Thursday, July 19, 2012

Salmon Season Starts Hot

We may not have an active store front to get you set up, but we'd like to share the news that this salmon season has been strong! Last weekend, we ran up to Pt. Reyes and limited with nice fish. From the number of sport and party boats who were in the immediate vicinity, it was clear that the word may have gotten out.

Hopefully, over the next few weeks, the fish will begin moving through the Duxbury/Muir Beach zones. Quantities and quality of bait looks good in almost every location we went through, so it's just a matter of the schools moving in.

This from the California Department of Fish & Game:
California Department of Fish and Game News Release


Media Contacts:

Brett Kormos, DFG Marine Region, (707) 576-3429
Carrie Wilson,
DFG Communications, (831) 649-7191

The Bite is On! Fishing for Salmon off
California Coast is Best in Years

If your fishing gear has been in the garage collecting dust, now's the time to pull it out because the salmon are here, and the bite is on! Anglers and sport-fishing charters off the California coast are returning to the docks with full boats and happy customers as the strong ocean salmon bite continues, making 2012 one of the best salmon seasons in years.

Mild weather and good ocean conditions are contributing to what fishermen and Department of Fish and Game (
DFG) officials hope will continue to be a robust year for ocean salmon fishing. Hopes are also high for big returns to California rivers this fall.

“Thanks to the favorable ocean conditions and plentiful food, all the reports we are receiving from the coast are very positive,” said
DFG Northern Regional Manager Neil Manji. “The charter boats are coming back early enough to make two trips a day because everyone has been catching their limits.”

The daily bag and possession limit is two salmon per person and the minimum size limit is 20 inches.

After several years of closed and reduced salmon fishing seasons,
DFG and federal officials earlier this year estimated there would be thousands of adult salmon off the coast available for harvest. When ready, the fish will move inland for a run to their traditional spawning grounds.

Early forecasts predicted 819,000 adult
Sacramento River fall-run Chinook and 1.7 million Klamath River fall-run Chinook adults off the coast. Since the opener in April, recreational harvest estimates for Chinook salmon off the California coast are the highest recorded since 2004. North of Horse Mountain, the totals are the highest since 2006 and five times those from 2011 during the same time period.

San Francisco area harvest is the highest since 2006, and landings in the Monterey area are the best seen since 2004. In the Fort Bragg area, landings have been more moderate, although comparable to seasons that occurred there in 2003 and 2004.

“In my 26 years of working with salmon on the
North Coast, I have never seen such a remarkable beginning to a salmon season. If the start of the season is any indication of what’s in store for the second half, anglers should not miss this opportunity of a lifetime. Get out there and take advantage of this epic bite!” added Manji.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Books and Items Available Online

We've been getting a number of requests for information about how to purchase new and used hunting, fishing and fly fishing books.  If you were in the store towards the closing of our San Rafael location, you saw us busily boxing books and moving them off-site.  Over the past couple months, we have been listing these through two sources - and via

These links will give you our currently available listings:

ABE Books -

Amazon -

There was also general merchandise left over from our hunting, fishing and fly fishing departments. (Note - all firearms and ammunition were sold before we closed the San Rafael location).  Much of this is being assembled into lots and offerings via eBay.  For now, the best way to find these items is to visit this link:

or search for ebay user westernsportshop

Finally - a few words on flies.  After a big organization and counting project, we have detailed counts of freshwater and saltwater fishing flies which are available.  As you know, these were all high quality flies tied by Umpqua on Tiemco hooks.  While we are offering some mixed lots of flies through ebay,

we have been selling larger quantities directly to interested dealers, clubs and lodges.  If you wish to get some information regarding a bulk purchase of flies, please email me directly at wssjim at gmail dot com.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Carlo Bongio's New Guide Service

One of the persistently consistent emails which we receive is "Where's Carlo?" With the impressive number of years in which Carlo Bongio has been prowling the waterways of Northern California, spending a few hours under his tutelage has made a huge difference to a large number of avid anglers. Simply put, there are few people we wholeheartedly recommend as guides or teachers, and Carlo is one of them.

So it was with great pleasure that we got wind of Carlo's new website - North Coast Fly Fish - - which makes his contact information quickly available to anyone looking for fly casting lessons, fly fishing guiding for steelhead, trout or largemouth bass and panfish, or even Tenkara rod fishing and nature hikes (in case you never heard, Carlo is an expert herpetologist and very knowledgeable mushroom hunter - check the Nature Tours section for more information.)

You are encouraged to give Carlo to schedule lessons or trips. Enjoy!

Friday, February 3, 2012

San Rafael Store Now Closed

As of January 31, 2012, we have closed our retail store at 902 Third Street in San Rafael. It's possible that the renovation team has already started working on the building for the new landlord. So, chances are it's soon going to look quite different than it has for the past years. Things change, and it is with a certain amount of sadness that I walked out the door for the last time.

However, the things which made that location so special always had to do with the staff and customers. In recent days, many people took the time to share their stories and feelings. A store with history dating back to 1947 has a lot of tales, and that is what remains important. Physical locations come and go, but coming together with excitement about the first time a parent and child had success up at the watershed lakes, watching with amazement when your fly goes precisely where you'd wanted it, or having a call you'd mimicked and practiced work flawlessly - those things are what we've enjoyed the most.

Our existence will change. Right now, we will continue selling new and used hunting, fishing and fly fishing books. Our immediate project is to get more titles listed through ABE, and we're tinkering a bit with our website to make more things available. There will also be some merchandise available. Look back here for more information.

