Patagonia Offers Online Catalog, Orvis Goes Social Media - What's The Industry To Do?

Category:
Fly Fishing
direct sales channel
fly fishing industry
fly fishing media
kiss your ass good-bye
online catalog
orvis
patagonia
Added Date:
Wednesday, 14 Apr, 2010
Summary
That a major fly fishing manufacturer produced an online catalog isn't wholly a shock, though few companies in the comparatively tiny fly fishing market can offer up the kind of presence needed to get that catalog featured on an L.A. Times site.
 
Content
That a major fly fishing manufacturer produced an online catalog isn't wholly a shock, though few companies in the comparatively tiny fly fishing market can offer up the kind of presence needed to get that catalog featured on an L.A. Times site.

Patagonia seems to be that company.

Patagonia's Online Catalog

From the LA Times web site:

Outdoor and fishing apparel manufacturer Patagonia is doing away with its traditional fly-fishing catalog, instead switching to an online "e-Catalog" only.

"The fishing market is the right place to launch an e-Catalog," said Patagonia angling Chief Executive Casey Sheahan. "Anglers have turned to the Internet to review water conditions, hatches, plan trips and more, making them the perfect customer for an online, interactive e-Catalog that feels more like a magazine or multimedia site."

The Web-based, interactive catalog will allow users to view videos and access in-depth product information, as well as provide avenues to purchase items quickly and easily.

"Our hope is that anglers are psyched to get product information this way, so moving forward we can try to avoid sending catalogs to individual mailboxes."

Whether the time is truly right remains to be seen; it was only a couple years ago that a small manufacturer I know - someone who sells into the outdoor and food service markets - also went to a digital catalog.

The only real pushback? It came from the fly fishing industry, many of whom didn't seem to know what a digital catalog was, or why an industry largely based on clean water would find it desirable.

The times are changing, though I'd suggest fly fishing's anglers are ahead of the industry when it comes to the Internet.

I say, Is That a Direct Sales Model?
As noted by an eagle-eyed Undergrounder, clicking on a product in Patagonia's online catalog (I've been eying the Pack Vest, so let's click that) sends you straight to the Patagonia Web site, where you'll find plenty of product information - and are offered the chance to conveniently buy the item immediately.

It's a subtle reminder that the Internet is truly enabling a direct sales model, and while Patagonia has always been something of a catalog company, you know that other manufacturers - largely prevented from direct sales by their commitment to a dealer network - are eying that direct channel (and its "forget about wholesale pricing" margins) somewhat covetously.

Mike Michalak - owner of The Fly Shop in Redding (perhaps the biggest online && offline retailer in terms of revenue) alluded to this in the March issue of Angling Trade, where he wrote an opinion piece suggesting dealers were about to witness an industry turning to a direct sales model at the expense of fly shops.

I think it's a given that will come to pass on some level, especially given homogeneity of so many fly shops.

In simple terms, the fly fishing market isn't all that big; fewer manufacturers means fewer choices - and fly shops which already carry pretty much the same gear will be forced to differentiate themselves in other ways.

Those that can't will disappear.

Direct sales? Manufacturers are eying the channel, but many find their hands are tied.

Of course, Patagonia's already tapped into direct sales, though if you want to see an aggressive operation, you have to look no further than the old-skool Orvis site.

Sure, it's cluttered, but beneath it lurks a very advanced email program, plenty of new-school product marketing (like customer product reviews - text and video), a host of other features guaranteed to make a modern marketer smile, and yes - even a burgeoning social media effort.

Meanwhile, competing manufacturers like Scott, Winston && Sage seem content to roll out "new" web sites that look, operate - and fail to engage - exactly like their old Web sites.

The Internet isn't about to disappear fly fishing's fly shops, but those shops - and manufacturers - who are slow to recognize its real impacts are doomed to stand on the sidelines while others eat their market share like a stolen lunch.

Patagonia seems to be justifying its new catalog on the basis of environmental impacts. Yet that ignores the very real ability to deliver rich content (video, audio, animation, etc) that can't happen via print.

And yes, it gives you the ability to direct interested buyers exactly where you want - including to the "buy this" page on your own Web site.
 
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Nestled in the north end of the Sacramento Valley, Shasta County and its three Cities - Redding, Anderson, and Shasta Lake - are 545 miles north of Los Angeles; 162 miles north of ... moreSacramento; 433 miles south of Portland, Oregon; and 592 miles south of Seattle, Washington.

