So you want to own a flyshop?

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Rich Farino
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by Rich Farino » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:38 pm

April 30th, 2016

So for the last 5 years I've been asked to help out at the Project Healing Waters 2-Fly competition here in Virginia. I've been proud to help support veterans... my dad is an authentic Apocalypse Now PBR streetgang-style brown river navy vet, did his tour in Vietnam from '68-70. I'm proud to say that 2 of our customers actually started the PHWFF program, and we have donated and helped the program since it's inception considering that it all began at Walter Reed hospital here in DC. It's a great organization that does a lot for veterans. They've asked me to help out each year at the tournament, and for the last 3 years they've asked me to guide a wounded vet for the tournament. I always ask for a navy vet.
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Each year I ask the vet a simple question after we meet - "Do you just wanna have fun, or do you want to win this thing?" I've placed every year in the top 3. This year we won it, and I got to improve my NBC Nightly News impression with help from an expert.
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May 3rd, 2016

I went shad fishing. It's social fishing, but I get tired of it after a few hours. I just do it to showcase a local species that we have here by the millions for almost 2 months each year. I know their importance, that George Washington's troops ate dried shad to survive the winter before they crossed the Delaware to surprise the British. It's just repetition and once you learn how to catch the hickory shad or the bigger American shad, the challenge just isn't there anymore. But it was good to be out.
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The one thing that DOES get me interested is the striper run in the same place. The big spawning stripers come up the Potomac chasing herring each year and pound them in a specific area. Unfortunately there are so many dead and crippled herring that the big fish don't have to do much to get themselves a meal and they sit on the bottom of the river in these ridges, ambushing prey.
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I use a heavily weighted pattern on a 45 degree jig hook, reverse-tied and brushed back craft fur, Liquid Fusion coated, with a soft head on it. It's difficult to catch these fish on the fly. Not everyone is a purist though - there's even a guy who fishes a 12wt rod with 20 feet of fluorocarbon and a 2 ounce jig.
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May 9th, 2016

I've wanted a 5-piece Winston LT for over 10 years. I needed another 5-weight, something a little more relaxed than my XP that is the greatest rod ever created. Santa came early this year.
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Since the rod showed up, I figured I might as well use it! Leaving the next day to go fish with my old flyshop employee PA for 3 days. Some sulphurs started hatching and I wanted to put a bend in the rod. Packed my stuff after rifling thru my shed for what I needed. There's so much crap in there from the shop closing. Including my golden pheasant with his blonde tufts of mane. We used to call him Billy Idol, but with this years political climate, Donnie is a much better name.
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I did the smart thing this year and opened my sulphur box and realized there weren't enough CDC comparaduns.. quite possibly the world's greatest dry fly. Cranked out a few #16's and 18's to fill the box. Even a few #14's in case the bigger invaria were hatching and the fish keyed in on them. Central PA limestone creeks were calling.
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May 10th, 2016

Today was a strange day. I got to PA just a little longer than normal, but alive. Cooler than I expected but I was ready to break in this new Winston. 10 years of waiting and it was here. I threw on an old Abel Pt. 5 in olive green.. looks so damn sexy on that rod! While I'm rigging up and throwing my waders on, talking to Alan, my phone rings. I don't want to answer it, but I do.

"Hello? Yes this is Richard. Oh yes, hi ******** from ********."

It was that NGO calling wanting me to come in for an interview with the head of NE oceans in an hour.

"I'm 3 hours away in Pennsylvania."
"Oh.. well can you make it tomorrow?"
"I'll be here for the next 3 days."
"Okay, well he only has an opening again tomorrow at noon, and then nothing until a week and a half later."

Fuck. What am I gonna do, tell her no? I have to cut my fishing trip short now and go home tonight. I might as well make the best of it and just enjoy the day and not freak out. I'm excited to have the opportunity come, no matter what the time.

I walk to the river and I rig up and grab my reel and look down and see the fucking handle is broken off. The wood must've split in half and fallen off on my walk over. Sigh.. just another obstacle. Caught a bunch of decent brown trout, including one tricky prick that was sitting up against a log and underneath a branch. 45 minutes of trying resulted in a nice catch. Kype jawed male a solid 20 inches and fat. I didn't take a single picture.

