Here's a Way Upstream follow up to the recent Fly Fishing Retailer trade show in Denver. I wanted to do a post that gave those of you who weren't there a sense of the Patagonia booth and touch on the product highlights. The booth was beautifully executed by Tania Bjornlie and her team. They created a fuller sense of display this year with more product monuments and more imagery. The result was a presentation that provided clear stories focused on freshwater, saltwater, lifestyle and more.
For product highlights, much is new for Spring 2009: We’ve streamlined our proven HydroStorm wader offerings into a new Watermaster series (M's and W's waders a new Hip High style) and a new, exceptionally tough Guidewater Wader with wool-grid neoprene booties. For all wader styles we’ve moved away from metal snaps to a TPU post-and-keyhole system. Our Riverwalker Boot becomes our focused offereing but the Patagonia footwear line contains some surprises like two new proprietary Idrogrip rubber soled sandals and a multi-functional non-marking deck shoe. Speaking of feet, don’t head to the water (or the mountains) without your Remat.
We’ve also redesigned, with the help of the boss, the venerable SST Jacket to include a new integrated hood with a single pull adjustment, a waterproof, corrosion resistant main zipper and hand pocket zippers, and improved wrist closures. Both the Deep Wading Jacket and M’s Guidewater Jacket get some distinctive color updates.
The new Guidewater Shirt is a fishing-friendly soft shell “shaket” (hybrid shirt/jacket) you can wear alone or layered. It can follow the seasons so you may need two of them (check out the Digi Camo). The new Guidewater Pants and Shorts draw on the excellent nylon Wavefarer boardshort fabric from our Surf line. Marlwalker® Pants and shorts are made from 60% recycled (and recyclable) nylon. These new styles are tough, resilient, amphibious and moisture shedding. Other notable introductions include a Sun Glove, made of rashguard fabric, and a new Guidewater Duffel Max to transport your gear safely to hell and back.
Our Double Haul (2 colors), Hip Chest Pack (3 colors) and Pack vest all use tough double-weave, eco-friendly fabric now plus have all been appointed with various redesigned qualities. Our award winning Guidewater Vest and Riverwalker Vest get color updates. The patented Great Divider has a new little brother - The Sub Divider and both have been modified to be even cleaner and smoother operating. We’ve also made sure that the vest component of Pack Vest can connect to the all weather Stormfront® Pack.
Lastly I'd like to touch on the Patagonia reception held every year at the Denver Store. Cat Angell, Mary Beth Crumbaker, Terri Brady and the Denver Retail Store Staff deserve huge thanks. This event is where we get to show a bit more of our personality. This year we had over 200 guests with many industry heavyweights attending. Those that visited were treated to catering from Gene Tang's 1515 Restaraunt and artisan beer from New Belgium Brewery. Guests were entertained and enlightened by art and film clips from a posse of creative young anglers like James Prosek, Felt Soul Media, AEG, Rollcast Productions, Burl Productions and this year we had scientific/enviro partners Aaron Adams from BTU plus Dave Petersen and Andy Danylchuk of Core Angling show films of their groundbreaking work.
Let me wrap up with a quote overheard after the reception that I think puts the exclamation point on the post "Man, I couldn't believe the energy in the room during the movies. People were actually cheering jumping fish! That energy is what can save the fly-fishing business. Unfortunately, we keep putting old duffs out there as our heroes. They're all nice people, but it's making our sport seem too old and decrepit. I know that sounds tough, but I'm only talking business....Thanks for the party and the shot of adrenalin. I've been telling everybody, "You should have been at the Patagonia party, and you should have heard the crowd!"
Photos by Joe Tayag