This incredible store is a fisherman’s paradise with a gob smacking range of fishing tackle. On the ‘fly’ side there are rods, reels and an entire wall of colourful feathery, furry and shiny fly-tying materials and tools plus a smorgasbord of pre-tied flies for every aquatic environment. On the other side is all the spin gear for fishing with bait, hard bodied or plastic, on or offshore.
The quaintly named Compleat Angler focuses on all things angling, but “here in the city shop, we love our fly fishing,” according to employee Lionel Kemp.
If you like fishing, Lionel’s your man. He fishes Sydney Harbour, Pittwater, Botany Bay and Thompsons Creek Dam. All on flies. “Trout fishing is huge,” says Lionel, but he’s currently chasing Kingfish, Flathead, Mulloway and Black Tuna.His local favourite are Kings saying, “they’re such great fun. But up north, it’s gotta be Barra.”
The Compleat Angler is Lionel’s happy place, saying, “I can’t wait to get off that train and come here every morning.” He does custom flies and in-house tying specifically for customers’ requirements, and loves sharing his insights. “It’s product knowledge and knowing what’s biting where and when. We do a lot of research, talk to a lot of people and feed it back,” he said.
The Compleat Angler helps all enthusiasts from school kids to old hands. “You can come in here and experience the passion we share as recreational anglers and we’ll send you off with advice and a little bit of tackle,” said Lionel, “and when they get the fish it’s the best feeling ever.”
Even when you don’t get the fish, Lionel says, “when you’re out in the environment, focussing on one thing, you forget about everything and it’s the greatest relaxation.”
So what does he love most about his job? Lionel leans back in his chair and laughs uproariously. “Everything. Absolutely passionate about all of it,” he said.