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Southern Appalachian Fly Shops Prospering

leah kirk


Southern Trout inbox overflowed with announcements from the region’s growing number of fly shop. Smoky Angler of Gatlinburg, TN, and Brookings of Cashiers, NC are celebrating their 30th Anniversary, and Little River Outfitters located Townsend, is yet another older establishment is adding an online store.

            Everyone loves exploring fly shops, but is a very tough, largely season business. Just staying open during January is tough. Amazon undercuts prices on big ticket items such as rods and reels. When you’re in one of the older, well established, watch how they conduct business. They have broken the code. They know what they are doing.

            When I wrote my first guide to trout fishing in the Smokies, there was the Creel in Knoxville, and the Fish Hawk in Atlanta. Now there are dozens of fly shops where there used to two. It is big fun seeing so many people enjoying was I knew here all along. Big Fun….

            Most of these shop have in house shop guides. Some of them are front for a guide service. In 1970 there was not a single guide for trout in the South. Times have really, really changed and mostly for the good. If I could ever learn spell and grammar, what a wonderful world it would be, eh?