So, I didnít yet send my letters off. I decided Iím going to fine tune it a bit more before sending, and I am also writing up a heartfelt ďthank youĒ to Cortland as well. I thought Iíd share my work in progress though, rough as it is, in the hopes that perhaps a few more folks might find a nugget or two that inspires them to forward some of their own comments. Marketing departments, as well as R&D departments put a lot of thought into what they think consumers want, and I know for a fact that a lot of packaging decisions are made based on what they feel consumers prefer. So, for your consideration:
To whom it may concern.
Greetings! Iím writing to you because I enjoy your fly lines a lot, and look forward to improvements that you will no doubt continue to make. Iíd like you to consider such innovation from a different perspective for a moment though. I imagine plenty of thought goes into taper profiles, performance improvements, marketing strategies, etc. In the end of course, youíre trying to make it all more fun!
On the large topic of fun, Iíd suggest that thereís far bigger factors that affect our enjoyment of this wonderful sport than the performance of our equipment. I think youíd be hard pressed, for example, to sell many fly lines if the health of our fisheries declined to the point where there were few viable legal options available to fish. Letís hope that never ever becomes a reality! One major issue facing the health as well as the aesthetics of our lakes, streams, and oceans, is the growing accumulation of TRASH! Imagine the fun of exploring miles of pristine white sand beaches with aqua marine waters teeming with fish. Now imagine those beaches literally covered in giant heaps of trash! Talk about a huge downer!
This was exactly the experience of a very recent fishing trip my wife and I took. As you can probably imagine, a huge percentage of those trash was plastics of some form or another. While it certainly wasnít the first time we had been disheartened to see an otherwise idyllic setting spoiled by trash, this one was more dramatic and disturbing than any previous ones. For one thing, this wasnít the result of some selfish, lazy, ignorant individuals leaving personal trash; no, this was evidence of trash that we all own. It hit hard that both of us have unwillingly been adding to piles like these somewhere else in the world.
This is where you can make a difference! Instead of focusing solely on changes to future fly lines that may travel a few feet further, cut through wind a tad bit more, or hook a few more fish; perhaps you could also focus a bit more on how you can help us all minimize our contributions to the growing accumulation of plastics in our waters. I do realize that this may seem like a very small ďdrop in the bucketĒ so to speak; it is however, a comparatively easy contribution to address. I noticed, and appreciated, that Cortland has recently changed their packaging substantially to do just that. Iíd like to ask, or rather, implore you to do the same... or more! I do hope that in the next season you will consider the big picture, long view here: our enjoyment of fly fishing is intrinsically linked to our opportunities to fish in beautiful places, with clean waters. There are impacts being made in everything we do, but there are also plenty of areas where we can eliminate or reduce those impacts too. I hope you will show creativity and take the lead in the next wave of product innovation.
I applaud, and support, companies who demonstrate an understanding of this. I tend to purchase far more enthusiastically from companies who take as much responsibility for long term sustainability, and I even find that I get just a little bit more joy and satisfaction from these products. I will avoid excessive packaging, for instance, whenever another option is available, and I have often opted against purchasing certain products entirely due to excessive packaging.
Thank you for your time and your consideration,