Wapsi's Schmuecker: "We've Had a Good Year"

Buried in this article about the impact of flooding and recession on fly shops and gear manufacturers is a comment by Wapsi Fly Company owner Tom Schmuecker, who sees no slowdown in the purchase of low-end merchandise. He notes steady growth in fly tying materials since 1979. “‘You can buy a package of our chenille (a shiny element in many fly baits) for less than a dollar,’ said Schmuecker. ‘We’ve had a good year.’ Schmuecker said the more affordable products are reportedly selling well, according to reports from his customers. He said the industry may trend toward the more affordable products for awhile.” Frank Wallis in the Baxter Bulletin.

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  • Joe echoes exactly what I’ve been hearing from everyone I’ve spoken to in the industry in 2008. Everybody is bargain shopping and scaling back on trip expenses however they can. Even in the RV campgrounds I spent time in this past summer and fall (in my tent), the RVers said they were staying longer in the same place to cut fuel costs.
    The White River area will weather the bad economy very well. A reason for their high rankings is the unique combination of exceptional fishing and relatively low cost. I shot a 3-day show with ESPN Special Features at the end of October (will air early 2009) on the Norfork tailwater (just off the White River) during which we had 8 Project Healing Waters disabled anglers fishing with 4 guides including Davy Wotton, John Berry, and Denis Dunderdale who landed nearly 100 trout over 20″ in just over 4 hours of fishing.
    If we didn’t have video and stills and a bunch of witnesses to prove it, I wouldn’t ever tell anyone about a day like that. I don’t know of anyplace else in North America where that would be possible.