So How much is the fly shop guy worth? - Page 2 - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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  #16  
Old 09-29-2002, 04:48 PM
Ol Rich Ol Rich is offline
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I must be fortunate in shop selection

I have done business with four shops in Washington. They have all been very helpful and have not tried to sell me anything. All the employees have shared thier knowledge and preferences with me and were a great help to me in making my purchasing decisions. They have encouraged me to try different rods and lines. Haven't been able to do that over the internet.

The two shops I have purchased from over the internet have also been very helpful and timely in shipping.

I have also had great experiences with Mark Bachmann's shop.

I will continue to support my local shops and Mark. They are worth the extra initial cost by assisting me in making better decisions and support if product warrenty comes into play.

Rich
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2002, 08:54 PM
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Watersprite,

I find myself agreeing with you nearly 100%. I have been flyfishing for 44 years (started when age 5, my father taught me), and tying flies for 40 years (started at age 9). I have also tied flies commercially serveral times in my life, and tying flies commercially the last 20 years is not anywhere near what it was like brfoer then financially.

I find myself going into virtually any fly fishing retailer (including the Madison River Fishing Company, one of those listed by Roballen, when I spent 12 years living in Montana) and not getting my needs met. I have employees tryig to sell me stuff I don't want or need; shop owners who tell me they will have the product ordered and in the shop within 3 or 4 days and it doesn't show up even 3 or 4 weeks later (sound familiar Old Man); owners and emplyees telling me that X material is a perfectly good substitute for what I want, when it is not even close; and telling me the rod, reel, waders, etc. I want are not really up to the task or just too difficult to get our here on the west coast.

Like you Watersprite and Steelheader 69 I have been fishing longer than most people in the shops, know more about fly tying than all but the most dedicated and life-long fly tying shop owner or guide, and I have fished for more different species of fresh water fishes than most guides, shop owners, or shop employees. As a result, I absolutely hate to be told that I should be fishing with some rod make and model that I do not like, or told that a reel I like and have had excellent service out of is junk. Who died and made the shop owners, shop employee, or guide god?

All I really want or need out of a shop is the product that I wish to purchase, and courteous folks behind the counter. And if the shop cannot get it for me, I want them to tell me this up front so that I can go elswhere to buy it instead of them trying to sell me something else that is ,"just as good or better".

I have also had my share of shops that wanted me to tie spey flies with Blue Eared Pheasant hackle and G.P.'s for $12.00/doz, sometimes for only $9.00/doz. Then have the nerve to tell me that there customers won't pay more than $2.00/fly while they have $700.00 rods on the rack, $500.00 reels on the shelf, and $300.00 waders for sale, and also tell me that my expected prices to shops are too high and unrealistic!

The very few shops that I have been into or dealt with that have excellent customer service and who do not BS about product they do not carry, I can count on less than one hand. And that includes shops in Montana, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Northern Idaho. I have posted before on a different thread that there are exactly 2 shops that I can name out of all the shops from Tacoma north and on the North Olympic Peninsula that make this list. They get my business, and they are the ones I tell others to go buy things from.

You want my business, simply provide excellent customer service and don't insult my level of knowledge of fly fishing, fly tying, fly casting, etc. And never, ever try to sell me something as just as good as what I want without having you facts together as to why it is so.
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  #18  
Old 09-29-2002, 10:04 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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"Then (they) have the nerve to tell me that there customers won't pay more than $2.00/fly...and also tell me that my expected prices to shops are too high and unrealistic! "
FT I hear you loud and clear. It sucks when someone doesn't appreciate what you do for a living. You work hard, doing what you love, and this guy thinks you want too much money. I know how you feel.
Now, if this guy was any kind of salesman, he would be able to educate his customers, and they would appreciate the value and quality of your flys.
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Last edited by Eddie; 09-29-2002 at 10:22 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-30-2002, 01:16 AM
old man old man is offline
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Rob, I don't think that was his problem as I called a few others and they had what I was looking for. The reason that I went there is that it was close to home. But I've heard a few other thing's about it. So I guess that I will end up down in Lynnwood again. I seem to end back there all the time any way.
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  #20  
Old 09-30-2002, 10:07 AM
OC OC is offline
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Cool

I would guess that finding the right fly shop is like finding a good local barber shop. You feel confortable when you walk in the door and have trust in the product you get. Also like a barber shop you hope that the conversation stays inside the shop.

I'm glad steelheaders are the way we are. We realize that our ability for a quality experience becomes more and more threatend from many different places. And we are talking about those problems more and more not only on the rivers but even here on flytalk3. I hope that other fishing sections will do the same, striper, trout and tarpon and bonefishing all are having growth problems and Flytalk3 is a perfect place to get people thinking and talking about what the future in fly fishing will be like. It is us the fly fisherman and woman who has the power to shape the future. Thanks Juro for your web site.
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  #21  
Old 10-01-2002, 12:28 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Eddie,

Exactly, the shops that I've tied for were ones that didn't blink an eye when I told them the price/dozen for speys and G.P.'s. They also were able to sell every one of the flies I could tie for them. And they got $3.00 to $4.50 each for them. One shops called me and took a few dozen to try and see if anyone would be interested in paying $3.00 or more for a fly after a friend of mine who knew him told him he should get some in his store.

