angling trade magazine sept 2009

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The Guide Issue



    InSIde The GUIde ISSUe 2009 Fly Fishing Retailer Show Guide/ The Rest of Denver/ Guides as Ambassadors/ Oh Canada!/ Leesons Latest/ TU Wades In


    the buzz on the flyfishing biz

    Show Guide pg 25

  • Angling Trade


  • / Septem

    ber 20093

    Departments6 editors ColumnGrow Guides, Grow Business... Want to expand the sport and recruit new, dedicated anglers? Do more than cheap gear for guides, and in turn, expect guides to do more as ambassadors for flyfishing. By Kirk Deeter

    10 CurrentsThe latest people, product and issues news from the North American fly fishing industry.

    25 Special Section: The 2009 Fly Fishing Retailer World Trade expo Show Guide

    Featuring exhibitor lists, the floor map, a complete list of events and seminars, and a letter from AFFTA president Gary Berlin... everything you need to navigate your way through FFR in Denver this year.

    52 Recommended ReadingTed Leesons latest masterpiece, Rosenbauer gets back to basics, and a new journal worth checking out.

    60 BackcastOn first impressions... A great guide can turn an interested prospect into a devoted lifetime angler; likewise, a poor guide can turn them off altogether (thankfully not in every case). By Charlie Meyers




    Managing editor




    Art director


    Copy editors

    Mabon Childs, Sarah Warner

    Contributing editors

    Tom BieBen RomansAndrew SteketeeGreg Thomas


    Gary Berlin, Jay Cassell, Geoff Mueller, Will Rice

    Photos unless noted by Tim Romano

    Angling Trade is published four times a year by Angling Trade, LLC. Author and photographic submissions should be sent electronically to Angling Trade is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and/or photo submissions. We ask that contributors send formal queries in advance of submissions. For editorial guidelines and calendar, please contact the editor via E-mail.

    Printed in the U.S.A.

    Advertising Contact: Tim RomanoTelephone: 303-495-3967 Fax: 303-495-2454

    Mail Address:PO Box 17487Boulder, CO 80308

    Street Address:3055 24th StreetBoulder, CO 80304

    Features22 You Scratch My Back and... The guide is the gatekeeper; the shop is the goods. Heres a look at how guides and fly shops can (and should) work together to find mutual income benefit, with specific examples of companies and programs that are doing things right. By Jay Cassell

    46 The Rest of Denver, ReduxBack once again by very popular demand, Angling Trades local Denver Hipnik dishes out the real skinny on the places to be and the things to see in the Mile High City during FFR 2009. By Will Rice

    54 Oh Canada! If youre looking for a market thats more than holding its own these days, look north of the border. Some of that is circumstance; some of it enlightened market development... this is no mere Loonie tale. By Geoff Mueller


    the buzz on the flyfishing biz

  • T C X S E R I E S

    s a g e f l y f i s h . c o m

    2009 All rights reserved.

    And in this cornerthe all-new, long-distance, rocket-launching,

    wind-cheating, y-by-wire, laser-guided Champion of the World.

    Hail Mary to the no-way bait ball beyond the break? Hitch up

    your pants, rear back andBOOM! Big brown with a PhD in

    Nice Try sipping midges on the far bank across two seams and

    an eddy line? BAM! Longshot permit way out past the edge of

    reason? POW! How you like me now? Fear no wind. Fire when

    guides say wait. Tighten your loops, all hands on deck, look

    alive. The water is widego long or go home. Casting magic

    from the guru of graphite. Built by Sage. Feel the love.

  • / Septem

    ber 2009


    Geoff Mueller Geoff Mueller is first-time contributor to Angling Trade, but a well-known presence in the fly fishing world; he is the managing editor of Fly Fisherman magazine. He also happens to be Canadian, and in this issue he shares some meaningful insights on the positive goings on in the fly fishing market north of the border.

    BECAUSE YOU NEVERKNOW WHICHACCESSORIES YOU MAY NEED...Anglers Accessories proves again and again that high quality fly fishing accessories dont have to be expensive to be great! Call, fax or email for our full-color 2009 catalog.

