Non-political "Be nice to fly shops and fly fishing companies right now" thread

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Hey all. What's awesome is everyone seems to be doing a LOT more fishing than usual this summer. What's less awesome is some of the direct and indirect ways this is affecting folks in the fly fishing industry. After a rough morning here, I figured I'd vent here a bit.

A little background: Since around mid May, demand for fly fishing gear, especially in trout sizes, went parabolic. Just unprecedented in every way. I've been in this industry for over a decade and have never seen anything like this. Good for business, absolutely. (most) Fly shops and fly fishing companies are getting by and making up for lost time after being closed. Unfortunately, many companies canceled orders for supplies back in Feb/Mar anticipating a massive slowdown. So now we're in a situation where demand is way up, and supply is way down.

I talk to dozens of folks per day on the phone and even more through email (and thank you for those of you who use email. you are super duper appreciated as phones are absolutely crazy right now... and in my case, I'm oftentimes the only one in the office since others are having to cover in shipping/warranty) and lots of folks at fly shops and other companies are running on fumes.

I spent my first hour or so today (along with my colleague who was also available to answer phones) taking call after call from people who are unhappy with the speed of service, inability to get the thing they want/need, or other such grievances. After three months straight of dealing with people who are frustrated, sometimes justified and sometimes not, a lot of folks are getting pretty burnt out. We (the collective we in this industry) are just not prepared to take on this level of customer service. We're all doing the best we can, but we're getting to where that isn't good enough, and the mental health of many is starting to take a hit. I've literally, today even, witness people breaking out in tears from frustration trying to get a handle on their workload and making a customer satisfied.

I know there's going to be responses of "suck it up your job is easy," and other such things. Lay em on me as I've heard it all a hundred times since May. But I wanted to just send the message to be nice to your local fly shop folks. And if you have a warranty with anyone in the industry, be extra kind to those folks as they have been absolutely buried, backlogged, overwhelmed, and taking a fair amount of verbal abuse on a daily basis. I've had to take on some warranty customer service lately (this is usually the time of year I'm sitting here with headphones on designing the next year's catalog.. which now looks like i won't be starting for at least a few months now), and I can tell you, it has really taken a toll on my mental health (I have diagnosed anxiety issues and other things. so sleep has been difficult on some days.. but this isn't about me)

This isn't some kind of emergency or super serious issue like other things we're seeing out there. but you have the power to make someone's day a little better in your dealings, and I'm here to encourage you to do so.

(this isn't about my company of employment in particular or anyone else. just a collective thought from three months of stress being vented between industry folks)

You're all very much appreciated and we're happy as hell for those of you who are fishing your damn asses off!
 
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Shad

Active Member
Funny... I haven't seen any more people out fishing than usual. Perhaps this is a bunch of married folks looking for any excuse to get out of the house, and the fishing gear's a ploy to fool "the spouse?"

Then again, we have seen a fair number of folks putting up "fishing buddy" posts lately... Glad they're not fishing where I'm fishing (not yet, anyway), but the sport and industry could sure use a shot in the arm, so I'm glad more people at least threatening to start fishing....

Hang in there, @Evan Burck . The OGs around here appreciate our fly shops and the proprietors thereof. I'll have to remember to be extra nice to Bjorn next time I drop in. Hope he has some inventory left:eek:....
 

majpreal

WFF Supporter
Thanks for posting this important reminder Evan. My general observation is that this virus is simultaneously bringing out the best in some people and the worst in others. Its impacts are just as polarizing as our current political landscape (not shifting this politics; just using as an example). But most dealings still boil down to a person to person interaction and it's a good reminder that almost everyone is doing their best to adjust. In a lot of instances that means some added inconvenience, whether that be hold times, lines to wait in, longer lead times for service, limited product availability or whatever else. It's actually not that hard to be nice to others and it's good to remember how you never know what someone else is going through.

Thanks for showing up to work and trying to take care of your customers.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Hey all. What's awesome is everyone seems to be doing a LOT more fishing than usual this summer. What's less awesome is some of the direct and indirect ways this is affecting folks in the fly fishing industry. After a rough morning here, I figured I'd vent here a bit.

