LDF FLY FISHING TACKLE WINTER 2008 NEWSLETTER
3801 EMINENCE AVENUE * BERKELEY MISSOURI 63134-3539 USA
1 877 426 2934 toll free phone or toll free fax; 314 426 2934 local number
email at: ldffish@hotmail.com

Winter finally got here! I didnít think it would come this year. Which reminds me of a bad old joke about catching ice fish. Whenever one breaks off and your line doesnít have anything on the end, you just caught an ice fish. It melted before it got out of the water.

I guess it was only natural that just a few of you called us about trips last year. With drought everywhere you looked plus the high price of gas, it didnít make sense to do a lot of traveling. We did hear from a couple of people who took early trips to Montana. Believe it or not, they came back raving about the fishing. These trips were during late June/early July period, so those guys showed how smart they were by catching the tail end of runoff. One of them hit the Madison and said heíd never seen it fish better. Unfortunately, later in the summer and fall, we heard a story typical of the last several years. Fishing hours cut back, rivers closed, etc.

As I write, there is a monster storm hitting the Sierras. Itís sure a misery for the people living through it now, but it does promise good water for that part of the West for next summer. Letís just hope some of this snow is left for the intermountain West, as they called it when I lived out there. That was so long ago, I donít want to say when!

About a month ago, I talked to some people from Utah. They seemed fairly optimistic about their water situation for the coming year. They also said that their fishing last season wasnít bad. I was glad to hear it. Thatís also a part of the country I donít know very well. Iíve had very few customers from there and almost none of my customers travel out there. Maybe thereís a part of the country we should all try out.

It finally must be said. The fly fishing tackle business is not all fun and games. Thatís why Iím getting out. Not really! Iím just getting out of the tackle side of things. Thatís the big change this year. Weíre throwing in the towel on tackle. Thatís one reason the catalog mailing was later this yearówe had a hard time making up our minds on the matter. For the time being, weíll still be selling fly boxes and fly dressings limited to Mucilin and Top Fly gel, but that will be it. It just is impossible for us to sell tackle if we canít sell flies at a good volume. The tackle sales have declined far faster than fly sales. So it makes sense. Youíll find a few things for sale on the internet and some at the end of this newsletter. When these things are gone, no more tackle from LDF.

How about a trip down memory lane? Ready? Any of you who have been buying from LDF since 1980, will remember the period of the 80s and early 90s. LDF used to advertise all flies tied in the USA. Boy was that a selling point in those days. The calls we used to get! There was a constant stream of calls complaining about the third world flies being sold by local tackle shops. At the time, one big fly wholesaler with factories in Sri Lanka put the word out that American tiers were unreliable. ďBuy from us and weíll guarantee your supply.Ē So the shops were the first to defect from ďMade in the USA.Ē Many customers didnít like it, but frankly the more shops went to third world products, the more business we got.

What has happened in the meantime? The products sold by the above mentioned wholesaler have gotten better. However, they now have been underpriced by the multitude of fly manufacturers located in every country where labor can be had for $10 to $15 per week. These new factories are mainly owned and operated by Americans, but now they not only sell to dealers, they also retail their products over the internet. Just put up fifty cents and youíve got another poor quality fly. But nobody cares. The term ĎAmerican Madeí means little to most people.

Next stop is all fly fishing tackle. Already many rods are being put together in third world countries. In fact, just two years ago, I bought a $60 fly rodóa Reddingtonóthat was made in the Phillipines. Just as the day of the renowned fly tyer has come and gone, you wonít hear about the renowned American or British rod makers much longer, either. The day of the Wes Jordan type rodmaker is over, simply because he canít compete. People will not pay the premium for expert workmanship, when the third world product goes for 50% less. Reels are next. So take good care of your old British and American rods and reels. Theyíll be worth a pretty penny to collectors some day.

I certainly appreciate all the people whoíve stuck with us, but at the same time itís been depressing to answer the phone and take a telling off from some customers who gripe about our high prices! All I can say is that I canít possibly work for $15 week. I guess by this time, those people have moved on to the third world internet suppliers. I hope Iím left with the hard core LDF believers!

Hey whereís Lou Dobbs when you need him?! Iím finally getting off this topic.

One of our popular tying materials was Benecchi thread. We used to sell quite a bit of it, but no longer. Unfortunately, the weak dollar has led to the price sky rocketing. We just canít sell it anymore. We have a few spools left. Itís available on the web site.

LDF had to raise shipping charges. For an order of flies valued under $75, the charge is now $3.00. Iím sorry we had to do this because we have maintained that $2.00 shipping charge for about 15 years. The US Postal Serviceís latest increase was just too much. We canít stand to lose money on shipping any more.

Here are the sale items.

Lines 25.95 each. We have three fly lines left. We have two other SA Mastery XPS DT6F (sunset color) and DT4F (gray color) and one SA Ultra 3 WF6F.

We do still have some leaders and tippet material left, but please go to the website (www.ldfflyfishingtackle.com) or call us on the toll free line 1 877 426 2934 for info on whatís left.

For those who are curious, LDF did finish the 20 story corporate tower. It is now completely vacant and up for sale at a good price. Only in my dreams!

As usual, good health and good fishing to all!

Robert Schneider
LDF Fly Fishing Tackle * 3801 Eminence Avenue * Berkeley Missouri 63134 USA
www.ldfflyfishingtackle.com Order online!
Or call 1 877 426 2934 toll free!