We’ve been going to the Orvis Guide Rendezvous, off and on, for many years now. But I have to say, this event has become quite the “happening” of late, and the recent gathering in Missoula, Montana, did not disappoint.
Is that because Simms put it’s “Ice-Out” event on ice this year, because of legitimate logistical considerations?
No doubt, that played a role.
But I think the Orvis event represents something larger and more legitimate than that.
I have been on record for years as saying that I think the sun rises and sets on the fly-fishing industry where pro guides say it does. Guides are the gatekeepers, and Guides are the lifeblood.
So… create a happening, in a very cool town, when the fishing is starting to get decent, but before the season swings into full gear for most guides and outfitters, and the response should be positive. I hope Simms rekindles its event in Bozeman, because it was also a major happening.
The more this industry caters to the interests of guides, and the more it helps guides do their jobs better, the more we all will win. Period. And in the case of the Orvis Guide Rendezvous, yes it was a party, and a gathering, and all of that. But it also featured important seminars, and it went beyond socializing into the realm of business enhancement.
We need more of this, not less. And we can take a cue from what Orvis did in terms of timing and substance if we still wonder if trade shows, etc., will ever work… and when… and where. This industry wants to get together. And it wants to work together. That much is clear. My two cents.
OGR14 was a happening for a lot of great reasons. Perhaps foremost among them was the vision (some would say a blinding flash of the obvious) that Orvis has had re: its image and its products. This is not your father’s Orvis, your grandfather’s Orvis or whoever the heck those weirdos were who bought the $300 shaving kits’ Orvis. Orvis is trying really hard to offer great products to a younger, cooler and definitely more hardcore group of anglers. Props to Orvis for doing so!
Kirk brings up a very good point and I’d like to take the next step and further a conversation he started in the last issue. If we can all humbly assume that as pros we are considered the gatekeepers of the industry and responsible for setting trends, tweaking gear, and ultimately sales for everyone, then it only stands to reason it’s time for us to burn the same torch for conservation. Customers, clients, guests, and novices look to us as the pros and subsequently as their gurus. And it’s as simple as this. If we’re their gurus, and they run out and buy products that we suggest or endorse, then it stands to reason they will join Trout Unlimited if we suggest it also. And the TU Business Program gives us all the tools to do just that. To that end, Nike still says it best…JUST DO IT.