It might not seem like a big deal for some, but for me, its nice that someone else thought enough of my work that they'd like to show it to others. When that 'someone' happens to be owners of a fly shop, well that's just awesome.
The Contented Angler is the kind of fly shop that every fly fisherman should know at least one place like it. It isn't fancy, there aren't mannequins decked out in the latest seasonal fashions from Orvis, and you won't find the complete range of current offerings from Sage. For many, this is a breath of fresh air. Hell, if you didn't know what you were looking for, you could drive right past the place.
When you enter the shop though, you get that Christmas morning feeling that anyone who ties gets when they're surrounded by hooks, materials, tools, and all the other good stuff that surrounds our chosen craft. My friend Sam told me about the place, and while it is a good hike from me to get out to Lower Burrell, and while I do have a similar "diamond in the rough" fly shop much closer, I still made the trip, for three reasons: to see what kind of "essentials" they had that my local shop didn't, it's been too hot to go trouting lately, and, well, it's an unexplored fly shop!
Turns out, Joe & Amy have a lot of stuff my local shop doesn't carry for tying tubes, speys, and other flies that aren't really terribly common for the immediate area. Yes, they're popular for Erie steel, but my friendly local fly shop (FLFS), focuses on tying for local trout. Not bad in and of itself, but frustrating when you're trying to tie something a little out of the ordinary.
Suffice to say, I left with a full bag of goodies. Some of these goodies are pictured on my featured flies (bronze mallard, the black spey hackle, etc), and others have yet to meet a hook. When they do, though, I'll be sure to post it here.