Re: First Official Visit To My Local Fly Shop. Advice needed.
One good approach is tell them you're headed out fishing and ask for advice on where to to and what flies to get. They'll talk to you about rivers and flies and walk around with you putting the flies you'll buy into a cup. If you want to limit yourself to $20 or so keep an eye on how many flies! While you're talking to them ask about access as well.
Also it can be good to stock up on items with a long shelf-life like indicators, weight, floatant, etc. While nylon tippet might have an expiration date, that stuff doesn't. When I get good coupons in the mail I'll go pick up some of that stuff since I know I'll use it and it won't degrade with sunlight, etc.