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Discussion Starter #1
Any one have any thoughts on Boulder's two fly shops? Rocky Mountain Anglers and Front Range Anglers? In the two years I have been fly fishing I have grown a bit skeptical about fly shops and their advice, but maybe I just don't know what I am talking about. Still I would be curious if any of you feel strongly about one or the other...
 

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I shop at Front Range Anglers a lot and they have always been helpful and honest. Whenever practical, I try to support the local shops rather than go over the Internet and Front Range Anglers deserves this support.

I haven't spend that much time in Rocky Mountain Anglers, so I don't really have an opinion about them.

That being said, opinions and advice are like *^$^&*^$. That is, everyone has one. Even within the same fly shop, if you ask two people the same question you'll get two different answers. It goes with the territory, so you have to take any advice with a grain of salt.

Another thing is that the more you shop in the same store, and the more you befriend the people that work there, the better advice you'll get. If they have never seen you before and you ask for advice on where to fish you'll get the typical answers. But if they know you and know you're a responsible fisherman you'll be much more likely to be pointed to a great fishing hole. Loyalty goes two ways-- be good to the store and they'll be good to you.
 

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I don't know anything about those shops in boulder. I think it is very hit or miss with fly shops. If you find a good one, grab it. Never let go and spend money there. A lot of fly shops these days are anything but. Most of the big, new, expensive shops are not very helpful in my opinion. They care more about selling $300.00 waders to some one day a year fisherman than offer advice or help to some one like me who might become a regular. Just my own observation, there are truly some great fly shops out there with some teriffic people working in them. These are the ones that need our support and more importantly our money.
 

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DavidK has sound advice...find a flyshop you like and get to know the guys there and the info you get will most likely be up to date and more reliable...much more so than just going to any shop and expecting the guys there to give up all the tips and information you ask for immediately. One of my pet peeves when working in a shop was the customer i never saw before just coming in and trying to milk me of all the info i had without at least trying to get to know me first or establish what kind of fisherman he or she was. after all, good advice is hard to come by...and no one likes to be "used" when it comes to giving out local hotspots or tips. (after all...why would i tell an idiot about my favorite place to fish?) I know employees at both of the shops mentioned below, and they are good guys and more than willing to help you out with more than just the basic "generic" tips you might get from any shop. im not saying you have to go in and buy hundreds of dollars worth of gear before expecting good information, but at least talk to the guys for awhile and they will most likely help you out as much as they can.

and as stated...take all tips with a grain of salt, one mans dream fishery can be another mans nightmare ;)
 

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You might try Two Guys Fly shop in Louisville. It is small, but the guys are helpful. They have helped me with knots, and advice. I think that is how you tell a good shop from a poor shop. If your heart is in fly fishing, then they will put their heart into making you a better fisherman. Hopefully, you will buy stuff from them rather than Dicks or Garts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Your points are well taken, Gentlemen. I will say that the staff at both shops seem like very decent guys. Its a wierd thing about fishing: nice people want to be helpful (and info is part of what a fly shop offers), yet a good fishing spot does not improve with more users.....
I just read FLY FISHING WITH A.K. and he is justly peeved at people who pay thousands for their gear and then stiff the local fly tiers in favor of cut-rate internet flies...but that's another (albeit related) story.
 

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It is the employee's job to be helpful, but the same old aimless questions can be very redundant and often draws the same photocopied answer. Don't ask, "So....How's the fishing?" or "Umm....what are the fish taking right now?" Do you're homework before you go into a shop and don't ask the retorical questions unless you want a retorical answer. Ask educated well thought out questions and you will more then likely get the answer you want. Finally, don't be that guy who walks into a shop bleeds them for info and then walks out. When I get any information from a guy or gal in a shop, its kinda like leaving a tip to buy a fly or two.

Having brought this strategy into all the fly shops I go into, I have only been disatisfied with one. The "Flies and Lies" shop at Deckers. The real big guy who works there every time ive been in, well....he's a jerk to say the least no matter who you are. It's like his attitude is how dare you fish, my river or my canyon and no I won't help you unless you pay me too. I was about to buy about 20 dollars worth of flies in there once, and he was being his typical self, so I returned all my flies to their appropriate locations, looked the dude strait in the eye, shook my head and walked out never to return again.
 
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