Flyshop Friday

Troutfitters Truck

Google Maps had led me astray. I had typed in “flyshop” but found myself in a strip mall parking lot. Before I could reroute myself I caught a glimpse of a 1976 Ford Custom Ranger truck covered in trouty spots. Maybe I was in the right place. Sure enough, a hand-painted sign informed me that I had made it to Bozeman’s Montana Troutfitters.

Fly South Outside

I’m comforted by the similarities between most fly shops. Sure, the rod rack might be in a different corner and each shop will have a couple local patterns, but that same “how ya doin?” coming from behind every counter reminds me of the common flyfishing culture we share across the country. However, every once in awhile I stumble into a shop that goes above and beyond the already high standard that anglers have set for flyshops. Fly South in Nashville, Tennessee is one of those standouts.

Denver’s outfitting experts

Anglers All has good energy. Natural light shines from the two-story windows. Railroad Earth and a snoring dog provide the soundtrack. Employees greet customers with a firm handshake and a “What can we do for ya?”

Colorado's Ascent Fly Fishing has your fix

Google Maps took me deep into suburban Denver, where I wound up in front of a nondescript two-story house. I parked and rechecked the address. I walked up to the front door and knocked. A man appeared. We shook hands. Then he opened his garage to reveal 400,000 flies in a dozen trays. Apparently this was the right place.

Exploring the cutthroat oasis that is Pyramid Lake

If you’re looking for a 20+ pound cutthroat, you’re either high or you’re fishing Pyramid Lake. Maybe both. In the center of northern Nevada’s elevated-desert lie the remnants of Lake Lahontan, once covering more than 8,000 square miles. Today, the largest body of water left is Pyramid, home to legends of spell-casting mermaids, human-snatching babies and—more importantly—whales.

On the northern edge of the Driftless 

Lund’s opened its doors to the people of River Falls, Wisconsin in 1873. A. W. Lund Co. sold wooden carriages. As the town grew, the Lund family’s operation grew. In 1881, they opened a general store on Main Street that focused on hardware. The Kinnickinnic River ran behind the store and sometime in the 1970s, word began to spread about the quality of trout fishing on The Kinni. The hardware store added a flyfishing department with the intention of pulling a few bucks out of the trout-seeking, tweed-wearing visitors from the Twin Cities. Eventually the hardware store closed its doors.

Sportsman’s Finest. Austin, Texas

Texas is growing. Every month, thousands of people pack their bags and make the move to the Lone Star State, partly because it’s filled with opportunity and a thriving workforce. And as Austin spreads its arms, so spreads word-of-mouth about flyfishing in central Texas. In recent years, flyfishing has exploded in the heart of Texas Hill Country. This growing interest has also led to the growth of Sportsman’s Finest—a fly shop that supports the varied needs of outdoorsmen, especially flyfishers.

America's oldest city embraces fluff chuckers with a new storefront

St. Augustine is an angler's oasis. It has redfish in the fall and winter; tarpon in the spring and summer; and world-class bass in the nearby St. Johns River, which is a roll-cast away in nearby Palatka.

Fortitude and good fishing on Wyoming’s North Platte River

Sagebrush and brown rolling mounds. Ripping wind and an Arctic shoulder-season. One righteous truck stop bar, where dollar bills wallpaper smoky internals. And iffy gas station burritos at 6 a.m. There you have Alcova, Wyoming... at first glance.

Emerald Waters Anglers

A full-service fly shop, brewed in West Seattle

Seattle is a fishy place. With the Puget Sound in its backyard, the Olympic Peninsula three hours west, and sneaky creeks within striking distance due east, you’d think that in addition to espresso factories on every corner it’d be easy to source a fly shop. But that hasn’t always been the case. Until now.