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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I'm headed to the shop for supplies. Fortunately, I live in a town that has several shops so I have options. So what does it take to win my business you ask? Well here are a couple things I look for:

1. Always has heady music playing...Dead, Allman Bros., or Sturgill gets bonus points
2. Nice selection of apparel as we all know I'm a sucker for a new shirt.
3. Lots and lots of tying materials so I can act like I'm impressed but in reality I just like the different colors
4. A tying bench that always has an unfinished pattern in the vice
5. A middle aged fish bum working behind the counter that likes to portray his life is wonderful even though he's an alcoholic and not really happy at all. This is in part because he makes $12 an hour and has to constantly listen to fish stories from tourists that really aren't that interesting.
6. A young fish bum that speaks knuckledragger and is overly enthusiastic. "SUP BRO? We crushed it yesterday down low! Fish were stacked on the edge and it was SICKKK!!!!! Then he scoffs at my fly selection and redirects me to the "hot" pattern that he caught a fish on one time.

These are just a couple things I look for in a shop. What about you?

What are some of the great fly shops in the US? In the world?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
More like bored. Super windy today so instead of bumping the Mother's Day Caddis thread with another report, I'm going to the fly shop and probably designing landscaping beds.

So what's your favorite shop?
 

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I am a big fan of Catskill Flies (catskillflies.com) in Roscoe, NY. You walk in to the tiny shop, loaded with a nice selection of flies and gear, your belly aching from the grease you just inhaled at the Roscoe Diner. You notice the owner, Dennis, tying up some beautiful dry flies in the corner. He is usually spitting borderline-abusive, snarky remarks at his lovely wife working the till. All this, interrupted by Dennis offering customers the most detailed and enthusiastic hatch reports you will ever hear. The kind of shop you stop by after fishing to tell them how you did, and they always remember you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The kind of shop you stop by after fishing to tell them how you did, and they always remember you.
Funny post. I can smell the oil from here.

I also think this is a great tip. They want/need the latest beta possible and their guides can only be so many places in a day. You give them good info, they will pay ya back.
 

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5. A middle aged fish bum working behind the counter that likes to portray his life is wonderful even though he's an alcoholic and not really happy at all. This is in part because he makes $12 an hour and has to constantly listen to fish stories from tourists that really aren't that interesting.
6. A young fish bum that speaks knuckledragger and is overly enthusiastic. "SUP BRO? We crushed it yesterday down low! Fish were stacked on the edge and it was SICKKK!!!!! Then he scoffs at my fly selection and redirects me to the "hot" pattern that he caught a fish on one time.
Too funny...#'s 5 and 6 describe probably 90% of the fly shops I've ever been to. Quite a few shops also have the 30 something year old guy that doesn't even try to hide the fact that he doesn't want to be there and that he doesn't have any customer service skills.

My nearest fly shop is an hour away. Maybe that's a good thing!
 

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I like a good selection. Go in for some eyeballs for instance and they have it - right there. You don't need to settle for a different size or different color - they have exactly what you need. The right fur, feathers, rubber legs. I really like looking through all of the stuff. Way better than shopping on a computer or smart phone. I bought some popper heads on line this week and they were the wrong size. Too big. So I ended up buying them twice. Had I been able to look at them I would have got the right stuff. BTW - the popper I made looks like shit.
 

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When I first started flyfishing, a shop opened in town and became the hub for the sport. I met a lot of folks who became fishing buddies and flytying mentors at that shop. I'd stop there each night after work. Then it started selling to new owners and moving around town to new buildings until it finally went under.

There's a new shop in town and I hope they can make it and I do buy small items I need (and they have in stock) in an effort to help keep them afloat but I fear they won't have the staying power. I'm at an age where I really don't need much in the way high dollar items and a shop can't make it by selling tippet material, fly boxes and bead heads.

I can't recreate the conditions when I first started flyfishing so I no longer hang around flyfishing shops, thus, I have no favorite.
 

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At one time, I felt like I lived in the "holy grail" of fly shop-dom. Living on a major freeway arterial, crossed by another highway, I had at my disposal 6 fly shops within an hour's drive - one in town, one was north (25 miles), one east (1o miles), one west (15 miles), and two south (55 miles) - unfortunately, the northern and eastern legs are no more. I liked to visit them all, as they each had their "own flavor" of tying materials.
 

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Most memorable fly shop for me was Kauffmans in Bellevue a long time ago, now gone. It was special because I was new to fly fishing, plunging into a new world of wonder filled with cool stuff I didn't know what was for nor could afford. I remember hearing these old guys talk about their Spey rods and steelhead, thought to myself that must be old people's type of fishing, stupid me had no idea... only if I could started steelheading way back then and not in such a bleak time like this, that's another topic...
Current favorites are Orvis and Emerald Water Anglers, it's so much better to see items in person vs online, especially the tying materials. Patrick's is cool too, but it's a bit further for me.
 
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