Our website has updated contact information. But, here it is:

Western Sport Shop, Inc.
PO Box 162
Kentfield, CA 94914


Please note - we can no longer accept firearm transfers from other dealers.

Lastly - if you are interested in purchasing our open bin fly displays, these are still available. There are four 4' long single sided displays with a storage drawer and open shelving. These all have wheels. Also, we have a wooden 6' double sided display with drawers and covered cabinets, and an 8' double sided display with drop-in acrylic dividers. Please email if you are interested in photos.

Western Sport Shop, Inc. and Western Sport Shop Fish Logo are Registered Trademarks

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Final Friday at the San Rafael Store

San Rafael Store Closing Saturday, January 28 @ 4 pm

We are down to the final days of our Store Closing Sale –
we will stop selling product in our 902 3rd Street location at
4 pm on Saturday, January 28.

We have spent the last day going through our attic, bringing
down fixtures and racks, putting them out on the sales floor
and pricing them. They are now priced and available for purchase.
(Please note – some items may require a pickup after Saturday).
All fixture sales are cash only, with all items sold “as-is”
and all sales are final.

We have rod racks, clothing displays, free standing slatwall
fixtures, glass display cases, folding chairs, boxes of peg
hooks for pegboard and slatwall, book cases, a-frames, lighting
fixtures and much more. Obviously, we have fly displays as well,
so if you bought a ton of flies from us and need a way to display them,
we can set you up.

In terms of merchandise left in stock:

All remaining inventory is AT LEAST 50% OFF the original price.
Many items are marked down even further. We are also selling off
the opened spools of bulk fishing line at significant discount. There's no delicate way to put this - we need to sell everything to the walls, so it's time to stock up!

All freshwater flies are now 50 cents each. Quality flies simply aren't sold that cheaply. Good patterns and prime sizes are available.

All books are now 70% OFF – even the new titles!

We will continue to sell CA Fishing Licenses (sorry - regular price on those!)
until through Saturday - bring in your last year's fishing license (or photo ID)
and we'll get you squared away.

So - please come on down now and take advantage the last few days.

Once again, thank you all for your patronage and support over the years.

Words cannot express how much we have enjoyed meeting you.

All the best,


Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Sale Update

First of all, let me thank you again for the outpouring of stories, recollections and genuine emotions which everyone has shared about Western Sport Shop. We were all customers before ever getting involved with the business, and it's been interesting and heartwarming to hear from everyone.

At this point, we are still actively trying to reduce our inventory, and all of the staff members have been going through boxes and drawers to find forgotten parts, inventory and other gear. We've fattened up the sale tables and dusted off some "demo" items. And, as you might expect, sharpened up our pencils a bit in anticipation of the last full weekend of the sale.

Starting right now -

All remaining fly rods in stock are 50% OFF the original price. We also have some extremely limited demo and "found" inventory which is even a better deal.

All remaining fly lines in stock are now 50% OFF the original price.

All Tying Material and Fly Tying Hooks are now 50% OFF the original price. We've dug out a lot of other stuff in old packaging which even more attractively priced. Now is the time to stock up if you are planning on doing some fly tying this winter!

All USED BOOKS are now 70% OFF our selling price. Yes, that is correct - "Seventy"! Bring a Big BAG!

All other merchandise is at least 40% off the original price (except firearms).

We will continue to sell CA Fishing Licenses (sorry - regular price on those!) until January 25th - bring in your last year's fishing license (or photo ID) and we'll get you squared away.

IF you want to take advantage of our SUPER LOW prices on all remaining shotguns (rifles are gone!), you may purchase the firearm from us, but will have to fill out state and federally mandated paperwork at another shop. We are currently working to finalize an agreement for this.

Oh... speaking of rifles: anyone have a 7mm-08, 7mm Winchester Short Mag or .300 Remington ULTRA Mag caliber rifle? We ended up with excess ammunition in those two calibers, and will sell all remaining ammo at 60% off the regular price.

So - please come on down this weekend and take advantage of what could be the last few days.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Store Closing Sale Update - 40% OFF General Merchandise!

Our Store Closing Sale is still going on - though there are less items to choose from, the discounts are even bigger! Now is the time to stock up on tackle, fly fishing gear, hunting accessories and more!

San Rafael Store Closing
General Stock Items* 40% OFF!
Email List Advance Announcement

*40% Off excludes Firearms and some Ammunition


As we posted earlier, we have been attempting to find a new owner for the
Western Sport Shop, a search which has remained unsuccessful. Rather
than continue operating, we will be closing Western Sport Shop by the
end of January, 2012.

While we are still hopeful that a buyer may still be found, we are taking
immediate steps to drastically reduce our inventory. All items
in all departments (except for firearms and some ammunition)
will be discounted 40% off the original price. Over the past few days,
we’ve also gone through our back room inventory and have marked selected items
down significantly below our cost – there are savings of up to 50 – 80% off of the original
prices - look for the sale tables and highlighted displays.

All sales are final and all items are sold “as-is”.

A few of the specific bargains include:
ALL NEW BOOKS – 40% OFF the Regular Price!

Look for the “HOT LIST” of Sale Rifles and shotguns in the gun department.

Please feel free to forward this to your fishing, fly fishing and hunting
partners who might be interested.

If you have outstanding credit balances or gift certificates, this is
a great time to take advantage of your increased buying power!

We will continue to sell California Hunting and Fishing Licenses until
at least January 25th.

We will be starting to sell fixtures and displays after January 18,
2012. If you are interested in displays, please call 415-226-9770 and
leave your name and phone number to be contacted.