What? It’s the economy? If you buy all of your flies or other fly fishing equipment and/or accessories from a large online fly fishing retailer or big-box brick and mortar outdoor store or made the flies yourself, are you going to impact the national economy and the GDP? Uh, No. But, if you don’t visit the local fly shops and support their businesses are you going to negatively impact the local economies where you fly fish. Yep!
So what? When was the last time you stopped into a local fly shop to ask about the current hatch, the river conditions, what sections of the river seem to be active, if they’re expecting a spinner fall, where can you put in, is it safe to wade??? And the list could go on.
All of that information is valuable local knowledge, that the local fly shop has gained from years of fishing those same local rivers, creeks, streams, etc. Believe it or not, that was an investment on their part. An investment that I’m sure thoroughly enjoyed, but an investment nonetheless to acquire information that they can then pass on to you – mostly free of charge – to enhance your fly fishing experience. Sure, it may be an incentive to get you into the fly shop to buy something. But most of the time, in my experience, the local fly shops are happy to provide their local insights regardless of whether you make a purchase, or not.
So buy something… anything. Support your local fly shop! One fly, two flies, a hat, a t-shirt, a leader, whatever. Any purchase you make allows that local fly shop to keep its doors open and to continue to provide the service they do. Which is invaluable to you, the local economy, and the lifeblood of the sport.