Got in the car and my GPS took me an alternate route that resulted in an extra hour of driving. Ridiculous. Got home and repaired the reel.
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May 11th, 2016

Headed out to meet the head of NE oceans. This was the big cheese, the decider... my future depended on how the meeting went. I was nervous as shit sitting in the lobby waiting. This is what the months of talking, waiting, interviewing, studying, networking, even going to environmental meetings was all about. Cross your fingers, rub Buddha's belly, say a prayer, and knock on wood.
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May 16th, 2016

So I got word today from one of my work references that my interview went well, and everyone on the team is on board and they're going to hire me. I haven't been this stoked in a long time and happy that things are finally turning around. I also found out that a lot of people that knew I was vying for the position stepped up to bat for me and either spoke directly to or contacted some of the key people in these positions and told them that I was right guy for the job. Apparently the team leader also went onto my Facebook page and saw a post I wrote where I thanked everyone that helped me get to where I am in life, and he saw the overwhelming response and connections in the industry I've made over the years and thought it would be stupid not to hire me. ELATION!

May 23rd, 2016

Had a few days of rain followed by sunshine, so I decided to take some time while at the in-laws house while they tended to the ever weakening mother in-law. I grabbed a rod and walked a trail behind the house to a small pond with bass and panfish in it to find some willing fish to take some flies.
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May 29th, 2016

Today was a terrible day. Lost my mother in-law after a very stressful and tear-ridden day in the emergency room. I cannot get into the details of this event. Cancer is a terrible thing, and to watch someone you love slowly succumb to the disease is painful. I have to be here for my fiancee and her family, more than I have been for the past 5 months. They are destroyed, and heartbroken. I am equally heartbroken.

May 31st, 2016

Today I got a phone call from the human resources manager at the NGO I've been waiting on. She told me that even though I was the only job applicant left and that they've interviewed me 10 times over the course of 4 1/2 months, the corporate offices in Philadelphia decided I didn't have enough campaigning experience for the position, and they regretting telling me they weren't going to be hiring me. The project lead that I would be working for also called me to tell me that the entire team wanted me there, and that they appealed the decision not to hire me twice, only to have their appeals denied.

What the fuck man...
Last edited by Rich Farino on Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:06 am, edited 4 times in total.

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root wad
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by root wad » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:57 pm

I'll keep this brief as it appears there's no shortage of authorities on this subject. Given the right situation and a ton of hard work, owning and running a fly shop can be an extremely rewarding way of making a living. I started my shop and guiding business when I was in my 20's. Initially I was the only guide and at first tied all the flies I sold along with a few custom rods and the nuts and bolts leaders, tippet, floatants etc. The first shop was in an old garage at my house. When I was guiding my wife would unlock the shop if someone came by and knew what they wanted. When I sold the company in my 40's it supported about 30 families. Rich, I wish you the best in your pursuit. If you think my experiences can provide any beneficial insights into your efforts let me know. I am glad to help any way I can.
Last edited by root wad on Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Life is a whole lot more simple when you plow around the stump.
"When I found the skull in the woods, the first thing I did was call the police. But then I got curious about it. I picked it up, and started wondering who this person was, and why he had deer horns."

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Woolybug25
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by Woolybug25 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:15 pm

Ginseng Sullivan wrote:
Michael, go back and read the thread. I questioned your experience. You brought up my shop. Go read it again then fuck off asshole.
Is that not what I said? I gave some simple advice, advice I'm absolutely qualified to give (I get paid a lot of money to do it as a profession for gods sakes) and you went all agro, acting like I'm unqualified to give an opinion with this asshole comment:
Ginseng Sullivan wrote:So how is the small retail business you ran doing these days Michael?
So if you're gonna come at me with this passive aggressive bullshit, I'm gonna call a spade a spade and tell you to look in the fucking mirror. You didn't even say any of my points were untrue or provide any reasoning. Just a snarky ass personal insult for no reason. Now you're all offended because I told you to look in the fucking mirror. Which I've gotten used to, as I've been nothing but nice to you (and will continue to be) despite knowing that at least a few times a year you will randomly decide to be a prick for apparently nothing more than simple kicks.

