Here in SE MN there really isnt a fly shop, at least that i know of. So it mostly a 2 hour drive to Cabelas in Owatonna, gander Mt in Rochester, etc. or order online. I know when i hit the cabelas, the words i DONT want to hear are "Alot of ppl like this" or "We sell alot of these". I want to hear "I like this" or "I own one of these and I really like it, used it last weekend at my favorite hole and it performed flawlessly" or "these are the patterns i use when im down your way". I want salesppl that KNOW the equiptment and use it and have real life, hands on reviews or advice. i really like it when one says, "yeah thats a nice reel, but to be honest this one here is just as good and costs half as much, puts a little more $$ in your pocket for line/leader/tippet".
If anyone knows of a fly shop in SE MN, let me know would ya?
There really isn't one. Closest fly shops to SE Minnesota are The Driftless Angler in Viroqua, MN. Great guy, nice location, but limited supplies. The Fly Angler in Blaine, MN is easily the best fly shop in the state in my opinion. If you make it up there, you won't be disappointed. Otherwise, the younger guy at Cabelas in Owatonna is pretty knowledgeable. But then again, I try to avoid spending money at that big box stores if I can help it.
As has been mentioned, there are plenty of fly shops here in Colorado, but only a couple that understand retail business. How much does it cost to open a retail business? Tens of thousands of dollars- the building, the inventory, advertising, training staff personnel, etc. It's all aimed at one thing- getting someone to walk in the front door, so why ignore that person? Most of the flies in the shops- one exception- come from the same wholesaler, so why pay double the Sportsman's Warehouse price for the same fly? I have zero patience for fly shops with attitudes. There's a reason why people buy on line, and it's not always price. I sent basically this same message to the owner of a local "well-known" fly shop, a couple of weeks ago.. no reply. Business must be really good.
I'm not trying to discourage you, but from the little information you presented, your location, the apparent lack of interest in your area in fly fishing, and your limited knowledge & experience, I would say your chances of surviving with a fly shop are very limited.
I tied flies commercially, made lures & sold tying materials for many years with a mail order/ internet business & only made enough money to keep it going. My business was from my house. I would have loved to have a regular shop, but the expense would have killed me! I also had to work a full time job thru those years just to pay my family bills. At the time I started my business I had been tying for about 23 years. I still had a lot to learn about the business of fly fishing. There is a difference.
Frankly, I don't think you really understand what you might be getting into & how much it will cost to just get started, much less keep it going. I hope you don't expect to do much fishing, if any!
In my area there are a good number of fly anglers, but there is now only one fly shop that I know of, and it's up in the northern part of the state. They're in an area near one of the trout streams. The majority of fly anglers around here are tidal water anglers who fish the Chesapeake Bay. The few fly shops that were here have all closed, not enough support to keep them going. Some lasted for several years but the current economic situation made it impossible for them to exist. A couple of the tackle shops sell some fly fishing gear & tying materials, but they're not full service fly shops. Even the Bass Pro Shop that's here doesn't have a very good fly fishing dept.
On another site, there was a discussion about the possibility of opening another shop, and feedback was solicited. The consensus of most was that it would be great to have it here, but there were doubts it would be viable, particularly thru the winter months. If you wish, I can PM the link to that discussion to you, which should show you some of the issues that were brought up.
I applaud your enthusiasm & desire, but the reality of it possibly being successful I would have serious doubts about. If I knew what I know now about the business of fly fishing, and the tackle business, when I was 20, I would probably still be in that business. It is something I very much enjoyed!
Any help I can give to answer questions feel free to ask!
Even though I still enjoy going into Fly Shops for a look around,I also usually buy some Tying materials,only if I need it desperately.
There's not many around over here as The Industry is Small & they don't always have what I need
I buy nearly all my gear online like most people I know & import it from The US at well under 1/2 price.
These are tough times to start anew and you would be brave to do so. My early experiences in flyshops in Denver were very discouraging. Lots of snobbery and poor service/selection. I actually got more info and help from a major sporting goods shop(Garts). I dropped the flyfishing idea in '77. When I got back into it in '93, I found another shop I'd never been to on the west end of Denver that spoke to me like family. No hype, pretense, just flyfishing basic, advanced to expert. No pressure to buy that $500 flyrod to be legit, just options a-z. It opened my eyes and I got back into it. Nowadays when I stroll into a shop I know what I want and alternatives to that. I don't have time or patience for poor/bad/obtuse salespeople and walk out, but I try to spend money when I get good friendly advice with no pressure. I can't spend $400 all the time but books, dvds, flies, lines, leaders or clothing are good ways to say thanks. I know I can always tie flies cheaper or find those products online for less but I don't mind paying a few dollars more when I see a salesperson go out of his/her way to explain or describe something I'm interested in. Good Luck.
