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mcfly
05-20-2009, 12:59 AM
If Little River Outfitters posted a comprehensive online fly tying material catalogue, you would have 100% of my fly fishing business; fly tying materials, rods, reels, and everything else! Currently, you don't have either, but if I knew I could find ANY material in one spot without having to cruise local shops and surf the web, I wouldn't shop anywhere else, and I would probably buy a few rods and other gear from you too. But it would have to be 100% comprehensive. I understand your website maintenance cost would go up significantly, but I don't have any doubt your correlating growth in sales volume would be as significant or more.

Just a thought as I browse for something that I can't find anywhere that I won't be buying from you because it isn't in your catalogue.

tire guy
05-20-2009, 05:57 AM
In an effort to assist you their toll free number is 1-877-448-3474. Try this they are good people to talk to, they are a lot more than web based sales staff. Just my opinion............

Carolina Boy
05-20-2009, 09:57 AM
Well there are only about ten billion different materials for tying flies, many of which cost between 3-5 bucks each, all you gotta do is call em up and ask em if they got what you want, if they don't be sure they will get it. I have never had a need that they couldn't assist me with.

kytroutman
05-20-2009, 10:04 AM
In a retail environment, it's absolutely impossible to be a 100% comprehensive to all customers with an online catalog. The differences in buying methods, buyers tastes and the cost of maintaining active inventories prohibits this. That being said, there is nothing I have ever needed that LRO doesn't have on the shelf or can get it for me in a couple of days.

Paula Begley
05-20-2009, 10:32 AM
If Little River Outfitters posted a comprehensive online fly tying material catalogue, you would have 100% of my fly fishing business; fly tying materials, rods, reels, and everything else! Currently, you don't have either, but if I knew I could find ANY material in one spot without having to cruise local shops and surf the web, I wouldn't shop anywhere else, and I would probably buy a few rods and other gear from you too. But it would have to be 100% comprehensive. I understand your website maintenance cost would go up significantly, but I don't have any doubt your correlating growth in sales volume would be as significant or more.

Just a thought as I browse for something that I can't find anywhere that I won't be buying from you because it isn't in your catalogue.

Unfortunately, our fly tying selection is so vast that it would be practically impossible to have it online on our catalog.

Please feel free to call us with a list of your needs and we'll be happy to fill your order that way.

Paula

jeffnles1
05-20-2009, 09:18 PM
I can vouch for the extensiveness of LRO's fly tying section. Every time I'm in the shop (unfortunately only 2-3X per year) I end up spending about $70 - $80 that I hadn't planned on spending. I always see "just one more thing" that I "need". My loving wife, God bless her, has inquired as to when Bryon and Paula are going to make me a partner. I have to remind her that there are guys on this forum who actually live within driving distance of the shop and they spend FAR more than I do. Her usual reaction is pity for their poor wives.

Paula, I wonder if it would be possible to list the types of things you have in the tying department with the toll free number? It is possible there are people who visit the catalogue and have absolutely no idea that you also have a full range of tying materials like hackle, hair, foam popper bodies, krystal flash, the list of goodies that most of us just cannot live without goes on and on. It's been my epxerience that LRO has it all but many of your online only shoppers may not even know you have a fly tying section or that they should ask.

Just food for thought.

Jeff

flyman
05-20-2009, 10:04 PM
I always carry a running list of items that I "need" or would like to buy. No shop carries everything, but LR has a selection that would be the envy of about 99% of the shops I have been in. I was able to find 10 or 12 things I had been looking for high and low, and when I asked about something I wanted I was told without hesitation, we will order it for you :smile: I spent about an hour on 2 different days looking at fly tying stuff. I didn't even go upstairs, my wife counted my rods last winter and I had to buy her a new car. So now I am trying to thin out the herd a little before buying any new rods. Of course it would help if they came with tubes big enough to put 2 rods in;)