But whatever, Nick. You're probably the only person on the planet that would accuse a guy that has worked in multiple shops, has a successful small business and helps people open up their own for a profession of being unqualified to give basic advice to someone regarding opening a fucking fly shop.
"All mountain hippies are as young as they day they were born, smarter than Einstein, better looking than Tom Selleck and could outfish an army of pinners." - foureyedgeek

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Randall Dee
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by Randall Dee » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:23 pm

You guys have any advice on raising puppy?

Seriously Rich, good read and straight from the heart. Best of luck going forward.

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SLSS
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by SLSS » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:30 pm

Could the Bickersons post in a nice pink text so I can just skip it a glance and not get thrown off the narrative in Rich's thread?

I know, I know, pink is for sarcasm, but this isn't meant sarcastically. :coffee
It's lime the battles between sperm whales and giant squid half a mile below the surface of the ocean. Only it happens in the palm I your hand.- thndr

when I fall, I am still cold and wet, but much more stylishly dressed. as my hat disappears in the riffle- flybug.pa


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Woolybug25
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by Woolybug25 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:40 pm

SLSS wrote:Could the Bickersons post in a nice pink text so I can just skip it a glance and not get thrown off the narrative in Rich's thread?

I know, I know, pink is for sarcasm, but this isn't meant sarcastically. :coffee
Randall Dee wrote:You guys have any advice on raising puppy?
Sorry Randy. I only own a dog. Not qualified.
"All mountain hippies are as young as they day they were born, smarter than Einstein, better looking than Tom Selleck and could outfish an army of pinners." - foureyedgeek

www.hiptothesip.blogspot.com

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421sd
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by 421sd » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:41 pm

Somebody mentioned diversifying. I need beer and whiskey, hell even wine, more often than I need hooks or buck tail. Why not have a cooler in the back of the joint with a couple of gondolas stacked with spirits? Some hardwater in a freezer too? That could be a sweet setup. :Roll Eyes

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jessnuts
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by jessnuts » Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:57 pm

Hi Rich,

I believe we crossed paths years ago in NC; I was traveling with Skankin'. I always stopped in the NYC store when I was there, but never made it down to your old one. I've been following this thread and really appreciate your sincerity. A lot of your challenges are hitting home. I was about to comment on the recent post, but then realized it took place almost a year ago. So I'll just keep reading. Keep writing.

Cheers,
Jesse
The River is Why.

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K_P
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by K_P » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:29 pm

This guy looks familiar.

Is it Mr. Purnell?

Image

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Lando
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by Lando » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:47 pm

I think it is Jesus Christ.
If my tombstone reads, "He never ate sushi." it won't be a lie, and I'll be OK with that.

~Average Joe

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K_P
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by K_P » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:23 pm

Lando wrote:I think it is Jesus Christ.
You know what--you're right!

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Ginseng Sullivan
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Re: So you want to own a flyshop?

Post by Ginseng Sullivan » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:24 am

Woolybug25 wrote:
Ginseng Sullivan wrote:
Michael, go back and read the thread. I questioned your experience. You brought up my shop. Go read it again then fuck off asshole.
Is that not what I said? I gave some simple advice, advice I'm absolutely qualified to give (I get paid a lot of money to do it as a profession for gods sakes) and you went all agro, acting like I'm unqualified to give an opinion with this asshole comment:
Ginseng Sullivan wrote:So how is the small retail business you ran doing these days Michael?
So if you're gonna come at me with this passive aggressive bullshit, I'm gonna call a spade a spade and tell you to look in the fucking mirror. You didn't even say any of my points were untrue or provide any reasoning. Just a snarky ass personal insult for no reason. Now you're all offended because I told you to look in the fucking mirror. Which I've gotten used to, as I've been nothing but nice to you (and will continue to be) despite knowing that at least a few times a year you will randomly decide to be a prick for apparently nothing more than simple kicks.

But whatever, Nick. You're probably the only person on the planet that would accuse a guy that has worked in multiple shops, has a successful small business and helps people open up their own for a profession of being unqualified to give basic advice to someone regarding opening a fucking fly shop.
Yes Michael, it's all my fault and you were right like always. Now will you just shut the fuck up on this thread.

Sorry Dad, I couldn't get the damn text pink.

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