Fly South, Young Man

I’m comforted by the similarities between most fly shops. Sure, the rod rack might be in a different corner and each shop will have a couple local patterns, but that same “how ya doin?” coming from behind every counter reminds me of the common flyfishing culture we share across the country. However, every once in awhile…

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Anglers All

Anglers All has good energy. Natural light shines from the two-story windows. Railroad Earth and a snoring dog provide the soundtrack. Employees greet customers with a firm handshake and a “What can we do for ya?”

Stitcher’s Stash

Google Maps took me deep into suburban Denver, where I wound up in front of a nondescript two-story house. I parked and rechecked the address. I walked up to the front door and knocked. A man appeared. We shook hands. Then he opened his garage to reveal 400,000 flies in a dozen trays. Apparently this was…

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Pyramid Fly Co.

If you’re looking for a 20+ pound cutthroat, you’re either high or you’re fishing Pyramid Lake. Maybe both. In the center of northern Nevada’s elevated-desert lie the remnants of Lake Lahontan, once covering more than 8,000 square miles. Today, the largest body of water left is Pyramid, home to legends of spell-casting mermaids, human-snatching babies…

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Lund’s Fly Shop, Wisconsin

Lund’s opened its doors to the people of River Falls, Wisconsin in 1873. A. W. Lund Co. sold wooden carriages. As the town grew, the Lund family’s operation grew. In 1881, they opened a general store on Main Street that focused on hardware. The Kinnickinnic River ran behind the store and sometime in the 1970s,…

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The Reef Fly Shop

Sagebrush and brown rolling mounds. Ripping wind and an Arctic shoulder-season. One righteous truck stop bar, where dollar bills wallpaper smoky internals. And iffy gas station burritos at 6 a.m. There you have Alcova, Wyoming… at first glance.

Emerald Water Anglers

Seattle is a fishy place. With the Puget Sound in its backyard, the Olympic Peninsula three hours west, and sneaky creeks within striking distance due east, you’d think that in addition to espresso factories on every corner it’d be easy to source a fly shop. But that hasn’t always been the case. Until now.

Wolf Creek, Montana

Wolf Creek, Montana, is just ambitious enough to justify a post office and a couple of bars. Its proximity to cold, clear tailwater stretches of the Missouri River, below Holter dam, also make it ripe for a fly shop, and that’s where Wolf Creek Angler steps in. Shop co-owner Jason Orzechowski purchased the retail space…

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3 Rivers Angler

It’s 2011, the economy’s in the toilet, and businesses are folding at an alarming rate. So what did Allen Gillespie and Jeremy Nelson do? They opened a fly shop. Foolish? A guaranteed loser? Others may have thought so, but these guys dove in, opening 3 Rivers Angler that fall. They wanted to alter the flyfishing…

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Cohutta Fishing Company

Cohutta Fishing Company began life in fall 2009 high on aspirations… a little short on ceiling space. For three years operations were dwarfed inside an 8-foot high, 1,400 square-foot box—which made selling 9-foot fly rods tough. The shop has since relocated, ballooning its square footage, expanding inventory with stocked shelves of top gear, and planting…

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Schultz Outfitters

Today’s fly shop is evolving. No longer is it merely a place to stumble in, drop 10 bucks on bugs, exit toward river, and repeat six months later. There’s more to the equation. Successful shops are community builders. Gathering places for the like-minded. Hubs of activity offering wisdoms extending beyond the sale rack.

California Fly Shop

Bay Area fly shops have taken a hit and many hanger-ons have slid off the cliff in recent times. In 2006, after witnessing a flurry of shops fold, current California Fly Shop owners Xavier and Karen Carbonnet made the brazen move to embrace the industry and acquire one.

TCO Fly Shop Friday

Flyfishing may be good in the West but it was definitely brought here, not born here. And if you’re looking to source the cradle of the sport, best turn a 180 and squint toward the bustling metropolises of the east and a little place called Pennsylvania. Its list of flyfishing trailblazers is long and Tulpehocken…

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Western Rivers Flyfisher

Try this on for size. Close your eyes and imagine a flyshop more interested in amplifying experience than sticking you with spools of $14 tippet, dozens of hyperanatomical flavor-of-the-day flies, and pearl strands of pink thingamabobbers. Imagine that this same flyshop has invested in this “experience giving” commodity for 25 consecutive years, pushing things like…

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The Fishermen’s Spot

The Fishermen’s Spot has been serving the Southern California region for more than 40 years. Tenacity, exceptional customer service, and deft product know-how all play into such impressive longevity. But never discount dumb luck, stubbornness, and an unwillingness to face reality, says shop co-owner Ken Lindsay.