In 2004, as an effort to increase tourism in the area, the Sundial Bridge, designed by world-renowned architectural designer Santiago Calatrava, was completed. The Sundial Bridge casts its gnomon shadow upon a dial to the north of the bridge accurately once a year during the Summer Solstice. With the objective of providing pedestrian access to the north and south of Turtle Bay Exploration Park, the Sundial Bridge has not only lived up to its purpose but has also become an icon for the City of Redding in the present day.

Redding is one of the best places to launch for Trophy Rainbow Trout & Trophy Steelhead Fishing in Northern California. A number of great rivers are within an easy drive and local guides can on any given day help you figure out where the fishing is great.

The Klamath river, Sacaramento river, Trinity River and the Feather river are all being frequented by local guides and fly fisher.
Fishing Waters
The American River watershed offers fishermen (and fisherwomen) a wide range of experiences, from fly-fishing in the clear streams of the Sierra Nevada to casting for steelhead in ... morethe lower American as it flows through Sacramento. The American River contains two main sections. The North Fork and the Lower American River

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The North Fork of the American River is designated as a while trout water. Most of the North Fork flows through a deep canyon carved through metamorphic rock. It has a very rugged character with very steep slopes and a narrow bottom. Deep pools framed by sheer cliffs, waterfalls cascading from 40 to 70 feet, and benches, densely wooded with alder and willow are typical of the beauty found in the North Fork Canyon. The fishery is dominated by Rainbow trout, with an occasional Brown trout (the brown trout are usually lunkers!).

Fishing enthusiasts can choose from a number of trails to access the river canyon, most of them dropping steeply from the canyon rim down to the water. While visitation peaks in the summer, primarily driven by hikers/swimmers, late spring into mid-summer is typically the height of the boating season. The highest boatable reach is known as Generation Gap (12 miles), run by only the most experienced Class V boaters, which can only be accessed by a three-mile long walk. The next lower reach, known as Giant Gap (14 miles), is also Class V and is accessed by a two-mile hike down the Euchre Bar Trail. Although overnight camping permits are not required, if visitors want a campfire, they will need to obtain a fire permit.

The Lower American River is a short stretch of river, flowing through the city of Sacramento, is the most heavily used recreation river in California. It provides an urban greenway for trail and boating activities and is also known for its runs of steelhead trout and salmon.
The Sacramento River is the principal river of Northern California in the United States, and is the largest river in California. Rising in the Klamath Mountains, near Mount Shasta ... more(in Siskiyou county), the river flows south for 445 miles, through the northern section (Sacramento Valley) of the Central Valley, before reaching the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and San Francisco Bay. It forms a common delta with the San Joaquin River before entering Suisun Bay, the northern arm of San Francisco Bay. The river drains about 27,500 square miles, with an average annual runoff of 22 million acre-feet, in 19 California counties, mostly within a region bounded by the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada known as the Sacramento Valley, but also extending as far as the volcanic plateaus of Northeastern California.

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The McCloud River and its tributaries offer excellent fishing opportunities. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly stocks the Upper McCloud River at Lower Falls ... morewith Rainbow trout. Anglers also occasionally catch German brown trout from earlier stockings or those that traveled up from the McCloud Reservoir, and Brook trout. Remember that the Bull Trout or Dolly Varden is an endangered species and should be released if caught.

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The Lower McCloud River, from McCloud Reservoir to Shasta Lake, has been designated a Wild Trout Stream by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This portion of the river is not artificially stocked and has special fishing regulations. Only artificial flies and lures with barbless hooks can be used. At the McCloud River Preserve, located one mile below Ah-Di- Na Campground, fishing is limited to catch and release only. Consult the map on the back, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Regulations for further details and restrictions.

Endangered species - The McCloud River is the only fishery in California which supports the now rare Bull Trout, also known as the Dolly Varden Trout. Actually a member of the Char family, it is found between Lower Falls and Shasta Lake. Because it is considered an endangered species by the State of California, it must be released if caught.
Game Fish Opportunities:
Trips
$
325
-
$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
Fishing Waters:
Destination:
The Yuba River is one of the most popular known fly fishing rivers in Northern California, and that is why it’s one of the most sought after rivers for fly fishing enthusiasts. This ... moreriver is one that can yield 20 fish one day and leave you scratching your head the next, that's why having a knowledgeable Yuba River Fly Fishing Guide is so important. The abundance of aquatic insects on this river is why it is so sought after, it's one of the few rivers in California that you can effectively fish dries year round. While the river plays host to a number of species, including steelhead and king salmon at times, the resident wild rainbows are the most sought after species throughout the year. They can be picky at times, but once you get in tune with their feeding habits you're bound to have a blast. The fishing on the Yuba is top-notch and I haven't found a river yet that is this much fun to fish. This river produces year-round spunky wild rainbow trout that can reach over 20".