Kytroutbum
05-20-2009, 11:14 PM
I haven't bought many hackles, dubbing, etc from a catalog since I last bought an ounce of loose "Iron Blue Dun" hackles from Herter's. That "Ages Me", I know. I've even send some of the few materials I did order from catalogs back!! The Saddle hackle that would tie some many of certain size dry flies was very webby for example. I picked up some March Brown Dubbing over the weekend at LRO and it was a different shade from the batch I had been using for 10 years. Beads, Hooks, krystal flash etc run fairly uniform and I wouldn't have trouble ordering online, or over phone. Hackles, dubbing, things the might vary I like to purchase in person. If I were to order from LRO, I would rather talk to someone over the phone who ties and explain what the materials were going to be used for and allow them to pull it off the shelf for me.

Also, I carry a small spiral notebook where I keep an "rough" inventory of hooks, sizes and types of hackles, and a needs list. This allows me to look for bargains and not shop impulsively. With the prices of tying materials going up, I can't afford to do that anymore.

I've only remember being in two flyshops in West Yellowstone that were comparable to LRO's supply.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

silvercreek
05-22-2009, 05:10 PM
Yep. Not many can offer what LRO does, and that includes the shops in West Yellowstone and the Henry's Fork area. Free phone call and free shipping.

Flat Fly n
05-26-2009, 10:34 AM
MCFLY,
Do you trade cars every year after they lose that 100% "new car smell"?

I have flyfished for thirty years, and tied flies for that long. I have been in flyshops all over this country and have YET to find one better than LRO for selection. If I can't find it they order it and ship it to me FREE.

If you find something in this world that is 100% all the time let me know, I would love to see it.

Carolina Boy
05-26-2009, 10:59 AM
Hear hear flat and fly!

mcfly
05-26-2009, 06:02 PM
Flat Fly n:

Actually no, I buy cars new and drive them until they are beyond repair. I never trade-in a car.

I also just bought materials online (that will be used longer than a year of course) along with a new reel, flyline, and backing from someone other than LRO who offered an online catalogue. I did this at night during hours that LRO was closed and from a location far from Townsend and will continue to do this. It took 30 minutes to locate and less than 1 minute to execute the order.


I am incredibly baffled by the responses on this post. I shouldn't have to keep a list, call, and have another person order something that may or may not be what I am looking for exactly and then wait longer than standard for the shipment from the vendor. For a very small investment in certain technology, good inventory management and outbound/inbound practices along with a couple of weeks of set-up time, this comprehensive catalogue can be easily accomplished by a qualifed person. I know because I've done it before with other products, and would do it with fly-tying materials if I had the vendor relationships and fly-tying industry knowledge that a shop like LRO has.

In the meantime, I'll get used to the anti-capitalistic society that we are apparently living in.

jeffnles1
05-26-2009, 07:49 PM
I also just bought materials online (that will be used longer than a year of course) along with a new reel, flyline, and backing from someone other than LRO who offered an online catalogue

Was that really necessary? I mean, you're free to buy stuff anywhere you wish, that is capatilism, but was it really necessary to stand in the middle of LRO's shop and state that?

Byron and Paula run a business and offer this forum for those of us who are crazy enough to go chasing trout in the mountains so that we can have a place to talk.

They offer an outstanding website and online catalog. I know first hand how many hours the shop personnel put into maintaining the website, photographing the items and running the business.

Byron and Paula are two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.

Jeff

tire guy
05-26-2009, 08:06 PM
"In the meantime, I'll get used to the anti-capitalistic society that we are apparently living in."

This statement is uncalled for. The owners and staff of LRO have made this forum available to you at no cost. They have established their business model and it is their business, but as friends of mine I will defend them. There is nothing anti-capitalistic about loyal customers offering you a compromise to your complaint. An anti-capitalistic society would be based upon welfare and if you are not making at least some of your purchases from LRO then you are expecting benefits without paying for them. Personally I find it encouraging for a business to change and adapt without compromising the needs of their customers. The standards by which LRO operate could not possibly incorporate your ideas in a couple of weeks. Look at the details of their catalog, it is not just a quick link to a manufacture's web site. They take great pride in their business watch how the Message Board is monitored by an owner not just staff and the Fishing Report is written daily with fresh information. LRO is building a community here and it is appreciated by most anyway. I will get off my stump now and go sit down.

