My Economy

For this fly-fishing outfitter, demand is outpacing supply

Sean McHenry Feb 26, 2021
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People "go fishing a lot more than they used to," says Gary Merriman, who owns a fly-fishing store. "Everybody wants to be outside." Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images
My Economy

For this fly-fishing outfitter, demand is outpacing supply

Sean McHenry Feb 26, 2021
Heard on:
People "go fishing a lot more than they used to," says Gary Merriman, who owns a fly-fishing store. "Everybody wants to be outside." Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images
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The pandemic has been pretty great for the outdoor recreation industry — possibly even too good. Gary Merriman knows this first hand. He has been running the The Fish Hawk in Atlanta for 46 years. Here’s how the pandemic has affected his business.

Business stayed very strong through the holidays, of course. And then as we got into January and February time period, it’s generally a drop-off, but overall, business is still pretty good. What we’re not seeing right now are people traveling. And that is a big part of our business in February, but we’re not getting people going out of the country.

Our response to it is we’re trying to get well-stocked up because I do believe that is going to happen. People are going to want to travel. People are chomping at the bit right now. Until it’s a little easier or a little safer, then a lot of people are sitting on the sidelines.

We’re still seeing shortages in pretty much all of our rod companies and wader companies. Anything that’s coming from overseas is just almost nonexistent. And that was the problem we ran into last summer: We had more demand than we had inventory. And of course that hurt. I’ve been getting emails from some of our companies that are already pushing their projected shipments back months, some of them. So, you know, [the shipments] maybe sometime this summer, so we don’t have what we need to sell again, like last year, particularly if the demand keeps growing. You know, a lot of people are working from home. [They] go fishing a lot more than they used to. And so everybody wants to be outside.

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