Friday, May 7, 2010
Dave Mercer is a pro angler and host of Facts of Fishing. He knows how to catch fish and even holds a record or two but there's one thing he's never done. Like many conventional tackle anglers, he's never cast nor fished with a fly rod so he decided to learn on camera with the help of Nick Pujic of The Canadian Flyfisher Magazine, who told Dave “that any old dummy can fly fish”. Dave's dialogue during this episode is revealing. He describes to the audience that this could be the "craziest thing I've ever done." At one point during the lesson he nails a big gar on a fly (with a treble stinger hook) and the fight begins. During the battle Dave blurts out that he thought that fly fishing was about “catching little tiny trout and stuff". He also says that he “grew up for years and years thinking that traditional fly fishing was something you saw in A River Runs Through It” (I think he means the film was a turn off). Once he lands the big gar you can see that he's a convert. Unfortunately his release technique leaves a little to be desired.
I think fly fishing marketers and even product managers can gain a little insight from this episode. What seems clear is that a lot of what has been done before in the form of fly fishing messaging hasn't created new growth, excitement or even interest from a big percentage the conventional angling gear community. Note the unique design on Nick's hat, hoodie and t-shirt. Could it be time to ditch the waders and trout logos once in a while and fire up the 115 horse motor in search of gar on the fly? Note some of the comments on this video.