Fly shops are a beacon for the thrower of feathers and hair, they call from afar and are an oasis to those who practice the religion of the long rod. What I have here in this blog are my five favorites that I have visited. I plan on visiting many more which I will also include, so in the future, this list may very well change.
When I visited Blue Ridge, Georgia to fish for rainbow and brown trout, I had a rental car, an Air BnB in the middle of the woods and time to kill before getting on the water. During this time, I bopped around downtown Blue Ridge and wandered into this little fly shop – Cohutta. I found a bunch of dudes who were not only friendly but genuinely liked fishing and talking about it.
All I was trying to do was kill some time, they didn’t mind that I wasn’t there to buy a $1,000 fly rod. I sat there and chatted with them and they couldn’t have been nicer. Not only was the staff super genuine, but the shop was full to the brim with top-flight fly gear from brands like Thomas and Thomas, Abel, Orvis, Simms and more! They also offer guided trips which if I didn’t already have a guide booked, I would have embarked on.
As far as saltwater fly shops go, this is one of the cooler ones. Located in Key West, Florida, this shop exudes awesomeness. It is owned by legendary permit angler Nathaniel Linville who has caught 215 permit on fly, six IGFA fly rod records including the men’s 6‐lb tippet tarpon record for a 140 lb 4 oz tarpon and the men’s 2‐lb tippet record for 16 lb permit. His shop is well-appointed with Tim Borski art and top-of-the-line fly gear. Here you will find the trophy for the Del Brown Permit Tournament.
My original fly shop which is located in Pinellas Park, Florida is much more than a fly shop. Here you can shoot guns at the indoor range, learn to ski at the indoor snow skiing hill, learn to scuba dive and find all manner of fishing and camping gear. It’s like REI, but family-owned for nearly 80 years. The fly shop area may not be the biggest, but they have a great selection with great staff that is always willing to help. There is a big pond behind the store in which you can try casting your rod before you buy.
Saint Augustine, the “Old City” – it is the oldest city in Florida and the United States. The fly shop, “Old City Flyshop” pays it homage. Owners Matt and Travis who are some of the coolest guys ever, it’s worth the visit.
We were driving up and had a tour at a winery scheduled, but I also wanted to get the fly shop beforehand because we had a busy day the following morning. I called the shop and they were more than willing to stay open for me as hastened up the highway, when I arrived, they offered me a beer. Incredible guys. They helped me to pick out a fly to use for my charter for the next day and I used it to successfully catch a fish! They offer guided trips that I certainly would have taken if I didn’t already have a guide booked, and have a wide variety of gear and apparel as well as art.
A South Tampa staple for over 20 years, owner Enver is as nice as he is knowledgable. While they offer spin and fly gear, they have an excellent selection of fly materials, rods, reels and more! Enver is tapped into the fly fishing scene in Tampa, knew Tom Evans and has a million and one stories. Don’t be surprised if he offers you a soda on your visit. If you need fly gear in the Hillsborough County area, this is your spot.
These guys know the waters of South Florida and know them well. If you’re looking for a beat on peacock bass, they’ve got you. Tips for finding snook, they can help there. Need a replacement rod for your snapped tip? No problem. They carry all the top brands and are more than willing to answer a thousand questions (trust me). It’s worth stopping in and is a great resource if you need answers or resources while exploring the nethermost part of Florida.
Fly Shops on the List
There are so many fly shops to visit, but so little time. On my shortlist are the following – let me know what others I need to explore!
- 239 Flies: Bonita Springs, Florida
- 828 Flies: Seven Devils, North Carolina
- 7 Mile Fly Shop: Marathon, Florida
- Yellow Dog Flyfishing Fly Shop: Bozeman, Montana
- Tarpon Fly Shop: Tarpon Springs, Florida
Until next time, tight lines!