How's your Fly Shop doing?

NomDeTrout

Fly Guy Eat Pie
#31
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Exactly, its the people who haven't made up their minds that are difficult to market to.

Leland, believe it or not, I asked those same words to you a few months ago :)
Bought my first flybox along with a number of flies.
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#32
How's you Fly Shop doing?

The important marketing lesson to come out of this is that we shops are looking to increase the size of the market by bringing new people into the sport and not simply trading our existing customers (you guys) back and forth.
Reaching out to prospective newcomers is what effective marketing is all about and demonstrates a positive, proactive management approach. However, it doesn't change the reality that many fly shops have already closed and a good many of those that remain open appear to be at risk of closing soon, if the state of their current inventory is any indication.

Orvis is in the enviable position of being well capitalized, well managed and produces many of its own products, meaning it is able to adjust pricing on an as-needed basis instead of only when its suppliers allow it. Natural selection suggests Orvis will continue to be a major player in our sport long after the current economic conditions have passed.

I'm not so sure that some of Orvis' competitors will be able to avoid extinction, even those who seemed healthy and robust just a year or two ago.

K
 
#33
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Well, I am sure nobody is interested in an old man's opinion, but I am going to throw mine in anyway.

I started flyfishing when you could get a rod, reel and line for less than fifty dollars.
Granted, to a lot of folks, fifty dollars was a lot of money for a hobby then. They were not top of the line or big name items but they got you on the water and they caught fish. Isn't this what it is all about?

About 1970, Visa Card came out with a national advertising slot of a guy with a high end bamboo rod, top of the line reel and fancy colored fly line attached to a bright fly. They sold it as not being able to buy this outfit with anything but a Visa card.

After that commercial, I noticed that I was seeing a lot of fellows show up on the river with very expensive gear. Advertising will do that and that is good. But in this day of $500.00+ reel, and rods that run more, hundred dollar fly lines and three hundred dollar waders, something has to give.

They don't seem to be making any more fishing holes, at least not here in Washington.
All these things add up to tough times in the fly shops. I wish I had the answer, but alas I do not.
 

miyawaki

Active Member
#34
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Exactly, its the people who haven't made up their minds that are difficult to market to.

Leland, believe it or not, I asked those same words to you a few months ago :)
Bought my first flybox along with a number of flies.

That's precisely why the fly fishing fair in Monroe works.

Leland.
 
#35
How's you Fly Shop doing?

People who walk into a flyshop and are new have already made the decision to fly fish. The first words out of their mouth is, "I want to get into flyfishing, what do I need?"

Leland.
First time I walked into an orvis shop my thought was "I want to get back into flyfishing, holy shit I need a better paying job!" :rofl: Glad I did. It sort of motivated me to get off my ass and start working harder.

Like any business, the weak shops who do not innovate will go under. I thought Orvis' attention to the wives and sisters of fishermen gap was freaking brilliant. Mom and Pop shops better get really good at finding ways to get inexpensive high quality gear to suppliment the killer high end stuff they sell. There are a couple shops who do this well that I've been to. It's definatly not the majority. Streching the marketing dollar is key as well.
 
#36
How's you Fly Shop doing?

That's not entirely true. Last June 20, all of the Puget Sound fly shops put on the Jimmy Green Fly Fishing Fair and Casting Expo. It was aimed at bringing new people into the sport. Ask any of the shops or people who were there and they will tell you that the little park in Monroe was packed with newbies. At one time, two baseball fields were filled with people of all ages taking casting lessons. We all came away feeling very optimistic about the growth of the sport.

Leland.
That may well be the case regionally but not so nationally. Just look at the problems AFTA and the Denver show have had--and look at the statistics for the sport. You have newbies coming in, but you have the old-guard and wannabes moving out.


"The important marketing lesson to come out of this is that we shops are looking to increase the size of the market by bringing new people into the sport and not simply trading our existing customers (you guys) back and forth."

You're right--the key here is to get new folks into the sport, but how will that be accomplished? It would be a good idea to find what the roadblocks are that keep folks out.
 
S

stewart dee

Guest
#37
How's you Fly Shop doing?

I think my shop should employee a hot girl, sell more made in the U.S. stuff and have a scotch bar.
 

Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
#38
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Leland and others too, the Monroe show is what I'm looking forward too this year the only other time I've gone to a fly fishing show it just discouraged me. I spent nothing as it seemed there wasn't any way I could keep enjoying my sport without being much better off. My first fly rod was a montegue, that and the reel cost Dad about $10 and we fished the back country of Yosemite once or twice a year. I have the rod but gave the reel to a grand son about ten years ago so he could get started fly fishing. Seeing that some of the shops are giving free casting help and trying out outfits also should help with the new customers and some of us old timers too. Bob
 

Rick Todd

Active Member
#39
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Why are shops closing? It's because fly fishing is a zero-growth (more likely negative growth) sport and has been for at least the last three years.

