It’s been a long winter and an even longer spring. With mandates being lifted, and people starting to come out of their COVID cocoons, people – especially anglers – are anxious to get outside. Across the world, people have been stuck in their homes trying to figure out a “new normal.” From buying your groceries online or using services like Grub Hub to bring you a variety of meals, to realizing that getting a haircut with the good ole Wahl clippers ain’t so bad. We’ve all probably shopped more online in the last six months than we did all of last year. But with online shopping being an established norm, there is still one type of traditional retail institution that continues to transcend current shopping trends; your local fly shop.
Many folks look to fly shops only as a place to acquire gear and that absolutely is what they are there for. If you’re trying to buy a new rod, reel, flies, fly tying material, a cool hat or outerwear, a fly shop will have you covered. So that being said, your local fly is so much more than that. Here are three deep-rooted reasons why you should go to visit your local shop.
First, touch before you buy – being able to put your hands on a piece of gear before you buy it is a wonderful thing. From casting rods or trying on a pair of waders and boots to confirm fit and feel, to examining a package of tying materials or making sure the volume of the pack you’ve eyeballing will fit everything you need for your next trip. Your local fly shop will offer you all of those opportunities and more. Making a visit to a shop will also help you work out the little nuances during the decision making process. It will confirm and take away the uncertainty to help you make an informed and confident purchase.
Secondly, your local fly shop is in the know. From regulations, mandates, emergency orders, and water conditions, it’s the fly shop’s business to know the ongoings of your local fisheries. They will know what’s open and where you can or cannot fish. They’re the local experts, they know where to fish, what to fish, and how to fish it.
And finally, one of the most important elements of your local fly shop; the camaraderie. Where else can you go where everyone who’s there loves fishing too? Several members of our team are rooted in Alaska and we all love visiting our friend Mike Brown at Mossy’s Fly Shop. From first time customers to long time regulars, great fly shops welcome anglers of all abilities and provide remarkable customer service. Whether you’re new to fly fishing, a dabbler, or a seasoned angler, your local fly shop will have something for everyone to enjoy.
Please leave a comment about your favorite fly shop and what you love about it. So when things get back to ‘normal’, and we’re all back to traveling, we’ll know which local Fly Shops to visit.