Byron, Paula, and Daniel if I am out of line please forgive me.

David Knapp
05-26-2009, 10:15 PM
For a very small investment in certain technology, good inventory management and outbound/inbound practices along with a couple of weeks of set-up time, this comprehensive catalogue can be easily accomplished by a qualifed person. I know because I've done it before with other products, and would do it with fly-tying materials if I had the vendor relationships and fly-tying industry knowledge that a shop like LRO has.

Having worked at LRO in the past, I can assure you that it is a bit more complicated and time consuming than that. There is not much money in selling fly tying materials compared to other items. In my opinion, it would be a waste of manpower to devote as much time and energy as would be required to add all the fly tying materials (plus everything they don't carry) to the online catalogue and maintain it. If you want to purchase from other shops fine. I'm sure everyone does it occasionally when travelling, etc., but why brag about it on a forum that they kindly provide for us free of charge? :confused: I think that everyone would just like to see a little respect...

PeteCz
05-26-2009, 11:40 PM
Not to completely dogpile on this one, but capitalism is: An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.
Source: Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=Capitalism) The whole point of capitalism I believe lies in the ability to make a profit. Most companies that may offer tying materials in an online catalog usually do so in the hopes to sell more of their profitable merchandise along with spools of thread, hooks and dubbing (which are very marginally profitable).

There is next to zero profit in carrying and selling fly tying materials. I believe that a business decision was made by LRO to not go to the expense of carrying materials online (its not the sheer volume of the materials as you suggested, but the lack of profit in the maintenance of the catalog, etc when compared to the expense needed to keep it running at a quality level commensurate with the rest of the site).

If you have a problem with that, then it is definitely your right to take your money and spend those dollars elsewhere (free market economy). I don't think anyone has a problem with that. But to rail against the sponsors of the forum is overboard and unwarranted and I think most of would prefer you tone it down.

If you can't, don't waste your time posting again.

The world is filled with too many angry, disgruntled folks that have nothing better to do than spend time complaining about how the world should work. If you believe that there is a better way to do something, by all mean go do it. If you think there is such a tremendous opportunity to make a profit - go serve it. That's capitalism...

kytroutman
05-27-2009, 07:26 AM
To put it real simple, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

Stonefly
05-27-2009, 07:51 AM
If you can't, don't waste your time posting again.




Well said.

sb

Carolina Boy
05-27-2009, 10:01 AM
Most people hit the brakes when they see they might be in error, this guy hits the accelerator? In a game as difficult as flyshop ownership LRO is an example for all other shops and Byron and Paula are 2 of the nicest people in the industry, it is what they offer beyond mere tinsel and lines that creates an environment where we as customers remain loyal and choose sacrifice, if you can really call it that, and order stuff one day earlier to get what we need that they may have to order for us. We do this in order to support such a wonderful business and family. This is what makes capitalism work on the local level, customer care and relationships. And having seen Byron's elaborate photo studio I can tell you it takes far more effort than you may realize to photograph a million materials just so you can see the different colors of dubbing and thread? As far asd being baffled by the response from the board, well it's pretty simple round here, we take care of our own, and I think that all of us would say that we are very protective of the wonderful community and opportunities that Byron & Paula and all the LRO staff work so hard to afford us.

Paula Begley
05-27-2009, 06:18 PM
Guys, we really appreciate all of the positive comments and support.

We also appreciate the comments/criticisms we receive. Without such, we would not grow.

That said, we at LRO made the decision to not carry fly tying materials on our online catalog, and the reasons for that have been amply explained by others. We are a small business trying to do the best that we can to meet all of the needs of our customers. There will always be some whose needs cannot be met, despite our best efforts. That's fine. You can't be all things to all people.

