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Duggie
01-21-2009, 11:15 AM
Neat article in the latest Fly Rod and Reel about this topic. Makes one appreciate all the more what Byron and Paula have to put with.

flyred06
01-21-2009, 12:55 PM
Yes I agree. Paula and Byron go way beyond what a typical flyshop does, so really they have to put up with even more. I know we always give them credit but lets not forget Daniel is a big part of the glue that holds them together. Daniel, hats off my man for all you do.:biggrin:

jeffnles1
01-21-2009, 11:12 PM
I worked my way through college in a retail store. I had none of the responsibilities of actually running the place but got a very good dose of the kind of "stuff" customers can hand out. There are some that regardless of how nice you're trying to be or how much you bend over to help them cannot be made happy. I always felt really sorry for some of the customers because they were such angry and unhappy people.

Our sporting goods department sold a lot of bicycles but didn't assemble them. One day, a woman bought a bike but was quite upset that there wasn't anyone who could assemble it for her. She was a single mom and didn't have a clue how to tighten bolts or put on handle bars. I told her to come back that evening and I'd have it built for her. She tried to pay me but I just couldn't take money from her.

My boss found out and I thought I'd be in trouble because I used the store's tools. Instead, he allowed me to come in early or stay late on the clock and build bikes for people. I never accepted a dime from the customers for doing this and quite frankly, saw it as something I really enjoyed and a change of pace. I got to deal with happy people.

I can only imagine Byron, Paula and Daniel's stress level in trying to keep all of us happy even on those day when we just don't want to be happy. It's a tough job and a LOT of work. I know it's not just all "fishing talk" and "Bsing with the guys". They work very hard.

Jeff

Mark_Cathey
01-22-2009, 10:41 AM
Yep, I agree about the whole crew, and particularly Daniel. He remembers us when we come in, he always speaks nicely to my daughter (who I'm trying really hard to get interested in fly fishing) and he's perpetually friendly to everyone (even the noobs with 2 grand worth of Orvis gear and their pockets full of Japanese flies).

I've often dreamed of what it would be like to go back in time and beat Byron and Paula to the punch in opening the shop; but then I realize most other folks, including myself, could never have pulled it off to begin with. It's definitely driven by folks who need to be right where they are. I've loved watching that shop evolve (remember when they sold backpacking gear?) over the years, and they are now as much a part of my Smokies experience as the John Oliver cabin, the view from Gregory's Bald or that one sweet spot back on the Big Horseshoe.

We're blessed to have 'em.

Tarheelflyfishing
01-22-2009, 12:30 PM
With out a doubt hats off to Byron, Paula, Daniel and the whole LRO crew. Owning a fly shop is tricky stuff, especially in the current ongoing economic crisis...

flyred06
01-22-2009, 02:38 PM
I would love to own a outdoors/fly shop but I don't see that happening. My best hope is work till retirement and move to Tenn. and try to get hired at LRO. Now that is a good idea.:cool:

Mark_Cathey
01-22-2009, 02:40 PM
Ps. Tyler, great story on taking pride and drawing enjoyment from your work.

Jeff- love the Tarheel blog, man. Very cool...

Tarheelflyfishing
01-22-2009, 03:15 PM
Ps. Tyler, great story on taking pride and drawing enjoyment from your work.

Jeff- love the Tarheel blog, man. Very cool...

Hey Mark, appreciate the kind words...glad you like my 'ole blog...

snaildarter
01-30-2009, 02:11 AM
There's one for sale not too far from me in Bozeman. I think it's the oldest one in Bozeman (Montana). I'll dig up more info if someone actually wants it.

jeffnles1
01-30-2009, 09:30 AM
There's one for sale not too far from me in Bozeman. I think it's the oldest one in Bozeman (Montana). I'll dig up more info if someone actually wants it.

That would be my best dreams come true. However, I do not believe that I would be the best guy to actually own a fly shop. I'd love to work in the shop and gas with the fishermen and talk fishing all day. I'd love to manage a shop or even be the e-commerce guy for a shop.

However, actually owning the business I'm not sure I would be right. I think my personality would lean more to gassing with the guys than being serious about the business.

My dream after I retire from my current career (in my 29th year so retirement isn't too far off in today's corporate culture) is to be bi-vocational. I 'd like to be part time in some type of ministry and part time working in some type of fly shop / fishing related industry.

