Thursday, July 14, 2011

Discount Fishing - Denver, CO.

This was going to be an interview, but changed my mind.

If you're ever in a place called Denver, a little run down on your luck.

I'll tell about a place to go,  where you can buy flies for less then a buck. Then fish like heck to cheer up.

The place is called Discount Fishing on a street called Sante Fe.

He owns and works the place, his name is Mike Gray.

I guess that's enough with the Jerry Jeff Walker "Charlie Dunn" lyric knockoffs. Ha Ha.

Mike doesn't work alone, he's surrounded by guides and guys with knowlege about fishing and the shop. They can help you find your sought after gear stashed in all the tackle shops inventory. The kind of hand's on service you'll find is remarkable when you need it. Otherwise, join the starstruck crowd milling around in awe and enjoy the sights.

I've been in the place a number of times (not as many as I'd like) and I've only brushed the surface. It's the kind of place that any outdoors person can get inspiration and stand wide-eyed surrounded (got it? I mean like a bubble surrounded) with boo koo tackle and all the tools of the trade.

There's tackle on the ceiling, it's on the floor, the walls are covered with hinged racks full of spinners, jigs, hooks, sinkers, plugs, flatfish, jerkbaits, flies, rods, reels, creels, tackleboxes, hats, jackets, minnows, leeches, hair, feathers, thread, bobbins, hackels, maps, shoes, waders, boots, raingear, blades, rod blanks, leaders, line, rudders and swivels.

If you've ever been to a flea market searching for a specific item, its kind of the same feeling of being pleasantly overwhelmed.

Tackle thrills!
About a year ago, I decided to try to get some Fish Creek Spinners on the wall at Discount Fishing. I called Mike and asked if he had any tackle components he might swap for spinners. He said he probably had some in the backroom and I should come down with some spinners and we'd look around to see if I could find something I could use in trade.

I'm happy as a clam in the chaos and disarrary of tens of thousands of components. Going into a tackle shop's  backroom to dig around for tackle components ( the stuff thats assembled to make tackle) sure sounded like fun. It was an invitation I couldn't refuse.

When I finally made the trip, it was a hot August day, maybe even some Colorado humidity in the air. I wandered around waiting for a break in customer activity, checking out a new rod and reel for Sable. Mike finished with a customer at the register and said "Let's check  back here" and headed to the back of the shop. My head was still off imagining what I should buy, but I mananged to come to and line up behind him as he came around from behind the register fo'c'sle headed for the back.

Now as a fishermen, looking around Discount Fishing,  it was hard to imagine the place had a hidden underbelly. To me, it looked like everything must be out and displayed in plain view. The backroom door was hidden in a far corner, behind the minnow tanks.
 When that backroom door creaked open, I swear, I saw white light. Maybe I'm spreading it a little thick, but the anticipation of what might be found was certain, even if the outcome was uncertain!

Mike headed back into the dark and found a light. The backroom had the smell of old cardboard. Storage shelves lined the walls and old boxes filled the shelves. Mike started handing them to me and I maneuvered back out, and began arranging potential swag and booty on the floor.

He found raw lead spinnerbaits, he found boxes of lead jigs, he found boxes with trolling cowbell rudders, lots of boxes of blades, treble hooks, beads, and some mystery boxes stacked deep. My favorite.

We both ended up happy, Mike moved some stagnant components and I got some space in a place I enjoy being part of. Denver fishermen can now opt to buy Fish Creek Spinners, and I started filling the blanks with purchased components to begin using the boxes of parts and pieces and enter new species markets.

We're painting spinnerbaits and skirting them. Building Muskie and Pike spinners and trolling cowbells that will go back into Discount Fishing and fuel our business relationship.

Here's Mike pricing some of our trolling cowbells.

Mike Pricing FCS trolling cowbells (in front of the Fish Creek Spinner rack)
While I was here, I asked Mike where the BUDZ rudders I'm using on the cowbells came from. He said he bought them from a tackle guy like me that was getting out of the business due to an illness. He's finally getting some money out of the deal selling our cowbells, and BUDZ rudders made it out of the back room, on their way out into the countries water where any respectable piece of well made US tackle belongs.

Still need Mike to take interest in some of the finished spinnerbaits , lol!

Finally, if you're ever in Denver, be SURE to stop by Discount Fishing. It's an ADVENTURE you'll not forget!

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