Pound for pound the Yuba River trout is a species of its own. They are the toughest, hardest fighting trout you will ever hook into. If you've never had an 16" fish take you into your backing within seconds, then it’s time that you fish the Yuba River. In the fall, it is also home to a native/wild King Salmon run with some pushing 50lbs and big enough to devour any Yuba trout in its path. Nonetheless, it's the Yuba's steelhead that really puts the icing on the cake. Though not huge like the American river winter run steelhead (Yuba River steelhead range from 2-6 lbs), these half-pint steelhead are among the hardest fighting and the most beautiful fish you will ever have the pleasure of encountering. The Yuba gets a shot of them midsummer, then again from November to April. Not only is there year round fishing, but there is also an abundance of bug life as well ranging from BWO's, PMD's, Midges, Caddis, Skwalas, Golden Stones, March Browns, Hoppers and every so often a Salmon Fly, that will have these fish feeding no matter the time of year. There is even an egg bite on t he Yuba too, this happens during the salmon spawn in October, also during this time of year there is something special that happens on the river that I will show you too. Something you never thought possible and it will be our little secret. Even after all that the Yuba does, however, have something else to offer. As an added bonus from the fishing, there are a lot of wild critters roaming its banks as well, big bucks, strutting toms, beavers, otters, ducks, geese and even black bears. All that and great fishing, what more could you ask for.

-Brian
$
325
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$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
Fly Fishing the American River will leave even the most advanced fly fisherman wanting more. That is why a knowledgable American River Fly Fishing Guide will not only educate you on ... morethe river sytem and its species, but show you the ins and outs, when, where, why, how and with what. Whether you are swinging for steelhead on the Lower American River or dry fly fishing the South Fork American River, you will be pleasantly pleased with the results.

The American River system is where you can start out fishing the Lower American River for shad, striper or steelhead while wet wading on a summer morning, then go eat lunch, get back on the road shoot up hwy 50 and within 45 minutes, have 30 fish on the South Fork American River fishing drys. Fishing the American River is one that can satisfy any fly fishing crave. The Lower American River is known for its shad, striper, steelhead and salmon runs. Shad start to enter the river in late spring, with some entering as early as April, the fishing starts to pick up in late May and early June, with July being the best. Even though the migration has ended the fishing can be great on those late July summer nights. If you have never fought a shad on a fly rod, I highly suggest it, they don’t call it the poor man’s tarpon for nothing. There are two methods used when shad fishing, one is swinging flys specifically tied for shad, the other is drifting flies under an indicator. Either technique is productive when used properly.

As far as stripers go, there are some resident fish in the river system year round, but can be extremely hard to catch due to the lack of numbers. When the weather warms so does the water as well as the Striper migration. The stripers start entering the river in early April and they are in the river system through September. Your best numbers in the lower part of the river is between April and May. June is a little slower due to the amount of shad that are in the river system and the stripers actively feeding on them, but once the shad are gone the fishing really heats up from late July through August, September and sometimes even October depending on the weather and water conditions. The best technique used for stripers is by stripping or swinging clousers with sink tips, full sinks and shoot head lines.

Now for the Steelhead, half pounders can be year round, but are mostly caught from late summer to spring. They can be caught using many techniques, from swinging to nymphing and even throwing drys. The best months to be on the water for half pounders are August through October along with March April and May. Don’t be discouraged by the word half pounder, this was the original run before the Eel and Mad river strain (winter run steelhead) was introduced in the 70's. These guys can put up a real fight for their size and most half pounders are wild fish ranging from 16-22" some even pushing 5 pounds and they are always full of spunk. The winter run doesn’t start showing up until the beginning of October, this is also peak time for the salmon run. The winter run steelhead that are on the American came from the Eel and Mad River systems, that was introduce by DFG to protect the steelhead population after the dams where e rected. These fish can be caught throughout the length of river from mid October all the way through March, sometimes even April. These fish range anywhere from 5 to 15 pounds. As far as fishing techniques goes, these big boys can be caught with the same techniques used on their half brothers, just scaled up a bit. If you want to get into steelhead and don't want to travel severals hours and possibly get a big goose egg, the American River is where its at. Not only is it our back yard, but we have 30+ years fishing this river system and we know where these fish hold throughout the year. Come enjoy some backyard fishing on a great river like the American river.