Bigjim I would love that link and I guess the good thing about my location is there's a heavy population of ice fisherman so spring summer have it based for fly and then for fall lots of musky fishing stuff/ have it available all year, and then in winter lots of ice fishing stuff and since I'm mechanically inclined I could fix augers and stuff... I've thought about it a lot and I'm ready to live broke all the time haha I'm just sick of crappy service and young and old ruining the trout streams I could have lessons organize stream cleaning and idk get involved in that fly fishing in school and idk haha I'm just really passionate about fishing and want to share and help people haha and I'd like to see people start supporting local business and made in USA.
OK, you got it! I sent you a PM with a link to that discussion. Hope it helps you!
There is a difference between a fly shop & a tackle shop, and IMO, in the right location, a tackle shop that caters to a wide variety of anglers is more apt to succeed. However, be prepared! You're only one person, and there is only so many hours in a day, and one person can only accomplish so much. That was one mistake I made, trying to do too much myself. Plus, everything you attempt to add will cost you a certain amount in time, space & money. You'll find you can't be all things to all people!
It doesn't matter where you go lots of Flyshops have downsized many have closed as I know heaps who sell Flytying,Fishing,Hunting Gear from their home,
A friend started making Lures,he's going OK with The Mail Order business at Present.
It's good to see someone interested & willing to have a go,however America & Australia are alike, most of The Stuff comes From China.
When I was in Anchorage in 2010 I was having a drink & Talking to a guy who worked at The Airport,he said 2 Huge CHINA AIR Jumbos come into Anchorage every 2 to 4 weeks with gear for The Tourist Trade.
Lots of our,like The American Industries have gone Offshore so what's made in Either The US or Australia anymore ????
In Australia,we have all The Minerals,Gases as well as Oil,The Previous Government & The Producers Done a deal to supply China with Natural Gas @ 5 CENTS a litre for 25 years,BIG DEAL we pay 68-70 CENTS,We even pay $2.49/litre for Diesel,similiar for Petrol ( Gasoline)
Another one of our large Retailers wants The Government to put taxes on goods bought Online,he was the one who bought White Goods into The Country which virtually wiped our Industry out.
So good Luck to anyone who tries as you are in a Global Market competing,you even see The Oldest known Maker Hardy's,as well as many others getting Fly Reels,Rods etc,made Offshore & selling them with a huge Markup profit.
I've spent many hours looking around & I am very surprised what I can buy almost anything out of China For,yes me,however to open a Shop would be out of The Question,even though I wouldn't have any operating Costs,the Overheads wouldn't be worth me having a go...
Ill give you an example of the fly shop I drive by on my way to one 20 miles further away.
Closer shop never asks if they can order you something if they dont have it. Flies are literally $2.50-$3.00 a pop, nothing cheaper even for a size 22 RS2. They will literally stand there and talk to someone for 20 minutes vs saying hey can I ring you up real quick...gheez sorry I am only buying tippet today. One time I started talking fly rods with the owner and he says what do you have. At that timeI didnt have the $ to buy Sage and Winston hi end rods. I told him a few Legend Ultra's, St Croix Avid.....he says oh boy you have to many midrange rods "you need a Sage TXL". Never asked what I fished, where I fished anything, didnt ask to watch me cast , nothing.. Fast forward and I do own two TXL's now but I didnt buy em from him. Last time I called the shop I said do you have a Lamson Guru in stockand his answer was "why would you want that".....whatever
SO a year later my wife says I am gonna buy you a rod for your birthday sky is the limit. So I research and came to the conclusion I want a 4wt Z-axis. I drive by the first shop to go see the second. I tell the guy I am here for a rod. His response was oh where do you intend on using it, what flies do you throw there. How often do you go there etc etc.He was going to spool up as many rods as I wanted but I said I wanted to try the Z-axis first since it sounded perfect. Only then did he say that was one he was going to suggest that rod if my budget allowed.
They have a huge selection of flies and have good saleson the flies occasionally, they give great advice and actually one time I just in passing asked a guy about a reel and low and behold he called me two weeks later to say they had one in.
Great guys , great service (Front Range Anglers in Boulder)