THE RED SHED FLYSHOP
What’s the best way to make up for a cancelled couple weeks in France? Go to Montana, of course!
We wanted the winding Highway 12 to take us along the Clearwater and Locksa in Idaho to warm up for Montana. TRIP TIP: Some anglers already know that the best starting point on Highway 12 is Walla Walla, to stock up on wine for the adventure, which we did. Along the route we jonesed for flies and information, and saw an on-line ad for a fly shop in our path, the Red Shed off Highway 12, west of Orofino.
At a tiny sign for a skinny road we turned towards Peck. After a couple of miles, we drove into the 4-block town, seeing some commerce but no fly shop. There were scattered houses and gravel drives but nothing more. We had already gone through Peck. We did see a lady getting ready to climb up a ladder to the roof of her house. We pulled over and Curt hailed her. “Do you know where the fly shop is?” She pointed vaguely down the road we came from, indicating it was about a mile. We expected to see it in “town,” so with skepticism we backtracked where she pointed.
True to her word, about a mile out of town we saw a hand-made wooden arrow that said, “Fly Shop.” We pulled off the road into a dried grass and gravel area, and looked at a battered, small shed with a rusting farm sink leaning against it. There was a listing mobile home across from it, and further up the way a little house.
We walked up to the shed door, where “Red Shed Fly Shop” was painted above it. Next to the door, there was a paper note that said “I’m in the house, ring the bell.” We did. The door was open, but no one was inside. We looked around an amazingly complete shop, packed with fishing goods, flies, and Red Shed sweatshirts.
A short thick seventy-something woman strained up the steps and welcomed us. She said her husband was in the house but heard the bell and would be down in a minute. She left. We cruised through the flies and looked at the materials on the wall.
A ZZ Top beard with long gray hair and a Red Shed Fly Shop ball cap stepped inside and walked behind the wooden counter. “What are you looking for?” We chatted about fishing hopes and he directed us to the right flies. Looking at the wall of Scientific Angler and other contemporary products, Curt asked if he had any T-7 sink tip. He did not, but he said he would make one. We chatted with him, and he gave us advice. It was clear that this guy knew steelhead, along with every rock and curve in the rivers of Highway 12.
It was hard to leave. He was the real deal. His missus returned to make sure we knew we could order on-line, check the website. She handed us business cards. They said, “Red Shed Fly Shop, Junkyard Spey.” You gotta go to Peck. Next best, you gotta go to their website. There are none like it, just as there is none like the Red Shed. Check it out:
Mike and Linda Cummins
Big Canyon Road, Peck, Idaho
Submitted by Janet Arenz