For the past couple weeks now, we have been seeing the adverse effects of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) for the fly fishing industry, the larger recreational fishing industry, and obviously the entire world. Guides are seeing tons of cancellations, trade shows are being canceled, and local fly shops are losing their peak season. On top of this, anglers’ access is being restricted all over the country as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of Coronavirus. In these uncharted and trying times, it is essential that the fly fishing community stand together and support the rest of the industry.
The entire recreational fishing sector is taking a massive hit and will need federal assistance, like you hear about for other–subjectively larger–industry sectors. Thankfully, The American Saltwater Guides Association is here to advocate to Congress on behalf of recreational fishing. Check out their letter to Congressional Leadership:
If the Federal Government won’t or can’t step in to help the recreational fishing industry, we will need to step up. You’ve probably already seen the social media posts about supporting guides and local shops, but it deserves repeating. Here is how ASGA’s Vice President and Policy Director, Tony Friedrich, put it:
“For those of you who booked trips with the guides, we understand if you can’t go fishing with us in the next few weeks. Please, don’t ask for your deposit back. If you can find it in your heart to reschedule, it would be greatly appreciated. Some of our best clients are paying for the trip upfront and keeping the date flexible. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate it. If the rest of you could do what you can, we won’t forget it. If you don’t usually use a guide, please consider taking a trip with us later on in the summer or fall 2020. It will take us a while to get beyond this crisis. We would love to take you on a charter and show you what we know.
Most of our locally owned tackle shops are offering curb side pickup or online ordering. Please get something from them. Every little bit is going to help. They are there for you. Please, be there for them.
These are extraordinary times. ASGA appreciates all that is being done to curb the impacts of the virus. We believe in the country. We believe in the fishing community. The small businesses we represent are there time and time again for all of you. Please, be there for us. Pick up the phone and place an order with your local tackle shop. Email a guide and book a trip and pay for as much as you can now, not tomorrow.”