    15353 E. Hinsdale Circle, Unit F,Centennial, CO 80112ph 303-690-0477 fax An







    rms.Will Rice

    Will Rice has written often for The Drake, The Denver Post, and Angling Trade, among other publications. A Denver local, he reprises (for the third time) his wildly popular Rest of Denver feature on the best food, drink, and happenings in the Mile High City during FFR. (Youll have to bribe him directly for the skinny on downtown carp fishing.)

    Gary Berlin Gary Berlin is the president of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA). His letter kicks off the official Show Guide for the Fly Fishing Retailer expo, included for the very first time in this issue of Angling Trade magazine.

    Jay Cassell Jay Cassell is deputy editor for Field & Stream and a regular contributor to this magazine. His distinguished work in outdoors writing and editing recently earned him the Excellence in Craft award from the Outdoor Writers Association of America, one of that organizations highest awards for career achievement. (More on that inside this issues Currents section.)

    Charlie Meyers Charlie Meyers is the outdoors editor of The Denver Post, and editor-at-large for Angling Trade. Over his extensive outdoor writing career, he has also contributed fly fishing stories to more publications and websites than we can list in this space. Its an honor to have his Backcast column a regular component of this magazine.


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    Im also happy to have included in this issue the official Show Guide for the 2009 Fly Fishing Retailer Expo, to be held in Denver September 10-12. In a nutshell, youll find the latest, most relevant information on the business happenings at FFR (and beyond FFR), right here, supported by advertisers committed to enhancing the fly fishing market.

    Id like to tell you that this strong issue signals that the economic worm has turned, the market has stabilized, and continued growth is in the offing. A year ago, I wrote in my column that the essence of fly fishing is inherently power-ful and appealing enough to transcend a weak economy. Indeed, Ive heard a lot of companies reflect on the past year by saying it wasnt as bad as we thought it would be. Some even reported record sales. Others, of course, took it on the chin. Whether or not you think the apocalypse has happened or will happen, the fact remains that this indus-try is still challenged. Anyone who wants to profit in this business must work harder and smarter. And collectively, we must not only service the base, but also expand it.

    So how do we expand the base? How do we get people buying fly gear? Cash for clunkers (or lunkers)? Offer a trade-in rebate on old spinning gear? Eh maybe. I know that nothing talks like money. You want the bass nations attention? Go buy an insurance policy, then hang a million-dollar bounty out there for anyone who can win a major B.A.S.S. event with a fly rod. It wont happen in the

    near future, but I have a hunch a lot more kids in Alabama will start noodling around with fly rods.

    Still, it seems to me that were in a place where we must get more from the resources and people we have on the team. We have to embrace a core-out philosophy.

    I think (and have always thought) that this starts with guides. You can say all you want about new technology and products, and sharp marketing slants, and having an environmental conscience, and slick videos, and television shows, and websites, and blogs, and all that stuff yet in the end, the real living essence of this sport still comes down to the men and women who have fish grime under their nails, stand knee-deep in rivers or pole skiffs, and make it their jobs to teach people to fly fish.

    Nothing trumps substance. Period. The late Denny Breer instilled a mantra that directs literally everything I write and experience in fly fishingtime on water equals fish. I now work (a little) as a guide myself not because Im particularly gifted at it frankly, not because I always enjoy the company and certainly not because I make a ton of money by doing so. I guide because it keeps me real and learning.

    Lets be brutally honest: Within 15 minutes to an hour, a guide can create an impression that dictates whether or not a newbie fly fisher becomes a lifelong enthusiast, or a flash-in-the-pan. Thats a heavy responsibility.

    As such, the industry needs more from guides. Guides should be better educators and better ambassadors. They need to be effective gatekeepers and more adept at turning people onto product. They need to be stewards of the environment and opinion-shapers. (It is stunningly sad, for example, when you look into the number of working guides who are not active members of Trout Unlimited.) More than ever, guides must make things happen. That is not, by any means, saying