Patrick's Fly Shop

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Rialto, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. Attached is a link to an article that appeared in the business section of Thurday's PI about Patrick's. It quotes Les Johnson and basically talks about the economics of running a fly shop. One thing that is suprising is the cost of an "average-quality" fly set-up being $1,200 a few years ago compared to $325 today.
  2. One glaring error in the article is, of course, giving the date of Roy's death as 1998; it was twenty years earlier in 1978. Tom Darling, the original proprietor of Avid Angler, managed the store for a while after Roy's passing and before Jimmy LeMert purchased it.
  3. does anybody know what Tom Darling is up too- I havent heard about him in a while, and he sorta helped me get started with flyfishing years ago.
  4. Tom is retired and living on Hood Canal; near Brinnon I believe.
  5. I'm glad people saw the piece in the PI. Yes, the average cost of an outfit has gone down since the deep-pocket days of dotcom cash flow. It is simply part of the ups and down of our economy. Many of the new/younger folks getting into fly-fishing simply do not have the start-up cash that was the case in the early to mid-90s. Fortunately we have found quality equipment that doesn't require a person to rob the kid's college fund in order to get started. Even the most hip and trendy, high end manufacturers are seeing the light here and coming out with lower cost entry level gear.
    I'm not sure how the writer got Roy Patrick's date of passing from what I told him, other than he had a very short time in the store with his recorder running -- and with his tight deadline he could not give me the opportunity to review his copy. Roy Patrick passed in 1971.
    Tom Darling is still living at Hood Canal, last I heard. He doesn't show up at any of the WFFC meetings of late. I haven't seen him for probably five years.
    Jimmy LeMert has been the owner of Patrick's Fly Shop for about 15 years.
    Les Johnson
  6. H-m-m-m, I wonder why 1978 popped into my head. Roy died just a couple of years after I got hooked on tying, which was some time in the late sixties. Thanks for setting the record straight Les.
  7. "One thing that is suprising is the cost of an "average-quality" fly set-up being $1,200 a few years ago compared to $325 today."

    I think they worded that part poorly in the article. My impression was not that you can now get the same quality setup for $325 that previously would have cost $1200. Instead, the average customer who comes in to get an outfit is spending less money on more economical products.
  8. Some years back it was not uncommon for a customer to walk into a shop (like Patrick's or the old Swallow's Nest) and plunk down $500 for an Abel reel, 400 for a top end Sage rod and another 100 plus for line, leaders, flies, boxes, etc. It all added up to something like a grand (plus or minus some change). We don't see that nearly as often today, although we still do have some folks purchasing very high end stuff.
    Another thing that is driving prices down a bit is competition from offshore manufacturers. As I stated earlier in this thread, anglers, on the average, have less money to spend on tackle. The writer simply didn't have a lot of time.
    Les Johnson
    Tony Abaloney likes this.
  9. Case in point: Last weekend, a customer walked into the shop and told me he was going to go to the Grande Ronde and he presented me with a list of equipment he received from his guide. The guy bought a 9' 8wt 4-piece rod, wide arbor reel, multi-tip flyline, leaders, a couple dozen steelhead flies, bootfoot waders, neoprene socks, and wading shoes. Including tax, it came to somewhere around $850. I recall, in years past, after "the movie", people were buying a rod and reel only for about the same.

  10. Hey Leland, Preston, Les, any of you guys know if Tom is still out in Hood Canal? I'd love to drop him a line just to see if he remembers the little kid that used to ride the buses up from Des Moines to visit "his" shop on Eastlake, and shoot the bull a little...
  11. I don't know where he lives but I saw him at the fly show in Lynnwood this year and Patrick's is where a got all my fishing gear and fly tying items, when I started. I would alway go to where Tom was. It was good to see him. I had seen or talk to him in about 15years or so.
    Jim Speaker likes this.
  12. Thanks John.
  13. When did Tom stop running Patrick's and/or working there regularly?

    I read that he started Archer and Angler in June of 1975, which led to Avid Angler and he bought that out in the early 80s and got rid of the archery aspect.

    My time at Patrick's when I'd go up there pretty regularly as a kid was from around 1980 to 1981, maybe 83 or so tops... just trying to piece it together.
  14. Bought my LL-379 blank from that shop on close out... one of my favorites. Running any small business these days must be a challenge particularly these days.
  15. Couple of their books from the sixties

    Attached Files:

    JesseCFowl likes this.
  16. That second one was my first pattern book when I was 11. Lost somewhere along the line. I just ordered a used copy for $7.50 last week can't wait til it arrives!!!
  17. Roy Patrick was a true gentleman. He helped me get started in tying and was very patient with my inane questions. He was ill when I met him and he passed soon after. I met Tom Darling when he opened his shop on Roosevelt. I bought most all of my rods and reels from Tom when he was in business.

    I also have those two books of Roy's but I gave the tie your own flies to my Grandson. I have no idea where it is now.
  18. I've got these two books also. Gave one away in 1978 (based on the inscription) and it returned to me about 2 years ago.
  19. I had a couple of his small pamphlets on fly tying, but I have no idea where in the hell they are now. I got them from my Father-in-Law. He used to shop down there.
  20. I too began my tying from encouragement from Patrick's, Tom was a great mentor. After leaving Patrick's he started the Archer & Angler with Ron Benzack and later, after Ron took over the operation at Circle W Rank on Lake HiHume, Tom ran the store with his wife. He had some major health issues and I have not seen Tom in many years.

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