DARIEN, Conn. — Fly-fishing gear is the specialty at The Compleat Angler in Darien, where local enthusiasts head to outfit for their trips to such far-flung places as New Zealand, where trout is now in season.
Hearing about their customers' trips is a highlight of doing business, says manager Scott Bennett, who has his own fish-travel story to tell. "I was on a boat in San Andros Island bonefishing in the Bahamas with some of the [employees] here," he told Daily Voice.
"Fly fishing is no longer just the classic wade into the water and catch trout, though many of our customers go trout fishing. You can fly fish anywhere, in saltwater, from a boat, and for all kinds of fish," he said.
"We're pretty specialized," Bennett said of the store, which sells rod and reel outfits, flies and tying items, apparel, books, videos, and gifts.
He has been the store manager for 20 years. The Complete Angler, open since 1983, has a silent owner.
"Right now trout is in season in Argentina, Chile and New Zealand," said Bennett.
But closer to home, customers can buy what they need to go fishing in the Mianus and Saugatuck rivers. Or they prepare you for more-distant expeditions.
"It's common for people to go out for a week of fly fishing," he said of far-flung fishing trips.
Bennett said he likes hearing about the trips.
"They come here to get outfitted. Right now, they're going to warm places to fly fish in saltwater," he said. "They go to Mexico for bonefish, tuna, and sailfish. On saltwater, fish is typically small shrimp or crab. You can fly fish for everything."
Customers from age 10 to 80 love to fly fish, he said.
"It's kind of a cool sport that way. You can fly fish at any age."
There will be a free fly-tying demonstration Saturday, March 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the store, 541 Post Road, Darien.