Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Industry Interview #2: Trout's Fly Fishing

This is the second in a five part series of interviews exploring the relationship between fly fishing for carp and the industry. This interview features Will Rice, Director of Marketing at Trout's Fly Fishing  (a fly-shop located at one of the epicenters of fly fishing for carp in Downtown Denver) and was performed in question / answer format via email.  A summary of all the interviews with commentary is also available in the recent CarpPro Fly Fishing For Carp Special.

Fly-Carpin: Please tell us about any current participation in the fly fishing for carp sub-culture that you are excited about as an organization. Does Trout's sell any products specifically designed for carp? Do you participate in or support any carp events or activities? Have you had any interesting interactions with the community?
Trout's Fly Fishing: Trout’s Fly Fishing recognizes the Denver South Platte as our home water. This urban section of river is one of the most renowned, hardcore, and prolific clear water carp fisheries in the United Sates. Trout’s has been a proud sponsor of Denver Trout Unlimited’s annual Carp Slam event for a number of year’s and all of our employees are avid and self admitted carp junkies. 
In addition to being a long term sponsor and strategic partner supporting the Carp Slam, Trout’s Fly Fishing hosted our first guided trip on the South Platte this summer – dubbed the “Urban Carp Extravaganza.” We took five clients out who never fished for carp before in the blazing peak of August heat and had a blast chasing carp in skinny clear water. We shuttled guides and clients up and down the river in the infamous Pink Bus and ultimately had five fish come to hand. For anyone who fishes the DSP, that’s not a bad day on the water.

As far as products go, yes - Trout’s Fly Fishing caters to carp anglers. From fluorocarbon tippet and a wide variety of commercially tied flies that are specific to carp, to fly lines, rod and reel combinations , Trout’s has the gear in our shop and our online store to outfit anglers who want to target carp. Most importantly, Trout’s provides solid, real-time information about the carp fishing in Denver to customers in effort to help make their time on the water more productive. We’re happy to answer questions in our shop, online on our blog or facebook page and we’re just a phone call away if our customers are on the road or on the river.
Fly-Carpin: Does Trout’s have any near-term plans to expand your reach in the carpin’ community that you would like to share? New product releases, events, activities, etc.
Angler Dan Kagey, Photo by Will Rice
Trout's Fly Fishing: At Trout’s Fly fishing our mission is to make the sport of fly fishing more accessible to everyone. Carp are just about everywhere surrounding the mile high city, easy to access, challenging to catch, and a blast to chase with a fly rod. It makes a lot of sense to introduce customers to carp fishing if they are interested in fishing options close by, looking to elevate their game, or just looking for a change of pace from high country trout.

We have a ton of customers ask us about the best way to prepare for a saltwater trip where they plan to pursue bonefish, redfish, or permit. One of our first pieces of advice: go find a carp in the river, study their behavior, present a fly without spooking the fish, get ‘em to eat… and then hold on. That’s pretty good practice for a saltwater environment. 

Fly-Carpin: In a more general sense how does Trout’s view the long-term future of fly fishing for carp and how does that future relate to you? Examples would include: Do you anticipate a growing market with changing demand for product and marketing strategies? Do you have any thoughts on what the relationship between the general industry and the community might change and grow?
Trout’s Fly Fishing: Carp fishing is not for everyone – we get that. We also get that carp fishing has an amazing addictive quality that is not always found with other species. Carp are big and hard fighting, they are very challenging to catch on a fly, and they are heavily concentrated in rivers and other still water environments across the United States. At Trout’s we have recognized that the carp fishing sub culture is made up of die hard anglers who like to have fun on the water and can sustain a healthy dose of self punishment – and then go back out for more. We know it because we’ve all gone through that learning curve– and we continue to fish for carp because they continue to challenge us as anglers. Most importantly, we enjoy talking to our customers about fishing for carp and helping them to get through the learning curve as quickly as possible.
Fly-Carpin: I am also personally curious if any of your executive, marketing or product development staff has any experience with targeting carp on the fly.
Trout’s Fly Fishing: The entire staff here at Trout’s Fly Fishing has extensively fished for carp. We’ve all designed flies specifically for the Denver South Platte and the surrounding carp fisheries. We have all experimented with different rod, reel, leader and tippet combinations. Our staff prides ourselves on fishing hard for a wide variety of species and carp are one of our favorites – especially right here in the Mile High City.


  1. That is encouraging. So what is the end goal? Greater recognition by fly anglers? An attempt to try for carp, and by so doing, an appreciation for course fish in general? To spread angling opportunities and lesson crowds? Research and developement for carp fishers by industry? Carp are not for everybody as Will says, I wish that trouters would give them more of a chance. Carp are tough, fight far harder than trout, are striking to behold. I guess I wish for more open minds.


    1. Well Gregg, I am not sure what the end goal is. In case you haven't noticed I don't do profound that well. Appreciation for the fish in general would be high on my list. And give the trouters time Gregg. They are probably a little behind in Idaho but there are more of them chasing carp in Denver every day.


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