This Year IFTD Is More Relevant Than Ever

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You know the old Chinese curse, may you live in interesting times?

These are certainly interesting times in the fly fishing industry. The business landscape seems to change under our feet faster than we can react. In just the last week we’ve had news of Sage and RIO selling direct online and the likely nationalization of the Bahamian bonefishing industry. No matter what part of the business you’re in, it’s likely you will need to think very hard about the future of your business. We’re all going to have to work a little smarter in coming years.

That’s why I think this years IFDT show (July 14-17) is more important than ever. IFTD is the beating heart of the fly fishing industry. The one time of the year when we all come together to exchange ideas and plan for the coming year. This year, more than ever, a good plan makes sense.

There has never been a more important time for retailers, guides, lodge owners and manufacturers to focus on relationships. The fly fishing industry is a relationship business and there’s no better place to do that networking than IFTD. Attending the show has been the most important thing I have done for my career.

I spoke to Gary Merriman, owner of The Fish Hawk, the largest Sage dealer by volume in the US. I knew that Gary had not attended IFTD since it was held in Denver but heard he was attending this year.

“For me it was never about buying,” Gary told me, “it was about being face to face with the people you do business with. As you know, that’s how this business works. I’m going this year to asses the situation, to talk to the folks involved face to face and see what’s really going on.”

For me personally, that’s the point. You are either at IFTD or you’re out of the loop. I was flattered this year to asked to be artist in residence at Bristol Bay Lodge for a week. That’s quite an honor. I reluctantly said no, because it was the same week as IFTD. That’s how important is to me.

If you’re in Orlando this year, look for me. G&G will be shooting video all over the show floor. Stop by and say hi.

Get more info on this years IFTD show HERE.

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5 thoughts on “This Year IFTD Is More Relevant Than Ever

  1. I used to be very involved as a business owner in another outdoor industry. Our annual show was very important to me, also not to buy, but to network with my peers and to try to point my compass in the right direction.
    Is IFTD open to the public? Right now I am a hobbyist maker and builder of fly fishing gear, and the developments that you mentioned alone, make me concerned with the state of fly fishing and related industries.


    • John I believe it is open to public at a price. Either the last two days or just the last day. Click on the link in the post to get some more info. If your there make sure if you see louis to give him a hug…..the big guy loves hugs. I will be filming.

  2. As a new business in the fly fishing market IFTD is invaluable to us. Introducing our products, meeting industry professionals, talking about the issues that affect our livelihoods, and seeing our customers face to face continue to be strong reasons for Fincognito’s attendance. Louis, I look forward to seeing you at this year’s show, showing you put newest “performance wearable fish art”, and discussing an ongoing relationship with G&G. See you there!

  3. I’m looking to seeing you there, too, Louis! It’s always great to catch up with folks face to face and hear what’s affecting their business head on. I hope it’s a great show for everyone.

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