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Suggestions For Area Fly Shops

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Just a thought-

It would help us fly shop owners if you, the client, would give us suggestions for what to carry in our shops- items that we may not carry presently.

I think I speak for most shop owners- I get frustrated when someone comes in and asks for something I don't carry. I write it down and order it in on the next shipment and most of the time it will sit in the shop unsold. It would be nice to get some warning- and that might be what this is.

Had a guy come in the shop the other day (Lisa tells me) and wanted to buy a jar of Soft Tex but the jars I had were milky and he said they should be clear. In looking at the catalogs, Wapsi nor Hareline sell them anymore. Guess there's a problem with shelf life. I know I get complaints about Fly Head Cement if it turns yellow on the shelf.

Anyhow- suggestions never hurt.

Lilleys Landing logo 150.jpg

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You really cant carry everything that someone might want unless your a big catalog operation. I do most of my shopping at Tom Hargrove's place in St. Louis...If Tom & Craig dont have an item on hand, they always ask if I'd like to have them order it for me. If I say yes..they call me to come pick it up when it arrives. Maybe a similar policy would work for you. Cheers.

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If I wanted something that a shop doesnt have I generally ask if they can get it for me. I mean after all, the reason we go to the shops in the first place for me anyways, is the experience, and knowledge I can gain from there. many times I have gone down with a question and had it solved within a few minutes. Perhaps an order sheet would work. If someone wanted an item you dont have in stock, or dont carry, and needed it shortly they could still get it from you, and not have to go to a competitor. I personally prefer to go to a local shop where I can see my selection and know what Im getting, then order something online, and not know for sure if its what I particularly want. thats my two cents. p.s I agree with gavin. I used to live in S. Cal. near a big fly shop down there. It took me 3hrs to get through there. small shops are great. more personal, and able to assist the customers better.

too many fish...not enough time to catch em all.

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Hey Phil,

I think your shop has a great selection for it's square footage. I've purchased many packs of Puglisi fiber from you in the past, of which, I appreciate all the different colors you carry. Those collapsible racks have ALOT of items on them. Not only is your selection of tie flying materials great, but, you carry a nice selection of swimming minnows. You are about the only place around the Tri Lakes area selling them besides Tri Lakes Rod and Reel in Forsyth. I personally have trouble finding quality jig heads made with quality hooks. Larger sizes particularly....1/4 oz. to 3/4 oz. You wouldn't sell any if you stocked them, but, I thought I'ld throw it out there....on second thought...can I order 3 dozen 3/4 oz. jig heads. I'll be in sometime next week...


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I know you already know this, but this is the tale of the retail business. You're never going to be able to please everyone that walks in your shop (from the standpoint of having everything they ask for.) It reminds me of a recent post on "another" forum from a pretty famous fly fisherman/guide/tier about hair from a lamb's scrotum for fly tying.

But you are doing the one thing that many retail folks forget to do and that's "listen to the voice of the customer." To me, that is the key to any business and if you are successful, it is due to your ability to do that. The other part of that is figuring out who your "customer" is... Is it every single person who walks in the shop or is it the one time visitor to Taneycomo or is it your regulars or a combination? Then you have to ask yourself, what sets me apart from the competition? And what can I do that they are NOT doing? My sister freaked out when WalMart built a supercenter in our town. She was ready to close the doors and I told her to stop and think about what she does and CAN do that WalMart will NOT do.... She sells on credit, she delivers, and has done several other things to her business that sets her apart. Not that she's giving the Walton's any competition on the rich list, but she's doing just fine. You've got to "benchmark" BassPro, BCO, the other resorts on Taney, etc. etc. and set your business apart from them while keeping and adopting the good stuff. Even improving on it.

OK.... after reading this, I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir - several of you are in that choir... So I'll stop my business 101 class now... :lol:

By the way, do you have any lamb's scrotum hair?



"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process." - Paul O’Neil

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The first place I go is Phils... (depending on what Im going after..LOL)

then if he doesnt have it I run over to River run and Chucks...

But everything (but maybe 3-4 things) Phil has been able to suppy for me.

Just the othe rday I was in the and told him he was out of black marabou.. Yesterday he had it so I grab a couple of packs...

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By the way, do you have any lamb's scrotum hair?

I've been told before that I do. I wasn't sure whether to take it as a compliment or not :huh:


Don May

I caught you a delicious bass.

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Phil, Beeson's makes a good point. Having run a fly shop in the past, every time a new magazine came out at the time, customers would come in looking for a material that I did not have or have a source for. I was an Orvis dealer, the worlds oldest fly fishing outfit and the least amount of variety in materials for the flytyer. I had to look at other sources like Rumpfs, Universal, and others to find materials for the flies I tyed and for my customers. The same is true still today. $5,000 in fly tying materials here at the house and something new comes out. I don't have a local fly shop so I either wait for a destination trip or place an order from an online flyshop. I usually keep a mental list and stock up at Feather-craft or T Hargroves once a year when I go to STL. I improvise alot and search thru craftstores too.

There is no way you can carry it all, there will always be something new out. Materials come and go, most end up in the dump bin. If you hold classes, make sure you have enough materials onhand for the flies that you are tying that night. Otherwise, be the best at what you do and you won't have to worry about it.

By the way, does the lambs scrotum wool come in the SACK?

"Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."

Hunter S. Thompson

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Lambs Scrotum is sold in 1/4 oz packs like marabou.

It is very soft and easy to dub, costs like

$5.00 per pack holler at me and I'll send you a few

pkgs :)

Goat scrotum is the stuff to have, stiff and smelly but

make a great streamer.

Trout love hair of the goat.

Tim Homesley

23387 st. hwy 112

Cassville, Mo 65625

Roaring River State park

Tim's Fly Shop


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First, I am not your typical local customer, but I am the guy that comes and drops about a $500 EVERY TRIP just because. I am the guy that makes you profits go up.

Having said that, I like toys. OAF hats, (which we wore out last summer), the stuff that hangs from your neck to it is easy to get. Cute expensive tools that I cannot find anywhere else, even expensive Tilley hats like the ones at River Run. A loto fthis stuff I will never use.

We always go to Bass Pro because it's here. We never buy things there that we can get at the local shops.

My most important thing. I need to buy flys that catch fish. What is hot. What is not. I get limited trips down, so I come to you guys to make sure I am not wasting my time throwing a fly that is going to be ignored. I also come because I know you guys will talk about presentation if I ask, and tell me why I am not catching fish if I saw I got skunked. Which happens a lot, but not lately. Are trout smarter than crappie or bass?

You guys, meaning the small fly shops, sell soemthing that the big boxes do not sell. It's called guest service. And for the most part it is dirt cheap.

Yes, I'm That Guy

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