Charting search trend data for outdoors activities. Seems to be declining, but why? Other fly fishing relevant search data charts as well…

So it’s a slow week at the office this week. Thanksgiving and all, so I was puttering around on Google trends, like I like to do, and noticed a fairly depressing trend illustrated by the chart below.

It appears that there is a seriously downward sloping trend among outdoor activities. I suspect that this trend is mostly the fact that the internet’s long tail is getting longer and people already know where to find this information and as a result are not doing generic searches for terms like “fly fishing” or “backpacking.”  But as a person with a respect for the sciences, I’m not offering that as actual causal relationship. I’m merely pointing out that the general public is is not searching for the stuff we like, as much as they used to.

Another interesting thing to note is that when it comes to fish species interest is largely flat if you remove the seasonal interest swings.

Notice there appears to be a slight decline in interest in steelhead, which anecdotally runs completely counter to everything I’ve seen on the ground in the fly fishing world. The term “bonefish” was clearly obscured by searches for “Bonefish Grill” so I left that out. In addition the term “trout” by itself, was WAY OFF-THE-CHART, so it was left out as well.

Another interesting group of terms I looked at was the various types of fly fishing we might do. Each seems to be fairly flat, with “dry fly fishing” clearly still being the number one searched for term among the group. Streamer fishing seems to the one that has grown the most in popularity recently, albeit only slightly. I’m sure most would agree that as a tactic it is, in fact, the one that has grown the most on the stream as well. Streamer fishing that used to be relegated to certain times of year is now acceptable all year long, on any day of the week, and in any conditions. At least it’s acceptable for those of us who don’t care about numbers but are looking for size, anyway.

And finally for comparison purposes I’ve done a trend query for mobile devices and trendy electronic gizzies to show what an up-trend should look like.

I think this just shows that the internet is getting mature and content in general is geting more targeted and specialized.

I think what this tells us is that we need to come up with some new stuff. New ways to fish, i.e. streamer fishing (ok it’s not new but you know what I mean) to get the general public excited about outdoors activities. I’m not sure what those new things are, but we need some new juice in there… anyone, anyone, anyone, Beuller?


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