Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Don Barton, Apr 20, 2011.
Hey Jesse, got anything to say on topic or do you only insult people?
A buddy of mine worked as a store manager for the Kaufmann Bros. for a few years. Basically, they were both primadonna pricks who ended up treating my hardworking friend like a piece of shit. He quit and went to another shop. Too bad about losing another fly shop but I don't give a rats ass about the Kaufmann Bros. When I met Randall, I thought he was a conceded asshole and I'm glad he's out of the biz! Good riddens to them. People like that give flyfishing and flyfishers a bad name!
I remember the Bellevue location was OK, when Sparky and there was another fella (drove an old K-5 Blazer) really cool dude & great fisherman. I have picked up a couple rods from those cats. I do recall years later after the replacement crew, things became sour and my feelings had shifted. Never did go back, then the Bellevue store closed some time ago. Something had me thinking......... why a store in downtown Seattle, with crap parking and to many people? I never did go to the downtown location. I wish I did see the Seattle store? Its like the time I drank a beer the day before the Stardust in Vegas closed = kinda sad. Or like this one time in band camp when Jimmy and Golfman found this goat up in Lyman, they......................
I don`t know how relevant this is , as I`ve never been in a Kauffman`s store , and certainly don`t know anyone who ever worked there .
C&P from elsewhere ...The manager from their Oregon Store has started his own venture "Royal Treatment Fly Fishing". He's opened a nice store in the Portland area and has an online business as well. Joel LaFollette is the owner.
It is sad to see Kaufman's go and I wish someone could have bought the business. Maybe Joels shop will take the good things from Kaufman's and make it better.
Very sorry to hear. I liked Kaufmann's. I wish I would have kept the last catalog I had of theirs. While I haven't frequented many fly shops the past couple of years, when I really needed something, I readily went to Kaufmann's and I know my wife regularly got me Christmas presents from there. They were always super friendly and were helpful in recommending some great flies for my last trip to Florida to fish for Redfish and Speckled Trout.
I walked by the Seattle store yesterday. The door was locked and there was a small pile of mail on the floor, a few feet from the door.
I remember when I used to go to the store in the "U" district. Then it closed . It seems that all good thing just come to an end. It's a sad thing when fly shops close. I used to hang out at AATF, and now it is closed. Whats next ??
Not true duffer! From the webpage:
Welcome to ALL ABOUT THE FLY.
We are an internet fly shop, with call-for-appointment hours for the local crowd. The shop phone number (360-863-1833) has been moved to a cell phone, so you can still reach 'Ron at the shop.'
I first got into fly fishing in Colorado, where a friend made me a custom fly rod and colluded with my wife to get me the rest of the stuff to take up the sport. Soon after I moved to Seattle in the mid 90's, I went on a pack trip into the Wyoming mountains where the packers lost a duffel containing, among other things, that fly rod.
I was new to Seattle and still relatively new to fly fishing, so I made the circuit to all of the fly shops in the Seattle area to try to find a replacement rod. I had been fishing for a while by then, but it was the first time I had bought a rod. I received the most attention and helpful service from the Bellevue Kaufmanns store and rewarded them with the purchase of a fine Sage rod that I enjoy to this day.
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Kaufmanns' since then, even though geographic proximity has led me to favor a couple other shops in recent years.
Randall Kaufmann is a giant of a name in western fly fishing. It's sad to see the shop bearing his name and legacy disappear.
To be blunt, if they treat me like shit, why would I give a crap about them?
Do you care about people that break into your car? Oh, I hope they didnt cut their arm on all this broken glass...
I stop by the shop in Welches maybe twice a year, and just about everytime we are greeted with a handshake and kill some time talking about the Crooked River. Anytime I said the word Crooked or White fish at Kaufmans, I was looked at like a second rate person...
The shop in general closed their doors. I just can't hang out on a web page and bull shit with the owner.
my condolences to those of you that frequented Kauffmans and will be missing them. I had been in there only a handfull of times, but found the place well decorated and stocked to the hilt. Of course that was several years ago. I know what its like to lose a community resource " a genuine fly shop" is a community resource, and the loss of these shops does not bode well for the industry. An industry rep that I know told me that over 30% of the fly shops in his area had closed down, and that was over a year ago. Look at all the shops back east that have shut down and the Reno fly shop. all gone.............
