By Kirk Deeter
Enough. Just… enough.
Madison Avenue has long been enamored with fly fishing, and ad agencies have been attaching everything from insurance, to pharmaceuticals to trucks and SUVs to fly fishing for decades. This, despite the fact that the “creatives” making those ads clearly know nothing about fly fishing and have likely never stepped anywhere near a trout stream let alone in one.
It’s one thing to snicker when you see an actor who cannot cast… or people using surf casting rods in a creek you can jump across… the cliché and dopey the fly-fishing attire… blow-up saltwater fish on river, and more. But now, there’s an epidemic of trucks and SUVs splashing through rivers. And that’s not funny, and it’s not cool. It’s showing the destruction of habitat and falsely connecting that to the sporting ideal.
And someone needs to call bullshit on that, on behalf of fly fishing.
Let’s start with AFFTA. If AFFTA’s charter is to support the sport of fly fishing, I think confronting a blatant misrepresentation of the sport—one that directly shows degradation of resources that make the sport possible in the first place—is a good place to start. Nobody is positioned to take the lead on this better than AFFTA.
All you manufacturers might pipe up and say something. If we were making ads with people running around and beating up on trucks with hammers, truck people would say something.
Trout Unlimited is offering a free ad in TROUT to the first truck company that shows a truck helping a river, not destroying it. We wanted to stay on the “high road.” So far, no takers.
Maybe if we sweeten the pot… maybe all you other fly-fishing media types will offer the same. A one-time pat on the back for one company that simply has the guts and foresight to do the right thing.