A number of fly anglers have voiced their irritation over the way cable-network fly-fishing shows are done. They are put off by the overly-exotic locations and wild, loud background music tracks during the fish-fighting sequences. I can't really comment on specifics, as I don't spend much time watching anything on TV.
But...what could be done better in these fishing shows?
Makes me smile to think about filming a show called something like "Fly-Fishing YOU Can Do!", to show folks how to enjoy whatever fishing they have locally. Who would sponsor that? Lots of company's SHOULD, but probably wouldn't. It isn't as "flashy" as filming one of the handful of people that gets to fly-fish for permit around Cuba. But what this sort of show MIGHT do is encourage non-anglers or casual anglers to pick up a rod more often, and spend some time at those places that don't take much money or effort to visit. Show them how easy it CAN be. Folks get better and more knowledgeable when the do a certain activity more often, and this is true with fishing.
Fishing doesn't have to take up a lot of a person's time, since time is especially important to that large demographic that has kids living at home. Guys in our local fishing club seem amazed that someone can catch plenty of fish during their lunch hours (or less) of the work week. You don't have to wait for a weekend! Or... fish in the evenings when the family is settled and reading or watching (educational?) TV/videos. SHOW people how to fish locally, not which guide service or resort they need to book with.
Fishing doesn't have to take up a lot of a person's finances, either. Show people what the minimum requirements could be. Not everyone needs to own a boat to enjoy fishing. If there are tree-lined lakes in your area, start with a float tube or kayak. Streams? You can get by with inexpensive waders until you decide you ENJOY wading streams. Then you can upgrade to waders that provide better fit/comfort/durability.
A person who fishes their local waters is much more likely to eventually book fishing trips to those exotic locations that offer "fishing experiences of a lifetime" because they are aware of their local waters' limitations in size/species and they desire to broaden their experience. So...those upscale places would benefit indirectly from sponsoring local-based shows. Wouldn't they?
The industry needs to widen it's base...build up sales on their "lower end" products, because a percentage of those with such gear will then eventually wish to upgrade to more (profitable for the company) "higher end" products. They shouldn't just expect somebody to see a flashy show and suddenly want to buy the most expensive stuff they can find! I'm sure it happens, but not often.
What advice would YOU give fly-fishing programs to make them better…to be something you’d want to watch more often?