That, my friends, is my dream.

Jeff

Mark_Cathey
01-30-2009, 12:55 PM
Go for it, Jeff. As the son of a Methodist minister who fly-fished his whole life, I can tell you the two go hand in hand really well. When my dad died, the two things I treasured most were his ministerial stoals and his old wicker creel.

lauxier
01-30-2009, 09:35 PM
I have owned a pharmacy and been in business for myself for 28 years.I've done OK.I'm one those people who love fly shops,because I love fly fishing,and I like hanging out at places like LRO,or Blue Ribbon Flies ,or High Country Fly Shop,or Angler fly and fishing shop,these are great places to buy your stuff,you get quality info,you are treated like your somebody...BUT...the folks who own these shops,log major hours in their shops,selling their goods..The fly fishing industry changes constantly.the folks owning fly shops have to try to figure out trends and fads..they have to give you credible advise,it's not easy as it looks.I know that it is not easy as it looks,because I've been there,I'm there now...Being self employed is great,BUT being self employed is mostly roller-coaster like--you are stressed--then depressed---then things go ok--then you feel real good--then there's that stress again..it can get to you...most people I know,who want to be their own boss,who's job was corporate,would not like being their own boss,once they get a taste of trying to get more dollars coming in than going out...

nvr2L8
01-30-2009, 11:45 PM
My dream after I retire from my current career (in my 29th year so retirement isn't too far off in today's corporate culture) is to be bi-vocational. I 'd like to be part time in some type of ministry and part time working in some type of fly shop / fishing related industry.

Jeff,

Interested in being a youth minister in a Methodist church? We're looking for one in Maryville.

Tarheelflyfishing
01-30-2009, 11:53 PM
Now that I'm in a small Business/entrepreneurship class in school...man...now I know what it's like to own and run a fly shop:eek:...It has it's rewards and it has it's downsides. Hats off to Byron, Paula, Daniel and the LRO crew...'nuff said...

BlueRaiderFan
01-31-2009, 12:07 AM
Had my own business once...Can't stand a Schedule C. :p Wish I had grown the business and skipped corporate, but it is true: The hardest boss you will ever have is yourself.

Tarheelflyfishing
01-31-2009, 12:31 AM
but it is true: The hardest boss you will ever have is yourself.

100% true in a small business.

Milton
01-31-2009, 01:00 AM
[quote=lauxier;62583]I have owned a pharmacy and been in business for myself for 28 years.quote]

Lauxier-

Have you ever been in Murray's FlyShop in Edinburg, Virginia? I think you'd get a kick out of it. Harry Murray (maybe best known as the originator or the Mr. Rapidan) is a pharmacist. Go in the front door, and the right side of the store is a pharmacy, and the left side is a flyshop. Got to be one of a kind.

-Milton

jeffnles1
01-31-2009, 10:36 PM
Jeff,

Interested in being a youth minister in a Methodist church? We're looking for one in Maryville.

Charlie,
You have absolutely no idea how much I'm going to be thinking about your post. I'm even a guitar player too and have worked with the youth band in our church. My wife teaches the high school girls Sunday School class. I'm not working with the youth right now mainly because I play in the praise band and also I have a 13 year old son (you've met Daniel before) who really needs to find his space so I leave the youth group to be his territory.

The only thing keeping me from getting in the car and driving down to talk with your Personnel Committee tomorrow is I have 28.5 years in my job and am so close to a full retirement package that leaving it now would be a huge financial hit on my family. The job is stressful (middle management at a Dow Component company - one of the ten largest in the world) and it is slowly killing me. The job stress and the fact that I feel the Lord is calling me to His service and I need to put it off for another three or four years.

Like I said, you have no idea how much I will be thinking about your church. I will pray that the Lord has somebody in mind and will send him or her to your kids.

Jeff S.

nvr2L8
02-01-2009, 12:38 AM
Jeff,

Feel free to write at bartonca@hotmail.com. We're actually not going to be hiring until June but that's still a far cry from 3-4 years.

(And oh, BTW, you're already talking to the Staff/Parish Committee - I'm a member).

lauxier
02-02-2009, 03:27 PM
I know Harry Murray is a pharmacist--have never been to his shop---I would like to go--I've read a couple of Harry's books-He's really passionate about fly fishing.--Where is his shop??