-Brian-
$
325
-
$
450
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
4 hours - 8 hours
If you have ever driven over the Lower Sacramento River or even fished it, you know that due to its shear size and abundance of water, this makes it extremely intimidating. That's ... morewhy having a knowledgable Lower Sacramento River Fly Fishing Guide is so important. A great guide will not only put you on the fish, but will also show you the fishy spots accessable by land, the put ins and pull outs for boats, as well as the bug life, the flies to use and when you go on your own, how to put all that t ogether to be successful. The Lower Sacramento River is a big tailwater fishery and California's biggest trout river, and its rainbows are just as big and powerful as the river they live in. If you want big fish and year-round fishing, this is the river for you. With more food than your local all you can eat buffets (2,500 insects per square foot of river), the average fish grows to a healthy and hard-fighting 16-18", and pigs pushing two feet are not out of the question, so bring some big guns. The fishing season is year-round, and water temperatures remain fairly constant too, as the river comes out of the bottom of Shasta Lake.

This river consists of long, indescribable, spring creek like stretches that are broken up by islands, deep pools, long riffles, gravel bars and undulating shelf’s, many of which are more pronounced during lower flows.

If having one of the best trout fisheries in the state isn’t enough, the Lower Sac also hosts some great runs of Steelhead and Chinook salmon too. It also hosts a variety of other fish, such as, shad, squawfish, stripers, largemouth and smallmouth bass, these populations of fish become higher the farther you get away from Shasta Lake. The highest flows are during the summer months, when snow melt is at its greatest, so a drift boat is highly recommended.

You can walk and wade during the higher flows if you so desire, but staying near the bank will be your safest bet. The best time to walk and wade the Lower Sac is going to be during fall, winter and early spring, there is very little snow melt, and the rain that falls goes to filling up the lake, so the river is low and great for walk and wading. This is the time to get out there and really learn the river's bottom and fish those slots that only come out in lower flows, either way “PLEASE WADE WITH CAUTION”. But due to the river’s size and the amount of private property along its banks, those that prefer to wade have two options. One is to fish from public parks and access points along the 16 miles or river between Redding and Anderson, or, from your boat, getting out at the riffles and fishy slots to make some casts.

Public access is fairly easy though on the Lower Sac, there are 6 boat launches, and many public parks and access points along the river that flows almost parallel with interstate 5.

-Brian
Outfitters
 (12)
We are a team of friendly and knowledgeable fly fishing guides, with a combined 40 years of fly fishing experience, dedicated to making your adventure on the water with us as enjoyable ... moreand informative as possible. We want you to succeed in all of your fishy endeavors, and we will take the time with you to make sure that you have all the techniques and skills necessary to catch fish wherever you go. Float or Walk and wade with us on one of Northern California's finest rivers and streams and we will accommodate our guiding style to meet your needs and abilities. With our extensive fly fishing knowledge and experience on waters all over Northern California, we will guide you on a fly fishing trip you will not soon forget.

