Saturday, May 12, 2012

Side Trip: Nomad Anglers

My Friday was going to be interesting. I had to drop my parents off at the airport around 11 AM and had a doctor's appointment not too far away at 2PM. What in the world was I going to do with myself for a couple of hours in between? I thought of fishing, but i didn't know the area and by the time I actually found something I would have to leave...

I decided to try and find somewhere to sit down for lunch and maybe check my Facebook while I waited and maybe play some Words with Friends. By no means was this going to take up a ton of time. After wishing my parents safe travels on their way to sunny Arizona I decided to look for a place to eat. There was a Wendy's across from the airport, but even at just after 11 the place was packed and the drive through line went right to the road!

Not being in my normal neck of the woods, or city, I decided to just head to the East Beltline and search for somewhere else closer to my where I had my appointment. As I was heading northbound I noticed a sign that said Orvis and decided to stop in do a browsing. I quickly whipped into the Applebees parking lot which luckily had a side access to the strip mall the store was located in. I had never been in this particular store before but I had followed them on Facebook for several reasons, often posting relevant blog posts to their page.

Upon first entering I noticed that the store was very well laid out. The inside was bigger than I first expected from the narrow store front, but there was quite a bit of depth to it. I immediately noticed several pieces from Becca Schlaff the artist I had done an interview with just a week ago. I was looking at her piece by the front door and was looking at the depth of her work, the rich detail and thickness and texture of the paint on the canvas. I have a tendency to block out the rest of the world when I focus intently on something and this was the case as the attendant in the store approached me and asked if I needed any help. I told him I was just browsing and was admiring the Becca Schlaff piece.

The mention of Becca sparked a conversation. I mentioned that I just recently interviewed her on my blog, but had actually never seen any of her work in person. He recognized the blog and told it me that he enjoyed the post. We had a nice conversation about many things from Becca, steelhead, current water levels on the rogue (where I was headed after my doctor appointment). We had an interesting conversation about Grand Rapids Whitewater and their plans to create a kayaking course that would virtually eliminate the need for migratory fish to make a stop in Grand rapids. We talked about our concerns about the possible lack of a lamprey barrier if the project happened. Some other customers entered the store and I continued to browse.

Back wall with another piece of Becca's art above.
In some ways I think I'm similar to the fish I stalk, I'm lured by stunning visual images, immediately catching my attention and admiration. The store had a typical feel of most Orvis shops being, clean, very tiding and well laid out having the typical assortment of fly tying equipment. apparel and gear.

Great selection of flies!

Simms Gear, This is the good stuff!!!
I really liked how their reel display case was laid out. I have been interested in getting my hands on the new Hydros by Orvis,  the Abel Super5N with Derek DeYoung's artwork on it, and a Nautilus FWX.

Fish Tank Reel Display

Love these :)
Dave was very gracious letting me play with about half the reels in the case. I was also on the hunt for a low priced decent quality reel for my son for Salmon and Steelhead. I has seem the Orvis Clearwater in adds and wasn't really sold on it until I was able to handle it and see that it was a great buy. My son is only 14 and he would be a great field tester to see how things hold up :)

Nomad has a good page on Facebook, they have a Twitter account, and an online site which has a blog and online store. I hope to be back and get the reel for my son or order it online from them once I sell his old reel and some other stuff on eBay. I noticed that they also accept PayPal online too! Bonus!
Bug Board
Because of their good selection of goods, the artwork, their internet presence, and their knowledgeable and friendly staff I think they have a great thing going. I am an avid believer in the success of the smaller specialty stores. They always care about the customer and see you as being more than just a number or a dollar sign. If you haven't stopped in yet I would highly recommend a vist! If you want to visit their web site click on their name under Great Fishing Sites to the right ==>

Between the my several conversations with Dave and my intense window shopping I killed a good hour plus in here saving me a little sanity from being bored out of my wits. I really liked this store and it's probably a good thing it's not closer. it would just give the wife fits if she thought I was out spending more money on fishing stuff.

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