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Community Member Spotlight

Cooper Springsteel

Our fly fishing community is full of amazing people. Being in the shop has allowed me to meet some of these people. I am super excited to introduce our community member spotlight for this month. Cooper Springsteel grabbed my heart the day I met him. I believe he was 14 years old when he first came into the shop. He was looking to upgrade his fly fishing setup. I was shocked by his maturity and enthusiasm for the game of fly fishing and fly tying. We invited him to spend a day chasing canal carp with us. During the day, he was just one of the guys, he wasn’t like the typical teenage stereotype. We all fell in love with him. I’ve been out several times with Cooper and truly enjoy every minute I get to spend with him. He lights up the shop with his attitude about life and his enthusiasm for the game of fly fishing. I am super excited to be a part of his life and to get to watch him grow up. Cooper is truly a gift to the world and we are lucky to have him be a part of our fly fishing community.

-Chris Rich, AZ Fly Shop Founder

Community Member Spotlight

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

Something just drives me to catch fish, but I am so grateful for fly fishing because it has taken me places I wouldn’t have gone without it and it has helped me meet amazing people. It’s my motivation to get outdoors and be outside. 

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

AZ fly shop is super convenient and close to my school and house and it’s really the only fly fishing dedicated shop in phoenix. Everyone there is always super friendly and helpful both staff and customers. As someone who ties flies and fly fishes, I can confidently say it’s the best place to go if you’re looking for, flies, rods, reels, tying supplies, and all gear in general even t-shirts. Those are my reasons for shopping at AZ fly shop.

Tell us your most memorable fly fishing story

I was fishing at slide rock state park in the way back deepest pool. The water was higher than usual so I was the only one who could cross to the other side of the creek. I positioned myself precariously on a rock ledge suspended over a pool of water ten to twelve feet deep. I was losing hope because I had not seen one fish all day, when I heard I giant splash come from the other side of the ledge I was on I was sure that I was gonna die because I thought the splash was from a giant bear. As I started running back to the mainstream I glanced over to my right and saw a giant pile of scat. Later, on the road, we saw multiple boulders that’s when it clicked the splashing was just from a giant boulder that fell into the creek and the scat just happened to be a coincidence. Either way, I could’ve been crushed by a giant boulder or mauled by a bear. So now I can’t help but laugh because I really thought I was about to die.

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

Don’t make fishing only about the fish

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