NCFG practices catch and release on all boats. We respect the sport of fishing and wish to give all anglers the opportunity to experience the gratification we strive to give each of our clients.
15 comments
Someday, brick&mortar will just be a showroom. You won't actually leave the store with anything in your little hands.Nope. You can wiggle rods, try on boots, feel the material but none of the merchandise is for sale. Instead you step up to the ordering kiosk with a credit card, punch up the items on a webpage and later the UPS man brings good stuff to your house. If you like it, keep it. Otherwise ... more the UPS man will pick it up the next day.. Imagine that, a world where manufacturers pay to be in "see, feel and try" shops--much as they advertise today. The compensation may well be based on square footage of stocking/display space--something akin to the payments grocers require for end caps, islands and other promotional displays. I visited The Fly Shop in Redding on Tuesday for the first time and couldn't help buying flies that I didn't need. Their huge selection was just too much fun to pass up. But I worry that, in the same way that surf shops don't make money on surfboards, fly shops don't make money on flies. (If the analogy holds, fly shops will be able to make a whole bunch of money on fly fishing clothes, sunglasses and flip-flops. But only if they hype how sexy fly fishing is ala Quicksilver and Reef Brazil. (That's what fly fishing needs an analogue to the Reef Brazil girl!)(. (Dig the parenthetical remark within the parenthetical remark)!
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Thanks for the response, Tom. I understand what you are saying, in that clicking on any one of those banners doesn't necessarily take me directly to a virtual checkout. But the desired end result is still my consumption of their product. The "changing marketing patterns" come about because the results don't lie. Walking down the street wearing a sandwich board that reads "Eat At Joes" won't reach ... more the number of consumers that an on-line banner will, and I don't find fault with any business that lures customers in via internet sites. The Hardy banner, for example, is simply a softer sell than the five "Ads by Google" sites that are right next to it on this page. I know that those are chosen and driven differently, but they are still here, and they would all like our patronage. I don't disagree with the gist of your article--just gave me a chuckle, considering the vehicle in which it is delivered. Thanks for letting me spew...
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Someday, brick&mortar will just be a showroom. You won't actually leave the store with anything in your little hands. Nope. You can wiggle rods, try on boots, feel the material but none of the merchandise is for sale. Instead you step up to the ordering kiosk with a credit card, punch up the items on a webpage and later the UPS man brings good stuff to your house. If you like it, keep it. Otherwise ... more the UPS man will pick it up the next day. There won't be very many of them either.
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It would be ironic, but it's more an indicator of changing marketing patterns than a sales bonanza. The Hardys ad links to their blog site, the Patagonia Journal links to their magazine site, Orvis links to their podcast, and Singlebarbed's scissors are pretty much a cottage sale. Today, it's not unusual for companies to try and engage customers instead of handing them the hard sell (that comes later) ... more via content.
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Is it not ironic that the entire right side of this site is filled with advertisements from sponsors that would have me directly skip the brick and mortar purchase?
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Hey! Maybe you could SELL YOURSELF! Hell, I've got low self-esteem, so I'd probably go pretty cheaply. Then again, plenty of folks who seem to think anything above "free" is simply too much to ask.
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I agree; I don't think brick & mortar will go away, though you have to wonder what will happen to fly shops should manufacturers abandon the exclusivity of their dealer network and start selling direct. I'd suggest that aggressive online sales - backed by a network of mostly company stores (at least in the most profitable areas) - offers Orvis and Patagonia an edge they didn't enjoy prior to growth ... more of the direct online channel. And that playing field may keep titling online. While my post is more about manufacturers than fly shops, I guess it's fair to ask what will happen to fly shops should they face competition from manufacturers on big dollar items (waders, rods, reels, etc) . I mean, manufacturers are willing to forsake their dealer networks in favor of big box stores. Direct sales aren't inconceivable in an environment like that.
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# of Facebook fans by brand- The North Face - 229,839 Columbia Sportswear - 59,124 Patagonia - 37,838 Mountain Hardwear - 12,534 Orvis -7,951 Simms - 6,291 Rio - 1,361 MidCurrent 1,138 Moldy Chum - 923 The Trout Underground - 910 Idylwilde Flies - 917 Scientific Anglers - 906 The Fiberglass Manifesto - 838 Ex-Officio - 828 Sage - 503
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It doesn't seem to be all that different when desktop publishing came on the scene. Big, established advertising agencies weren't really tied into the computer and so smaller guys just buzzed right past them. Eventually they'll get interested and simply buy up the small companies. Hey! Maybe you could SELL YOURSELF!
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Sorry for the misunderstanding, I didn't mean to imply that you were predicting the end of fly shops. I was just jumping ahead a little. I think a lot of people do see the end times approaching for the brick and mortar shops. I'm just not one of them.
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I didn't predict the end of fly shops, but do believe that some manufacturers would like to sell direct, but are constrained from doing so by their dealer network. I think it's going to be damned interesting to see how that plays out over the coming years.
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I don't think that they can replace brick and mortar fly shops. Sure you can do a lot of bargain shopping online, but its really nice to be able to run over to the fly shop real quick when you realize you're out of head cement etc… Uh, yea. Sign me up. I'll wait for you to come by for your 3 dollar purchase. And I'll smile. Cause I know you will sign up for the free fly tying class. Now I'm really ... more ahead. But that is what the trade print media says I need to do. Yea. They got it figured out. You watch. Chris
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We're debuting our first iPhone app in a few weeks. Hope you can catch up! (first of many – woot!)For a newer channel, you kids do seem to be putting the boots to your competitors. Then again, you'd think any modern media company would be on top of this stuff, though interestingly, many aren't.
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Online sales and direct marketing will continue to grow. However, I don't think that they can replace brick and mortar fly shops. Sure you can do a lot of bargain shopping online, but its really nice to be able to run over to the fly shop real quick when you realize you're out of head cement etc... Support your local shop, and local fly tiers!@
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welcome to the wonderful world of social media, Orvis. We're debuting our first iPhone app in a few weeks. Hope you can catch up! (first of many - woot!)
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