Happy Halloween Ghosts in the Machine

| October 31, 2022

Great Monday Morning along the sandy sidewalk of South Padre Island, Texas. It’s actually a rocky road here these days, as adjustments are made to the speed of “Island Time,” and the twists and turns of this book I am writing about this entire experience. 


The book on “How to Build a Fly Shop,” will be my contribution to the narrow band in the fly community that has the radical blood that makes them think opening a fly shop would be a great idea. A brick-and-mortar fly shop – in and of itself – is a concept that you won’t find much support for – be it financiers, family or the public at large. It’s just too small a slice of a tart key-lime pie.

Clearly and with determination, Los Pescadores Coffee & Outfitters is named in a way that broadcasts the business priorities to all who read. Coffee, that thing that gives most people a morning bump charge, is the number one priority. And coffee, at a high level of quality different from any I have found in Port Isabel and on South Padre Island, takes knowledge of the olfactory art. That knowledge exists almost everywhere it seems, but not so much with me!

My conception of the “Outfitters” side, which I know slightly more about, had been prepared – on the supply side – to open in October 2022. Today, Happy Halloween, is the last day of October, and we are no closer to open than when I arrived on the first day of October. And you could roll that reflection back some – if you have been following along.  I have the inventory in hand, and it’s selling online already. I am also waiting to pull the trigger on more inventory that is not under the spell of the “supply chain” shortages and uncertainties. But still the coffee and fly fishing community of South Texas waits …


Obviously the book will contain a detailed chapter on the realities I have faced here that are related to whether to buy or rent a building for your retail adventure in a fly shop flavor. The highly accurate Three Rules of Retail: “Location. Location. Location.” – will have a lot to do with that decision, but I will detail some other things to consider as well. Why not learn from my mistakes?

The location is nothing less than perfect, and if you haven’t seen a photograph of the location we are waiting on, be sure to check out the Los Pescadores Instagram feed. There’s not always a “but” to a piece of real estate,  but a beautiful old building in a beautiful diamond-in-the-rough coastal town does come with all kinds of … “extras” so to speak. Those extras may not actually be ghosts, but I can say there are ghosts in the machine.

Without giving any more of the chapter away, you can figure out where it goes: Buy your location should you have that capacity, and if not? Read the book.


We have some good tides happening here NOW on the Lower Laguna Madre – good means good movement that helps the fly fishing in the Lower Laguna Madre.

Last week, I was guest to Captain Mark Machado on his Maverick HPXT. Leaving out of Adolph Thomae Park, we were moving at speed before light. Out the mouth of Arroyo Colorado, I knew the water because of my dozens of times navigating it as a kid. Southbound toward Three Islands, we made a move I could never make in Grandpa’s boat, and dodged behind the spoil banks and out of the Intracoastal. As the light came on, I could see the ten inches down, and realize the reason why I had never taken this route. The bottom was looking up at me, beautiful tropical colors sand and vegetation. We flew back into the Intracoastal after the sheltered run, and crossed over to the fishing shack side. Off plane, and shut down, silence came rushing and so did the sounds of all manner of baitfish stirring, moving, swirling and jumping … the sounds we love to love. I couldn’t help thinking … what a great place for a mothership.

Good coffee as I waited for light, the last of it gone. Light finally cracked over the living and dead mangrove edge. There, at the back corner, a pod of big spotted tails jittering in bliss. Go inside yourself, check your pulse, the first silent signals to my brain …

To be continued soon …

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Category: Adventure, Body-Mind-Soul, Fishing Reports, Life Observed, Lower Laguna Madre, Saltwater Fly Fishing Texas, Store Merchandise

About the Author ()

https://www.shannondrawe.com is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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