When I started the business in 1995, I’m not sure I was fully aware of the direction it would go. I just loved fishing, and like any boy, wouldn’t you want a shop with literally hundreds and hundreds of toys, and I will worry about the details later on!
In the beginning we covered all forms of fishing, lure, bait, surf and fly, but over a relatively short time my personal focus and indeed the business’s direction turned to wholey and solely fly fishing, and to instantly explain our business, we changed our name to Hurleys Fly Fishing.
Melbourne was to be the central base to start our journey on the fly. On the doorstep to some of the best salmon fishing in the bay, a multitude of clear trout streams to the right, the Goulburn’s prolific river systems to the north, and multiple lakes to the left, and all of a sudden you get to understand why we just had to put the best fly shop in Australia right in its heart.
However, we weren’t going to settle for any old run of the mill fishing shop, it was going to be Australia’s largest Fly Fishing Only store. So no spin rods or hooks and sinkers, no bait or smokers, not even a combo set up with a free filleting knife. No, our store was just going to fully service the need of every Aussie Fly Fisher, in every format.
We started with over $125,000 of flies, yes that number is correct, all tied on branded hooks, using USA tying materials, from a Fair Trade Fly Tying company, for a range that would rival the fly selection of any trout store in the world, in reality we would need to put a few of those together to even come close. Although we didn’t just get every random pattern known to man, we have specialist Aussie fly patterns, specific to the regions, and specific to Australia.
We added lines, leaders and tippets to suit our local conditions, as well as all regions in Australia, from brands like Airflo, Stalker, Scientific Angler, Rio, Fujino, and Grand Max, plus add backing from standard to ultra fine braid and well, we have Australian’s spoilt for choice.
When you put those through fly rods with names like Scott, Sage, Stalker and Airflo, in fact over 2000 fly rods in stock, you get to understand why it is not only the biggest retail outlet of Fly Fishing in the area, but the biggest in the country.
Yet we wouldn’t want you to get cold and wet, so we have over 650 pairs of Simms, Riverworks and Stalker waders in a variety styles and prices to suit, that match perfectly with wading boots from the same brands and you get the impression there is not much else an Aussie Fly Fisher could want for.
Except for a multitude of choices in vests, packs and backpacks that can handle your every need, from a few hours to overnight stays.
Add specialty fly fishing raincoats and a range of shirts and trousers that would leave a menswear store looking empty, that is complimented by the largest assortment of Tonic polaroid glasses in Australia, plus indicators, floatants, accessories and fly fishing tools that would leave even the biggest fly fishing gear rat stumped.
Now you will notice that the Stalker name seems to keep appearing in all our ranges. Well thats because that is our own branded range of what I believe is equal to the very best fly fishing gear available. We design the range ourselves, to suit local conditions, using the same quality materials as the high profile brands. The difference is we sell direct to the fly fisher, eliminating middleman mark ups to offer the best value, highest quality range of products available in the world, guaranteed.
We also teach literally hundreds of anglers how to fly fish and actually catch fish on our courses run through the season, plus have our in-house guiding staff on hand that are experts in all local waterways to arrange guided and overnight adventures in Victoria and help you not only improve as a fly fisher, but to have plenty of fun along the way.
What started as a simple holiday adventure has now turned into a very specific and major part of our business, travelling to the worlds best fly fishing destinations.
Whilst we have taken groups to the UK, Scotland, Iceland, and Alaska, we specialise in New Zealand where we have our base in Lumsden and offer single day to 5 and 7 day fully loaded adventures that are the best value trips available in what I believe is the best sight fishing destination for wild trout on the planet.
Add to that our Christmas Island bone fishing adventures that every fly fisher must do at least once in their lifetime and you will understand why we are so proud to call our fly fishing only shop, Hurleys Fly Fishing, Australia and New Zealand.
We hope to see you on the water, in store, helping you on the phone or over our website, and look forward to making you a better fly fisher…