COMMUNITY VOICES | Learn about spey casting Saturday at new Standish-Ericsson business, Mend Provisions

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Learn about spey casting, a technique used in fly fishing, this Saturday at one of Standish-Ericsson’s newest businesses, Mend Provisions.

Meet at Mend 2719 42nd St. at noon for a talk about spey casting. Then the group will then head to the park, mother nature willing, to demonstrate the basics and put a rod in your hand so you can get a taste. This event is FREE with caffeine and donuts provided. Sign up at the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/361769490620140/

Mend Provisions, located just a few doors down from The Baker’s Wife, is a full-on fly shop carrying rods, reels, waders, flies and a large assortment of fly tying materials. There is a tie-your-own area at the front of the store. They also carry casual menswear from companies such as Patagonia, Filson, Tellason (USA made denim), Tanner Goods (USA made leathergoods), Poler, and camping and outdoor gear. The outdoor presence will expand spring 2014.

You could say that with a name like Fischer, owner Mike Fischer was born to fish. And he did, growing up like every Minnesota kid spin rod fishing for walleye and bass. But he didn’t find fly fishing, his real passion, until his mid-20s.

This year, he turned that passion into a business and opened up Mend Provisions with business partner Josh Klauck, who also owns The Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar. Stop in during the Grand Open Party on Sept. 26 from 7 to 10 p.m. Check the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mendprovisions for winter fly tying classes, as well as an open tying nite. (The business doesn’t yet have a web site.)

“Fly fishing is a sport that tends to captivate its followers and they want to be part of the process of catching their fish in every aspect that they can,” Fischer observed. “Often this means creating localized variations of the insects that the fish feed on. By tying your own flies you get that added satisfaction and extra sense of self-accomplishment. Most fly tiers also become better fishermen as they are usually more acutely studying the water and bugs looking for answers than the casual fly angler that is using a general variation of fly.”

MEET MIKE FISCHER
Fischer has been in retail his whole life, mostly in the clothing business. “I’ve learned over those may years that I’m not that interested in fashion and trends. I like nice classic things that are made well and that don’t require replacing next year because of a shift in trends,” observed Fischer. “I’ve thought of having my own store most of my adult life and I think I finally hit that wall where I couldn’t stand working for someone else any longer and had to make the leap.

“As a customer I’d been really disappointed with the lack of a good fly fishing shop in the metro and decided that I would merge my passions of fly fishing, apparel and outdoor gear into one store.”

He added, “I like really nicely and thoughtfully designed products that function well. I want to share those products with people in a fun environment and offer what knowledge I have to people interested in these things, whether it’s clothes, fly fishing, or other aspects of our business.

“I’d also like to encourage more people to enjoy and respect the outdoors, it seems there’s been a bit of a trend away from that, especially with kids, and it bums me out.”

He hopes that Mend Provisions grows into “a great little store with a loyal following of friends that come to us as much for social happenings as to purchase their clothes and gear.

“If it gets bigger than that I may have to quit and buy a shack in Montana.”

Fischer didn’t necessarily expect many neighbors to frequent his specialty shop. “I’ve actually been surprised at how many neighbors we’ve resonated with already,” said Fischer. “And lots of people that we aren’t even aiming at have stopped by to say how much they like our shop. People are awesome.”

Ask what his future plans are and the answer is simple. “To fish.”

HOURS AND CONTACT INFO
Hour at Mend Provisions are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 612-724-4271 or email mend.provisions@gmail.com.