Seattle Kman is DOA?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by slippery_whippet, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. slippery_whippet Member

    Posts: 229
    Sedro Woolley, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Happened to be in downtown Seattle over the Turkey-day holiday weekend and on a whim dropped into Kaufmann's Fly shop downtown. What a drag, guy behind counter seemed very pissed off when I inquired about the lack of stock on shelves or flies in bins. He made it clear they were closing the doors soon. Seems like another fly shop is near death. I had hoped to go in a pick up a few supplies and talk fishing holes, but instead it felt like a visit to a morgue. I know there are other alternatives out there (thank goodness), but it sure was sad to see what seems to be another casualty of the bad economy. Bottom line is we need to support our local shops (as much as possible) if we want them to keep from going extinct!
  2. Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Posts: 1,349
    Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +119 / 0
    If true, that's too bad. I like that shop and the guys who work there but unfortunately I'm not a guy who has much influence on their bottom line. I pick up this and that for time to time but I don't need too much stuff these days.
  3. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,450
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +429 / 0
    It was sad when they closed the Bellevue store. Times are hard. Looks like a lot of the standby
    shops are struggling. But then again, fly fishing is a recreation industry and they are usually the first to suffer in hard times. Your point about support is well stated. One can only hope that the business climate in Oregon is friendlier.

    Last I had heard was Lance had bought Randall out and was running the shop, but I could be
    wrong about that.
  4. shawn k Member

    Posts: 697
    buckets worldwide
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    portland was in the same condition on friday. Sad to see that happening.
  5. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,892
    Ratings: +206 / 0
    While it is too bad, I wouldn't shop there because it was so inconvenient. Drive around, find a parking spot, pay for the parking spot - no thanks from this guy. Plus, I want to try and help McGinn and his quest to keep cars out of Seattle.

    There are plenty of other shops that I frequent in my travels around the state.

  6. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,394
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +774 / 2
    Wow, 10 years ago Kman was a big deal in the Northwest. If true, this is a sad sad event.
  7. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    It truly is. When I picked a flyrod back up again in 1998 after a 25-year hiatus, Kaufmann's in Bellevue became almost a second home for me as I re-equipped for both fishing and flytying. Many of the crew there were like old friends: Dennis Worley, Sparky, Brian, Bob, even Leland during his brief tenure at that store. It's still a bit sad when I drive past their old location and think about how convenient they were. The downtown Seattle store was a LOT less convenient, but they were really great about taking phone orders and sending my purchases out by mail.


  8. SteelieD Non Member

    Posts: 1,001
    In a van down by the river
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I really like the Seattle Kman, Bob and Don were particularly helpful. Greg taught me the basics of tying in a class (the class consisted of just me so it turned out to be the best one-on-one instruction I ever received!). But, as MB said, it wasn't very convenient. Parking was actually not that bad if you went in the garage right next door, but expensive. If I needed a "major" purchase (rod, reel, flyline, etc...) I would go there. If it was just a bag of hooks or a pack of tying materials, there are much easier places to get to. Unfortunately, I have not had a major purchase in some time so I have not been there in awhile. It is a shame to see this happening. I might go down there today and buy something.

    Reminds me too... I don't think, I've seen a catalog from them in awhile either. It was my favorite, especially for browsing patterns and trying to imitate them. Anyone else seen a catalog?
  9. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    The Kaufmann's catalog was required toilet reading whenever I need to be there more than a minute or two. Sit down, pick up the catalog, open to any page and start reading. While I still reach for reading material, the Cabelas, Orvis, Fly Shop and Feather Craft catalogs just don't seem to deliver the same satisfaction as the old Kaufmann's ones. I still have one or two at the bottom of my reading material stack I think . . .

    Last time I was in Seattle, Kevin told me that they'd decided to stop producing the catalog due to the high production and mailing costs and concentrate on web sales instead.

    Sigh again.

