The Drake Magazine held its 7th annual Fly Fishing Video awards at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show a couple of weeks ago. The video above from "The Last Salmon Forest," which won best cinematography. It was shot and edited by Detonation Studios.
The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) recently commissioned the market research firm Southwick Associates, Inc., to do a study on retailers in the fly fishing industry. The results provide a clearer picture on the sport than we've had in a long time. Here are some tidbits you might find interesting:
- Total sales of all fly fishing products amount to just under $750 million, marking fly fishing as a niche endeavor. (For example, some brands of candy bars sell more than the whole fly fishing market combined.)
It's been quite some time since we've done a little caption contest...
You know the rules. You've got one week to give us the wittiest caption in the comments section below for the image you see here. This happens to be a guest at the Bristol Bay Lodge in Alaska that doesn't quite know what to do with his tube flies...
My favorite business stories in fly fishing are the ones that go something like this: Person genuinely loves fly fishing and realizes a need or an opportunity to make something cool, based on their experiences. Person then goes "all-in" with an investment to chase that goal. Person doesn't compromise their values, manufactures in the United States, and maintains a focus on innovation and the interests of the customer. Person's company is successful.
I'm pretty sure that's how the script is going to play out for Vedavoo, maker of slings, packs, bags and the like for anglers. Vedavoo is a small operation, but it made a strong impression a couple weeks ago at the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade show in Reno. (The name Vedavoo is an alternate spelling of “Vedauwoo”--an outdoor park with notable natural rock features in southern Wyoming; company founder Scott Hunter attended the University of Wyoming.)
Marc Montocchio and 36 North are back at it again; photographing and shooting video of some of the most elusive fish to catch on a fly. This time, Montochhio takes his insane photo skills to the Casa Blanca Lodge in the Yucatan to shoot both bonefish and permit. He even outfits his housing with a "ghillie suit" of sorts for ultimate camouflage.
Enjoy the behind-the-scenes video of him getting it done with remote cameras, and the accompanying amazing still photos of bonefish and permit.
It was an amazing week at the lodge and things couldn't have turned out better. Turns out I shot over 7,000 images and it's been taking a bit of time to edit all of them. This week I added over 50 edited images to the original slideshow. Not to worry, they're at the front of the show this time... There's salmon, sashimi, boats, beavers (the airplane) and guides goofing off. Not to mention a few Alaskan landscapes.
I've been paying a lot of attention lately to colors on flies and using fluorescent "hot spots"; focusing more on how fish see flies underwater than how they look in my hands above the surface. We know, for example that certain colors dissipate in deeper water due to the decrease in light penetration. The deeper you go, the grayer it gets.
We saw a number of interesting new products for the fly fishing market at the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade expo in Reno last week. On a 1-10 “innovation” scale, given the fact that this was a smaller show compared to years past, I’m going to rate the new collective product offering a 7. We’ll get into a number of specific product reviews in the coming days and weeks, but I wanted to kick things off with the NRS Clearwater Drifter.
It’s a drift boat. No, it’s an inflatable raft. Actually, it’s both—an inflatable watercraft that has a frame and is shaped like a dory. This boat generated a lot of buzz at IFTD, and actually won a “Best of Show” award in the watercraft category.
I've always had a fascination with creating a faux fish that's bigger than most in the river, and anchoring it to the bottom somehow. It would be created to swim naturally, be neutrally buoyant, and move gently in the current; slowly swimming back in forth in a run.
The purpose? To screw with other anglers' heads of course. It'd be like a big rainbow trout decoy… I've even taken this thought farther and sketched out a "school" of said fish as an art piece on a private piece of water. A "sculpture" of sorts.
Turns out I've been sitting on this idea a wee bit too long as Brian Haimes and Sal Denaro have beat me to the punch. Apparently, the two created a couple of animatronic fish for movies.
I'm en route to Reno, for the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade show which kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday. This is the place where the fly fishing industry--manufacturers and dealers--get together to discuss the latest trends, pressing issues, and, of course, show off the new products that will be launched in 2013.
The interesting thing is that many companies have already spilled the beans on their new products. Orvis is launching a "Helios 2" fly rod that is really, really good. (I know, because I've been fishing a prototype for the past month; an in-depth review is coming soon). Far Bank (Sage) is launching some new rods (actually the company already launched them at the European trade show in June) named Circa (a slow action), Response and Approach. But the real news concerning Sage might be that they're introducing the ONE Elite, which is tricked out with fine titanium guides and a reel seat for a record-breaking retail price of $1,295. (That's not a typo).