Checking out at Costco the other day, I realized the whopping 30% my family saved on the five books we intended to buy was offset by the clusters of batteries (enough to light a minor metropolis on a winter night), as well as 17 pounds of pistachios, three packs of underpants, a waffle iron, and the slickest electric toothbrush known to humankind … all of which I never planned to acquire, and to this moment, have no idea where they will ultimately land.

It got me thinking about six reasons why every dedicated flyfisher should do most of his/her holiday shopping at the local fly shop:

1) You get to hang out in a place with kindred spirits and fantasize about big trout slurping damselflies, which inevitably makes you thirsty for beer.
2) It’s never too soon to be darn sure (by way of an extra dozen fly patterns) that you’re ready for that salmonfly hatch that won’t happen until June … so it’s okay to shop for yourself there.
3) If your kid throws a tantrum because he/she really wants that nipper on a zinger, you won’t care (at least not as much as you do during the meltdown over a super-transformer projectile-shooting plastic airplane).
4) If people don’t flyfish, they shouldn’t be on your Christmas list … or, at least, you can cover their lame interests on or at a florist.
5) You’ll completely sidestep that moment of parking lot anxiety when you’re loading your car, and some nut stops, puts on their blinker, and gives you the “hurry-up” eye, because he or she is too darn lazy to park three spaces further from the front door of the store.
6) And, most importantly, because if you enjoy the sights, smells, and experiences to be had at a fly shop, you should support it with your business. Especially during the holiday season.

Happy holidays and good shopping …