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R. Miller

Fly Shops...and all the hype.

10 posts in this topic

I have dabbled around with a fly rod a reel for years, but have never gotten too into it. I just purchased a new outfit and am really excited about getting into the game more this year. To be honest fellas, my most informative feedback has come from you guys on FM. Everyone recommends going to one of the fly shops for all the advice,but to be honest, and I'm not going to name names...I went to one and it seemed like that "elitest" personality. Like if you were a novice...you had a lot to learn. I've had more fun talking to the guys at Cabelas and Scheels over some of the fly shops. Yeah, I know they have great equipment, but if you don't want a $400 Simms rainjacket, then you're kind of out of luck. I don't want to go on a rant here, because the fly shops are neat, but what should I target here? If I don't have the money for Simms outerwear, are the fly shops a good place for fly selection,etc. etc? From what I noticed, tey are an excellent place for fly tying equipment.

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Fly shops are usefull for

1) flies, especially ones that are specific to the area.

2) knowledege; what hatch is on, what's upcoming, how to approach a given run, etc.

3) others in the shop. A good fly shop is a meeting place for fly fishers - a lot of information changes hands.

4) Classes.

5) Help casting (often for free).

6) A selection of lines spooled up on different reels so that you can pick the right line for a given rod and conditions (you may need to overline a given rod, or SA and Rio lines of the same weight designation aren't the same so one or the other will work better). This isn't something you can do mailorder. Since you'll be hard pressed to get a line cheaper via mailorder it makes sense to support your local fly shop.

7) Scrutinize your setup. It's always good to have someone go over your selection of flies, rigging, and how you rig for various situations. You'll always learn something.

8) Decent gear and help with fitting. Fitting waiters can somewhat difficult. After going through a whole bunch of waiters there are two that fit me properly and 20-30 that don't. You won't get that through mail order. If you run into an elitist attitude try another shop!.

As for $400 jackets, well I have that one (bought off of Ebay for $300) and I really do like it. I was looking for a replacement jacket for over a year and tried on a bunch (cabela's, LL Bean, Orvis, Simms, Cloudveil, Reddington), but that evil Simms G3 was the only one that fit me right, felt comfortable casting, had the features I want, could fit a couple of decent jackets underneath (for varying weather)

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That sounds good DinkaDunk. The fly tying equipment looks great. I think I'll have to venture over to the one in Lake Elmo, I've heard a lot of good about that one.

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If I'm not at on the water or at work you'll usually find me at the great lakes fly company. You get great info from all sorts of different people coming in there and from the owner himself. I sit around and tie flies at one of the vices which costomers are welcome to use. I watch fishing videos and talk with excellent fly fisherman about the upcoming seasons and last but not least I spend way more money than i should. shocked.gif

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The bad shopping experience can go both ways. The last time I was in the mega-store in Rogers, the fellow behind the counter in the fly fishing area went out of his way to say something insulting about one of my best friends - after I'd told the guy that the person he was insulting was one of my best friends. Further, this giant retailer didn't have a single Echo rod in stock for me to look at, even though their catalog makes a big deal out of them. Oh, yeah, the guy was willing to order one in for me to look at. I'd only have to drive 75 miles back to the store to look at it. I don't want to go on a rant, either, but I think it will be long time before I set foot in there again.

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Quote:

but I think it will be long time before I set foot in there again


I've vowed never to buy anymore fly gear from their retail stores after my last couple of visits. Besides always getting ignored, they often don't know what they're talking about. There is an older fellow who was somewhat helpful, and ordered me an out of stock item to be delivered to my house w/out a shipping fee, but that has been the exception. I also think that they have a pretty limited selection of stuff intheir stores. S------ W------ has way more tying stuff on the shelf, their staff (in fargo anyways) have been more knowledgable, and their prices cheaper on many items, and I am always gretted and helped the second I walk into the aisle.

I can tell you for that on my visits to the local fly shops, I have never once been ignored or made to look dumb for being a novice when I first started fly fishing. Every time I've been in a shop, the guys dropped what they were doing and made sure that I was being taken care of. This also included my half-hour ramblings on various subjects. I haven't perceived the elitist attitude by store staff in any of the local shops (though maybe by some of the customers), especially considering that I was looking/talking about warmwater stuff, in predominantly trout oriented shops.

Stream reports are nice, but I think the beauty of fly shops is getting good tips on tying materials and techniques. There are always a few anglers in the store that you are able to share ideas or tactics with. It's kind of like the social hour for fly anglers, since most anglers on the stream are looking for isolation.

I do agree, though, that FM is a great place to exchange information, especially if you're looking for specific information on a local water, anywhere in the state.

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Quote:

Everyone recommends going to one of the fly shops for all the advice,but to be honest, and I'm not going to name names...I went to one and it seemed like that "elitest" personality.


I know which shop you are talking about and i have always gotten that impression from them too (assuming im right). my favorite shop is on the north side of town right next to a musky shop. its probably closer to you than the lake elmo one assuming you are still in minnetonka. the guys there are really laid back and very informative and are able to talk on your level very well in my experiance. check them out

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Both shops are fantastic! incredibly helpfull. I'm very new to fly fishing, seriouse fly fishing anyways, and am not a purist, and fairly proud of that description. They are both STILL very free with their help. I don't spend much either. Going through a divorce, don't have anything to spend. They STILL help! You know where I'm going when I'm rich again tongue.gif

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Brian over at Thorne Bros/Fly Angler is a great guy to talk to without the "elitist" personality. Otherwise, head to Lake Elmo and hang out with Mike and his lazy pooch.

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Thanks for all the great advice guys. I am a "newbie" when it comes to fly fishing, and maybe I just caught a couple retailers on a bad day or something. From the few fly shops I've been to, I can definitley say they're above and beyond as far as quality product goes. I'll have to just continue to explore to find my favorite shop!

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