When you make a mistake, the best thing is to
admit it. That is especially important when
you write a weekly column. If I don't, I take
a chance on not having you believe anything
else I every write or say!
Well, I made a mistake. In last weeks column
I quoted a study, gave the information out, and
while I did say I disagreed with the figures the
so-called study had for the number of women in
fly fishing, I can't use that as an excuse.
Bluntly, the information was not valid.
I received the study in the mail, nicely packaged,
several typed pages and a cd with 250 plus pages.
I read the text, pulled up the cd and read through
it (scanned some sections). I had some questions
and put in a call on Thursday to the PR person who
sent it. On Monday I received a return call, after
the column was published, of course.
My main questions were about the methods used to obtain
the survey numbers.
His answers, which I've already posted on the Bulletin
Board, were that the study was conducted over 6 years
by "random" phone calls. The company taking the
so-called survey said they made 4,000 random phone
calls. Nothing available on time of day the calls were
made, what day of the week, over what period of time
(this is supposed to be a six-year study) nor what
parts of the country. Conceivably they made less than
70 phone calls a year? Opps. Who knows?
We really do try to present good information here on
Fly Anglers OnLine, and sorry to say I bought into
this "study" hook, line and sinker. My sincere apologies.
This study was paid for by many outdoor manufacturers,
and in my opinion, if they use these figures for
anything other than to impress their stockholders
(not exactly kosher either) it would be a big mistake.
Having been involved in real research many years ago,
I know figures can be manipulated to produce any
results. It may be that some people produced these
figures intentionally. The overall "study" results
indicated a very large increase in outdoor sports:
"Adding 16 million new faces since 1998, outdoor
"participants" now comprise two-thirds of the
national population." Sounds terrific! Unfortunately,
we have no idea of what the real figure is.
The good news is I do see some really positive
things happening in fly fishing! At least as far as
FAOL is concerned. We had real growth in readership
this past year, 20% in fact. The other biggie is
about half of our readers are NEW to fly fishing
and/or tying. We have put a lot of time and effort
into providing good information for those coming
into fly fishing (and tying) and the email and
comments on the Bulletin Board are certainly
encouraging! We seem to be doing the job we
set out to do.
Well, except for my column last week.... ~ DLB
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!