Thanks for the responses and great info.
Fortunately my fly fishing guru and good friend of 25 years warned me of the cotton test. He instructed me to test my flies in my wool fly patch before using them. Good advice, I'd rather spend $435 on gear. Although I have never had the pleasure of running into one of our fine Fish and Game types, we do a lot of our fishing in the barbless only zones. I have taken to filing down the barbs. It takes longer, but works much better for the cotton test.
The reasons why I think barbless should be readily available? It wastes my time to pinch or file a hook so that it doesn't catch in cotton and if barbless were readily available more people would use them - hopefully. I realize this is a matter of contention, and don't really want to get into that on this thread as it has been covered extensively in previous threads. Bottom line, I have selfish reasons of convenience.
California is certainly broke. You shoulda seen the army of Highway Patrol on our trip to the Upper Sac last weekend! Watch that speedometer people.
Before posting this thread I did a Google search and got the same results. Not wanting to buy an assortment of 50, I went to the Umpqua site and found a good list of barbless flies. I then went to their dealers page and searched Cabela's, LL Bean, etc. with the word barbless. Slim Pickin's. Slim to none.
Here is the biggest selection I could find online:
Perhaps a non-profit company would be in order. Get a big pile of capital, buy a sh*t ton of barbless hooks and feathers, ship them off to a developing nation to have flies tied. Keep the price down and help out a struggling economy in the underdeveloped sections of the world at the same time. Don't look at me, I am much too lazy to undergo this type of venture!