The rumors have been flying around my little neck of the woods that we are getting a new Bass Pro Shop, and every fly shop owner in WNC has probably pooped their pants a little. I am not going to say doing your shopping at Bass Pro is un-American or anything like that, because having the choice to shop at Bass Pro is exactly the definition of American. Unfortunately every dollar you spend at Bass Pro is money that isn’t spent at a local fly shop (if you don’t have a local fly shop you are excused), and I guarantee you that the guy who owns the local fly shop is a whole hell of a lot more passionate about the sport than the counter monkey at Bass Pro who gets eight bucks an hour whether he knows what he is talking about or not. I happen to be a local fly shop counter monkey and have on more than one occasion been asked to spool Bass Pro and Cabela’s outfits at no charge. I do it with a smile on my face because that’s what a local fly shop should do. Offer their expertise to anyone who walks through the door and asks for it. Unfortunately that same guy will probably go to Bass Pro next time he needs something because he is under the false assumption that bigger means cheaper…well not in the fly fishing industry. Cabela’s and Bass Pro aren’t allowed to sell a Sage rod or Simms waders at a discount unless every other retailer is (usually older models about to be replaced)…it’s written into their contracts. This misconception is what has been killing local fly shops since the advent of “big box stores” and unfortunately it continues to do so to this day. What this whole deal is gonna mean for local Asheville fly shops still remains to be seen, but I got a feeling I’m gonna see a lot more White River crap walking through the door in the not too distant future.