After seeing all the fly fishers on the Yak, and reports of all the fishers on the Klick and Methow, plus all the guys I see on Big Twin and Chopaka, not to mention Beda, Lenice etc, I'm wondering when this negative growth will have a positive impact on the fisheries! Here in Bellingham we used to have 3 fly shops, then 2, then 1 and now none! It really sucks to not have a place to run down and get some fly tying materials, a new line etc. I wonder if another factor in the lack of business for fly shops is that the big ticket items like reels and rods can be a lifetime investment and since it is very inexpensive to have a broken rod repaired, once you have your rods, you really don't need to get more. I have 2 3wts (including an awesome Sage LL 389 which is a classic and I've had probably 15 years), a Loomis IMX 9' 4wt, an 8' 5 wt bamboo rod built by a guy in our fly club that is a gem of a rod esthetically and functionally, an RPL+ 5wt, SP 5wt, and XP 5wt, a Z-Axis 6 wt (I bought at a big discount when H&H went out of business), GLX 7 and 8 wt, Xi2 8 wt saltwater, and a Winston BL5 9wt. My latest purchase was the Z-Axis probably 4 years ago. I really have a hard time thinking of another rod I could justify buying unless I go with my buddies to Loreto and need a 10 and 12 wt. I'm sure a lot of guys are in the same boat with all the rods and reels they will ever need! Rick
 

Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
#40
How's you Fly Shop doing?

I think my shop should employee a hot girl, sell more made in the U.S. stuff and have a scotch bar.
If she doesn' know anything about flyfishing thats a very limited help. Made in the U.S.A. just would make the prices go up higher in most cases and we see enough drunks out on the rivers as it is, we don't want them driving in town too. Bob
 

Rick Todd

Active Member
#41
How's you Fly Shop doing?

I think my shop should employee a hot girl, sell more made in the U.S. stuff and have a scotch bar.
Before H&H closed they had a very hot girl (Kate) who sold fly gear like you have never seen! (The fact that she was a hell of a fisher and always remembered your name didn't hurt) She is now guided in Alaska and still doing well in the fly fishing game. Rick
 
#42
How's you Fly Shop doing?

I do a pretty good job of supporting creekside in issaquah. They treat me very well and in return they get all my business. I hope they dont have to close their doors. Keep my fingers crossed I guess. This economy sucks right now. It's pretty sad to see local shops close their doors because they cant compete with the big boys. Nothing can replace the personal relationship you get when you have been going to the same store for years. Brett if you read this keep up the good work.
 
#43
How's you Fly Shop doing?

there is very little reason to go into most fly shops anymore. I find that most of the owners do not know how to treat customers well and that they want to charge more for less service. I havent been in a local fly shop in over a year and dont see myself going anytime soon. When i get the chance I do go see the guys at PSFC but thats because i like them personally and they are good guys.
 

Flyborg

Active Member
#44
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Lifetime warranties are dumb, and yes I blame Orvis for starting it (sorry Leland). The lifetime warranty has done a lot to hurt fly shops, yet they're the first ones to insist on it, and at this point no one (manufacturer, shop or consumer) in the distribution chain is willing to settle for less.

As Kent pointed out, the price fixing in the industry takes away one of the key tools of inventory management. Once again, fly shop owners are insistent that the MSRP is there to help them, and yet the box stores can ignore it without repercussions, basically invalidating the entire point of having it. There is no "protection" in price fixing, and in the end it's counterproductive to both the shop and the consumer.

This also underscores one of the primary issues in the industry; people don't open fly shops to make money. They do it because they like fly fishing, and they'd like to make a living from it. There's a key difference. As such, Fly Shop owners aren't always the most business minded of individuals. In the long run, the shops that succeed are the ones who are able to overcome this. You'd be amazed how many shop owners have never even heard of the concept of "inventory turns".

The "image" that fly fishing is expensive doesn't help, and any gear guy who's really into fishing spends as much if not more on general tackle.

What the Seattle area shops are doing is exactly what needs to happen to make the industry better--they're banding together to increase their customer base. From there, they should be banding together to let the manufacturers know what they want in order to allow them to better do business. Currently there's no central voice for shops. AFFTA is a mish-mash of the general distribution chain, and quite frankly, the shops get little representation.
 
#45
How's you Fly Shop doing?

Were in a recession, its inevitable. People just don't have the money to spend at fly shops. I really don't think the issue is buying stuff from fly shops as opposed to online or at cabelas, its just that we don't have the money to buy stuff from anywhere. We'll eventually be on the upside though, stock markets are showing improvement (not today though, there wayy down), the unemployment rate is being stubborn but it is bound to go down eventually. Then the carrying capacity will go up. It is sad to see fly shops go out of business, but soon there will opportunities to open up fly shops again. You never know, maybe your thinking about how you wish your local fly shop didn't go out of business, but maybe this is gonna be your chance to own your own fly shop like you always have kinda wanted
 

Latest posts