Fishing the Cape

Cape Cod is a gnarly pine tree sandbar that sticks sixty miles out from Massachusetts into the north Atlantic. A fishing mecca from time immemorial—Vikings crossed the Atlantic in open boats called knarrs to fish the teeming offshore banks, and the native Wampanoag perfected clambakes there—up to today with one of the best bluefish and…

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The Fish Hawk

The Atlanta, Georgia, metropolis moves and shakes with more than 5 million people. It’s home to Coca-Cola and Rubbermaid, sweet red meat and BBQ, and crunk scenesters like Lil Jon and OutKast. What these entities have to do with flyfishing culture is hard to say. But beneath all the Hotlanta hype, a force has surfaced.

Royal Treatment Fly Fishing

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Royal Treatment Fly Fishing in West Linn, OR. Upon walking in the door I was greeted by owner, Joel La Follette, who waved me in, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “Hi Sarah, make yourself comfortable at the fly table, Rob [Crandall] is tying winter steelhead…

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Country Pleasures

Think of Canadian delicacy “Poutine” much like you would a savory ice cream-Sunday—only substitute vanilla for French fries, chocolate for brown gravy, and nuts and a cherry on top for a heaping dollop of cheese curds. Sounds gnarly, but it’s actually quite brilliant… so long as you limit your intake in accordance with the Surgeon…

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The Angling Company

Long before Occupy Wall Street spawned from the gritty sidewalk cracks of Manhattan, back in the spring of 2009 when the U.S. economy capped its worst performance in 51 years, the sentiment around town—at least for those working in finance—was less about occupying anything and more about evacuating everything.

Bighorn Trout Shop

Located in a rugged side-pocket of eastern Montana, little Fort Smith is a big flyfishing destination. There are few roads and plenty of river; more browns and rainbows per river mile than humans per square mile; and limited amenities exist other than fly shops, outfitters, and a few fishing resorts. Life is good, if you…

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Jones Outfitters, Inc.

Back in 1980, Lake Placid played host to a little event called the Winter Olympics. A bunch of figure skaters and tobogganers showed up, as well as some dudes with hockey sticks and missing teeth. Naturally, no one paid too much attention to the figure skaters. (Tonya Harding was barely even born yet. And Will…

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Trout’s Fly Fishing

Hello there! My name is Petulant Sciatica, and I am a symptom of significant time spent decaying within a steel and glass coffin on the 27th floor in downtown Denver. Each day I am indirectly exposed to vast amounts of bitter, charcoal-tainted java while my host—his name is Jack—exchanges voicemails and e-mails with others just like…

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Rock Creek Anglers

There are those flyshops we find in pursuit of convenience: they either live close to home or en route to destinations that require localized beta and specific bugs. Then there are those—farther afield, in unlikely places you visit once but may never return—that find us. Rock Creek Anglers, located in Saddlesrting, Wyoming, falls into the…

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Concord Outfitters

My local flyshop is now an empty space with a “For Lease” sign in the window, closed due to competing Internet sales, Wally World, Cabela’s, and a Dick’s. It was the only local place where I could actually talk to someone who fished, fly fished, and gave a damn about the state of fishing in…

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Northwoods Angler

WHITEFISH, MT—Scott Fenwick says Northwoods Angler “isn’t your regular fly shop.” It only takes a few seconds inside to understand what he’s talking about. There are rare books, collectible paintings, antique signs and surfboards scattered among the requisite flies, rods and other fishing gear. In one room, underneath a television displaying a flyfishing adventure documentary,…

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Steamboat Flyfisher

Steamboat Flyfisher has traversed several storefront locations over its more than a decade long morphology. From its Old Town Square digs to its newer, plusher location on Yampa Street, the shop today sits a rollcast away from the Yampa River, where across the street you can peer over the bridge railing, break out your rod,…

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Charlie’s FlyBox

Digging into Charlie’s, the 6-year-old Arvada, Colorado flyshop mainstay, is akin to entering the box of a tying master. But instead of perusing a dozen rows of meticulously filled C&F foam slits, you’ve stumbled into a dream selection of 2,400 fly bins filled

