The chart above from Google Trends shows a clear decline in the moving average for searches for the phrase fly fishing. The red lines I’ve added for emphasis. You can see clear seasonal shifts in the number of searches, but the overall decline is pretty eye opening. The good news is that this might mean fewer fisherman on the river, maybe? The bad news is that I think, at least anecdotally, the rivers are getting more crowded, not less. So to me, I think this means that the people who are into fly fishing are doing it more, and the general population just doesn’t care. And I think that’s fine. We the fly fishers of the world are becoming better stewards, more connected and more aware / plugged in supportive to what each other are doing, – outside world be damned.
The interesting thign to note on the chart is the big spike in 2009 when President Obama went fly fishing, the huddled masses, they’re so simple minded.
Over the past few years I’ve really taken to listening some interesting financial podcasts like Freakonomics, Planet Money, and the much more wonkish Econ Talk. The whole economic crisis has raised awareness of the role of financial markets in the world. Starting a business also has made me more aware of the inner workings of business type of stuff. It just helps to be tuned into these things, if for nothing else than to know why it is that I am generally a contrarian. (for more of that go read ZeroHedge)
Below are two charts to compare the above. The first shows the trend for the iPhone with a clear upward trend, and a chart for the phrase christmas gift demonstrating a clear seasonal swing with a basically constant moving average.
As someone with a newly started business focused on the fly fishing market this might seem disheartening, but I’m a perpetual optimist and a born contrarian. So I look at this chart and say well it can’t go in that one direction forever. (everyone said home values had never gone down, and we all know how that turned out) It will probably move the opposite direction someday.
For those of us dedicated the royal and ancient anachronistic pursuit of fish on the fly, we are here to stay and we think there is tremendous potential for this sport in the future. Fish on!