A little background: Since around mid May, demand for fly fishing gear, especially in trout sizes, went parabolic. Just unprecedented in every way. I've been in this industry for over a decade and have never seen anything like this. Good for business, absolutely. (most) Fly shops and fly fishing companies are getting by and making up for lost time after being closed. Unfortunately, many companies canceled orders for supplies back in Feb/Mar anticipating a massive slowdown. So now we're in a situation where demand is way up, and supply is way down.

I talk to dozens of folks per day on the phone and even more through email (and thank you for those of you who use email. you are super duper appreciated as phones are absolutely crazy right now... and in my case, I'm oftentimes the only one in the office since others are having to cover in shipping/warranty) and lots of folks at fly shops and other companies are running on fumes.

I spent my first hour or so today (along with my colleague who was also available to answer phones) taking call after call from people who are unhappy with the speed of service, inability to get the thing they want/need, or other such grievances. After three months straight of dealing with people who are frustrated, sometimes justified and sometimes not, a lot of folks are getting pretty burnt out. We (the collective we in this industry) are just not prepared to take on this level of customer service. We're all doing the best we can, but we're getting to where that isn't good enough, and the mental health of many is starting to take a hit. I've literally, today even, witness people breaking out in tears from frustration trying to get a handle on their workload and making a customer satisfied.

I know there's going to be responses of "suck it up your job is easy," and other such things. Lay em on me as I've heard it all a hundred times since May. But I wanted to just send the message to be nice to your local fly shop folks. And if you have a warranty with anyone in the industry, be extra kind to those folks as they have been absolutely buried, backlogged, overwhelmed, and taking a fair amount of verbal abuse on a daily basis. I've had to take on some warranty customer service lately (this is usually the time of year I'm sitting here with headphones on designing the next year's catalog.. which now looks like i won't be starting for at least a few months now), and I can tell you, it has really taken a toll on my mental health (I have diagnosed anxiety issues and other things. so sleep has been difficult on some days.. but this isn't about me)

This isn't some kind of emergency or super serious issue like other things we're seeing out there. but you have the power to make someone's day a little better in your dealings, and I'm here to encourage you to do so.

(this isn't about my company of employment in particular or anyone else. just a collective thought from three months of stress being vented between industry folks)

You're all very much appreciated and we're happy as hell for those of you who are fishing your damn asses off!


This is absolutely true and probably the post i have agreed with most in the history of WFF. I'd only add it's not isolated to the fishing industry. I work at a box store hardware store. Stocks are low on just about everything and demand is far surpassing supply and production. I notice it particularly in appliances. Sorry your fridge went out, but the one you like won't be available till October and there is nothing I can do about it.

Evan is dead on right, you might not get that new rod you were counting on for your trip to Belize that you spend 8 grand booking. That's just the way it is and you have no right taking your frustrations out on retail types they are working their asses off. The chill pill is yours this time..

Hang in there Evan..
 

Dr. Magill

Active Member
You might go to Belize and not catch anything too!!
I was shopping for a boat. Try finding a jon boat around here. At Cabelas the fly stuff is way picked over.
Just bought some hooks from Spawn
Business can be very risky .
Hats off to the survivors.
I haven’t seen that many people out either
Locally anyway
Hang tough
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
This is absolutely true and probably the post i have agreed with most in the history of WFF. I'd only add it's not isolated to the fishing industry. I work at a box store hardware store. Stocks are low on just about everything and demand is far surpassing supply and production. I notice it particularly in appliances. Sorry your fridge went out, but the one you like won't be available till October and there is nothing I can do about it.

Evan is dead on right, you might not get that new rod you were counting on for your trip to Belize that you spend 8 grand booking. That's just the way it is and you have no right taking your frustrations out on retail types they are working their asses off. The chill pill is yours this time..