This shop was surprised to have the 4 dozen he took sell out in less than a week. The owner was on the phone asking for 4 and 5 dozen each of 6 different spey flies and as many G.P.'s in 3 colors. Then said he would take as many as I could tie for him because he had so many people asking for them. Folks were even buying them by the dozen at the normal retail price because they couldn't find them elsewhere. Alas, I no longer have the time to tie the quantities he can sell. He gets some speys, bombers, G.P.'s, Ally's Shrimps, and low water feather wing wets, just no where near the 300 to 400 dozen he used to get from me when I had more time to tie.

I suspect, I would like your shop if you were located here in Washington state because of your postings on customer service.
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2002, 06:56 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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That, is what a good shop guy is worth. Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2002, 07:48 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Re: YES WE ALL HAVE HAD BAD DAYS

Quote:
Originally posted by migerod
Here is my $.02 worth.

...

It was a kinder gentler time and flyfishing was more about personalizes than egos.
We dealt very little with numbers just memories.
The summers were spent taking care of the visiting flyfishers and winters tying the inventory.
If you were real lucky you broke even.
I did not buy a new car and my children did not go to collage.
This was a choice, which I made: to live a surreal life in a world with very few restrains.
It was until I called it quits that I had enough time and money to travel.

...

So when you cast that new graphite rod you can thank people like Jim Green, Phil Kennedy, Joe Fisher, Gary Loomis and Mike Maxwell.
Or when you casting that new line thank Joan Wulff or Leone Chambers.
Or when you tying flies think Noel Shockley, George Grant, Franz Potts, Dan Bailey just to name a few
Flyshop employees who put their best foot forward so you have the sport you have today.

To answer you question to me they are worth their weight in gold.

That is all I have to say about that.

Migerod -

I'm with you. Your words reflect my feelings about those who are dedicated to the sport first and happen to work in a shop second, and this tends to happen quite often for obvious reasons.

It's about those who value the essence of being an angler ahead of $$, those who would, in another life or circumstance be fishing "bums".

Lord knows I would if I didn't have a family to honor.
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  #24  
Old 10-02-2002, 12:32 AM
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Only one thing you got to remember

Good things come to those who invest there time. I know I have/had delivered to a few of the above mentioned above and/or work with their inlaws. And a few of the above named in Migerod's post are multi-millionaires because of their dedication. Can't be all that bad. Especially after I've seen the houses they live in (not all, but some).
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  #25  
Old 10-02-2002, 02:02 AM
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Things I've done working in shops

A woman wanted a patagonia bag for pops in blue. We didn't have it, patagonia didn't have it. She bought the green and flew off for someplace in Maine for the party. Next day we get a shipment from patagonia. 3 blue bags... I track her down through her office mate, get the address, ship the bag at our expense (paying through the nose because I had to use a different company because ours didn't overnight to that town). Happy lady, happy daddy.

A guy tried to take advantage of our pricing mistake on our website (we make 'em) and ordered a St. Croix 4 piece ultra we had priced at the 2 piece price. Guess what, so did 5 other people and we had 5 of them. St. Croix was backordered, so I call the guy up. He's going on a bonefish trip and can't wait. I ship him a Scott STS (3 piece) and an RPLXi (3 piece) the two premier salt water rods we carried. Tell him to pick the one he likes best, and send back the other, at our expense. Jack*Ass calls me up says he going to send them both back because his buddy told him they must be defective rods, or we wouldn't have sent them to him. I said No sir, I'll be glad to give you the number of Sage and Scott, and you can verify the serial numbers with them. He cusses me out, so I tell him we'll send him the St. Croix when we can get one. He says to shove it up my you-know-what, just give him the money back and he's going to tell all his friends what a lousy company we are to work with... :eyecrazy: Sounds like some of you all!

I've been fishing for 30 years, and in every shop job I've held, I've worked with folks with similar backgrounds. We pool our knowledge. We have conversations like "hey you know what works when..." and we have those conversations ALL DAY LONG. Bottom line, we know alot. Sometimes I have tried to help someone out by recommending a different product, or color, but only when the characteristics the customer was worried about where irrelevant. Which is almost always. I've only really seen color matter with midges. I also bring in stuff from my own stash for free, and lend my own gear out when I can't get stuff on time for my customers, or when they are doing a "one time trip". Hey, I've got a 14 weight tuna rod, If you're going to midway, you shouldn't have to buy one if you are a good customer of mine, and you'll probably use it once every 5 years. I happen to believe that one reason the companies put products in our hands at lower prices is so we can do things like get the product into other's hands.

