â to Â lose Â the Â prove-Iâ€™m-a-master Â Ă†aĂ…[PMZUIVIJW^MITTMT[MI\\Q\]LM\PI\1ÂźLXQKSML]X1^W_ML to Â be Â more Â like Â LaFontaine. 1\_I[VÂź\TWVOIN\MZ\PI\Ă…Z[\UMM\QVO_Q\P4I.WV\IQVM\PI\ I Â required Â his Â advice. Â Over Â the Â years Â I Â called Â him Â on Â many Â fronts, Â often Â to Â discuss Â publishing Â contracts Â and Â the Â merits Â of Â particular Â business Â deals. Â Sometimes Â I Â called Â to Â say Â nothing Â more Â than Â hello Â and Â to Â talk Â about Â dogs, Â which Â we Â shared Â equal Â passion Â for. Â Occasionally Â weâ€™d Â meet Â for Â lunch Â or Â dinner Â and Â drinks, Â sometimes Â in Â Missoula, Â other Â times Â in Â Deer Â Lodge Â or Â Helena. Â Always, Â LaFontaine Â offered Â the Â most Â concise Â and Â WXMVQV[\Z]K\QWV1KW]TLĂ…VLIVLPM_I[VM^MZKWUXM\Q\Q^M even Â when Â I Â penned Â a Â book, Â Fly Â Fisherâ€™s Â Guide Â to Â Montana, Â that Â ran Â in Â direct Â competition Â with Â his Â publishing Â houseâ€™s Â title Â called Â Montana Â Fly Â Fishing Â Guide Â East Â and Â West.
One Â time Â I Â asked Â why Â competing Â with Â my Â book Â didnâ€™t Â bother Â him Â and Â he Â said, Â â€œGreg, Â theyâ€™re Â not Â the Â same Â books Â and Â differMV\I]\PWZ[PI^MLQNNMZMV\\ISM[WV^IZQW][Ă…[PMZQM[IVL\PI\ only Â helps Â the Â common Â angler. Â Overall, Â having Â those Â books Â W]\\PMZMJZQVO[UWZMXMWXTMQV\WĂ†aĂ…[PQVOIVLQ\UISM[\PM experience Â better Â for Â them. Â Thatâ€™s Â good Â for Â all Â of Â us.â€?
<PI\VQOP\1XZWL]KML\PMJ][QVM[[KIZLNWZIĂ†aR]VSQMZWWUmate Â and Â he Â crowed, Â â€œYou Â met Â Mr. Â Caddis! Â That Â guy Â knows Â UWZMIJW]\:WKSa5W]V\IQV\ZW]\\PIVIVaWVMÂş
A Â few Â weeks Â ago, Â while Â hanging Â out Â at Â my Â parentsâ€™ Â house Â in Â Seattle, Â Washington, Â my Â father Â and Â I Â saw Â one Â of Â my Â friendâ€™s Â bylines Â in Â a Â magazine. Â Iâ€™d Â introduced Â this Â guy Â to Â writing Â by Â
signing him to a book deal with a publisher I used to work for. My dad said, “Greg, you’ve been able to help a few of your friends and several strangers to become pretty successful writers. You must feel good about that, right?”
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I answered, “Yes, I do and the only reason I’m generous in that regard is because of Gary LaFontaine. LaFontaine _I[LQNNMZMV\#PMVM^MZNMT\\PZMI\MVML and only tried to help and that example made me a better person. Now my efforts bring more people into the business WN _ZQ\QVOIVLQV\WÆaÅ[PQVOIVLUISM their experiences worthwhile. That’s very rewarding to me. It all started with LaFontaine. I owe him a lot.” The last time I saw LaFontaine he was restricted to a bed at a care center near \PMUW]\PWN \PM:I\\TM[VISM?QTLMZness outside Missoula. I helped feed him and gave him water when he requested it. Shortly after, he died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, prematurely at 56, on January 4, 2002.
