A lifetime of spending money on outdoor gear brought me to the following principle: There are stores that sell fly fishing gear and then there are fly shops. I like being in fly shops. I like checking out the new gear, even if I don’t buy anything, though I often do. I like the way they feel and the way they smell. You can walk into the shop in your waders. And then there are the stories, a continual conversation of topics old and new. Mostly though, I just really like the people I meet there. People like Jim Holland, George Cassa and Eric Hildebrant and the crew at Shannon’s Fly and Tackle.
Unless you’re from New Jersey, you may not know these guys. And that’s too bad, because you’d like them. Continuing the Catskill tradition set by the shop’s founder, Les Shannon forty years ago they’re people who live for fishing, and what’s more, these guys care a lot about their home water. They’ve proven that where it counts – out there in the stream, or in their case, in the South Branch of the Raritan, the Musconetcong and the Pequest Rivers near picturesque Califon, NJ. Check out the video, and you’ll learn about this great work.
This “git-‘er-done” ethic is what prompted the Trout Unlimited’s Ken Lockwood Chapter to nominate them as TU’s first “Gold Level” TU Endorsed Business for their ongoing commitment to conservation in New Jersey and their long-time partnership with the chapter in creating and protecting cold, clean, fishable water for future generations. The Gold Level was created to give local chapters and councils a way to recognize truly outstanding partners who go far above and beyond the call of duty to protect, reconnect, restore and sustain their home waters.
And no better example of this Gold Level involvement exists anywhere than right here in Califon. Whether it’s guiding anglers in the scenic Ken Lockwood Gorge, holding fly tying classes on winter weekends, hosting the Kid’s Fishing Derby or the Traditional Angler Day in May or putting on the annual New Jersey Fly Fisherman of the Year One Fly Competition in November at the historic and charming Raritan Inn whose waters they manage, the guys at Shannon’s are always working to do more than just sell gear – they’re nurturing the future of fishing right here in the Garden State. Sure, you can buy gear at Shannon’s – in fact, you should. But just selling you the right fly for their local waters or name brand rods and reels at reasonable prices isn’t enough for these guys.
They work together with a host of local entities on projects as diverse as stream restoration on the South Branch of the Raritan, working with the Raritan Headwaters Association to protect streambank habitat, stream monitoring and electrofishing with the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. These guys do it all. We’re proud to present TU’s first Gold Level Endorsed Business – Shannon’s Fly and Tackle in Califon, NJ.