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Orvis Seeks to Bring 10,000 People Into The Fly-Fishing Fold This Year

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March 30, 2011

Orvis Seeks to Bring 10,000 People Into The Fly-Fishing Fold This Year

By Kirk Deeter

The person who says, "I don't want more people to fly fish because they'll only take up space in the river" strikes me the same way as the person who shows up early for church, then insists on sitting at the end of the pew, making everyone else squeeze by.

To all of these folks, I say, "Slide your sanctimonious keisters over, and make room for others!"

If ever you or someone you know wanted to learn to fly fish but didn't know where to start... or didn't want to cough up money for lessons... well, the Orvis Company is rendering that excuse obsolete. Last year, Orvis launched it's popular "Fly Fishing 101" program to great effect. Over 5,000 students took a free fly fishing class at an Orvis retail store or dealer shop. I'm on record saying I think that's the best thing to happen to this sport in years.

Based on the success of last year’s program, Orvis is expanding its efforts in 2011. Never before has there been such an organized effort at so many locations across the U.S. to bring new entrants to the sport of fly fishing. The event this year will kick off in May 2011. The company's goal is to put over 10,000 students through classes in Orvis retail stores and dealers.

I say bully for them. And I encourage all of you "never-evers" (the vast majority of people who took Fly Fishing 101 last year had never fly fished) to consider yourself cordially invited. I hope some of you serious anglers will create your own fishing buddy by sending a friend to class.

You can check out details and course dates/availability by clicking here. 

And here are some more details from the Orvis press release:

New for 2011:

They have expanded the number of dates for 2011 and moved the classes to run weekends May-July.

Orvis and Trout Unlimited are still joining forces in 2011 as event partners for 101 events. Additionally, the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) is coming on board as a partner to offer additional instructor volunteers for this year’s events.

They have added Fly Fishing 201 classes for 2011, for people who have already attended a Fly Fishing 101 class (or have some casting experience). These classes are held on the water and involve more fishing time and more one-to-one instruction under actual fishing conditions. A minimal charge may apply for some of these courses.

Event Dates:

- Fly Fishing 101
May 21, May 22, May 28, May 29, June 11, June 12, June 18, June 19, July 2, July 3, July 9, July 10.

- Fly Fishing 201
June 4, June 5, June 25, June 26, July 16, July 17.

The 101 course will consist of two parts – 1 hour of casting instruction and 1 hour of rigging. Most participants came with little to no knowledge of fly fishing so keeping the focus on building a rod outfit was the best place to start.

201 class itineraries will vary by location. However, the main thrust of the 201 course is getting those interested in taking the next step in fly fishing on the water at a local location where they have a great chance at catching their first fish. Private water, local bass/bluegill ponds, a recently stocked river or creek will be used.

Special Offers

Once instruction is completed, each group attendee will receive a $25 coupon off any purchase of $50 or more good toward Orvis gear on that day only. Additionally, each group attendee will receive a certificate for a FREE Trout Unlimited membership and a free membership to the Federation of Fly Fishers– a $70 value. The total free package value including the instruction is valued at over $100.

Comments (14)

Top Rated
All Comments
from sobemanhoss wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

This is just awesome. I wish I knew about this back when i was starting out 2 yrs ago. I learned from DVD and youtube.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Just what I expected from Orvis. They take the initiative to grow the industry rather than sit back and let it control them. The rest of the industry take note. This is how you do it.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Orvis is doing all the right things now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

What he said /\
/ \
!!
!!
!!

You can bet this will influence some purchase decisions. Mine in particular.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dougfish wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Go Orvis! I fish Orvis, Cabela, Allen, old Shakespeare and more. When I set up a friend for fly fishing, it starts with Orvis. I respect Orvis for opinion, advice, research and great products: rods, reels, lines, packs, flies, et al. I don't buy into their clothes and lifestyle items, but their fishing heritage has me hooked. It helps that I have a Orvis store in town that is great!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbbooks wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wish something like that was close to me. Oh well, I'm taking lessons at Bass Pro soon. Hope to get back into a fishing method that was a favorite 20 yrs. ago.
Btw, I sit on the end of the pew because I leave a few minutes early to retrive cars for the older folks in our church. I do get up and let people in tho.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

the attrition will weed out the 'curious', but the initial sales to Orvis will increase. I believe in getting more people involved in fly fishing. On the other side... in the densely populated, water limited area where I live it's going to be crowed on those waters. But more members for FFF, TU and business for all the local shops are all good.
It's about time someone took to organizing the masses into a peaceful sport.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

here's an idea. how about orvis quit charging so much for their gear, thinking they are marketing the filthy rich? maybe more would take up the sport. and just as i thought, at the end of your post, orvis offers all these "specials" on their gear. seriously? have you seen their prices?! beginners can't afford orvis. bring on the negatives, but you know that they are way over priced. and tomorrow, on the first day of trout season in new york, i will be fishing with my shakespeare rig that cost hundreds less than orvis. and i will be happy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Demalderis wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Kudos to Orvis for taking on such a large endeavor! This is something that's been needed for a long time. Beginner fly fishing outfits for under $200 and now free lessons. I guess that's just something you'd expect from a company that donates 5% of their pre tax profits every year to conservation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abbner wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

That is awesome that they are taking the lead and educating the masses in such a way. Sure there is a marketing strategy there, why shouldn't there be. To get people out in the river, supporting and taking part in our passion is only going to further educate those that never understood it.

