Why is it so easy to get up before dawn to go fishing? For anything else, including work, catching a flight or even your kid’s Little League tournament, it’s torture to get out of bed. But when fishing is in the mix, your eyes pop open, coffee is poured and the good times start to roll before the sun breaks.
One of our favorite fly shops epitomizes that feeling seven days a week.
Western Rivers Flyfisher in Salt Lake City, Utah is not only a stellar full-service fly shop with a knowledgable staff, excellent selection and long-standing reputation of quality and authenticity, it’s also a quirky doughnut nook to a group of passionate and down-to-earth fishermen who gather each morning before work to tie flies, re-tell fish tales, heckle each other’s hookset skills, swig java and get centered for a good day at the office or on the water.
It’s called the Coffee Crew, and it’s where MFC fly designer Kyle Toyama found a home when he moved to Utah from New York for work. Kyle says, “Being a transplant to Utah and being able to go meet up with these guys at the shop and have them bestow their vast knowledge of the local fisheries from both a current and historic perspective has been a treat for me. Not only have they given up a few of their coveted locations that take many people years to find but they have also helped me truly appreciate fly fishing and the experiences that make it special. It is a special place where I have had the opportunity to relive some of my greatest angling feats, been reminded and humbled about my defeats (harshly and often.)”
The shop is also the birthplace of Kyle’s MFC fly pattern called Yama’s Nunya Midge, which you’ll see in our new catalog. Kyle is donating all fly royalties to the Utah Stream Access Coalition to raise money for litigation to win back formerly-fishable public water that’s been locked down by private interests.
Outside Media’s Nick VanHorn and Hilary Hutcheson got the chance to spend a morning with the Coffee Crew in Salt Lake and captured the essence of why we love local fly shops. They turned this great photo into an ad that’s the first in a new series we’ve got running in The Drake Magazine. Fishing isn’t just about the grip & grin. We feel it’s about the connection with nature, bonds with friends and family, respect for wildlife, personal diligence, patience, preparedness, relaxation, excitement and much more. At your local fly shop you can build a base for all of these things, then take it to the river.
We encourage you all to spend more time at your local shop. Pull up a chair. Pull up a vice. Ask questions. Learn something. Soak in the stories. Get to know the shop pros. Meet a local fisherman you’ve seen on the water but never met. This is all part of it!
We’re continuing to run additional fly shop profiles this year in our MFC Shop Series ad campaign. Stay tuned!