I'll admit that most of the shops I've gone into since I've moved up here... Okay all of them... Have different degrees and varieties of Lame-osity. Sparkey himself has p*ssed me off on 3 seperate occasions in two different shops. But I've also never seen a whinny-er (so), angryer, "shoot em' all and let god sort 'em out" bunch of folks. Relax... If you know a shop won't deliver on a promise, never accept a promise. I go to one market for my produce, another for meats, and still another for bread, I REALLY like good bread I don't want to do it, I have to do it unless I want to pay through the nose for inferior product. Treat the shop the same way. Tell them when they don't have the product you need, and if they say "I can get that for you" respond "No thanks, I've tried that with you guys and it hasn't worked, I just wanted you to know if it was on the wall, I would have bought it". Just say it nice, like you would to a buddy who promises you he'll get you home on time, but who you both know won't.

Relax, live long, fish slow, love your kids if you have 'em, and remember, the fish don't care...
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  #26  
Old 10-02-2002, 02:16 AM
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Re: Things I've done working in shops

Quote:
Originally posted by Philster
Sparkey himself has p*ssed me off on 3 seperate occasions in two different shops.
I am very curious as to what I have done to piss you off...I take a serious amount of pride in my job and would love to hear about the mistakes I have made so that they never happen again.
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  #27  
Old 10-02-2002, 09:53 AM
OC OC is offline
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Wink

Maybe we should not be bitching about fly shops today but the people who go to fly shops. Most shops have been very good to all of us. But when Philster told the story about the pretty blue Patagonia bag and and the guy with the St Croix rod We begin to see how many A_holes there are in the sport today. Where did they all come from, why did they get into fly fishing in the first place. Why as fly fishermen must we be insulted with knick nacks
and yellow cashmere sweaters with some phony logo on them at half the shops that are out there. Now I know most of us don't go into shops like that and never will. But just those shops being out there and in the numbers they are in shows you where this sport is at at this moment in time. Now I know some will say that shops can't make it without all these pretty things for wives to buy their husbands for Christmas. God don't you love the bronzed American Eagle with the fly rod between his talons that you must put on your office desk as what a conversation piece.
Well if fly shops got to make it with trinket sales and pink flannel G_strings for your wifes cold you know what we are in big trouble. How do we politely eliminate the people from fly fishing who are into all this crap or do we need to? Do any of you get tired of the guy in the cowboy hat and the red bandana, flailing the water at just about every run these days.
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  #28  
Old 10-02-2002, 10:38 AM
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One without the other?

I find this thread bizarre and a lttle bit sad. Over the years fly shops have been the equivalent of the Sears Christmas Catalogue to me. Various shops have been focal points of my obsession with all things fishing. Today while I own 4 or 5 backups to all the essentials and have a couple each of the extraneous items I still frequent my local flyshop!

Yes, some of the younger employees don't have the experience that I do - but their learning curve in a good fly shop will skyrocket. Man, I would have killed to have had the opportunity to work in a good shop when I was a punk kid! Whereas I may make a more 'suitable" employee, re experience etc - there isn't a flyshop around that could afford to pay me what I need to support my lifestyle! I try to enjoy the young guys in the shop and chuckle to myself when they get a little over enthusiastic.

By the same token I think it is incumbent on the owners and senior employees to set the standards of the shop so that customers find a good atmosphere when they come into the store. I think a good (and smart) shop should "try to make the customer - not the sale". Sure the sale of big-ticket rods and reels is good for profits - but over the long haul the loyal customer who already has all his gear will be the one who provides the long term stability by spending $10-30 every other time he drops in. Then sooner or later that customer will need a new rod or new Gortex waders etc.

The last 3 times I was into my flyshop I bought nothing, yet I sat in the back with the owner and had a coffee and yakked, when I entered the shop the employees all said "hi Tyler, how's it going" (I feel like Norm at Cheers). It is all about passion and a common love of fishing - sure the shop has to make a living - but fishermen need shops and shops need fishermen - so find one that suits you and get to know them!
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Last edited by kush; 10-02-2002 at 08:45 PM.
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  #29  
Old 10-02-2002, 11:18 AM
Scott K Scott K is offline
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Wow

Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Kushnir has the ability to go into peoples minds and steal their words. Your thread was to a tee something that I would have said. Mind you I don't have the expierience you do, so I can't claim I'm above and beyond some of the younger people in the shops, but your post gets the just of it!

Kush's post x 2
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  #30  
Old 10-02-2002, 11:35 AM
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Sorry Spark-man, but most recently I went into Kaufmann's and asked if you carried three packs of leaders, your response was "no, guys yell at us all the time about that" and you turned and walked away without another word. I wasn't a happy customer. Doesn't mean I won't go into Kaufmann's. It does mean that when YOU ask me where and when, and how I've done when I've gone fishing when I do come in, I will either say I haven't been, or lie my A** off to you. Turnabout is fair play
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