Ever since I started fly fishing (and consuming the media that surrounds it), a common statement repeated over and over is how fly fishing is a dying sport. The equipment is prohibitively expensive, fly shops are closing left and right, manufacturers are selling direct, and the primary customer base has a demographic skewing toward older rather than younger. Pretty much doom & gloom.
Working my day to day in a different segment of sporting goods, I was pleasantly surprised to see the fly fishing category called out in a positive light in the most recent issue of a widely distributed trade magazine, Sporting Goods Business Weekly. Typically when it appears in my inbox there are basketball shoes, bicycles, fitness equipment, or athletic apparel on the cover, needless to say I stopped in my tracks when I saw Yvon Chouinard (tenkara rod in hand) as the cover boy!
The feature article draws attention the recent push toward younger anglers by brands such as Orvis and Howler Brothers, the steadily growing women’s demographic, and even a whole section citing Tenkara USA & Patagonia’s influence on attracting new anglers to the sport through simpler fly fishing gear and techniques.
While I’m not sure if this was just a marketing piece put together to stimulate wholesale fly fishing purchases by retailers (it probably was), it was still a refreshing read to see something positive in print about the fly fishing industry, (including tenkara), for a change.
Check it out either via online embed (below) or downloadable PDF beginning on page 18.