Treecatcher2
02-02-2009, 05:09 PM
is located in Edinburg, Virginia. I've never been but it sounds like an interesting place

flyred06
02-02-2009, 05:19 PM
Jeffnles,

As a former youth minister and now an outreach minister, I would just like to say to you. Put God truely first and seek first his kingdom and he will supply all your needs. If you do not seek him first and his will then you just might end up with neither. Pray hard about it but be willing to follow. Remember we can have no other Gods before him. Just my 2cents. Hopefully, not offensive.

Milton
02-02-2009, 05:51 PM
I know Harry Murray is a pharmacist--have never been to his shop--Where is his shop??

Edinburg is right off I-81, in the northern part of Virginia. As I recall, the shop is just a few blocks from the interstate, so it's no trouble to stop in just to take a break when you're traveling that way. I was on my way to Alexandria the time I stopped in several years ago. If memory serves, it's on North Main Street. Seemed like a nice little town.

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=edinburg+virginia+map&um=1&ie=UTF-8&split=0&gl=us&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=title


-Milton

jeffnles1
02-03-2009, 02:04 PM
Jeffnles,

As a former youth minister and now an outreach minister, I would just like to say to you. Put God truely first and seek first his kingdom and he will supply all your needs. If you do not seek him first and his will then you just might end up with neither. Pray hard about it but be willing to follow. Remember we can have no other Gods before him. Just my 2cents. Hopefully, not offensive.

Flyred06,
No offense taken. I've spent the past few years in some serious prayer about this and am trusting that He will let me know and I ask for Him to give me the wisdom to understand the call.

As for Youth, Charlie and I have "chatted" via email. While I have a real heart for the students, I do not really feel myself being called to student ministry. I'm more the guy you want driving the bus or at the party. Typically, I'm the biggest kid in the room and having more fun than the teens. However, actually pastoring to them is not what I feel called to do.

I've spent 28+ years in the business world at a very large corporation. The Lord has blessed me with management, leadership, vision, strategic and team building skills. Being the business manager or consulting with pastors on how to build effective teams (staff or volunteer) is more where I can serve with the excellence He is due.

Jeff

flyred06
02-03-2009, 03:31 PM
Gods speed. You are in our prayers. I know personally how hard it is sometimes to know what to do or where to go. I only offer you prayer and support.

jeffnles1
02-03-2009, 05:19 PM
Gods speed. You are in our prayers. I know personally how hard it is sometimes to know what to do or where to go. I only offer you prayer and support.

Prayers are always greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Jeff

Brian Griffing
02-04-2009, 11:24 AM
There's one for sale not too far from me in Bozeman. I think it's the oldest one in Bozeman (Montana). I'll dig up more info if someone actually wants it.

Snaildarter,
I'll be out of the Marine Corps in a short 8 years, and looking to move back to Montana, spend time with the kids and find a job dealing with hunting and fishing. If you get the shop yourself, I can promise you a hard-working, honest employee in 8 years time that would be happy to work for peanuts. Well maybe not peanuts, but certainly turkey sammiches, elk hair caddises and Joe's Hoppers.

flyred06
02-04-2009, 11:37 AM
Now that's going to be hard to pass up. Plus as a marine he can double as your own personal security system.

snaildarter
02-04-2009, 12:49 PM
Brian, I confess. I would love to have that fly shop. I've looked at it and one other in Pennsylvania last year. This shop seems to be better than average. Meaning it still doesn't seem to make any money. :) :smile:

My first goal in buying any business is that it is going to make good money. I haven't delved deeply into the numbers on this one (they aren't given in its listing), but the few numbers they did post aren't attractive to me. I can tell that the shop is very well run, which worries me the most since if the current owner is running it so well, and the numbers are still kinda low, then what if I bought it? It would probably fold. :) :smile: When I look at its web site, I can tell that either the owner or his manager is extremely capable and hard working. Byron had talked some last year about how so many fly shops are folding. I think to go into this business you better not be good. You better be perfect. Byron seems to have that perfect situation at LRO: he had the resources in invest what he needed to to make it a premium destination; he works constantly and smartly to improve his business; he hired great folks to run it with him and who enjoy working for him; and he built his business in a demographically fantastic area before anyone else with a similar business acumen did. It would be extremely foolish for anyone to compete with him for business anywhere near Townsend any time soon.

The shop may be in better shape than I think. But usually the numbers are already skewed to make a biz look good in its listing. So I haven't put any effort into finding out more.