It pays to live in a Trout rich state. The fly shops 9in Montana and in my area all do a half way good business. Slow in the winter time but busy in the warm months.
i have only been into one MT fly shop that i would consider a junior sized trout focused kaufmans. the rest of'um are botiques, sort of like the bozeman angler. virtually everyone i have gone into carries tons of pretied flies at significant cost, but next no materials for the travelling anglers. of course, you have to figure out your business model to be successful and those are the things that sell like hot cakes, more power to'um but not my cup of tea.
and you have to remember, kaufmans didn't think of trout as the only flyfishing species worth looking into. ever talk with jerry about their trips?? anything that swims was ok at kaufmans and they carried what you needed to make the adventure a success. that part of losing this business is going to be very difficult to replace without shopping via the internet.
then you couple all of this 'stuff' with employees who knew you by name, had actually travelled to many of these locations and knew the inside scoop, and you had a business model under randall that was astonishing. then along came lance.....................
You must not have been in to many shops in Montana, and in fact shops like the Bozeman Angler are more so the exception out here. Hit up Troutfitters in Bozeman of Greater Yellowstone Fly Fishers in 4 corners. Also check out Frontier Angler's in Dillon. Frontier and GYF are very Kaufmann's like (when kman's were in their prime) and focus on the local trout, but also have info for all over the world. The big difference I notice between these shops and K-mans was customer service, it was a 50% chance on getting talked to at the downtown kman store when I went in there, and the shops in MT treat you like you've been in there all the time. It sucks to see fly shops go out, especially K-mans (I too remember drooling over there catalog before the internets, and I have friends who worked in their Tigard store), but it should serve as a good reminder to support your local shop when you can.
I agree with you Joe. There are some great shops there. I remember fishing the Ford one day right after I got out of H.S. . I fished it most of the day catching only a couple. I was surprised to see a rig parked at the big spring. I watched at afar as this guy caught fish after fish. Later that day I ran into the guy. It was Randall. We talked and he asked how I was doing. I told him not good and he said here take a couple of these. The were big black carpenter ants. I thanked him and proceeded to crush fish. Thank you Randall !!!!
After reading this thread I feel the need to speak out about this subject.
1) As a former employee of Kaufmann's, it is sad to see that they have closed their doors after 41 years of service in the flyfishing industry.
2) The staff at Kaufmann's were some of the best in the business - some were rough around the edges and not the most professional by today's standards of customer service. Don't judge a book by it's cover. Unless you knew them on a personal level, you do not really know what they are like at all.
3) To this day, I am still friends with Randall and have been for over 20 years; if you knew him, you would know that he would do just about anything for you.
4) They did not treat their emploiyee's poorly. I will say that they had some unorthodox methods of running a business, but they were not a bad company to work for at all and offered some nice perks for anyone who appreciates fly fishing.
5) More than anything, I sincerely hope Lance and his family are able to work thru whatever it is that has resulted in the closure of Streamborn.
After closing up my freelance ad agency in 2003 and going to work at Patrick's to find out if I would like turning my avocation, flyfishing, into my vocation, I received a call from Ryan Petzold at Kaufmann's. I interviewed with Randall and when I returned to the shop three hours later, Dennis Worley and Ryan were wondering what the hell happened? Turns out, Randall and I were close to the same age and simply spent three hours reliving our hippie days. What a hoot! When I went to work at both the Bellevue and downtown stores, I was treated to some of the awesomely funny stories of all big names in NW flyfishing that worked for Randall and Lance throughout the years. A book should be written.
I learned an awful lot from Bob Aid, Dennis, Ryan, Blair Alexander, Gary Thompson, and Randy down in Tigard. I owe a lot of what I know now to Kmann and I, for one, will miss them.
I've known Bob Aid for along time. He help me when I was in my teen's. He is a great guy! I'm sure he will pop up some where. Good luck to all!!!
I loved the print catalog. I used to fall asleep many a night reading about the trips they offered, checking out flies and accessories, and dreaming of having some of those high-end rods and reels.