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During that last conversation, in typical fashion, LaFontaine told me he didn’t NMMTKPMI\ML#PM¼LLQVML_Q\PZWaIT\a Å[PML_Q\PIUJI[[ILWZ[IVLTMOMVL[ and led a life beyond his humble expectations. To this day his landmark book, +ILLQ[ÆQM[, is considered the statement on the subject and his life work MVPIVKM[\PMLIQTaX]ZQ\WN ÆaÅ[PMZ[ worldwide. Before I left his side for the last time he said, “Greg, writing is a burden, but it’s important, and you do it _MTT3MMX_ZQ\QVO3MMXÅ[PQVO-VRWa your opportunity to share the experience with others.” 8MZPIX[\PI\_I[I[\I\MUMV\NWZITT of us to hear, especially poignant right VW_#L]ZQVO\PQ[\QUMWN MKWVWUQK downturn our strength is in numbers and attitude. Don’t just bring a new one into the sport, also let them prosper and breed—one at a time, with respect, we persevere. at
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Advanced Shop Class:
Written by Joe Cermele
Teach more than fly-fishing 101 to boost sales and build better client relations ;IaQVO\PI\ITIZOMXIZ\WN Æa[PWX survival comes from the return client is no shocker. But to keep the loyalists walking through the door, shop owners must be top-notch teachers as well as great salesmen. Being able to convey the fundamentals of the sport goes beyond info found in books like “Fly Fishing For Dummies.” From bustling Anchorage to small-town +WJ]ZV8MVV[aT^IVQI\PM[PWZM[ of Tampa Bay to the mountains of Montana, we grilled four shop owners in very different demographic areas to ÅVLW]\PW_\PMaQVKZMI[M[ITM[IVL keep up their rep by teaching what we KWV[QLMZ\PMNW]ZMTMUMV\[WN ÆaÅ[Ping, and doing so by thinking outside the box.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Fly Selection: 2WVI[8ZQKMOM\[I laugh every time a customers says, “The Adams are really hatching good
?PMZMKPWW[QVOÆQM[Q[KWVKMZVML 8ZQKMNMMT[\PI\JMQVOIJTM\W\MIKP KTQMV\[PW_\WQLMV\QNaÆQM[VW\R][\ what they represent, plays a huge part QVJ]QTLQVOKWVÅLMVKM ¹8MWXTMKWUMQVITT\PM\QUM_Q\PI JW`WN ÆQM[IVLI[SUM_PI\\PMa IZMº8ZQKMM`XTIQVML¹1N aW]KIV dump them on the counter and name them all, you’ve just taught that client what to ask for in the future. Handing [WUMWVMÆQM[IVL[IaQVO»][M\PM[M¼ doesn’t tell them the advantage of a parachute or beadhead.” 8ZQKMQ[IT[WIJQOJMTQM^MZQVVW\ pretending you know everything. Though he can walk clients through proper patterns for the local streams, many regular clients travel throughout 8MVV[aT^IVQI\WÅ[P “If someone asks about a stream 50 miles away, I can probably give them \PMÆQM[\PMaVMMLJ]\JMQVO_ZWVOQ[ bad for business, “ he says. “I’ll often ZMKWUUMVLIOWWLÆa[PWXQV\PI\ area.” 8ZQKMVW\M[\PI\\PMZMQ[IPIJQ\WN NM]LQVOJM\_MMVÆa[PWX[PMKIV¼\ understand. By sending customers to other shops, they will learn more IJW]\Æa[MTMK\QWVIVLJW\P[PWX[ come out looking good. “The next \QUM\PI\O]aQ[WV8MVV[+ZMMSPM¼TT JMQV\WJ]aÆQM[º8ZQKM[Ia[¹)VL if I’m lucky he’ll have just ripped his waders.”
them end up in his shop, World Wide )VOTMZ7]\Å\\MZ[?Q\PKPLQ^MZ[M water types and species in the state, Graham learned something very early on: the casting skills shops need to have covered revolve around species, season, and location as much as they do angler skill level. “If you come here looking for silver salmon, the elements of that casting style are miles apart from what the O]aTWWSQVONWZ[UITT[\ZMIULZaÆa action with grayling needs to know,” says Graham. “If someone needs to cast a heavy dumb-bell streamer, a few split-shot, plus a sinking head all in one stroke, naturally you have to be able to explain the fundamentals of that cast. But you also can’t forget to tell him to duck.” /ZIPIUQ[IÅZUJMTQM^MZ\PI\PI^QVO the knowledge to thoroughly educate clients on the differences in rod speeds and materials will help them better understand casting basics. In turn, customers are more likely to step up to a high-end rod once they understand how design and material translates to better distance and accuracy.
