Shop review – The Alpine Angler, Cooma

I stopped in here recently en route to a flyfishing trip in the mountains. On entering, I was impressed by the uncluttered layout and light and airy space. I was greeted by two lovely chaps, clearly devout fly fishermen, and asked what I was after. I was on a mission to get some cheap waders, and found some $80 models that would do the trick nicely. I was prepared to spend more, but the range jumped from the $80 cheapies up to $350-400 dollars, so it would have been good to have a bit more choice.

These guys could smell the amateur fly angler on me, but were still incredibly friendly, and opened up more when we got chatting about fishing, shared local contacts and regional stocking programs. I asked for some flies and found a lovely selection, which at about $2 a pop, was a bit of a shock (after sitting at the bench and producing ‘slightly’ inferior models for next to nothing), but it’s worth buying a few top quality flies from time to time to represent a bit of an aspirational goal! I also found a decent selection of high-quality tapered leaders, but would have liked a few cheapies in the mix.

I paid my dues and then realised I only had my left wader packed in the box! The vendor apologetically packed the right boot and we had a good laugh about fishing on one leg.

All in all, I’d highly recommend paying these guys a visit. In a world of easy, cheap online shopping, it’s nice to go into a tackle store, have a good yarn and a laugh, and walk out with what you need. All too often I go into tackle shops these days and either the people in there have no idea what they’re on about or they are so full of ‘advice’ that it drives you insane (not to mention the cost!). Online shopping can be similarly tedious: I recently had a birthday present for my mum (a new stradic and rack raider) sent to Tasmania instead of Bermagui….oh well.

Back to the Alpine Angler Cooma, and the final score is 8.5 out of 10 woolly buggers.


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