Iron Fly - Lander, WY

Iron Fly - Lander, WY Dec 3 6:30 @ Lander Bar's Coalter Loft

Support your local fly shop?

Shop Local.  Buy Local.  Keep your dollars local.  Boycott the Big Box.  We've all seen the signs and heard the campaign messages.  Is it something you buy into?


I used to have a local fly shop that I loved.  I would go there and spend too much money.  It was a few times a week kind of addiction.  The owner was one of my great friends in this world and I owe / curse him for ruining my life with this fishing addiction.  

But is it really healthy to be suckered into the whole "buy local" movement?  I don't know about you, but my budget isn't as large as it should be.  Life gets in the way of those new rods and reels, and when I'm in the market, I have to do some shopping for the best price.  If my local shop and Cabela's have the same piece of equipment and the price at Cabela's is a hundred bucks better, guess where I'm shopping.    

Have you been in a shop of any kind where they give you the hard sell using the "buy local" tactic?  Funny how I usually get it when I'm out of town.  I'm in some tourist driven mecca where "buy local" wouldn't happen if only locals shopped there.  I'm always asking the proponent of the shop if their product was made locally.  Was that fly rod made right there in BFE, Nowhere?  Usually, crickets are the answer.  No, the product isn't made locally.  The rod came from Colorado (hopefully) or the Puget Sound region, or quite often they were made overseas.  The flies we fish with were tied in Indochina and the waders were either made in Montana or more likely, in China.  

So, why the hard sell to buy local?  Did you know that most items at your local fly shop are being sold at a FIFTY PERCENT MARKUP???  Yeah, for real.  I've worked in a lot of fly shops and that's how they make money.  Do you think many fly shop owners are loaded?  The answer is no.  They buy that pack of hooks for 5 bucks and sell it for 10.  Sure, there's business overhead- rent, labor, shipping, etc., but unless that local shop is doing something to help make you a better angler, you shouldn't feel guilty about shopping for the best deal.  

I hope you're not taking this the wrong way.  If Steve were still selling bugs and gear, I'd be there this afternoon to pay him for being there. He would have made it the right price to hook me up with the gear.  He would have made some money and I would have supported him while keeping my budget intact.   I just can't get behind that shop owner that thinks I owe him since he's the local guy.  

What I'm saying is this: go down to your local shop and see what's up. They should have the pot of coffee on, the tying table set up, and they should have someone working there that gives a shit about fishing.  It should be more than walking in and grabbing a mystery bug before paying and leaving -total time spent of less than a minute.  Let's expect our local shops to step it up and grow the sport.  

Just in time for the crappy winter weather...  This Is Fly # 50

Happy V-Day. You're not fishing today.

You're not fishing today.  I'm not either.

Go make her happy...if that's possible.

Fontana Montana

Wednesday was warm.  It was near fifty degrees with a gentle breeze.  The sun was out.  Thursday was about the same after a brief sleet shower in the morning.  Did I go fishing on those days?  No.  I waited until Friday.  Winter was back on Friday.

Taking advantage of Thursday, I turned the water back on to the garden hose and gave the drift boat a quick cleanup.  I sorted through my gear and picked out a select few pieces and loaded up for Friday's plan outing with Tim.

Friday morning started with snow flurries, numb hands, and a desire to go back to bed, but I resisted the urge to be lazy and headed out to meet up with Tim.  Of course we were going fishing on the shittiest day of the week.

The trailer lights, of course, were all fucked up.  Do trailer lights ever work right?  Would it be possible, just once, for all the lights to work?  After ten minutes of channeling MacGyver and digging around the Subaru for duct tape, wire and pliers, the lights worked (for the most part) and the trip was on.

We threw the boat in the water below Fontana Dam.  Some call this the Little T, but this is a lake.  Like Cheoah.  The dam is controlled by everyone's favorite Valley Authority (yeah, the TVA).

With the dam cranking out 5K CFS for the morning, we didn't rush it to get there.  We put in and within an hour the water was shut off.  We rowed toward the dam, beating the bank with streamers on the way.

Tim spotted some risers, so he rigged up for dries and I set up a nymph rig.  Nothing was doing the trick, so after a while we switched it back to big ass streamers and worked the other bank.

As you know, they call it fishing (not catching) so we let the river lake claim the ultimate victory and we bailed with a big goose egg for the day.

I'll still go back.  Maybe with a few more beers next time, though.

Thinking about the Hardly Strictly Musky 2015 event.

Around the first of May, the Hardly Strictly Musky tournament will take place in McMinnville, TN.  The drift boat has three spots, so I'm in plus two more.  Want to join forces?

Here's a little something to entice you into joining:

The Beard Chronicles Hardly Strictly Musky 2014 - SCOF NO.12 from Marc Crapo on Vimeo.

For more info on the schedule, look at this:

Hit me up if you want to team up.