The Fly Fishing Show in Denver… Yeah, It Was All That
As we do every year, Angling Trade kicked off the New Year with a two-day drop-in at The Fly Fishing Show in Denver. Oddly enough, we get a better check of the pulse of fly fishing—at least from a “consumer appeal” perspective, at this show than we do anywhere else. Maybe because it’s first out of the gate. Maybe because it’s in Denver. Whatever. This is the “Mojo-Test.” And it’s been a very accurate bellwether over the past decade or so.
The Mojo Meter reads 9.5 on a 1-10 scale for 2019.
Exhibitors are active. We talked to show director Ben Furimsky, and he mentioned he had 55 exhibitors on the waitlist for the Denver show. They missed the chance. That’s nuts and it says a lot… don’t sleep on your marketing efforts because few others are. Especially not in the most active fly-fishing market in the world.
The attendees seemed younger and more diverse than we have ever seen. Read into that more women, families, and kids. We can only hope (but do think it substantiates) the efforts by manufacturers, retailers and media, to help diversify and broaden the appeal of fly fishing.
EVERY exhibitor we talked to was impressed by the quality and quantity of folks attending. They all saw return on investment, though, of course, it will take time to really quantify that. But the gut-check reaction was overwhelmingly positive.
Kudos to The Fly Fishing Show for making this such a relevant happening. We hope it transcends throughout the rest of the tour. AT will support that in any way we can.
Downside? Well, if you have to zero in on something to ding, we’d say the show has probably outgrown the venue, in terms of parking, accessibility, adjacent hotel accommodations and all of that. It’s a good problem to have, but one we hope the show organizers start to address pointing forward.
All in all, a great start to the year. A harbinger of good things to come… and for those of you in the regions where the show heads next… make the most of it.