today.” “I just answer, ‘yeah, Adams IZM_WZSQVOXZM\\a_MTT¼º8ZQKM[Ia[ “I won’t correct them and make them look stupid, but I won’t disagree ei\PMZº8ZQKMPI[W_VML<PM.MI\PMZML Hook in the tiny town of Coburn for 11 years. His shop sits in the middle The Cast: Every season, thousands WN 8MVV[aT^IVQI¼[4QUM[\WVMKW]V\Za WN IVOTMZ[ÆWKS\W)VKPWZIOM)TI[SI But if there is one element of casting _Q\P8MVV[+ZMMSR][\LW_V\PM[\ZMM\ Luckily for Keith Graham, many of Graham pegs as the most important 30
for beginners, it’s distance. Though distance is crucial on Alaska’s big ZQ^MZ[\PMNIK\QV[MI[WVMLÆaKI[\ers want to cast long. Over time, they TMIZV\PI\Å[PQVOKTW[MWN\MVXIa[JQO but no matter how much you stress that early on, they’ll shoot for that farthest riser. Teach them to throw TWVOXZWXMZTaIVLTM\\PMUÅO]ZMW]\ on their own that they won’t need to nine times out of ten. You’ve taught the client want they wanted to learn, and they’ll be back when they need \WSVW_PW_\WÅ[PI\QOP\XWKSM\I\ rod length. The Presentation: “There’s one thing I can tell you for sure about the *QO0WTMº[Ia[.ZIVS;\IVKPÅMTL “The water level changes weekly. So \PMÅ[PIZMIT_Ia[QVIVM_XTIKMº Twenty-six years as a guide and owner WN *QO0WTM<ZW]\Å\\MZ[VMIZ?Q[M where the angler casts straight across \W\PMJIVS_Q\PI_M\Æa][QVOVW strike indicator and without mending the line.
:Q^MZ5WV\IVIPI^MUILM;\IVKPÅMTLI^MZQ\IJTMÆaOWLNI\PMZWN \PM Big Hole Valley. And his experience PI[\I]OP\PQU\PI\\PMÅZ[\SMa\W \MIKPQVOÆaXZM[MV\I\QWVPI[VW\PQVO to do with patterns, lines, or rods. “Look at a river like the Missouri. It’s a tailwater, so the levels and the holding locations are predictable,” StanchÅMTL[Ia[¹.QO]ZMW]\_PMZM\PMÅ[P hold and you can pretty much present ÆQM[\PM[IUMM^MZa\QUM*]\WV\PM Big Hole, presentation varies month to month, week to week, day to day.” )[IVM`IUXTM;\IVKPÅMTLKQ\M[\PM early-spring method of “tightlining,”
“You have to present so your line is tight and you can see the end of the ÆaTQVM\_Q\KPI\\PM[\ZQSMºPMM`plained. “Tie on an indicator and the ÆaLZIO[*]\QN aW]TWWSI\JI[QK_M\ ÆaXZM[MV\I\QWV\PMJWWS[\MTTaW]\W cast slightly upstream and use an indicator. That doesn’t usually work here in April. A few weeks later, tightlining Q[W^MZ<PMÅ[PIZMWNN \PMJIVS[ 8WQV\JMQVOQN aW]LWV¼\SVW_M`IK\Ta PW_aW]ZÅ[P[\I\QWV\PMU[MT^M[ PW_aW]X]\\PMÆaQVNZWV\WN \PMU doesn’t make much difference.” While presentation angles change Y]QKSTa;\IVKPÅMTLLWM[JMTQM^M\PI\ ITTZQ^MZ[PI^MW]\Å\[XMZNMK\TaQ\ML to their challenges. “Though it can take time to teach the behavior of area trout, I can tell IKTQMV\IVQVMNWW\Å^M_MQOP\ZWL continued on next page...
