Plugging shops is not something I do a great deal of and to be fair in my local vicinity there isn't many shops if any that really cater for my preferred styles of angling. There are a few that cater for more traditional forms of sea angling as well as those that cater for Coarse and Game anglers, but not really lure.
Well a short while ago I heard of a shop starting up in a town just north of me in Criccieth.
I have been conversing with the owner Russell Roster via Facebook for sometime, really just chatting about fishing, but I was of course excited to learn of a shop predominantly selling lure and fly gear near me.
I finally got up to see Russell a couple of weeks back and visited the store. The shop is well located on the high street and is a stones throw away from the bays and breakwater.
Now I have to say, that well, its not your typical tackle shop!
Upon entering I noticed a few large vivariums and one aquarium, on the plus side, I really like beasties and I was immediately stimulated. Russell showed me his Turtles, Bearded Dragons, Frogs and the stuff they feed on like Locusts and Cockroaches, all pretty unusual, but pretty cool too!
Russell is an immediately personal guy and clearly passionate about his fly fishing, lure game, as well as his reptiles too! I have to say he doesn't make a bad coffee either.
Although Russell is just starting out, he has put a lot of effort in to providing a fairly decent starting range and he seems to have a clear idea about what he wants from the shop and the way he wants it to go.
The walls of the shop are lined with lures and flies to suit every pocket and set conditions you might find yourself facing, when on the water.
There's nice a display of Delelande lures for a start;
I must admit I don't use the Delelande stuff as much as I perhaps could. I have used their Buster Shads, GT Shads and the Monture Picol'eau's with some success in the past, but haven't given them much water time since. However, the firm have made some nice additions to their range in recent years and I may try some more of their stuff soon.
One thing I am incredibly pleased about is that Russell is Europes first stockist of Fishin' Magician Skid Stik lures. They are a cracking lure at such an affordable price, they honestly represent really good value for money.
There really is plenty of stuff to keep you looking though and the walls are well stocked with other well know brands as well as maybe less known brands like Yokozuna.
I know next to nothing about fly gear, yet I was rather interested in some of the fly displays. There are flies I believe to cover both fresh and saltwater game, these being the choice for Bass and Pollock;
I'd quite like to give some of those a go behind a bombarda or attached to a weedless sinker, like those available from Ocean Ruler.
With the limited amount of space available, Russell has done a pretty good job of merchandising the stock and even has a reasonable range of rods, including the now very popular HTO range.
Obviously I cannot feature everything Russell sells in this blog post and neither do I want to, but rest assured there is more than enough to get people started young or old, as well as keeping the seasoned angler happy. It isn't all lure gear either; there is a small range of the more traditional type of gear available including Mackerel feathers/ Hokkai, sinkers, rigs and other angling accessories.
If you are around the area or heading up to the Llyn peninsula from Porthmadog say, then I would encourage you to pop in and say hello, have a chat with Russ and take a browse. I'll certainly be up a bit more and shall have the odd lrf session on the breakwater when tide and weather allows. I'll maybe leave my card at home next time though hey :)
Seriously though, its good to see a shop like this here and I wish Russell all the best with his new venture.