International Fly Tackle Dealers (IFTD) Fly Fishing Show has limited attendance, again
After the recent fly fishing show in Utah the organizers have concluded that they need a different type of show. They concluded that fly tackle dealers do not what to meet in a trade show format. They are looking at some alternative formats for future shows. It will not matter what format they choose, because it is the people who are the problem.
For years FlyMasters turned away parents and kids who wanted to go fishing with tackle other than fly tackle. That was arrogant and a poor business plan. All of us caught our first fish with a worm and bait hook. We continued to fish and in one way or another we started using a fly rod. It is easier to get a conventional angler to pick up a fly rod than it is to teach fly fishing to someone with no angling experience. Our store is full of interesting products and having parents and kids come in to look around fills them with a sense of wonder, this is a very important experience. If those people are greeted by a Yuppie Prick(YP) then there return to our store or another is unlikely.
The YP experience is quite common and I get the same treatment when I walk into a fly shop with a Shimano or Zman hat. In a variety of ways some fly anglers, guides, industry reps have the attitude that their form of angling is more mature, stylish, better for the environment, etc. The YP attitude is that we are better and you are not. All angling methods can injure fish in some way depending on who is holding the rod. And if you are rude to nonfly anglers, how can you every engage them about fishing methods.
In July ICAST(International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) will be held in Orlando. ICAST is the world's largest trade fishing show. It has been the largest trade show since its inception. IFTD was a part of this show for a couple of years but decided to venture out on its own and see if it could attract an audience big enough to make it worth holding every year. I think the answer is no it cannot hold a trade show on its own. And I don't think it can survive with ICAST with the YP attitude.
People want to enjoy the adventure of angling and the last thing they want is someone telling them that it must be done in a specific fashion. There is too much intrusion into the privacy of peoples lives, especiallly after two years of covid restrictions. Fly industry will continue to do the same thing and expect different results.
We are in the fishing business. All of our customers get an energetic warm welcome when they come through our doors. It is a lot of fun to operate in this manner. FlyMasters of Indianapolis, providing professtional instruction, service, and a full range of quality equipment for all anglers. Come by and see us soon