  10. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,771
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +404 / 0
    This is what happens when people decide to shop online for deals instead of supporting their local shops! If you want to continue to have these places around, its imperative you support them. Want something they don't have? Ask the shop to order it for you. Otherwise they are all going to go the way of the dodo sooner than later. You cant walk into an online store and shoot the breeze, try out equipment, or thumb through new tying materials. You can't check the quality of the materials you are buying either.
  11. SteelieD Non Member

    Posts: 1,001
    In a van down by the river
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thx Kent. THAT is a bummer. I hope I have saved my older ones.
  12. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Stilly: True yes but local folks need to be online as well (like most are). The internet provides a niche for the local shops like shooting the breeze, etc. For example, it might be cheaper to buy online but it is great to buy local, hold the stuff you want to buy, ask questions, perhaps try it on, etc.

    And I am one of those people that wants it now and hate waiting for the mail to come.
  13. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,771
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +404 / 0
    Im just a really big supporter of keeping my money local. The people at avid angler, the swallows nest, and creekside have tought me so much, its rediculous. I remember fondly going into the swallows nest to BS with Les Johnson, and learned more about fishing from him than maybe anyone else. Likewise when Mike Kinney was at creekside in Issiquah, I wouldnt have the success I do on the river today if it wertent for their patient tutilage over all the years. I feel like it would be pretty dirty of me to go in, pick their brains, occupy their time, get great info, and then spend my money online elsewhere. Since I work in the retail environment now when not in school, I can tell you first hand how shitty it is to have people come in, waste hours of your time when you could be doing something else, and then flat out tell you they are just going to order the same product online. IT SUCKS!!
  14. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,136
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,226 / 0
    You raise a couple of interesting points. First, a disclaimer: I've got all the gear I need or want and I'm not gonna be in the market for much these days other than replacing consumables like leaders, tippet, hooks, floatant, etc.

    Nonetheless, I'm with you about being touchie-feelie when it comes to supplies and materials. I want to be able to see what color that dubbing is with my own eyes instead of rely on a catalog or web site's description. As a result, I rarely buy tying materials online.

    But the larger issue you raise is the notion that one can find cheaper prices online than in a shop. In my experience, that's simply not true. Nearly all the gear manufacturers sell to both brick and mortar shops and web stores with signed MSRP agreements in place. As a result, the only time you're gonna find a Sage rod, Simms waders, a Rio line or a Ross reel anywhere that's cheaper than MSRP is when the manufacturers themselves decide to blow out their existing supply before introducing a newer model.

    But that's just my experience. Perhaps you or someone else can post a link to a name-brand product online that's being offered for less than MSRP (closeouts and discontinued products don't count)?

    Thanks in advance,

  15. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,227
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +879 / 1
    Wow, this is a bummer. I have nothing but fond memories of my brief stint at both Kaufmann's shops. I interviewed with Randall and worked with Dennis, Sparkey aka Ryan, Blair, Gary, Don, Kevin, Greg, and Bob, as well as Lance and Randy down in Tigard.

    There is a long and storied history of the Kaufmann brothers from Mammoth Lakes, CA to Umpqua Feather Merchants to the present once told to me by Jack Moore at Fish Hunter. It was like the biblical "begats." I believe that at one time, anyone who is anybody in PNW flyfishing worked for the Kaufmanns. Their presence will be missed.
  16. troutramp Member

    Posts: 68
    Mulino Oregon
    Ratings: +0 / 0 and a but load of other stuff at this same site
  17. Flyborg Active Member

    Posts: 2,309
    Kalama, WA
    Ratings: +602 / 0
  18. lespaulrock Member

    Posts: 181
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Damn shame, Kevin and Bob taught me a lot. I used to go down there and shoot the shit, buy stuff, and learn. Really the location is to blame for me not going, I hate downtown seattle.
  19. tkww Member

    Posts: 467
    Ratings: +68 / 2
    While I agree with the "shop local" bit, the fact is, a lot of us have no "local." When that is the case, we're forced to rely on catalogs and websites, and sometimes phone calls. The Kaufmann catalog has really slipped in recent times, at least in my opinion. And like many fly shop web sites, theirs wasn't anything to write home about. It's not that I want to see local business go away, but some of the onus is also on them.
  20. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,771
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +404 / 0
    yeah, if you have no local shop, then online is definitely your only option. Since I don't shop for gear online or from catalogue I can't comment as to the quality of these resources