Back about five or more years ago, some good friends gave me a gift certificate from a local fly shop.
I was guiding at the time, and thought I'd use the cert to bolster my arsenal of flies, so I wandered in and picked up an assortment of bugs that I was just getting too blind and too impatient to tie myself -- #20 Griffith Gnats, #18 and #16 Parachute Adams, some tiny Pale Evening Duns, you get the picture.
So, after selecting a goodly number of these things, I went to the counter with my certificate. It was early in the season, late May or June, but I didn't think anything about that as I stood there by the cash register. A clerk came over and looked at my flies. "Where are you fishing?" he asked. "Deschutes", I replied.
"Well, you certainly don't want these things. They're on salmon flies now." He didn't wait for an explanation, but went straight to the fly bins and started picking out Madame X's and similar birds.
I waited for him until he was through, then handed him my original assortment. He snorted like I was crazy, and took my certificate, and rang up the sale. His body language indicated I'd insulted him grievously. Since I didn't use up all my credit, he gave me a chit for the balance, handing it over with a palable sneer.
I vowed never to return, balance or not.
Recently, I had occasion to go into the same shop. I specifically needed a tip top for a rod and figured they couldn't attack me very successfully over that, and I was too pressed for time to go anywhere else.
The clerk couldn't have been nicer. For a $2.00 sale, he took me into the back of the shop, sorted through a dozen or more tip tops before he found the right fit, glued the thing on my rod tip, and made pleasant conversation throughout.
I could not have been more pleasantly surprised.
I've been back several more times, and each time have been treated very well. I do not hesitate to recommend this shop to any and all while before the rod tip business, I denigrated the place at every opportunity.
The leopard can change its spots. If you've had a bad experience with a shop, give them a bit of time and then try them again. You may be glad you did.