I will still prefer my St.Croix and Nautilus but my hats off to them!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from joaxe wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

...and I'm one of them! :-)

I've been FF-ing for several years now but STILL signed up for Fly fishing 101 at a newly-opened Orvis location near me. I figured I could also learn something new! Also, just got into fly tying and one of the employees at the store brought in some hare's mask and muskrat fur for me (the store didn't have any in stock and I need some guard hairs for a Hare's Ear nymph pattern). Thanks again, Matt!

..not to mention, my TU membership expired so this course has numerous benefits for me!

Joe

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joaxe wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Oh...and to jamessti...

I hear ya on the pricing. But, to be honest (now, I'm still "new" at this FF thing...), my Orvis Clearwater II rod and BBS III reel are LIGHT YEARS better than the Pflueger setup I bought at Dick's Sporting Goods. In my mind (and for my technique), the Orvis setup was worth the extra $200.

Joe

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from indiekid wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

I say good for Orvis, they are helping people get interested in a wonderful activity. Orvis might just be trying to get 10,000 new customers but who cares, as long as people are getting introduced into the sport I am happy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Exactly my point about all the fly anglers that can only get a queezy, out of the body experience if they don't see another angler any closer to them than 400 yds!! The sport can't exist on that notion. Besides casting, and presentation skills, we need to develop some social skills!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from buckhunter wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Just what I expected from Orvis. They take the initiative to grow the industry rather than sit back and let it control them. The rest of the industry take note. This is how you do it.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from dougfish wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Go Orvis! I fish Orvis, Cabela, Allen, old Shakespeare and more. When I set up a friend for fly fishing, it starts with Orvis. I respect Orvis for opinion, advice, research and great products: rods, reels, lines, packs, flies, et al. I don't buy into their clothes and lifestyle items, but their fishing heritage has me hooked. It helps that I have a Orvis store in town that is great!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Demalderis wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Kudos to Orvis for taking on such a large endeavor! This is something that's been needed for a long time. Beginner fly fishing outfits for under $200 and now free lessons. I guess that's just something you'd expect from a company that donates 5% of their pre tax profits every year to conservation.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from sobemanhoss wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

This is just awesome. I wish I knew about this back when i was starting out 2 yrs ago. I learned from DVD and youtube.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbbooks wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

I wish something like that was close to me. Oh well, I'm taking lessons at Bass Pro soon. Hope to get back into a fishing method that was a favorite 20 yrs. ago.
Btw, I sit on the end of the pew because I leave a few minutes early to retrive cars for the older folks in our church. I do get up and let people in tho.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

here's an idea. how about orvis quit charging so much for their gear, thinking they are marketing the filthy rich? maybe more would take up the sport. and just as i thought, at the end of your post, orvis offers all these "specials" on their gear. seriously? have you seen their prices?! beginners can't afford orvis. bring on the negatives, but you know that they are way over priced. and tomorrow, on the first day of trout season in new york, i will be fishing with my shakespeare rig that cost hundreds less than orvis. and i will be happy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from abbner wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

That is awesome that they are taking the lead and educating the masses in such a way. Sure there is a marketing strategy there, why shouldn't there be. To get people out in the river, supporting and taking part in our passion is only going to further educate those that never understood it.

I will still prefer my St.Croix and Nautilus but my hats off to them!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from joaxe wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

Oh...and to jamessti...

I hear ya on the pricing. But, to be honest (now, I'm still "new" at this FF thing...), my Orvis Clearwater II rod and BBS III reel are LIGHT YEARS better than the Pflueger setup I bought at Dick's Sporting Goods. In my mind (and for my technique), the Orvis setup was worth the extra $200.

Joe

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

Orvis is doing all the right things now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

What he said /\
/ \
!!
!!
!!

You can bet this will influence some purchase decisions. Mine in particular.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 3 years 3 weeks ago

the attrition will weed out the 'curious', but the initial sales to Orvis will increase. I believe in getting more people involved in fly fishing. On the other side... in the densely populated, water limited area where I live it's going to be crowed on those waters. But more members for FFF, TU and business for all the local shops are all good.
It's about time someone took to organizing the masses into a peaceful sport.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from joaxe wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

...and I'm one of them! :-)

I've been FF-ing for several years now but STILL signed up for Fly fishing 101 at a newly-opened Orvis location near me. I figured I could also learn something new! Also, just got into fly tying and one of the employees at the store brought in some hare's mask and muskrat fur for me (the store didn't have any in stock and I need some guard hairs for a Hare's Ear nymph pattern). Thanks again, Matt!

..not to mention, my TU membership expired so this course has numerous benefits for me!

Joe

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from indiekid wrote 3 years 2 weeks ago

I say good for Orvis, they are helping people get interested in a wonderful activity. Orvis might just be trying to get 10,000 new customers but who cares, as long as people are getting introduced into the sport I am happy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 3 years 5 days ago

Exactly my point about all the fly anglers that can only get a queezy, out of the body experience if they don't see another angler any closer to them than 400 yds!! The sport can't exist on that notion. Besides casting, and presentation skills, we need to develop some social skills!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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