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Angling Trade .com THE WEBSITE FOR THE BUZZ ON THE
is going to be the best choice for achieving almost every presentation you need to make in the Big Hole,” he says. “It helps a lot when the angler starts out knowing he has the right tool for any situation.” The Fight: If there’s a man who knows a thing or two about the end OIUM_Q\PJQOÅ[PWV\PMÆaQ\¼[ Dave
Chouinard. He opened The F ly 0I\KPQV:ML*IVS6M_2MZ[MaQV 1993, where customers looking to battle striped bass, false albacore, and tuna accounted for a lot of business. Chouinard recently moved out of the Northeast and took his operation with him to Tampa Bay, F lorida. <IZXWVJ]TTZMLÅ[PIVLJZ]Q[MZ snook are his new area of expertise. “Most importantly, what people need to learn early on about the ÅOP\Q[\PI\IÆaZWLQ[VW\I[XQVVQVOZWLº+PW]QVIZL[Ia[¹:MMTQVO with the tip vertical over your head is really only useful for picking up slack line in a hurry. Where a spinning rod is the glue between your TQVMIVLILZIOIÆaZWLQ[UWZMI tool for controlling the angle of the \PQKSÆaTQVMº )KKWZLQVO\W+PW]QVIZL\PMÅOP\Q[ about understanding the resistance of that line and using the rod to best manage that resistance. But that’s not to say rod speed and strength don’t play a vital role.
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“The goal is to maintain steady presZM\PZW]OPW]\\PMÅOP\ºPM[Ia[ ¹:WL[IZMOM\\QVONI[\MZIVLNI[\MZ and understanding how pressure applies to your rod is as critical as knowing when to palm a reel. But unless clients want to get very deep into how different rod materials perform, I prefer to keep it simple. I will JM\PMÅZ[\\W\MTT\PMU\PW]OP\PI\ UIVaWN \PM[MÅVMKI[\QVOZWL[IZM VW\\PMJM[\NWZÅOP\QVO<PMZM¼[\WW TQ\\TMÅJMZOTI[[[KZQUQV\PMZWL<PMa cast like lethal weapons, but under heavy-handed duress, they explode.” .ZWUI[MTTQVOXMZ[XMK\Q^M\PMÅOP\ boils down to deciphering when a customer wants to look good tarpon Å[PQVOIVL_PMVWVM_IV\[\WKI\KP tarpon. The theory applies to almost every species. at
THE POND Written by Kirk Deeter
net Â worth Â in Â the Â past Â few Â years Â is Â keeping Â his Â money Â on Â the Â sidelines. Â Â The Â bling Â is Â gone.â€? While Â this Â portends Â bleak Â near-term Â sales Â for Â many Â retailers, Â Murphy Â thinks Â \PM\ZMVLUWZMIKK]ZI\MTaZMĂ†MK\[IV adjustment Â that Â will Â track Â the Â market Â back Â to Â more Â traditionalâ€”perhaps Â more Â sustainableâ€”sales Â and Â growth Â trajectories Â for Â the Â long Â term. Âš1\PQVS\PMĂ†aĂ…[PQVOQVL][\ZaQ[ZM\]ZVing Â to Â its Â historical Â base, Â and Â its Â historical Â OZW_\PZI\MNZWUJMNWZM\PMUW^QM) :Q^MZ:]V[<PZW]OP1\!!_PQKP is Â between Â three Â and Â seven Â percent Â annually,â€? Â Murphy Â said. Â Â â€œWeâ€™re Â going Â to Â Ă…VL\PI\\PMKWZMUIZSM\Q[[\QTTOWQVO to Â be Â the Â person Â who Â makes Â the Â leisure Â commitment, Â who Â has Â the Â time, Â money, Â QVKTQVI\QWVIVL[SQTT\WJMĂ†aĂ…[PQVOÂş Certainly, Â Hardy Â is Â familiar Â with Â Â that Â history.
