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St. Louis Fly Shops


jah

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I've always been curious as to how there are 2 fly shops within one mile of each other on the same road (Feathercraft and Hargroves). I was wondering which one is more frequented, and why you choose to go to one over the other?

Proximity to where you live, it seems, cannot be the answer because they are so close to each other. So what makes you choose one over the other?

I personally like Hargroves simply because they were far more helpful to me when I was first starting out. They never made me feel like an ametuer, even though I was one. I cannot say the same for Feathercraft, but that's just my experience, and therefore Hargoves gets my business.

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I've always been curious as to how there are 2 fly shops within one mile of each other on the same road (Feathercraft and Hargroves). I was wondering which one is more frequented, and why you choose to go to one over the other?

Proximity to where you live, it seems, cannot be the answer because they are so close to each other. So what makes you choose one over the other?

I personally like Hargroves simply because they were far more helpful to me when I was first starting out. They never made me feel like an ametuer, even though I was one. I cannot say the same for Feathercraft, but that's just my experience, and therefore Hargoves gets my business.

I agree with you. I have never had a problem at Feathercraft, but I go to Hargrove's now for the same reasons that you mentioned. Hargrove's has always been more than helplful and they have a local feel to it which I like as well. They will get my weekly business and first crack when I purchase another fly rod. There always seems to be guys in the store tying flies, talking fishing, and just hanging out.

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I'll agree with the previous posts. Why can't we get a quality fly shop in St. Charles county? And don't even think about saying bass pro or cabela's!

Kyle

Kyle:

You can say those words above BP Or CAB but only if in a sentence with uniformed, cocky, out of what you came for or rude. One clerk in the fly section actually told me that using sally's hard as nails would keep the fish from hitting flies. Also told me that they didn't stock 2488BL scud hooks because there was no demand for them. DUH

There is an older guy that works Bass Pro fly shop that is pretty nice but not much help. They are always out of the most common supplies that I need just before a trip. Hooks especially! Their dumbell (Lead ones)tie on's for streamers and stick on eyes are worthless

Thom Harvengt

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Hargrove. hands down. i dislike the guys at feathercraft. Seem to think that since im some kid who isnt going to spend 1000 bucks when im there they are less then helpful.

"When you do things right, people wont be sure you've done anything at all."

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Hargrove. hands down. i dislike the guys at feathercraft. Seem to think that since im some kid who isnt going to spend 1000 bucks when im there they are less then helpful.

I actually walked into Feathercraft about 2 years ago and asked some guy who was stocking shelves, "Can you help me? I'd like to fish Cardiac Hill and have some questions." He never stopped stocking the shelf and looked at my wife and I and said, "There are no trout in Missouri. You have to go to Colorado." I obviously had quite the confused look on my face, then he grumbled, "That's what most people think anyway." I was still as confused as ever, but I still asked him about flies to use. I asked if egg patterns would be effective and he said, "Looks like you're after the little guys." Seriously, I was just learning, had money to spend, and this joker was popping off to me like I was some annoyance to him.

I shall now spend zero dollars and zero cents at Feathercraft. I bought my Sage rod, Sage reel, Fishpond guide pack, all flies, etc from Hargroves. A couple of thousand dollars for sure so far. Those guys in there are great. My wife and I have been treated so well when we go there. They have offered to take us on their boats, patiently answered all of our questions, and always give our daughter a sucker. My daughter, shy as she is, always says, "Can we go to the fly shop?" Yes we can, my dear!

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When Ed Story, the owner, was still alive I frequented Feathercraft, because he was a good friend and really helped me with my casting technique. But these days I only go to Hargroves because they are always helpful, always friendly, and the shop has real atmosphere. I always wish I could spend more time in Hargroves, while I was always in a hurry to get out of Feathercraft.

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I'm not in St. Louis, and I don't know either shop though I've met guys from both of them.

I've been in my share of 'snobby' fly shops, and it always just blows my mind when I encounter that feeling in a place of business. Greeting your customers with a smile, and giving them the same attention whether they're spending $2 or $2,000 costs nothing. But it pays dividends in repeat customers and word of mouth.

There's a fly shop I used to frequent that had three guys working in it. One was a really nice older guy who'd take as much time as you needed to help you and never made you feel like you were anything but a valued customer, even a friend. The second guy was pretty good too. The third guy acted like he knew it all, and the customer knew nothing. He just had this air of superiority about him. He wouldn't say hi when I came it, often didn't even look up from what he was doing, never remembered my name, nothing. If I got stuck with him, he always acted impatient, but sure seemed to have interest when some newb came in and wanted get geared up fer fly fishing or book a trip. I sorta dreaded having to deal with him.

With the web stores out there -- big and small -- and the ability to shop them all for price from your chair, the only way the traditional fly shop can differentiate and survive is with service. And a big part of that is the feel of the shop and the way people treat you when you're there.

John

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Hargrove all the way. I don't fly fish as much as I used to, but when I was in college and had time to fish more I would always stop in and get a few things even though I didn't have much money. When I was buliding my first rod, they helped me out by selling me some older St. Croix blanks for extremely cheap and even lent me the rotating gadget for while my rod dried. Always extremely helpful and go out of their way to answer any questions. Great people and a great place to hang out and BS.

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