Tom Knopick Duranglers
“I grew up in Wichita, Kansas,” Tom says. “I met John Flick when I went to Kansas State for a two year pre-forestry program. We both transferred out to CSU and became roommates. I had two goals at CSU - to get a degree in forestry and to learn to fly fish! John mentored me in fly fishing and we both received forestry degrees in 1979. I got a job in New Mexico and John joined the Peace Corps. When he finished his tour, the company I worked for needed another forester. I recommended John and he got the job. In 1983 we both found ourselves unemployed. So we decided to make a career change and open a fly shop. We’d been fishing the San Juan River, just below the Navajo Dam - one of the top trout fisheries in the country. We knew there was also a lot of good fishing in Durango - and there was no established fishing company in the Four Corners at that time. We opened Duranglers on December 10, 1983.”
Duranglers has been downtown from its beginning, and at its current 923 Main Avenue location for about 20 years. The shop carries the most prominent brands and a great selection of anything a fly angler might want or need. “We are open almost every day of the year,” Tom says. “although we do close for Christmas and New Year’s Day. We do fly tying lessons during the winter months and in spring we offer seminars and clinics. There’s always some place that’s good to fish - it is unique for an area to have great year round fly fishing for trout, so our guide service operates year round. This year we’ve had a lot of very comfortable days even in the middle of winter. A day with a guide is designed to be very educational. We take people that have never seen a fly rod before - and also those who are very skilled. Fishing with a guide is a great way to learn more about our local waters. We guide on the Animas, the San Juan below Navajo Dam, on the La Plata, the Dolores, the Piedra and Pine, as well as a lot of tributaries. Durango is considered one of the top fly fishing destination in the country and people come here from all over the U.S. and all over the world. Fly fishing is very popular in Japan, for instance. We have clients from there and just about everywhere.
“One of the first things we did way back in 1983 when we first opened the shop was to join the Durango Chamber. The Chamber does a great job marketing Durango and it’s been important and valuable for us to be involved.”
You can reach Tom or John at 970.385.4081. Learn more about Duranglers at www.duranglers.com
The Durango Chamber of Commerce
The Durango Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based organization that promotes and supports the local business community through communication, advocacy, education, leadership and financial viability.