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Alnwick, England-based fishing tackle icon Hardy & Greyâ€™s has been positioning to make a big splash on this side of the pond for many months now.
Interestingly, Â however, Â the Â products Â proL]KMLJa/ZMaÂź[IKY]QZMLJa0IZLaQV 1999, Â Greyâ€™s Â manufacturers Â in Â Asia, Â and Â markets Â products Â at Â lower Â pricepoint), Â The Â company Â hired Â Jim Â Murphy, Â a Â Depression Â and Â other Â economic Â crises. Â Â now Â allow Â the Â company Â to Â span Â the Â [MI[WVMLĂ†aQVL][\ZaQV[QLMZ5]ZXPa It Â even Â had Â its Â shop Â bombed Â in Â World Â consumer Â price Â range Â gamut Â far Â more Â NW]VLMLJW\P:MLQVO\WV<IKSTM+WIVL War Â II. Â Â Through Â it Â all Â the Â art Â and Â cul- effectively Â than Â ever Â before. Â Â Call Â it Â the Â ÂšaQVIVLaIVOÂşWN \PMVM_Ă†aUIZSM\ Albright Â Tackle Â Co.) Â to Â take Â the Â reins Â as Â ture Â of Â angling Â has Â a Â way Â of Â transcendpresident Â of Â Hardy Â North Â America. Â Â The Â ing Â even Â the Â most Â trying Â circumstances, Â paradigmâ€”high Â end Â product Â that Â underscores Â what Â Murphy Â called Â Hardyâ€™s Â company Â broke Â off Â a Â seven-year-old Â disand Â Hardy Â has Â played Â a Â prominent Â â€œcomfort Â brandâ€? Â positioning Â on Â the Â tribution Â agreement Â with Â Cortland, Â and Â role Â in Â making Â that Â happen. one Â end, Â and Â Asian Â manufactured Â gear Â spent Â more Â than Â $1,000,000 Â to Â create Â a Â _PQKP5]ZXPaKMZ\IQVTaPMTXMLXQWVMMZ Thatâ€™s Â n ot Â t o Â s ay Â t he Â c ompany Â i s Â state-of-the-art Â 14,000-plus-square-foot Â QV\W\PM=;Ă†aUIZSM\Ă…TTQVOIVW\PMZ counting Â o n Â t radition, Â h owever Â headquarters Â and Â distribution Â facilniche Â entirely. to Â guide Â its Â future. Â Â If Â anything, Â Q\a_PQKPKIZZQM[W^MZLQNNMZMV\ says Â Murphy, Â the Â margin Â for Â error Â products Â in Â the Â Hardy Â and Â Greyâ€™s Â lines) Â To Â wit: Â Hardy Â reels Â still Â carry Â the Â day Â in Â for Â anyone Â looking Â to Â weather Â the Â QV4IVKI[\MZ8MVV[aT^IVQI1\IUXML Â many Â regards, Â and Â among Â many Â U.S. Â current Â marketâ€”manufacturer Â or Â up Â marketing Â efforts, Â as Â well Â as Â new Â Â retailers Â carrying Â Hardy. Â Â Look Â for Â a Â new Â ZM\IQTMZÂ¸Q[VW_QVĂ…VQ\M[QUITTa[UITT ;\/MWZOMZMMTQVQ\QITTaQV\ZWL]KMLQV\PM product Â development. ![\PM;\/MWZOMZMĂ†MK\[\PM\ZILQMurphy Â explains Â that Â the Â current Â And Â then, Â like Â every Â other Â company Â \QWVWN \PM*W]OTMIVL\PM8MZNMK\7V market Â is Â shaped Â by Â three Â critical Â QV\PMĂ†aĂ…[PQVOUIZSM\Q\KIUMNIKM the Â Greyâ€™s Â side, Â models Â like Â the Â Streamtrends: Â Â â€œOn Â the Â low Â end, Â guys Â are Â to Â face Â with Â the Â realities Â of Â a Â severe Â Ă†M` _Q\P_IZZIV\aIZMLM[QOVMLJa buying Â inexpensive Â gear, Â and Â thatâ€™s Â global Â recession. 0W_IZL+ZW[[\WV_PW_WV\PMKI[\QVO whatâ€™s Â ringing Â the Â cash Â registers Â more Â KWUXM\Q\QWVI\\PM ..:[PW_ A Â worst Â case Â scenario? than Â anything Â now. Â Â There Â used Â to Â be Â an Â â€˜aspirationalâ€™ Â market Â in Â the Â middle Â On Â both Â ends, Â Hardy Â North Â America Â Well, Â not Â good Â news, Â to Â be Â sure. Â Â Like Â ZIVOM_PMZMKWVUMZ[_W]TLW^MZ is Â working Â to Â expand Â its Â retailer Â footmany Â other Â industry Â manufacturers, Â reach Â s omewhat Â o n Â p roduct Â p urchases, Â XZQV\#5]ZXPaVW\ML\PI\\PMKWUXIVa Hardy Â & Â Greyâ€™s Â is Â feeling Â the Â pinch Â and Â and Â t hat Â i s Â 1 00 Â p ercent Â g one Â n ow. Â Â A nd Â has Â long Â been, Â and Â will Â continue Â to Â be, Â has Â had Â to Â adjust. Â Â on Â the Â high Â end, Â the Â consumer Â who Â committed Â to Â a Â â€œspecialty Â shops Â sellwould Â purchase Â expensive Â tackle Â is Â now Â ing Â specialty Â products.