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A new addition to the Ridgewood shopping center has area fishing enthusiasts flying high. After it was reported in the Development Beat that the new Orvis in Ridgewood had opened, dozens of dads from inside the beltline have flocked to the store’s parking lot. They aren’t just there to check out new gear. These dads are there to fish, or at least practice fishing.
With the flooding of Crabtree Creek becoming more common, combined with Raleigh’s new “pop-up” fishing holes that result from the city’s decaying sewer and water infrastructure, it’s no surprise that fishermen are taking to the streets to practice fly fishing. We spent some time investigating the phenomenon.
“They come out at all hours of the day, all days of the week,” said one Orvis employee. “It’s like that scene in the movie Field of Dreams. They just start appearing from in between the rows of Tahoes and Yukons in the Whole Foods parking lot.”
An avid fly fisherman, who arrived at 6:00 am carrying his Orvis Battenkill reel in a monogrammed Filson case, shared his excitement over the new sporting goods store. “It’s just nice to get away from the office and come to the great outdoors. There’s no better place to tighten your loops and practice your back cast than a new Orvis parking lot,” said Davis Franklin, a commercial real estate broker.
“Surrounded by the beautiful stone facade and the traffic on the Wade Avenue 500, I can just close my eyes and imagine I’m hooking a bonefish on our annual Bahamas trip,” he added.
To recreate optimal fishing conditions, the store installed a livestream of a live stream. A video of a live stream in the North Carolina mountains is projected onto the side of the building while the soothing sounds of the water can be heard from the Bose surround sound speakers mounted in the parking lot.
The live stream livestream has been a huge hit, with many dads returning at night in their North Face Cat’s Meow sleeping bags to simply watch the river. Customers have already requested that a livestream of graduations, childbirths, school plays, and music recitals be played so they won’t have to leave the parking lot.
The lot continued to fill. Two dads wearing ultralight waders and Barbour vests in the 90 degree heat unloaded gear from their Yukons while debating whether to use a 4 weight or a 7 weight when catching bluegill at Lassiter Mill.
Nearby, a father was giving his son a lesson. “So this is called a wind knot. You’re going to get those if you keep tomahawking your cast like that,” he explained, as he placed a metronome on the curb to teach his son proper timing.
One dad even brought a boat to the parking lot.
“I always try to snag some red drum while tooling around Rich’s inlet,” said Thomas Miller III, attempting to recreate those conditions by sitting in his boat that rested on the asphalt.
Another fisherman chimed in. “You might want to stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to in that drift boat, pal. I was about to bring my Jones Brothers Cape Fisherman out here and work on my double haul. Then my wife said all her friends that shop at Whole Foods might see me and think I was slacking off with their investments,” said Five Points resident and financial planner Vance Craig VI.
“I’m just glad we’ve got an Orvis in Raleigh now,” added Craig VI, refusing to acknowledge the existence of the Orvis at Triangle Town Center. He went on to name-drop Orvis CEO Perk Perkins. “We’ve been giving Perk a hard time at the hunting camp for not having one of these inside the beltline. I told him I’d personally spend at least six figures a year if he’d just put one somewhere close.”
Craig VI then entered the store to purchase three new rods, a dog jacket, and a shotshell collar with an engraved brass plate for Birdie, his golden retriever puppy.
To keep potential customers in the parking lot longer, Orvis designed a custom OtterBox DryBox YETI container for cell phone storage. Customers can store their phones and be free from distractions as they perfect their casts.
“We want this to be a safe space for our customers while they practice the sport they love. I’m not sure anyone is improving, but they’re buying a lot of gear,” said an Orvis employee.
The store has done over $3 million in sales since opening last month.
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