You know it's a fine line. I have bought things like hooks and beads on ebay and I also buy some things at sportsman warehouse. I know the fly shop I go to normally is 60-75% more expensive than the exact same thing at sportsman. I also went to one shop years ago and the owner was talking on the phone saying he could care less about the fly tyiers we just wanted to sell rods and reels. I haven't been back. I know there's a huge shop being built on Hwy 24 in the springs so I imagine like anything else the faces change but everyone ends up doing it somewhere else....
No industry supports explosive growth indefinitely. And I think you could call a quadrupling of fly shops across America in the last 15-20 years (I saw this claim in an article a couple of years ago, and that would support my own observations) explosive. It sure appears to me that there are just too many stores in too many areas to make sense for the long term.
Internet and big-box store competition seems to have undermined the "fair trade" pricing that many equip. mfr's used with their dealers for years. And disrupt the standard "keystone" (100% mark-up) fair pricing, give shoppers some options about where to get their gear, and the shops are going to get squeezed. I hear that some shops are dropping Sage now since Sage has begun to sell to mass merchants. Seems kind of crummy of Sage since it was the network of dealers that built their business into whatever it's become. But I'm sure that they would say they've had to make this change to survive competition. Lots of decent-to-good import rods coming on the market. Even Winston imports rods now. Winston!!!! - who used to about make me puke with their folksy, "we're just a bunch of good ol' cowboys from Twin Bridges takin' time off from catching trout to make you the best fly rod we know how"-type of marketing.
Anyhow, the margins always get squeezed in new businesses and the FF business, on a big scale anyway, is a pretty new business. This process is probably overdue.
i agree that there had to be a shrinkage in the amount of fly shops around. I think with Cabelas coming ,with Sportmans warehouse and other big box store some of these guys are getting out while the getting is good. After Colorado Angler closed i started to go to a fly shop/kayak shop in Golden at 8th and washington. I think it isa called River Run Sports. 1/2 the store has flyfishing, the other half is kayaking so they are a diversified. Maybe they can survive. there is also Charlies Fly shop on the west side over in the 52nd and wadsworth area.
The problem attitude belongs to the owner - David Leinweller (or however he spells it). He has turned off every person that I've ever taken to AC. They have a convenient location though and the new store should be great. It is the attitude that keeps me out of there.
Why did The Peak shop move to Woodland Park and why on the left side of the highway? I don't think WP is the place for a fly shop as the best info for the South Platte can be found at fly shops at the terminal locations. A guy named Reisenhoover used to have the fly shop that was located inside the sporting goods store in WP a few years ago. He claimed to have 30,000 dozen (his statement to me!) flies in his house after he parted ways with the sporting goods store. I went up with a buddy and bought $300 worth of flies (mostly dries) from his house for about $0.40 apiece.
He told me that most fishermen just pass through Woodland Park and, if they decide to stop it's usually at the Donut Mill. I have to admit that's me: gas up in the Springs, have all my gear, but get my cinnamon twist and make a pit stop before continuing the journey. I guess I just can't see a flyfishing shop ever making it in Woodland Park becuase we're just too anxious to get to the water!
Peak opended an additional shop in WP. The one in the Springs is still here. Why he would open on the south side of the highway was odd though. Also, unless he is opening at 5am I don't think it will work. The only time I need to stop in WP is if I have a friend that I find out is coming up with his flybox full of "6" flies :-[. They do have good service in the Springs so I hope they do well in WP.
As far as AC I agree it's the owner. I gave the shop 3 chances and that's one more then it deserved. I will go without before I step foot in that over priced, pompus shop again. I used to keep my mouth shut about this place until I found out that I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Small shops cannot compete with price with the big guys so they better have some kick ass service IMHO 8).
I don't know if it's just me, but I feel very uncomfortable in these snobby fly shops. The gear is overpriced and the conversation is phoney. So, for me, that is at least one reason I don't set foot in alot of them and so they won't be missed.
I do go to a few locally owned shops that seem more apt to cater to the average guy. You can usually tell these by the fact that they sell less expensive rods and reels in addition to some of the more expensive ones. So I hope a few of these can stay around, at least.
If you're in the Springs, try General Fishing Tackle located on El Paso near the dog track. Dave Powell is as nice a guy as you're going to find anywhere and the man can catch fish in his sleep - I swear! I usually go there for my ice fishing needs but Dave is so likable that I'm turning my flyfishing business over to him as well. Not as big of a selection compared to other stores but he makes up for it in service, advice and friendliness.