We are running a campaign to help some particularly important people, and this blog post explains exactly why and how we plan to do it.
Years before I got the idea for Mauser Fly Fishing, I started a guide service here in coastal North Carolina. I still run it and it has been a hugely rewarding experience. Being a guide can take both a physical and mental toll on you, but the work of educating anglers, helping them catch fish, and sharing our love for nature is such a rewarding experience. We get up early, work before we meet our clients, and continue to work after we part ways, but most of us would not trade this business for anything. Some months we work for weeks without a break and some months you we pray for business. And sometimes mother nature comes along and stops everything, as is the case with hurricanes in our region.
Compared to all the things mother nature has thrown at us, the situation guides are currently in is something none of us have experienced. COVID-19 has stopped the guiding industry in its tracks.
The first big thing that happened was the shutdown of international travel. Lodges in the Bahamas, Mexico, South America, the Seychelles and a hundred other places lost all their clients. Many of these destination lodges, that rely on long distance clients, lost them right at the start of their busy season. Many of them have lost half of their year’s income already.
Next, long distance travel within the US and other countries became restricted with recommendations to “stay at home”. When this happened, guides phones started ringing off the hook. Not to book charters, but to cancel them. Fear of travel had driven most clients to cancel or postpone charters with their favorite guides. I experienced this personally, as did all my guide buddies that I have talked with. At that point, most guides were surviving off of local clients at best.
The final nail in the coffin was when the government listed which businesses were essential and non-essential and really enforced the stay at home policies. At least locally, I know some guides that are running a few trips here and there, but many that will not run any until the pandemic is over. Most guides are not even getting called about booking Summer or Fall trips, because there is so much unknown at this point. Every single fishing guide, world-wide is being affected by this pandemic. A hurricane, a drought, or any other act of nature affects a certain segment of the world, COVID-19 is hurting everyone.
We started Mauser not just to make the best fly rods possible, but to make the biggest difference in this sport possible. Not just for the environment, but for the people too. I had been thinking about how we could make a difference for all the guides affected by this. And then I heard about what Cody Richardson was doing over at www.codysfish.com . He was donating 30% of the sold price of each of his art pieces to fishing guide’s in need. But what was really cool, was that he was allowing his customers to decide who got the money. Each customer could give Cody the name and contact info of their favorite guide when they purchased an item, and Cody would send 30% of it to that guide. I absolutely loved the idea.
So here we are…30 for the guides. I think when we get stuck in situations like this, we must make a pivot. What can we do, to not only survive, but to get better? And the answer for us, is to continue to run our business, and try our best to help others in need. We won’t make much money off of this, but it’s the right thing to do. These guides are a huge part of this industry. They educate and entertain anglers, and they make a positive impact on the places we love to fish. So for as long as we can afford to do it, we’re going to give 30 to the guides.
You get a premium American made fly rod, and you get to choose what fishing guide benefits from it.
We cannot fix all the world’s problems, but we are going to do the best we can, wherever we can.
Stay safe, stay healthy, we love you guys!