Let's just leave it at that.

Paula

Byron Begley
05-27-2009, 09:03 PM
Hi mcfly,

Thank you for your comments and we want serve you and get 100% of your fly fishing business. That is our goal and hopefully our mission is successful most of the time.

When we built our final shop, the one that we own and do not rent, we made it much larger than the average store. The main reason we did this is to offer a comprehensive fly tying department. We knew, from experience over the past 15 years that one third of our customers tie flies based on data from our point of sale system. We ask for your name when you place an order. Your purchases are recorded in our database. Our computer POS system easily gives us the report we need to back up what I just said. One third of our customers buy fly tying materials.

The size of our store was planned from the beginning to have a large fly tying department. Most of that space in that department is devoted to the outside walls, which in our business is considered to be prime real estate.

That meant we had to spend an extra $150,000 dollars on the building and land to display the merchandise. Additionally we pay for more parking, drainage, property taxes, insurance, staff and HVAC for those who are customers and only 1/3 of them are fly tying purchasers. The average fly shop in the United States is 1,200 square feet. Our fly tying department is at least that large but we also have a mail order business and a classroom that takes up more space than the average fly shop. Our store is pretty big.

David Perkins who is one of the owners of Orvis is a friend of ours, he likes our store a lot and he knows much about the fly fishing business. He was in the store one day and asked me how we can justify that much space dedicated to fly tying. I said “I don’t know but it brings customers in”. We have not quantified our return on investment in the fly tying material business. It doesn’t matter to us. It brings customers in.

Ordering and receiving fly tying materials requires a huge amount of labor. A $1,500 order from Wapsi, one of our largest fly tying suppliers can take a day to a day and a half to process. That is because that order might include 500 to 600 items. It takes just as much time to process a package of dubbing as it does to process a fly rod or pair of waders. Therefore, a $5,000 order at wholesale from say Orvis takes a few minutes to order and receive through our computer system. A $1,000 order from a fly tying material supplier may take a day. The profit margin is the same, the labor cost is many times more. Remember, we package all spooled materials, physically count the items and verify the cost to the invoice. If we don’t balance to the penny we find the error. That takes a lot of time.

I have a friend who owns a liquor store. He was complaining about the number of SKUs (shop keeping units) required to track in a liquor store. I asked him how many SKUs he had. His answer was 1,700. I think at the time our SKUs in the fly tying department were around 5,000. His unit cost was much more than ours. Ours run about $2.00.

Another problem with fly tying materials is availability. When you are selling chicken feathers you can’t have a pipeline of available merchandise made on an assembly line in China. Our vendors, like us are often out of stock in certain items. And, our fly tying suppliers do not backorder. We have to re-order again every ordering cycle. Sometimes we order something four or five times before we finally get it. Imagine trying to keep 5,000 items manually listed as in stock on an online catalog.

Finally, many small companies have tried to do this and failed. Some are still trying but I believe their efforts are in vain. Anyone could open an online catalog that sells nothing but fly tying materials and be very unique in our industry. It just doesn’t work. Maybe someday it will and we will be on the cutting edge if it can be done. I can’t make the numbers work. I guess we could double the price and make the department profitable. I think we would run into price resistance from customers.

The Fly Tying material business is not profitable and if it were, you would be able to find the perfect store. Right now, we are not smart enough to do that. But we will try. Our selection of materials still brings customers into our store. We are happy about that.

I am not writing this to dispute your opinion. It is my nature to educate customers about our business. Read the fishing report sometime. I love to write about this stuff.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.