Brian, you'ld probably be able to buy it yourself in 8 years, if you are saving that tax-free pay you get. But it's a lot of money to lose if thing go wrong, isn't it? Which is why I'm so picky about the real numbers. Seems a biz like this might be best for a doctor or someone who already has enough money in life and is looking for a distraction in retirement, and leave the running of the shop to his manager, and not expect to make much money off it.

lauxier
02-04-2009, 06:32 PM
I'd be careful about buying a existing business--usually there's deep,dark reason for the shop being for sale.In a business,you can build customer good-faith,but you cannot buy it.Generally it 's better to start small and build.If you are energetic,and have the personality for working in the public,customers will usually seek you out.When you say Bozeman Mt.,fly fisherman get stars in their eyes,could be there's too many fly-shops around Bozeman.

jeffnles1
02-04-2009, 09:56 PM
I'd be careful about buying a existing business--usually there's deep,dark reason for the shop being for sale.In a business,you can build customer good-faith,but you cannot buy it.Generally it 's better to start small and build.If you are energetic,and have the personality for working in the public,customers will usually seek you out.When you say Bozeman Mt.,fly fisherman get stars in their eyes,could be there's too many fly-shops around Bozeman.

The owner could be ready to retire or has health issues, there are any number of reasons to sell a business. However, the risk of taking over an existing business is quite real. Assuming the prior shop owner had built an established clientel, a lot of this business is about the personality of the owner. There's no guarantee your personality would be the same and the existing customers may not like you or how you run the business. Not that one is better or worse than another, but it is different and people tend to not like change.

On the other hand, moving into an existing market and trying to build from scratch in a troubled economy is also risky.

The bottom line is it's a lot of work and a significant risk. I always have an admiration for folks like Byron, Paula, and Daniel who start a small business and make it a success.

Jeff

Grumpy
02-04-2009, 11:34 PM
There's no secret to making a million bucks in the FF'N biz, you just start with 3 million:rolleyes:

Grumpy

BlueRaiderFan
02-04-2009, 11:49 PM
There's no secret to making a million bucks in the FF'N biz, you just start with 3 million:rolleyes:

Grumpy

You ain't right.:p

Brian Griffing
02-05-2009, 10:45 AM
Snaildarter,
Unfortunately, pay is only tax-free if you are in a combat theatre, which, despite what certain threads on this board may suggest, East Tennessee is not. On the other hand, my time working is Knoxville is almost up, and my wife can count on that tax-free pay check rolling in by July.
As far as owing a fly shop goes: the Marine Corps has dominated my life since I was 17, and when I retire at the ripe old age of 41, I am looking forward to a job that I can leave at the workplace when I go home for the day. I think Byron, Paula and Daniel have great jobs, and do great work, but I would much rather be one of their employees 8 years from now, than attempt to replicate their efforts.

Tedious
02-05-2009, 11:52 AM
BG
Thank you for your service to our Great Nation.
Semper Fi
Dave

lauxier
02-05-2009, 12:04 PM
Well said....being in business for yourself is,at times ,gratifying.I suppose it will,like every other job,wear you down.LRO flourishes because Byron,Daniel and co. understands the principal of personal service,giving the customer an "UP" place with lots of personality and humor and if that's not enough,they offer answers and information,free!!!as Groucho Marx once told his examining physician.."Doc,you probably don't know what your doing...but..you ACT like you know what your doing..and that's good enough for me...what're ya puttin those gloves on for?????

Brian Griffing
02-05-2009, 07:41 PM
Tedious,
Thanks to you, and Semper Fi.

Lauxier,
You wrote "I suppose it will,like every other job,wear you down.LRO flourishes because Byron,Daniel and co. understands the principal of personal service". Exactly. While I think working in a fly shop would be ideal, I wouldn't want to deal with the personal risk and responsibility demanded of successful owners. Byron said in his report today that he can't go fish the Caney b/c he is behind at work. He may very well not be where he is today if he did not make that kind of decision or adopt that kind of attitude. Its the same position most of us are in. We make sacrifices for our profession. Our families make sacrificies for our profession. And when the day comes when I am in a new line of work, and the phone rings at 2:00 in the morning, I want to be able to assume it's not work-related. And if perhaps a hatch is coming off the water, or the gobblers are hot, or the elk are bugling, I'd like the option of taking the day off.