Jump to content

Feathers And Losing Business


Recommended Posts

I know that the feather craze and the fashion trend is in full swing, but at the same time I think it is important for fly shops to remember that they are in the business of selling fly fishing gear and that fashion trends tend not to last. First, I have no problem if a store wants to sell feathers to whoever wants to buy them, but when shops start to actively sell feathers to fashion dealers and not to fly tyers then I have a problem. It was stuff like today that makes me crazy, and makes me send my future business elsewhere.

I was at K&K Flyfishers today and they had some grizzly dry fly saddle, but there was a catch. The owner was not selling the cape as a whole, but rather for 2 dollars per feather. I almost wanted to ask him how long he thought this was going to last, and how much his loyal customers are worth.

And K&K is not the only one. Rainbow fly shop is actively buying saddle from its own customers, and then selling the saddle at a profit to local fashion shops. This seems to bother me less, maybe because the guys who are selling the saddle know what is going on. But I want to put together a list of fly shops who are doing this. I know that I won't be back to K&K because they are taking advantage of fly tyers by raising the prices of grizzly saddle in an attempt to target fashion shops while sacrificing customers.

Anyone else notice this type of behavior?

“The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people” J. Brandeis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 50
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

It's been like this in the car business for years, man... I thought this is what you consumers want?

I contend that none of these shops will lose a drop of business... After all, how many of you are going to start raising your own chickens? And which fly shops (at this point) haven't raised their prices?

I got no dog I'm this fight, but I do see a strong correlation between this market and other markets in this capitalistic society...

cricket.c21.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ever hear of no-hackle flies? Comparaduns?

How about nymphs? Streamers?

There are plenty of fly patterns that catch fish that don't need hackles.

Just quit buying hackles. When the feather hair fad wears out, you still won't need hackles cuz you learned fish bite better on flies without them anyway.

But I would stop shopping at a shop that did what you described. Just like flies that catch fish without hackles, there are other shops out there that still care about flyfishers.

There's a fine line between fishing and sitting there looking stupid.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Retail is all about customer loyalty and repeat business. I have no problem spending a few extra $ at a store that treats me well and appreciates my business. Stores that are not loyal to their client base will loose customers and they are very hard to get back, especially in this economy. The quick buck is not worth it in retail unless you're retiring right after the current fad cash grab. My $0.02.

- Charlie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you guys need feathers, give me a call, I have quite a bit left, lots of whiting 100 packs, and if your nice I'll open the crate in the back room

the hair people never see, and never will.

I have some saddles, olive, dun, yellow, and still have plenty of furnace for the mighty crackle back, and I'm still getting

Some product evey couple of weeks.

But I myself am tying lots of foam flies, no hackle caddis, and the ole reliable comparadun.

Still catching plenty of fish on nymphs, and big bushy mohairs.

Tim Homesley

23387 st. hwy 112

Cassville, Mo 65625

Roaring River State park

Tim's Fly Shop

www.missouritrout.com/timsflyshop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure it's tough for local fly shop to watch their valued customers spend their money at Bass Pro, Cabela's, Ebay, and any of the online fishing catalogs because they value the price point above the level of expertise and service. The knife cuts both ways.

Most shop owners and employees I've met are great people, and are trying their hardest to make their way in an industry that's arguably beyond the saturation point. You can't blame folks for trying to keep the lights on, and if people are willing to pay $2 for a grizzly hackle, you shouldn't expect them to charge you 12 cents.

In the meantime, you can tie a lifetime's worth of Comparaduns and CDC and Elk caddisflies for the cost of a grade 1 Whiting saddle even before the hair extension craze, and they both float surprisingly well. And if you're into that sort of thing, it'd be the sweetest sort of revenge- after Stephen Tyler has cast his feathers aside, that Whiting, Metz and the like can't even sell their wares for $50 a cape, as so many people have witnessed the utility of hackle-less flies.

That, or they'll license a flask and a $50 pair of nippers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Markets are efficient. Not enough feathers to go around = price hike. We have had many discussions on this board about how hard it is to make ends meet running a fly shop. I don't blame these guys for making a windfall profit on a fad. How many of us would pass up the opportunity to make 10x your normal margin given the opportunity?

I wish I had more time more than I wish I had more money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is crazy how all of the hackle has just disappeared. I stopped in at Reed's Cabin outside of Montauk this weekend. All capes were gone except 2 packs of 4 half capes of the 4 popular Whiting colors and lots of 100 packs. As a fly shop manager in the past, I could count on one hand the capes I sold per year, but I always stocked most colors and grades of Metz back then. I am sure this will freshen up the supply chain in the next few years.

But as others have stated, I rarely use hackle on any flies any more. I use CDC for most dry flies and foam for terrestrials. Cheaper, and will float better without dressing.

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

Hunter S. Thompson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Retail is all about customer loyalty and repeat business. I have no problem spending a few extra $ at a store that treats me well and appreciates my business. Stores that are not loyal to their client base will loose customers and they are very hard to get back, especially in this economy. The quick buck is not worth it in retail unless you're retiring right after the current fad cash grab. My $0.02.

- Charlie

Sure wish this ethic translated to other industries... :(

cricket.c21.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.