Hang in there Evan..
The folks who can't get their rod they absolutely want the next day are definitely an issue for fly shops. The issue for the rod and other product companies are the warranties right now. Lots of people fishing, lots of NEW people fishing, and lots of them are breaking their rods. Not to be calling anyone out because this could be any one of a few dozen people per day; but I'm sorry you stepped on your rod, and I'm sorry that we don't have the replacement you need for two more months. Your local fly shop would love to have your business, but if you think that should be covered under warranty, it's going to be a pretty long wait. There's nothing anybody can do about that right now.
 

Bruce Baker

Active Member
Funny... I haven't seen any more people out fishing than usual. Perhaps this is a bunch of married folks looking for any excuse to get out of the house, and the fishing gear's a ploy to fool "the spouse?"

Then again, we have seen a fair number of folks putting up "fishing buddy" posts lately... Glad they're not fishing where I'm fishing (not yet, anyway), but the sport and industry could sure use a shot in the arm, so I'm glad more people at least threatening to start fishing....

Hang in there, @Evan Burck . The OGs around here appreciate our fly shops and the proprietors thereof. I'll have to remember to be extra nice to Bjorn next time I drop in. Hope he has some inventory left:eek:....
I was in Bjorn's shop last Friday. His stock seemed in good shape.
 
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Buzzy

Active Member
Thanks for the reminder @Evan Burck . Timely. I was looking to get a new 5100 or 6100 (Echo Ion XL), Red's is out of stock on both of them. Fortunately I looked on line before the long drive. ;-)

Hang in there!

Pat
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Thanks for the reminder @Evan Burck . Timely. I was looking to get a new 5100 or 6100 (Echo Ion XL), Red's is out of stock on both of them. Fortunately I looked on line before the long drive. ;-)

Hang in there!

Pat
I personally got up from my desk to go unload a few pallets from a UPS freight truck today with those very rods on there. Sooooooo, your search should not end quite yet.
 

bpatton

Kicked
I agree with you Evan.
I don’t know which business you’re with, so this isn’t necessarily directed at you, but I would add that I have been made false promises and been lied to by people on the industry, guiding and retail.
So I would just add that as long as people are honest about timelines and expectations, on both sides of the transaction, there’s no reason for anyone to get upset.
 

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
I agree with you Evan.
I don’t know which business you’re with, so this isn’t necessarily directed at you, but I would add that I have been made false promises and been lied to by people on the industry, guiding and retail.
So I would just add that as long as people are honest about timelines and expectations, on both sides of the transaction, there’s no reason for anyone to get upset.
I'm always blunt to a fault, and a lot of folks don't like that. I'm not afraid to tell someone something they don't want to hear, and I usually take the heat for it. And if you called my company, chances are very high it's me someone would talk to these days.

One thing to keep in mind, too, about timelines and all that: they're ALWAYS estimates. If someone asks me when a product will be back, I'll say "the factory says early next month... but there's so many variables that it could be a month or two after that. especially right now, customs can hold containers for weeks on end." - in my experience, if I tell this to someone, be it a shop employee or someone waiting on a warranty replacement, they hear the "early next month" part and hold us to that. So I"m getting to where I won't give any kind of estimate, because I'm held to whatever the soonest possible date could be in a best case scenario.

So I can empathize with both sides, but it is very tough to give timelines, especially right now.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
My wife ordered a freezer in March. Thought it would be good because of covid so we could go to the store less. Also, I want to keep more fish, buy more when sales happen, etc..

We ordered in March. Initial delivery said 4/9. I got a text about a week after we ordered saying my delivery had been pushed to 6/25, but online it continued to say 4/9. I gave Whirlpool a call just to verify the date so I could make sure I was home and the service person I talked to was so relieved I was just calling to verify the date and not rip her a new one she would not let me off the phone! I asked her the date, she feebly said 6/25, I said ok, thanks just verifying and she immediately sprung to life and said, oh thank god you are not angry. I don’t think I could take another angry caller. Apparently, Whirlpool had send out another text that day pushing back delivery dates and everyone went ape sh*t. I told her no worries, I understand things are wacky right now and she almost cried just from me being pleasant. I really felt for her.

Not normal times people. Have a little patience. I feel for service and retail folks these days, people can truly be pricks sometimes.
 

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