Both Ladyfisher and Castwell addressed the question of "progress" this week, all be it, tongue in cheek. But it was not about Breadmakers, and I hope that your local fishing gear shop is still in business. Lately I have been taking stock of my neighborhood stores. The task is very easy. There aren't any within a 10 mile radius. There used to be 4 that I could get to in 10 minutes. If you know the western suburbs of Chicago, they were:

Fly and Field, Glenn Ellyn
Peppers, Glenn Ellyn
Midwest Rod and Reel, Downers Grove
American Angler, Villa Park

Sad as it seens, it is nice to have Gander, Bass Pro, and Dicks to fill the void. (One of the Ace Stores nearby has the creaky floors but no fishing gear.) While you have the luxury, those of you who can visit the little shops should frequent the places. Take the kids and grandkids too so they will have the memory.

BTW the closest place I can buy a fly is Walmart, walking distance. After trimming back their tackle displays they are expanding a bit lately.

Personally, I think the internet will save Fly Fishing. That broader reach is needed for a businessman to reach far flung customers. And the same is true for fly fishermen looking to contact fellow fly fishers.

About 20 years ago, Homer Circle estimated that 10% of bass fishing was done with fly gear. I would like to update that estimate. I suspect that overall less than 5% of the fishing in the US is done with fly gear though there are pockets of heavier use for trout and salmon here and there.

My 2 cents.