November 3, 2008


I finally made my way to civilization last weekend and hit the craft store circuit. One of the stores was in the process of moving to a bigger location, and as a result, everything in the store was drastically reduced. Of course, I had gotten there too late and the only things left of interest were skeins of Bernat boa in colors of little use to me. Hopefully their bigger store will have more finds.

The visit to my usual craft store went a little better. The beauty of this store, is that almost every time I ever step foot in the building, there is a sale on something that I am buying. You could make the case that perhaps those products are already overpriced and that the "sale" price more closely reflects the true market value of the item. I agree that these prices are already likely marked up, but the other craft stores in the market area don't seem to discount these products for the same amount or as often as this store. Instead, they typically offer a percent off coupon for a single item. Nonetheless, if you know what you are looking for, a good deal can always be had at the craft store, and at dramatically reduced mark ups than the fly shop retailer.

Recent treasure finds at the Hobby Lobby

Recent treasure finds at the Hobby Lobby

Many have made the case that we, as fly fishers, should be supporting the local fly shops, especially during difficult fiscal times such as these. Thats all fine and dandy if you actually live or fish near a shop. The closest fly shop to me is 4 hours away. Not an option. Also, good luck trying to find brownliner gear at a fly shop. They bleed blue. You think John Q. Cahill sitting behind the counter there knows what the hell a Darth Clam is? Not bloody likely, but I bet he'll want to debate the merits of the comparadun versus the catskill dry. Fly shops fit the need of the angler that fits inside the box. Roughfishers do not fit inside the box. And no, it's not because of my buddha belly. The fly patterns we crave and need to catch roughfish do not exist commercially, save for some lame-ass carp flies. They exist in the sick and demented minds of other brownliners like Keith Barton over at The monstrosities created by that madman are almost worthy enough to have that brownliner committed. Who else in their right mind would cast out a 6 inch crawfish pattern to catch a 5 inch pikeminnow?

The bottom line is, hit the craft store, store liquidations, or even the neighborhood garage sale. Score as much shit from those locales as you can fit in to the back of your truck. Make a second trip if you need. Hell, go ahead and steal candy from a baby. But don't let some limp wristed bamboo slayer guilt you in to conforming to the rules of the blueline. Grow a fucking pair of balls and just do it. As even a devoted trout bum can testify,

"If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're doing something wrong." - John Gierach

The man's a freaking genius. Cheers!

- the roughfisher