Livingston’s outdoor store, Timber Trails, is enthusiastically expanding their role as a recreation hub by merging with the legendary Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop at 209 West Park Street. First off: fear not – Dan Bailey’s iconic fish sculptures outside the building and the wall fish are staying. Timber Trails will build on Dan Bailey’s legacy, bringing their community, conservation, and service ethics, along with their outdoor gear and repair services, to the iconic fly shop. They’ll add fishing gear rentals to the array of fishing supplies, waders, flies, fishing license sales, access to fishing guide and education services, and fishing condition information that Bailey’s has long been known for. Eventually you’ll be able to shop for Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop goods online again, too.
Dan Bailey’s has been a fly fishing mecca for nearly a century and will remain an historic touchstone well into the future while offering enhanced and updated services and goods and the friendly, dependable service Timber Trails is known for. The goal is to open early summer as soon as building enhancements are complete and they can offer customers a seamless shopping experience and robust services. You can follow their progress on Facebook and Instagram.
The team is in the process of upgrading the large fly shop space to include more shopping areas, a boot and bike fitting room, the bike and ski repair shop, and – spoiler alert – there will be a passthrough door from Dan Bailey’s to Gil’s Goods looking all the way through to the classic framed fly, photo and signature “Bar Flies” on the East wall of the Murray. All Timber Trails’ merchandise from the best brands in the business will be moved to Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop and there will be room to expand the selection. The combined stores will still be your source for free information about where to hike, bike, ski, and now fly fish in the area too, with the added opportunity to rent the gear to get you outside.
As many know, Dan Bailey’s fly shop first opened in 1938 and has been a cornerstone in Livingston’s multi-generational and multi-million dollar fly fishing industry, including Dan Bailey’s son John’s role as fly fishing advisor on the 1992 film “A River Runs Through It,” starring Robert Redford and Brad Pitt that was filmed largely in the Livingston region. Sexton purchased the enterprise with business partner and fellow fly fisherman Mark Gurley and says of Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop, “It’s a legacy name and foundational, not only to Livingston, but the greater fly fishing community.” Their plan is to grow that legacy moving forward.
Sexton, who will run the newly combined businesses, worked at Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop as a high school senior. After college he returned to work in the store for years, eventually working his way up to Vice President of Sales, before leaving to start Timber Trails in 1996. Timber Trails has become the go-to outdoor store for top notch outdoor wear, gear, bikes, skis, snow shoes, and even skateboards, as well as offering bike and ski rentals and repair.
Timber Trails has also invested heavily in local charities and causes, especially those protecting public lands and outdoor recreation, and have been active advocates with conservation measures like the Yellowstone Protection Gateway Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. They’ve hosted an annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival for over a decade raising thousands for Loaves & Fishes of Livingston. Sexton says combining the two businesses will build on these values, “It’s also about our involvement in the conservation community; advocating for clean, free-flowing rivers and lands and our access to those resources. Selling stuff, while important and essential, has never been our emphasis,” he said in an interview with the Livingston Enterprise. Sexton is also investing in and partnering with his employees, family, and the Livingston community. “This is as much about, and for, my employees, my family and the Livingston community, as it is about me,” he said.
Growing and combining two iconic recreation businesses during the coronavirus pandemic is no small feat, but preserving and strengthening hometown assets - and legends – is just what we need at this time.