I have been in Florida almost three weeks and still haven't bothered to get my SW fishing license. I won't bore you with tales of woe about how cold it has been here in SW Florida, but suffice to say there has been significant fish kills of bait fish and gamefish, such as snook. The weather has turned for the better and I hope to have something to report in a few days.
In the meantime, some of you have been attending the FF show in Marlborough and my guiding partner Jim Norton tells me some of you have attended his presentations at the show. On a comment on the previous post, Eric mentioned he enjoyed the presentation. Jim and I hope the rest of you who attended also enjoyed it. The show is wrapping up today and from what Jim, Ken and others have said, it is considerably smaller than it was a few years ago. I suppose the economy and all the new onshore and offshore rod companies have been putting pressure on the larger rod makers, which has caused them to cut costs and not attend as many shows. Sometimes you wonder if it is a self-fulfilling prophecy when companies cut deeply into their marketing budget, then complain that the public isn't supporting their efforts. Selling fly rods for $600 to over $800 that are not sufficiently different from $250-$300 rods from their competitors in this poor economy only compounds their problems. Just wait a couple years when the Chinese knock-offs will replicate the current high-end Orvis and Sage products for half the price or less. Sage and Orvis have commanded higher prices based on quality and customer service, but not showing up at shows like Marlborough and supporting their dealers doesn't seem like a formula for success. If they get out of touch with their customers, they will be forced to compete on price alone. But then, what the hell do I know? I am just a poor old fishing guide hiding out in Florida until the first hatches of the new season! I can hardly wait to try out my Christmas gift - a River Stix 4wt bamboo rod in a Paul Young Perfectionist taper. Thanks Joanne!