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Fly shop ettiquette

4243 Views 74 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  BrownDog
trying to have a positive conversation on this website. been working in a fly shop for some time now. been seeing lots of new guys coming in wanting to get a new setup or learn how to get into fly fishing. thats great! there are ways to be nice and considerate about it. i'll name a few, if any of yall have experienced more drop em in the comments for upcoming guys.

-Be open to suggestions. we do want to help
-ask questions
- feel free to hang out! we aren't always busy. nice to have good fish talks
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If you want the best info bring the shop rats a 6 pack of good beer. Most importantly though, don’t visit your local shop to look at, test, cast a bunch of gear only to turn around and order it online or from your buddy that has a “pro deal”.
 

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Good post. Part of the problem is the flip side. Many fly shops hire kids in the summer who are enthusiastic and want to be helpful. But they just don't know their products or even worse the local waters. They just spit out the tag line almost like they are reading from the manufacturers brochure. I get frustrated when I get in the situation where they clearly just don't know or have the level of expertise I wish they had. BUT I have to then think back about my summer at the fly shop. And most certainly a lot of anglers who came in there knew a lot more than I did. So patience is the key. They got to learn on the fly (see what I did there...lol). Now here's a suggestion for those young inexperienced kids. Don't BS a customer. Just tell them you don't know and then go find whomever in your shop does know what the customer is asking. Believe me every body wins in that scenario. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got in the working world was a pretty simple thing. When you are asked something and you don't know just say "I don't know but let me get an answer for you and I 'll get back to you as quick as I can."
 

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I have a general rule of thumb:
If i'm going to a new area and plan/hope to get info from a fly shop I always spend at least 20$ on a few flies or misc stuff.
Always a good idea to support the local economy, especially the smaller independent businesses.
But one word of caution, just because you visit a local shop and drop $20, $50 or more, don't feel like you are entitled to the GPS coordinates to the latest hotspot or other insider info. I witnessed this in a N. Ga flyshop when a guy came in and spent $40-$50, then asked where to go to catch wild brook trout, info not readily available. The shop manager gave him some general directions but refused to give specific info, the guy gets all pissy and wants his money back for his purchase. Attitudes happen, and just because you spend a little money, don't feel entitled to all the intel.
 

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2022 East Cape Evo X
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I always try to buy from my local shop first before ordering online. The service, experience, reports and shop talk are worth far more than any meager savings. Orlando Outfitters is my local shop - the guys there are great. New Smyrna Outfitters on the right coast and Tailwater Outfitters on the left are my secondary go-tos depending on which coast I'm fishing.

I hate to think of this avocation devoid of real fly shops that I can visit, learn from, share info with and test/BUY gear from
 

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Always a good idea to support the local economy, especially the smaller independent businesses.
But one word of caution, just because you visit a local shop and drop $20, $50 or more, don't feel like you are entitled to the GPS coordinates to the latest hotspot or other insider info. I witnessed this in a N. Ga flyshop when a guy came in and spent $40-$50, then asked where to go to catch wild brook trout, info not readily available. The shop manager gave him some general directions but refused to give specific info, the guy gets all pissy and wants his money back for his purchase. Attitudes happen, and just because you spend a little money, don't feel entitled to all the intel.
Lord no, I know better than to ask for that kinda stuff haha. I'm referring to asking for general tips on flies or what general stretch of a river may be producing.
 

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I'm an intense / mediocre fly fisherman. There are lots like me. I don't care about the "top shelf" gear, I'm fine with mediocre gear. Cater to me. Also, if you're going to have a social media presence then respond to questions whenever possible. There is an upstart shop here in Texas that is pushing hard on social media. I asked them a simple question about a product and they never responded. I scratched it off my list.
 

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Over the years, I've noticed that there tends to be this popular idea that all the guys working in bait / tackle / fly / gun shops are all just a great group of simple down-to-earth people who hold all the wisdom. Yet their customers are all are a bunch of egotistical, entitled, unskilled, walking Orvis catalogs.

In my experience, more often that not that is just not accurate. I won't, but I could call out a few tackle shops around here where sub-par service seems to have become the norm. I will say fly shops tend to better than most and usually a positive experience though.

If you want people to support your small local shop over ordering online cheaper, then you have to offer something they can't get online tailored to that area. That may be gear, service, and / or information but you need to offer something they can't get elsewhere. Make no mistake they are taking money out of their wallet to support you. Piss them off and they will put their money back in their pocket and buy it from their sofa for less money.
 

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Its actually amazing to me that local shops still sell high end gear to people. I know a shop that sells enough fly tying supplies and small stuff like that throughout the year to keep the lights on. But they sell enough rods and reels in the summer to make a living. People (mostly tourists) in off the street and pay retail for a high end outfit.
 

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My advice to "upcoming" folks in the fly world would be that fly shops are like any other type of retail store and there's no specific etiquette needed to shop in one beyond the same general courtesy you'd use anywhere else you might shop. My experience having worked in, shopped in, and supplied fly shops for 20+ years is that they're all trying to sell you something and only a few of them are any good at it.
 

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trying to have a positive conversation on this website. been working in a fly shop for some time now. been seeing lots of new guys coming in wanting to get a new setup or learn how to get into fly fishing. thats great! there are ways to be nice and considerate about it. i'll name a few, if any of yall have experienced more drop em in the comments for upcoming guys.

-Be open to suggestions. we do want to help
-ask questions
- feel free to hang out! we aren't always busy. nice to have good fish talks
trying to have a positive conversation on this website. been working in a fly shop for some time now. been seeing lots of new guys coming in wanting to get a new setup or learn how to get into fly fishing. thats great! there are ways to be nice and considerate about it. i'll name a few, if any of yall have experienced more drop em in the comments for upcoming guys.

-Be open to suggestions. we do want to help
-ask questions
- feel free to hang out! we aren't always busy. nice to have good fish talks
You sound like someone who "cares" and wants to share the sport. I think that will make you successful.
 
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