How's your Fly Shop doing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steelie Mike, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. FT

    FT Active Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Burlington, WA
    Salmo G,

    I remember very well what it was like back in the 1960's when I was a teenager regarding fly fishing gear and for that matter, even flies to go fishing with. I grew up in Pennsylvania and there was then and still is a fairly large number of fly fishers living in that state. However, the closest most of us got to a fly shop back then were the few mom and pop sporting goods stores that sold everything from tennis rackets to baseball equipment, to football equipment, to golf clubs and balls, to rifles, shotguns, ammunition, and to spinning rods and reel, gear rods and reels, and fly rods, reels, and lines, and even rifle, pistol, and shotgun reloading supplies. To get good fly rods, lines, and reels, we had to mail order from places like Orvis, Dan Bailey's, Buz Buzzeks, Angler's Roost, E, Hille, etc. Or buy the rods directly from the rod makers such as Leonard, Powell, Orvis, etc.

    Fly tying material pretty much had to be bought through outfits like Dan Bailey's, Orvis, Herter's, NetCraft, Angler's Roost, Veniard's, and a few others I forgot the names of. Heck, genetic hackle hadn't even been developed yet so we made due with India and Chinese necks. Jungle Cock was a lot cheaper then though and sold for about $8.00 for a grade B neck and $10.00 for a grade A neck.

    Amyway, my point is that we had to order the stuff,pay for it and shipping, and wait as long a 8 weeks to get it (often longer for a rod) from the UPS guy. And we never got to see tha tying material before it was paid for, so there was a lot of just plain junk bought and sold as a result.

    This changed in the mid-1970's when stores dedicated to selling fly gear and tying materials started to spring up in areas where there was some decent to excellent fly fishing. These fly shops were almost always started by someone who retired from a "real job" who wanted to have a place were local and near local fly fishers could come to and get their rods, reels, lines, flies, etc. This has been good for the sport.

    However, a lot of folks have gotten into fly fishing since the "great movie" in the early '90's that are now moving on to other, more current sporting fads. Some of them will come back to fly fishing as they get older, but many won't. And as Leland mentioned, if we don't do things like the fly fair in Monroe, fewer folks will start fly fishing than will leave.
  2. Trent

    Trent Ugly member

    Nov 16, 2008
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    Well, if fly guys are starting to pinch their pockets, carry some gear; that will definatly broaden your customer base.

    My favorite shop is a bait and tackle shop, which carries fly tying material, he will even order stuff for you if he doesn't have it in stock (his view is, if one asked for it, there must have been others looking who didn't ask).

    They are friendly and knowledgeble in fly shops, but they are also just as spendy to match. Crappy economy=look for who sells shit for less. It's not my job to keep a shop open. Constantly raising their damn prices is not being very loyal to their customers, so why should I be loyal to them?.

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