How Times Change: 1993 in The New York Times

In the early nineties, Sears was throwing out its spinning gear and dealers were taking down their “live bait” signs, while the Orvis store in Manhattan was cheek-to-cheek with women in soft-brimmed Brad Pitt hats. Only 15 years ago Barry Maier was writing exuberantly about “The Growing Lure and Profits of Fly-Fishing” in The New York Times. In retrospect, one has to question how long a sport defined by its “upper-class allure” could hold its own without redefining itself as a populist sport, complete with Korean-made rod blanks and Pakistani forceps. “This year, mail orders for fly-fishing equipment sold by the Orvis Company surged 40 percent. Some rod makers, like the Sage Manufacturing Corporation, have had to run double shifts to keep up with demand. And enrollments at fishing schools run by L. L. Bean Inc. and others also reached record highs this season.”

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