I spent 48 hours in Idaho over the weekend, and except for hard-won breaks to catch a little sleep nearly all of that time was spent in meetings or in a vehicle driving to meetings. On Saturday, though, we had a 90 minute break while El Jefe dealt with some family matters. One member of our group had to go to the store, and I’d heard there was a tackle shop in town, so I lobbied to be dropped off on the way.
To be honest, I didn’t expect much, because even though Becker’s Tackle Shop calls itself “Your One Stop Bass Shop,” I think of that region as trout country. I expected waders, fly rods, tweed vests and perhaps a pipe to smoke, or maybe some gear to troll for the small kokanee salmon that have the locals agog.
I’m not too proud to say that I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Becker’s is a shop that would be at home on any of the great bass fisheries of Texas, Alabama or California – although truth be told it’s probably better stocked than 99% of them. They have densely packed rows of just about anything you can find online and then some – everything from hand-poured worms to a massive wall of high-end swimbaits and glide baits. The only problem is that it is too neat and organized. In order to make it more authentic, they need only add some tobacco spit to the wall and rub some PowerBait scent into the carpet. Despite that lone deficiency, I might’ve spent a few dollars on things I coveted but did not need.
The Pacific Northwest is still something of an outlier in the bass world, too far from the “national” circuits to have a voice in many matters, but those of us who obsess about these things know that in addition to producing some Palaniuks and Clausens they also have some world class fisheries. The locals may be torn between announcing their opportunities and keeping them to themselves, but the world is going to find out. Eventually you will find yourself making a pilgrimage to Coeur d’Alene or Pend Oreille or the Columbia River, just as you might make a destination trip today to Guntersville or Okeechobee or Lake Fork. When you do, carve out a few minutes to hit Becker’s. A great local tackle shop is a terrible thing to waste.
There’s even a tattoo shop next door if you want to commemorate the occasion. Getcha a little brown and green on the water and on your skin.