The Fly Fisher’s Place

The Fly Fisher’s Place has been a fixture in the quaint town of Sisters, Oregon for nearly 25 years, and is the longest continuously owned shop in all of central Oregon. Jeff Perin, owner of The Fly Fisher’s Place, purchased it 20 years ago, fulfilling a life-long dream of owning a shop just like the…

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TroutHunter… Updated

[Last Friday we posted a short piece on Last Chance, Idaho, flyshop, The TroutHunter. Co-owner Jon “The Animal” Stiehl joins us today, filling you in on the dirt: High times, low times, drunken A-Bar debates, scraps with reps and the establishment, Idaho gun love, and Rene Harrop’s penchant for Natty Lite. Enjoy.  —GM]

Goldstock’s Sporting Goods

When I moved to an Albany, NY suburb from northern Michigan five years ago, my first priority was to find the closest flyshop. At my new place of employment, I walked through a maze of cubicles, searching for the most outdoorsy looking guy in the building. “Bruce, where’s the local fly shop?” “We don’t really have…

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Sunrise Flyshop

Next time you’re driving around fishing the rivers of southwest Montana and you’re in the mood for a little adventure, try driving the High Road. This rough-and-tumble 20-mile county road connects Twin Bridges to Melrose and the Big Hole River to its confluence with the Jefferson. But before you start out, learn from the mistakes…

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The River’s Edge

Sunshine and Salmonflies on the radar Of the laundry list of flyfishing variables we cannot predict, weather—good or bad—ranks near the top. So far spring 2010 has been a strange, extended winter for many living in the West: Rain, snow… more snow. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in southwest Montana, where late-season snowpack continues…

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Gig Harbor Fly Shop

Most people with a shred of business sense would question 31-year-old Blake Merwin’s motivation to open the Gig Harbor Fly Shop in March of 2009, right in the midst of America’s largest financial collapse since the Great Depression. The established flyshop of twenty years, and barely ten miles down the road, had just been forced…

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McLellan’s Fly Shop

We all know what a proper flyshop is supposed to look like. You park where a gas station burned down in the Sixties, walk by a nice place to get a drink, cross over the rickety old porch and then flap through the screen door, stepping into a converted general store built before the crops…

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Urban Angler—NYC

If, as the classic narrative goes, there are more than 8 million stories in the naked city, Urban Angler flyshop, for the past 20 years, has been intertwined in the yarn. From links to the Madoffs (indirect at best, says Bernie) to recent American Express TV ads, this Manhattan retailer maintains its spot as the…

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Sierra Trout Magnet

What would motivate a person to open a fly shop in the midst of the Great Recession? I asked this question to David D’Beaupre, who opened The Sierra Trout Magnet and Guide Service in Bishop, California, in August 2009. With small, independent fly shops closing left and right in recent years, I figured he had…

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The Otter’s Den

  About a month ago we received a letter signed by a dude named Matt. He claimed he’d stumbled upon a flyshop so amazing, so gritty, so real, in a state so blessed—or cursed, choose your poison—with outfitters, that we must share it with you.   Sensing the big scoop, we dug deeper. Matt told…

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T. Hargrove Fly Fishing, Inc.

In a town crazy for baseball, there are at least a few people in St. Louis, Missouri, that regard the Cardinals as mere amusement—something to occupy their time while driving to some of the most underrated flyfishing streams in the Lower 48. Many of those drives start at T. Hargrove Fly Fishing, tucked off Interstate…

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Wiley’s Flies

Ultra remote Rainbow Lake, New York, buried deep within six million-acre Adirondack State Park, may seem an unlikely place for any business, let alone a startup flyshop. But that hasn’t deterred area native Vince Wilcox, who moved his online Colorado operations east and opened Wiley’s Flies in May 2008.

Whistler Flyfishing — Olympic Hopeful

Fly fishing has yet to gain traction in the wide world of Olympic-caliber “sports”—trampoline, rhythmic gymnastics, synchronized swimming, curling, ping pong, to name a few of our favorites—but that has not deterred Whistler Flyfishing owner Brian Niska from reaping rewards with the 2010 Games touching down on his home turf this week.

Northwest Flyfishing Outfitters

When John and Shirley Hagan first opened Portland’s Northwest Flyfishing in May of 1993, Czechoslovakia was dissolving, Rodney King was testifying, and the Second Coming of the Spey rod was still a decade away. But 17 years later, the Hagens still offer the quality products and service that East Side Portlanders have come to expect.

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