Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fly fishing books found in an unlikely outlet

Last night Kelly and I went out for some late night (9 PM) poster frame shopping at Garden Ridge. A free promotional poster from Zazzle arrived in the mail earlier yesterday, and I just couldn't wait to get it in a frame. The poster is 20" x 28" and documents my first fishing trip to Cypress Creek in northwest Alabama. The photo that I enlarged for the poster was originally posted here on the blog two years ago.

If you've never been to a Garden Ridge store, it's a smorgasbord of low cost home decorator items... with some other oddities thrown in for good measure. They have a huge selection of bargain frames, but I didn't have much to pick from for my poster. After finally settling on what I felt was the best of the rather limited selection of 20" x 28" sized choices, we made our way toward the checkout.

Although Garden Ridge is certainly not a bookstore, they often have a random assortment of bargain books "displayed" in disorderly piles somewhere in the giant warehouse of retail fun. I've stopped numerous times to browse the massive heaps of books distributed across several huge platforms, but I've never seen anything of interest. Last night we stopped to browse, not actually expecting to find anything... but there they were- not one, but two fly fishing books.


I spotted both of them in similar fashion- peeking out of the middle of their respective piles. Both caught my eye with their piscine photographic covers. I was unable to see titles or anything that indicated what they really were until I dug them out... just a flash of fish was all I needed to know that I had found something special... something worth exhuming.

Both books are from the same publisher, Skyhorse Publishing, and probably came to Garden Ridge in the same overstock lot. They're both what I would call coffee table books, although there is a lot of real content in them. Even without any decent information or storytelling, the number of amazing full-color photographs in each of these books made them well worth the price I paid.

The cover price of Trout Water is $35.00, and the cover price of Fly-Fishing Daydreams is $39.95.

In the bargain pile at Garden Ridge, they were both marked $9.99.

Score.

I admit that I felt the need to rescue these books from their unexpected location. I think it is highly unlikely that they would encounter another fly fisher in a Garden Ridge in Birmingham, Alabama. I couldn't just leave them there, could I?

You really never know what you might find out there. Keep your eyes peeled for fish peeking out of a pile.

8 comments:

  1. Jay
    I never heard of Garden Ridge, I ask my wife who is an expert shopper on all the big box stores in Birmingham and she had heard of store either. One look at the site and she informed me that this is a location she is going to check out. I think I will make the trip with her and see if there are any new fly fishing left. Post an image of your poster when you get a chance. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Garden Ridge is technically in Irondale. You could easily drop your wife off on the way to Bass Pro in Leeds. She could easily spend 2 hrs in there whie you have fun at Bass Pro. They have a "new" Alligator Gar in the display aquarium that is worth going to see. I imagine it's actually pretty old- it's around 6 ft long and would guess it weighs close to 200 lbs.

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  2. A pretty good bargain on what looks to be some fine reading.
    Perhaps some more late nite shopping is in order.

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    1. Alan, this is the reason I like to go late night shopping... Kelly doesn't enjoy it so much.

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  3. Well everyone can hem and haw about Garden Ridge but I want a poster or at least see which pic you're talking about. I hope it's the one of Kelly!

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    1. Kelly got herself and her big fish immortalized on canvas for Christmas. The poster is an enlargement of the pic where I'm casting with my back to the camera- my first trip to Cypress Creek in 2007.
      You can see it in this post: http://naturalistsangle.blogspot.com/2011/01/favorite-outdoor-places-fishin-holes.html
      It was a special day, before I had even met Kelly, at a place that is now very special to us. My non-fishing friend Liz took the picture, and Kelly really likes it. When I got the offer for a free poster from Zazzle, I thought what the heck... that would make as good a poster as anything other photo I have.

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  4. I too am a frequent visitor to my local arts and crafts stores. Fly tying materials , doo-dads for that project you've been working on , you just never know what you might come across. Looks like you hit a gold-mine with the fly fishing books!

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    1. HPFF, it's a pretty minor bonanza, but the kind I like.

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