Thank you to everyone who has supported the shop the past few weeks. We know it would be easier to support us if we had an on-line shop - this in the works but is still a ways off. In the meantime, our crew is dedicated to picking and filling your email, phone, and social media submitted orders.
We've assessed our hours for curbside pickup and starting on Tuesday, April 14 we will be on-site Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the time being we will remain closed on Sunday although email orders are still welcome and will be dealt with on Monday.
Other changes to note:
- Please purchase your new fishing licences on-line through www.albertarelm.com. For the time being we are not selling licences in-store Regulations are still available at the shop.
- We are asking customers to pay for any purchases via credit card over the phone OR e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Although we can accept card payment through the machine it increases contact which we need to continue to minimize.
- If picking up a purchase please call the shop at 403-640-1273 to let staff know you have arrived.
- Staff will bring your purchase out and either place it in your trunk/vehicle OR leave it on the sidewalk, a chair, or a table outside of the store.
- Please do not come inside the shop to pickup your purchase or visit - although this goes against everything we've always strived to be - we need to be diligent in this or risk the ability to continue operating.
- Returns - until further notice we will not be accepting any returns.
- Repairs/Warranty - several manufacturer repair facilities are currently closed or not accepting any new repairs. Until further notice we will not be accepting any new items for warranty or repair. (If you simply need a tip top glued on your rod we can do that.)
We've been receiving some inquiries about our Level 1 fly fishing courses and guided trips.
Courses: At this point we have canceled our level 1 courses through the end of May and have already rescheduled customers for sessions later in the season. Since the hall we use for these classes is city-owned we will likely need to reschedule our June sessions to align with the city's June 30 timeline for resumption of public events, but for now we are going to hold off. We are preparing to add more dates in July and August as needed.
Guide trips: Although we understand that folks are anxious to get on the river - guided or on their own - we know that the required social distancing of two meters isn't feasible with three people in a drift boat. Additionally, shared transportation to and from the river and the shuttling of vehicles increases the risk to our guides and clients. David and Nancy have discussed this at length and determined that Fish Tales will not offer guided trips while the state of provincial health emergency is in effect. We are hopeful that the early and ongoing efforts to flatten the curve will allow guiding to proceed for the bulk of the season - post-runoff until freeze up. If you have an early season (until May 31st for the time being) guided trip booked with the shop you're encouraged to reschedule for later this season.
That said, we also strongly encourage everyone to be safe, smart, and to respect the social distancing measures outlined by the province at all times. To date, Alberta has closed it's provincial parks including parking lots, but has not banned fishing (unlike other jurisdictions including Washington State, and (guided fishing) in Montana.) No Alberta angler wants to lose the freedom to enjoy fishing this season.
In 23 years of operations we never imagined we'd find ourselves in this situation. March and April are generally some of the busiest months in the shop. We start seeing faces we usually only see during the fishing season. We welcome new anglers to the sport. Customers are replenishing their fly boxes, gearing up for new adventures near and far, wondering when the ice will be off their favorite lakes. There's usually an excitement in the shop.
This year, March and April have been challenging. We've had to close the door to on-site customers, cancel destination trips, cancel courses and seminars, significantly reduce booked shipments. We are fortunate that we have a great team that's running the day-to-day situation at the shop while we deal with other challenges and work on some behind the scenes projects.
We know we aren't alone in facing these challenges. Many of us are adjusting to a new normal that includes working from home, trying to teach our kids core subjects, worrying about loved ones, ordering groceries on-line, losing income, etc.
None of us knows when things will get back to "normal." We are preparing to come out of Spring 2020 with a "new normal." Time will tell what that looks like.
In the meantime, please continue supporting local businesses when you can. Your support is appreciated more than you know.
Wishing you all good health.
N, D, and the team.