By Jonathan Phelps
---- — HAMILTON — Fly fishing has been a passion for Matt Kelleher ever since his dad taught him as a young boy.
After years of recreational fishing and working in retail, the Beverly native has opened Capefish Clothing Co. at 28 Bay Road, in the same building as the Black Cow Tap & Grill and Jolie Tea Co.
Kelleher, 40, said the store is devoted to outfitting people with equipment and clothing for a fly-fishing lifestyle.
“I’ve always wanted to open my own fly shop,” Kelleher said.
The store, which opened for business Aug. 14, sells men’s casual outdoor clothing brands, including Vineyard Vines, Mountain Khakis, Patagonia and Simms. It also specializes in fishing gear and packs, including Sage and Scott fly rods and Reo fly lines.
Kelleher hopes to host instruction sessions and guest speakers at the store on topics such as how to tie a fly and basic fly fishing.
“I just want the place to be energetic, fun and cutting-edge,” he said. “I really wanted to have a store with products that I use myself and believe in.”
Kelleher previously worked for Orvis, a chain store that started as a specialty fly-fishing shop but has expanded to include other outdoor products, as well. He said his store is different in that it sells multiple clothing products that people cannot buy in stores here on the North Shore.
“Some people don’t like to shop online,” he said. “There are still people who want to touch and see the products before they buy them.”
Kelleher said the location is perfect, and he is hoping it will be a destination for people across the North Shore.
“It is right on 1A, and you can get to it from everywhere,” he said. “There are no other men’s clothing stores in town.”
Along with his friend Bob Cook, Kelleher founded Fat Tuna Guide Service out of Beverly and works there as a fly-fishing guide and captain. The company offers offshore fishing and inshore fly-fishing charters.
Kelleher said he loves the challenge of fly fishing.
“You have to do a lot of things in the right order to catch a fish,” he said.
Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.