Re: What Makes a Great Fly-Shop?
Lots of good stuff here. For me it is more nebulous. It is the generally feeling of the shop, as a whole. It may take a couple visits to know or just one. I have been to a lot of shops a lot times. The one I've chosen to return to more than any other, the one I consider "my shop" is because of guys that own it. Because they are always there and when I started going there they were working out front. They learned my name and made me feel welcome. The first time I walked and Jim said "john! What's up man?" that was it.
Today, I don't think a fly shop can even try to keep up with stocking all the inventory they everyone might want. The internet has ended that. And honestly all of us can buy anything we want delivered to our door, ordered from the couch. So it comes down to being knowledgeable, passionate and welcoming. And then wanting to honestly get to know your local customers. I'll always make my major new purchases - rods, reels, waders, boots, vise, etc. at my local shop. As well as the vast majority of tying materials.
You can't be all things to all people. But you can be good, and honest to everyone. Corny maybe, but it's the truth.