String of Fly Shop Robberies in Colorado – No Big Mystery

| February 7, 2011

Where the money is.

Willie, that’s “Slick WIllie” Sutton of 1930’s bank robbing fame, was once asked why he robbed banks, to which he famously replied, “because that’s where the money is.” Sutton stole an estimated $2-million during his brief, modern pro athlete length, career. Of course he spent more than half his life in prison as well.

Is it no wonder that thieves in Colorado have been robbing fly shops?

Perhaps we could learn something about what we do from these events though. Fly rods starting at perhaps $200 usd, and quickly escalating from there (with a notable gap in the $300-500 range) to $700 and into the thousands for fine pieces of bamboo origin. And Colorado is internationally famous for its bamboo don’t we know.

According to what’s being written from these fly shops robbery reports, they are going strictly for high end merchandise, and using multiple people to distract and load up. Typical Wal-Mart tactics. And “anecdotal” reports go on to backtrack their fly-crime-spree to “Western Rivers Flyfisher in Salt Lake City on Saturday the 27th, and worked Trout Bum 2” before hitting targets flush with new spring arrivals at – “Laughing Grizzly, Angler’s All, Charlie’s Fly Box, Trout’s Fly Shop, Orvis Cherry Creek, and Rocky Mountain Anglers.” They are apparently shopping while the shopping’s good too, hitting all these between February 2-3.

Hard Dose of Reality

Rather than throw our our own dragnet, maybe the prescient point made years ago by “Slick Willie” Sutton should be pondered. Fly shops, in our personal individual fly fishing orbits really are “where the money is” aren’t they. We love the new stuff, and if we ascribe to the generalized modern aesthetic that newer is better, then they will always have something for us, or on the way, just for us. As for me, if I could have every single Scott and Sage rod made … heck, I would have every Scott and every Sage, and every other rod of any slight interest, sitting in my SAFE waiting for their calling – much like Woody in the dark toy box waits to be played with, perhaps, just once in awhile.

Here comes the big however – HOWEVER, I was struck recently by the way computer “culture” has begun, for better or worse, to permeate the fly fishing industry, when I saw a post on “upgrading” to “the new version” of Korkers wading boots posted on the fantastic boards at Itinerant Angler’s web site. Of course my dismay with Korkers has history, as they were one of the first major experiments I tried with new technology. Over time the “second generation” Korkers boots lost a sole, and slowly became unwearable due to a continuing shrinking of the toe box. Imagine a wet shoe that shrinks. The letter responding to the “incredible shrinking toe boxes” was replied to directly from the company with “stuff the wet boot’s toe boxes” and “presoak the boots” before wearing them! Yes, I had to pull out the rare exclamation point for that one. Korkers, in what I would guess is five fly fishing years, is now on their third “upgrade” with no interchangeability, no sign of this being the last “upgrade,” and no remorse about previous “generations.” Korkers owners were the “debuggers” who found the “glitches” in the “design” and “helped facilitate” the “upgrade” to the “current version.”

So, while new technology does bring progress to fly fishing; making us look mostly better, more insulated from the elements, more self sustaining and able to leap wide streams in a single bound … I just have to ask you, have you seen a Red Wing Boot lately? How about a trout landing net? The classics aren’t broken, and they don’t need “upgrading.”

For More About the Robbers:
Angling Trade Magazine

For More About Korkers:
Korkers – feel free to send me your latest “version” and I will field test them. If I like them, I will buy them after extensive field testing, and an honest evaluation over time. Please feel free to contact me via the Contact page, and I will make arrangements to receive a pair of size 10-ish “upgrades.” Whatever happened to “free upgrades?”
Itinerant Angler Discussions
Midlife Review of Korkers

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Category: Culture on the Skids

About the Author () 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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