Honestly, I tried.
See, there's not really a "fly shop" where I live. Yeah, they put an Orvis in about 30 or so minutes from where I live, but it's like a corporate Orvis, not a local fly shop. The closest thing I've got is about a 15 minute drive from the house...it's not a fly shop specifically, more of an outdoor sporting goods shop, but it's got a fairly extensive fly fishing section, complete with it's own "fishing counter" so you don't have to go up to the main registers at the front to shoot the sh*t or complete your purchase. For the sake of this post, it shall remain nameless, but if you know where I live, you can probably figure it out.
I wanted to get that pair of wading boots I wrote about a little while back. I knew they had them, or at least carried the brand, so I went to go visit. When I got there the store was pretty empty, and I was very pleased to see they had the specific model I wanted on display, but kept the various sizes in the back...so up to the counter I went.
Our conversation went something like this...
Me: "Do you have the Korkers Redsides in a size 11?"
Me: "Yeah, the wading boots over there."
Counterdude: "Ummm, what does the box look like..."
Proceeds to walk over to the wading boot display
Me: "There's no box, but there's a sign that says I need to ask you to get me the size."
Counterdude: "Ok, lemme check"
About 5 minutes pass, Counterdude returns
Counterdude: "We ain't got 'em, sorry."
Me: "Ok, no worries."
Now I don't hold anything against Counterdude, I'm certain he was simply in over his head. I also don't really hold anything against the store, out of stocks happen, especially mid-season. But I read all these stories about how I should "support my local fly shop," etc, etc...and Counterdude didn't even ask me during that awkward silence if he could show me (upsell me) the Korkers Chromes or one of the Chota, Redington, or Pro Line models sitting right next to the Korkers on the shelf...nor did he ask if he could take my name and offer to give a call when they get back in stock.
All that said, I still bought something from them - a small bottle of bug spray and some neoprene wading socks - you know, to support my local fly shop...but I paid for them up front.
As for the boots? I went home and ordered them online. Google returned at least 10 retailers that had them in stock...plus free shipping and no sales tax. But mind you, this story isn't over yet. I work in e-commerce, so I know "in stock" is not always what it seems, especially with some of the 2nd tier retailers. Guess I'll wait to find out how this experience plays out next week .