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Community Member Spotlight

Bradley & Lee OConnell

“My earliest and fondest memories involve fishing and camping with my family. My dad gave me the love for fly fishing. I am delighted to see our community member spotlight for January as a father and son. It takes me right back to my early days with my own father.”

-Chris Rich, AZ Fly Shop Founder


Bradley and Lee AZ Fly Shop Community Member Spotlight

What does fly fishing mean to you? What about fly fishing offers you most satisfaction?

Lee: Fishing is a way for our family to go on adventures, explore outdoors, have fun, and make memories. I am a long-time angler and recently picked up fly fishing. Fly fishing specifically brings on a new fishing journey that carries us on foot to many remote places and beautiful counties.

Bradley: I like the mountains, trees, and the outdoor adventure of catching fish.

What does having AZ Fly Shop in the community mean to you? What do you like about AZ Fly Shop?

Lee: We had recently come back from our Fly Fishing Trip on the Colorado River which was an amazing time and wanted to get more into fly fishing. Being new to the sport, I was looking for a “local” fly shop that could spend the appropriate amount of time with Bradley and I to get set up on our journey. The next day we found ourselves in AZ Fly Shop! After a few visits and consulting with the staff, Bradley and I picked out our rods and the associated gear to get us going. Just prior to leaving, I checked back in on the fishing report and bought a few more flies, set up all the gear in advance, and went over all of the appropriate knots. We had an awesome time at Khols Ranch, landed small rainbow and brown trout with our new fly setup, hiked up and down Canyon and Tonto Creek, and visited the local hatcheries. I want to thank AZ Fly Shop for the setups, maps, fishing reports, and recommendations to get us set up for success!

Bradley and Lee AZ Fly Shop Community Member Spotlight
Bradley AZ Fly Shop Community Member Spotlight

Tell us your most memorable fly fishing story

Lee: I was able to fish the Colorado River this summer with my son, nephew, and Brother-in-Law. We had such an amazing time and we have been reeled into it since!
Bradley: I went with my dad to Payson and we did a 2-day fishing trip this last November. We fished Tonto Creek and Canyon creek. We were able to hike, see wildlife, and pull out a few brown trout.

Is there any advice or quotes that you feel everyone should hear?

Lee: I have been to other places, and it can be intimidating if you’re not versed in fly fishing or a beginner. What I like most about the AZ Fly Shop is the staff always takes the time with us to review the setups and strategy, and always provides recommendations to give you the best chance to catch fish. I also watch all of their helpful videos on youtube.

Is there anything else you would like to add or share with the community?

Lee: Whether you’re a novice or a pro, stop by and see the folks over at the shop. They have lots of fishing setups, flies, swag, maps, books, etc to get you on your journey. You Bet!

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