This past week I wrote about a less-than-pleasant experience that I had at a fly shop. This unnamed establishment seemed great by every external standard, but fell short on the particular day that I was shopping for some unknown reason.
A lot of people read that article. Probably because negativity sells. Controversy, conflict, and contrarian opinions get the clicks. That wasn’t my intention, but it certainly happened.
In the interest of being fair and balanced, I thought I’d link to some older posts with some different perspectives and more positivity about fly shops.
Below are two pieces that explore the multifaceted and important role that retail plays in the culture of fly fishing:
“Lefty Kreh, Lee Wulff, Poul Jorgenson, Gary Borger – they’d all come in to the shop if they were in the area. Politicians, actors, everyone,” said Bill Skilton. Southcentral Pennsylvania was a premier place to fly fish for trout, with Boiling Springs and the shop as the epicenter. The accessibility and popularity make sense, as the valley is within a few hours’ drive of metropolitan areas like Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York. “One issue of Fly Fisherman magazine had five articles all featuring the area,” said Tom Baltz. “The streams and the shop were getting a lot of press.”
There is an appointed time for Bass Pro and Cabela’s. I wonder how many lip-rippin’ bassers have paused to inspect a nine-foot eight-weight on their way to the spinnerbait aisle? It would be interesting to know the long-term effects of kids with birthday money that wander into these stores’ fly sections. As corporate policy dictates at least a small segment of floor space be given to a token fly fishing department, are anglers in areas without fly shops being exposed to the sport for the first time?