Byron

Carolina Boy
05-27-2009, 10:37 PM
I think that the posts on this section speak to the support for your store and the LRO family. The only argument i got with you Byron is that I think that you have the perfect store my friend, and i like most on here have been to shops not only around this country but other countries as well, need saltwater stuff you got it, need discussion boards got it, need classes got the best instructors, need industry stars try Kreh, Humpreys, Clouser, Babb, Yea got it, need fishing reports with extremely detailed info yea no one has what you got stream level, temp, weather, fly patterns, even a cow standing factor?!? Got it and i don't really know what that even means! Sorry but i think that this gentlemen got under a few of our skins, and after reading your post and a few naty lights I just wanted to sound off again, no matter where I live and where i move, and I do that a lot, Little River outfitters will always be my local shop, and I am not alone.

Barry Murphy
"Carolina Boy"

flyman
05-28-2009, 12:36 PM
Like I said in a previous post, I've been in a lot of fly shop around the country and LRO is as good as it gets :biggrin: Plus Paula is good looking;)

Paula Begley
05-28-2009, 08:03 PM
Like I said in a previous post, I've been in a lot of fly shop around the country and LRO is as good as it gets :biggrin: Plus Paula is good looking;)

Heh. Flattery will get you everywhere! I just have one question. Are you rich? /inside joke :cool:

Paula

nvr2L8
05-28-2009, 09:41 PM
Paula,

Just curious - where did the bold italics come from? Didn't see that in Flyman's post. Or have you been practicing the mind-reading skills? No disagreement - just curious. :rolleyes:

Paula Begley
05-28-2009, 09:45 PM
Paula,

Just curious - where did the bold italics come from? Didn't see that in Flyman's post. Or have you been practicing the mind-reading skills? No disagreement - just curious. :rolleyes:

Charlie, :p

I bolded the comment that was a part of our little inside joke...I have no idea where the italics came from...doesn't it just do that automatically? ;)

Paula

UofMontanaAlum
05-29-2009, 03:50 PM
I order all of my materials from LRO via email. It's just as easy as adding items to an online shopping cart and takes less than 1 minute. And as far as service goes, I placed my last materials order on a Tuesday and I had the order on Friday ... and I live in Iowa! That is very fast turn around and, in my opinion, service that is lacking in ALL other fly material retailers.

LRO doesn't just get my business, they have earned it.

tennswede
05-29-2009, 04:02 PM
Any chance of trying out the spring creeks in Iowa? I know they are a ways from Des Moines but still, they are spring creeks.

jeffnles1
05-29-2009, 04:08 PM
Charlie, :p

I bolded the comment that was a part of our little inside joke...I have no idea where the italics came from...doesn't it just do that automatically? ;)

Paula

I thought there was programming built into the message board software that automatically added in the bold italics anytime it found Paula is good looking in any message or post. :biggrin:

Jeff

Paula Begley
05-29-2009, 07:02 PM
I thought there was programming built into the message board software that automatically added in the bold italics anytime it found Paula is good looking in any message or post. :biggrin:

Jeff

Jeff, you just may be onto something there! I'll have to thank my great friend, Sarah from Seattle, for enabling that, since she's our message board software guru. ;)

Actually, truth told, it was user error on my part. I was bolding the part that was included in the little joke we have going with flyman (common message board usage to show emphasis on what you're commenting on) and I messed up. My bad.

Paula

jeffnles1
05-29-2009, 07:53 PM
Jeff, you just may be onto something there! I'll have to thank my great friend, Sarah from Seattle, for enabling that, since she's our message board software guru. ;)

Actually, truth told, it was user error on my part. I was bolding the part that was included in the little joke we have going with flyman (common message board usage to show emphasis on what you're commenting on) and I messed up. My bad.

Paula

I liked my story better :smile:

By the way, thank you all for running such a fine shop.

Jeff

Speckleman5
05-30-2009, 08:37 AM
Yeah, after finally making it down the weekend before Troutfest, I was in awe of the shop. They by far and away have more fly tying material than anywhere I have been. Not to mention the customer service, I challenge McFly to find better elsewhere. I hope that in this one stop shop that he found that they sell some Etiquette, manners, and graciousness that obviously is lacked by such a post on this free message board that is provided as a resource for anglers. Thank you once again for everything you all do and I am glad it shows with all of the positive support this thread has recieved.