Patrick's Fly Shop Experience

scifidelity

Active Member
#1
Mods- feel free to move to a better location as I couldn't find a vendor/ sponsor forum nor thread. I wanted to share my experience here to inform others and provide feedback to the shops.

I am very new to the sport. I have been to two local shops: Emerald Water Anglers and Patrick's Fly shop. The staff at Emerald were very attentive, very friendly and informative. The shop is very clean and well organized. On the other hand, I had a terrible experience at Patrick's yesterday. The shop is very disorganized cluttered. The flies aren't even view-able due to clutter on top of the cases. I walked in to pick up a couple of leader packs. I waited ten minutes for the gentleman to finish telling a fishing story to someone else in the shop. I was clearly standing in his view and made it obvious had a question. I know story telling is part of this space, but shouldn't be at the expense of customer service. When he finally helped me, he can condescending and judgmental when he realized I didn't really know what I needed. I went in looking for rio powerflex 2 and 3x leaders. They had the 2x, but for the 3 he recommended the 10lb salmon leader because "once you get out of troutie troutie land, it goes by pounds." It was all in the tone, very condescending. That leader might be great, but that's not the point. They guy needs an attitude adjustment. He made me feel dumb and small. I won't be going back. Based on his stories and the gear they sell, it seems like they specialize in saltwater. Maybe if you only fish saltwater, are an expert and don't mind clutter and non visible merch, you may have a better experience.

Hopefully this thread doesn't start a flame war. I feel it's important to provide feedback to vendors and share our experiences with vendors openly.
 

Alosa

Active Member
#2
I'll back you up. When I was new to the sport and living in Seattle back in 2011-2012, I also went into Patrick's Fly Shop and had a similar experience. Whoever was working the shop (I assume the owner/manager - 'Jimmy'?) was very condescending to me. He asked me what I needed and I went in looking for guidance; being a newbie. I left with nothing after being talked down to and I never went back. On the other hand, I've been in several other fly shops and have had great experiences. Those places got my patronage.

In an age where fly shops are closing due to competition with online sales and big box stores, the little guy had better make an effort to be helpful to newcomers to the sport, or they risk having to close their doors permanently (my two cents).
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#5
....and perhaps he did a favor by providing a heads-up to the rest of us. In over 60 years of fly fishing I have run into several shops that were long on sheer arrogance and short on service. It was always a first and last exposure to those shops for me as there was little need to return for further humiliation.

With internet shops having a much broader selection than most local shops can hope for it would behoove those guys to cultivate new customers like gold nuggets. If smarmy behavior and insults are your bag you belong in politics-not sales.
 

Old406Kid

Active Member
#6
I know nothing of Patrick's so can't comment there but have seen this scenario all too often in my 50 years of fly fishing.

I do think that today overall shops do a much better job and realize, with increased competition, how important both marketing and customer service have become.
That being said, I think many don't realize just how intimidating it can be for someone new to the sport to visit a true fly shop especially if they also have the eyes of half a dozen old chronies on them.

If I was a shop owner I'd bend over backwards to treat these people well, make them feel comfortable, and let them know that there's no question that you consider dumb as we were all there once.
In the big picture, these are the people brimming with new found enthusiasm and are going to spend some real money versus someone like myself that has way too much and might spend a couple hundred a year at best unless something wears out.

To the OP, sorry for your experience and glad you found someone that treats you well.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#9
I see that Patrick's is a WFF sponsor which makes me wonder if they follow any of the forums. Regardless, sorry for your experience.

I've had that happen a few times too and pretty much have never been back to the shops (one of them is history). Also, even for those of us who have been at this a long time (Ive, Old406'r....), gear is constantly changing, maybe even improving. I went through a period in my fly fishing where I "had all I needed" (except for tying materials) - then one day a friend shows up and gifts me a switch rod. I was clueless as to how to rig it up. I didn't get much help from the first fly shop I went to; the owner hates TFO products and suggested a trade in. Hell, I wanted to fish this new rod before I replaced it. Thankfully there are shops with friendly and knowledgeable full service folks around.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#10
I only had the cold shoulder at one shop. But it is no longer in service in Washington. Here in Montana I only shop at one shop, Frontier Anglers, and only visit the others. Just looking and not buying.
 

Old406Kid

Active Member
#12
Also, even for those of us who have been at this a long time (Ive, Old406'r....), gear is constantly changing, maybe even improving. I went through a period in my fly fishing where I "had all I needed" (except for tying materials) - then one day a friend shows up and gifts me a switch rod
Okay, okay, the 200$ was more a figure of speech and even more importantly what my wife thinks.:D
Furthermore I'll admit that I still, on occasion, am prone to weak moments.
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#13
I also experienced the same from Patrick's many years ago and I remember it viscerally. I've never been treated with such contempt in any other fly shop. I've never been back. With that, a friend of mine asked his wife to pick up a couple of things from the shop while he was working. She left crying and she called me to ask if she had done something wrong. She ended up buying some flies and leader material but my friend took them back and asked for a refund because of the way his wife was treated. Patrick's didn't want to but eventually they relented after he continued to work with them. He has also never been back there.

Now these may be isolated examples, I'm sure others have experienced the exact opposite.
 

seattlee

Active Member
#14
Jimmy can rub people the wrong way sometimes (including me when I first visited the shop), but I've learned to just enjoy his directives ("you need to buy this and that if you are really going to call yourself a fisherman!") as a reflection of his passion for the sport. He is kind of a character - give him a few chances and try to get to know him, he is incredibly knowledgeable and willing to share knowledge. The other employees at the shop are top notch and give more of the traditional friendly service, if that is what you are after. I live really close by, so I choose to support them so that I have a fly shop near downtown Seattle.
 
#15
Looking in the way back machine of my early days in fly fishing . . .summer of 2001. Patrick's was close to my office at the time. Les Johnson was behind the counter on my first couple of stops. He sold me a reel that I'm still fishing today (Cortland LTD large arbor) and casually pointed me towards the NF Stilly where I caught my first steelhead. That's the good. The following year I wanted a spare spool for the reel that Les sold me and I ordered it through the shop. When it arrived it wouldn't fit on the reel because the spool was partially crushed during shipping. When I took it back, Jimmy informed me that it was on me because I ordered a cheap reel. He gave me a refund but didn't want to bother asking for a replacement. I haven't been back.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts