For the past few years, Tim Romano and I (we also co-host the “Fly Talk” blog at fieldandstream.com) have had fun forecasting an annual fly-fishing “theme.” Last year, we made 2012 “The Year of the Carp,” and, believe it or not, the publicity that generated actually did seem to have a catalyst effect in creating more discussion around (and interest in) that topic—among readers of Field & Stream and beyond.
Long story short, we’re saying that 2013 is the “Year of the Native Trout.” And we’d appreciate the support of retailers and manufacturers in the fly industry in making interest in native trout a priority in 2013. Here’s a link to the fieldandstream.com story. http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/flytalk/2012/12/2013-year-native-trout
Let’s face it… we understand that planted/introduced rainbows and browns collectively comprise the bulk of this industry’s foundation. There’s nothing wrong with that.
But native fish are the keystones to many of the conservation discussions happening now. Steelhead. Greenbacks. Brook trout. Gila trout. Cutthroats in Yellowstone. And many others. In many cases, native trout have recently faced unprecedented threats… fires in the West, development and pollution in the East, and more.
There’s also a purely business reason to highlight native trout. Bigger isn’t always better in this context. That leads to a wider array of tackle sales, and yes, media sales.
If you would encourage customers to endeavor to embrace the natives, perhaps even consider donating to organizations like Trout Unlimited www.tu.org (admittedly, I also have an agenda there) or the Western Native Trout Initiative http://www.westernnativetrout.org/ , I am confident that the fly industry as a whole will benefit greatly.