â€? Â Â To Â learn Â more Â But Â Hardyâ€™s Â seen Â worse Â and Â persevered Â extremely Â careful Â and Â skeptical. Â Â The Â in Â the Â past. Â Â Founded Â in Â 1872, Â Hardy Â IJW]\\PMKWUXIVa^Q[Q\Ă†aPIZLaĂ…[PQVO has Â been Â through Â the Â likes Â of Â the Â Great Â guy Â who Â has Â lost Â 30-60 Â percent Â of Â his Â com/en-us. at 34
1911 ST GEORGE
1913 ST GEORGE
First flyreel with adjustable check run on ball bearings.
First large arbour flyreel.
First flyreel featuring a quick release spool.
1989 GOLD SOVEREIGN
First flyreel with tool-less left- to right-hand wind conversion.
First flyreel with adjustable locking mechanism for cassette reels.
HARDY. INNOVATION, NOT IMITATION.
Since 1872, Hardy has designed and developed some of the worldâ€™s finest fishing equipment from our headquarters in Alnwick, England. To continue this tradition today, our experienced craftsmen blend quality and innovation, wisdom and passion. Just like the very best fishermen do. Hardy North America, shipping from Lancaster Pennsylvania from October 2008. For details contact email@example.com
Reach out and touch someone. Lots of someones. More often the better.
At a time when discretionary income is as wobbly as a worm-eaten cane pole, the solution to boosting sales is as simple as grasping customers by their vest patch and giving a gentle shake. Nothing violent mind you—just enough to let them know that both of you share a passion for the greatest sport in the world and nothing as mundane as a little economic wobble should get in the way.
--From his Los Angeles Basin launch pad, Marriott is ZZW]VLMLJaXMWXTMJ]\VW\UIVaÅ[P¸I\TMI[\VW\ the type that titillate anglers who g ravitate to conven\QWVITÆa\IKSTMX]ZQ\[0Q[JM[\\ZW]\[\ZMIU[QV\PM ;QMZZI[VMIZ*Q[PWXIZMÅ^MPW]Z[I_Ia --Two thousand miles east at The Fish Hawk shop in VWZ\P)\TIV\I/IZa5MZZQUIVNWZ\PMXI[\Å^MaMIZ[ PI[JMMVÅOP\QVOIKZQXXTQVOLZW]OP\VW_IZMKM[[QWV <PMLZW]OP\ÅVITTaJZWSMZMXTIKMLJaIÆWWL<PM recession never went anywhere. 1V:WKSNWZL5QKPUQTM[VWZ\PWN /ZIVL:IXQL[ there’s never been a question about the true nature of the enemy. “When Delphi, the auto parts maker, closed its factory,” it cost 2,500 jobs,” said Glen Blackwood, who has owned the Great Lakes Fishing Company 20 years. “I can identify 38 of my customers, good customers, who vacated the area. Do the math on that.” Three widely separated shops with problems that appear as disconnected as the locations. The remarkable part is the similarity in the solutions. From aggressive e-mail campaigns to direct snail mail to actual face time, all three operators have taken a common approach to staying connected to those longstanding and loyal customers that form the backbone of any business. “We’ve used aggressive e-mail campaign campaigns, constant contact, “ Merriman says of a tactic that also includes regular weekend programs featuring tackle reps, demonstrations and drawings. “Anything that might get them into the shop and keep our name in front of them.” This a lso entails d irect mailings of customer appreciation c ertificates, 2 5 p ercent d iscounts o n s elect merchandise redeemable in a prescribed time frame. “We cleared it through the reps. It’s just a general KMZ\QÅKI\MJ]\Q\KZMI\M[I_WZTLWN OWWL_QTTI[XIZ\WN keeping those regular customers coming to the shop.”
