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A bug is a bug unless It's a fly

August 26, 1986

Tucked in among horse-head oil pumps and tanker trucks and surrounded by oil fields in a Signal Hill industrial area, the Hidden Rod Shop has been initiating beginning fishermen for nearly 15 years.

True to the shop's name, owner Don Mollet, 44, frequently has to direct would-be fishermen to his cluttered--but organized--premises on Gardena Avenue.

Once they find it, however, they encounter a brightly colored array of flies, feathers, buck tails and anything else a fly fisherman would need to make his favorite lure. Mollet has been tying flies for 22 years, and he estimated that he has helped a thousand novice anglers.

"We get a lot of beginners started up here," Mollet said. "We try not to be too highfalutin'. Some of these expensive shops turn some of the beginners off. We tone it down a little and gear our business to beginners."

Mollet also builds rods and sells kits for making custom rods, and he sells hundreds of assorted feathers and buck tails to fly-tyers all over Southern California.

"I give a lot of free advice," he said. "I don't keep any secrets."

People have so much trouble finding the shop that Mollet said he is contemplating opening somewhere else, but he is "not sure where, when or if."

In the meantime, he'll keep directing callers to the intersection of Cherry Avenue and Willow Street. From there they go one block north to 27th Street, and west on 27th to Gardena. They won't find a street sign for Gardena, but they will find a fence with the shop's name on a sign.

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