Re: Fly Shops
When I was quite green I ventured into a then famous fly shop. I was looking for some tippet material. The owner, who had a well known following among the rich and famous, was perched on his stool among disheveled mountains of fly fishing paraphernalia. "What do you want kid? Well, Mr. Deren, I would like you opinion on the best tippet material for dry fly fishing." "You'll find all that stuff over on that table there", he pointed. "This crinkly yellow stuff coiled in this glassene bag, Sir? "That's the best in the World and comes from France, it's what Arnold (Gingrich) always uses. Any way, I'm closing now to head up to the Ausable." "What flies will you be using there, Mr. Deren?" "How the hell will I know till I get there! Now do you want that stuff or not?" I over paid for the useless tippet and walked toward Grand Central Station near this upper floor in a sky scraper fly shop.
I've been in many fly shops, like that one, long gone now and more that still exist, mostly in destinations where they prosper on their outfitting. Sometimes younger anglers call me "sir" now. But that visit with the great Jim Deren at the Anglers Roost is among my most memorable and, on rare occasion, I sometimes will respond to speculation on hatches; "How will I know till I get there?"
---------- Post added at 12:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:12 PM ----------
Back in the days when they used to sell rods with names like, "All Rounder" and "Far and Fine"; the fly shop at Orvis's home in Manchester, VT had a gentleman named Dan working there. He must have worked there for some years as he had quite a following. Men would come into the shop and be approached by young salesmen and would say, "Excuse me please, I am waiting for Dan to be available." Dan was a tall, lanky man with a laconic New England way of speaking and he would outfit these customers from socks to tip-top with Orvis's finest equipment for wherever their intended exotic destination might be. I recall visiting this shop when an angler asked Dan, on a bitter Winter day, when the Hendricksons might be expected to emerge on the Battenkill? Dan turned his pale blue eyes toward the shop's ceiling and looked right through it as if seeking wisdom beyond and responded; "When the buds on the Red Oaks unfurl to the size of a grey squirrel's ear, the Hendricksons will be on the water." That is one of the most sagacious responses I've ever heard in a fly shop.