When I was asked to write a shop profile I had to stop and think about all I do and have done at the Blue Quill Angler. I started helping out at the shop when my husband, Jim, started in 1988. In our twenty-nine years of marriage, Jim and I were employed separately for the first time so that was quite an adjustment for both of us.
I have always had the ability to keep things clean and organized so I began to try expressing that talent at the shop. When I would drive up to see Jim, I started on the “simple” task of cleaning the bathroom and coffee pots since both in men-filled fly shops tend to be quite dirty. I’m still cleaning both after sixteen years! But many other responsibilities have been added to my list.
When I first became employed at the Blue Quill, I realized that I needed to learn the language of fly fishing so I did. But I soon became aware that I could play a part that did not include the technical aspects of the sport. I started helping with the filing, computer work and paying the bills. I organized the guiding permits and saw that doing all these things was a way I could use my skills for the better. So as the years have come and gone, I have become the person that does the accounting all the way down to the one who knows why the fax machine is not working and more.
Being practically the only non-fisher at the Blue Quill (and yes, I am asked that quite often), when I have time off fishing is not the way I spend it like the rest of the staff does. The Blue Quill staff is a group of interesting and amazing people. Many are part-time and feel privileged to share their love of the sport with the customers they guide and teach. The full-time staff feels that same way; some have been here for almost twenty years! I marvel that they are still as passionate about fly fishing as they were when they started at BQA.
This job as any job has its frustrations and joys and the ebb and flow of the seasons is definitely felt at the Blue Quill. We have an expression here called the “August Syndrome”. It is a time when I work even harder to keep things on track because the staff is tired and ready for a break. Me included! I have been told that I am the one that holds things together at the shop. So when asked if I love my job, I always answer – yes, I do! Well, except in August.