AnglingTrade.com / June 2009
Marriott, too, relies heavily on e-mail.
“The days of sitting back minding the status quo are over with,” declared Bob Marriott, who has tended the store that bears his name in Fullerton, Calif., for more than 30 years.
¹?MLWITW\WN JTI[\[IVa\PQVO_MKIVÅVLI[IV excuse without seeming overbearing. We still have our customer base and they show up when we do something to get their attention.”
*WJ5IZZQW\\¼[.TaÅ[PQVO;\WZMQ[IUWVO\PZMM[PWX[ chosen for this review, each for a d ifferent a nd LQNÅK]T\ZMI[WV
His tactics include direct mail cards in cooperation with ÅZU[KPI[7Z^Q[IVL?QV[\WV continued on next page...
“We had this seminar where the attraction was to come out and cast rods. It was amazing how many people showed up and how many walked out with a little bag of gear in their hands.” Merriman faced a particular challenge in the drought that almost LZQML]X\PM+PI\\IPWWKPMM:Q^MZ \PI\UIZ^MTW][\IQT_I\MZÆW_QVO through Atlanta just a short cast from his shop. “Then this spring the rains came back again, and the river wasn’t Å[PIJTMNWZ[Q`_MMS[?MTW[\I month of the season we’ll never get back.” Against this backdrop, Merriman strives to keep connection, a balancing act not as easy as it seems.
“I had this guy who’d been a customer since he was a kid who called and told me he could buy a product on line at 30 to 40 percent off.
While Merriman’s business i s down, he is buoyed by a m etro of three million people where the economy has remained relatively stable.
“The thing was, he wanted to do business with me and he was embarrassed to make the call, but thank goodness he did. I tell people to talk to me, that I’ll work with them.”
Not so Blackwood, who w atches an almost daily out-migration, many who formed a key p art o f his customer base. To c ombat this, h e takes a n u p-close-andpersonal tack.
The Merriman’s challenge is deciding how much that break will be.
“I think it’s all about going b ack to an old school approach o f f ace time and personal touches a nd what I hate to call telemarketing, but I guess that’s what it is.
“It’s hard to put a percentage on it. I’m not going to go the on-line route of discounting everything. I’d feel terrible if I did that. That’s not what made me a shop in 1974 and I’m not going to do it now.”
FAR, FAR AWAY.
“We keep up with customers we know have been in the B ahamas. We tell them we’ll take t heir reel apart in get things back i n g ood shape. We call folks to remind them we’ll get their gear ready for steelhead season.” Down South, Merriman h as embarked o n a p ersonal belttightening in addition to h is own litany of personal touches. “I’m buying on a 30-day turn instead of 90 or 120. I’m n ot nearly as lax with inventory a s I used to be when I was taking i n more dollars and had plenty o f money.” Drought and f lood aside, Merriman is starting to s ee s ome break in the weather. ¹8MWXTMIZM[\IZ\QVO\WNMMTJM\\MZ about things. I hear them s ay, ‘Hell, I can’t make any m oney, I ’m going fishing’.”
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