Inherent in my nature is finding a deal. My dad describes it as scheming. Be that as it may, I’ll admit that the idea of free fly fishing gear in exchange for joining a fly fishing company’s pro staff offers a lot of allure.
But it’s also well established that I’m self described as an expert in everything and a specialist in nothing. Folks generously call someone like that a ‘generalist.’ For better or worse, that applies to my fly fishing as well.
Now, after reading Phil Monahan’s How Do I Get on a Company’s ‘Pro Staff’? on Midcurrent.com, there’s no doubt that the dream of fly fishing freebies will be far out of reach until there’s an inversion of my hours spent working and hours spent fishing. For some
silly understandable reasons, fly fishing companies demand a modicum of expertise that I simply don’t have. This inner sincerity coincidentally knocks me out of any competitive fly fishing tournament.
The solution is beer. I’ve reserved multiple spots on my vest for the sponsorship of independent American craft brewers — makers of Fishing for Words’ post-fishing beverage of choice. Budweiser has the Bud Girls. Now craft breweries can have on-the-stream representation targeting a crowd that largely loves a locally brewed pint.
Just as they’re called microbrewies, my vision appropriately focuses on micromarketing. Sponsorship will hinge upon the water being fished. For the Eastern Sierra, a well-placed logo on my vest might be compensated with a case of Double Nut Brown from the Mammoth Brewing Co.
In the Sierra foothills, fishing Beaver Creek and the waters alongside Highway 4 or 108 might suggest a patch and a bottle or twenty-four from Snowshoe Brewing Co. Closer to home, the fast-growing but still irreverent Lagunitas Brewing Co. might be the
free beer provider sponsor to choose for Putah Creek. While I’d lean toward Lagunitas’ PILS (Czech Style Pilsner), you have to love its other beers just because of their names: Hop Stoopid Ale, Brown Shugga (sweet ale), Wilco Tango Foxtrot (Imperial Brown Ale) and, of course, the seasonal Hairy Eyeball ‘Warmer’ aka bierwärmer (no actual eyeballs used in its brewing). This summer I’ll be drifting Central Washington’s Yakima River for the first time, opening up an opportunity for sponsorship by the nearby Iron Horse Brewery.
While I’ll call dibs on this idea, the untold number of local craft breweries across this country of ours will offer plenty of opportunity for fellow fly fishers to jump on this beer wagon.
Not all of us can cast further than an arms-length away, but most of us will proudly wear the colors of our favorite brew if it means having to
drink demonstrate the product streamside.