So, as many of you may have heard, know, or will learn hear this very minute.... my flies will be produced this coming year, 2015, by Montana Fly Co...Lovingly known as "MFC". I signed on with MFC early this year and have been working very hard with them to develop a line of new flies to be released to dealers, guides, and consumers this coming year.
Many of you are familiar and up to speed with the chaos, espionage, back stabbing, corporate take over, douche baggery, crookedness, and many more expletives that I will refrain from, that have surrounded the Idylwilde/Umpqua saga. Umpqua attempted to strong arm me into a contract by telling me that they were going to tie my fly patterns weather I signed a contract with them or not, basically saying they were going to rip off my ideas no matter what I did, said, or what the ethical thing to do was.
I spurred the beast though and refused to sell out as many of my fellow Idylwilde tiers did. While I could of signed with Umpqua, and made a fat stack of cash, my principals and ethics are not for sale. If money was important to me I wouldn't do what I do....I would of worked a little harder to get that cumulative GPA in high school up over a 3.0 by not spending an inordinate amount of time calf deep in the Yuba River and Deer Creek...and get into some college other then a community college (I love community college and encourage and support the community colleges system but lets be honest if your goal in life is to stack money you don't shoot for a community college)....Long ago I learned Quality of Life is what is important...I believe sunsets and sunrises on the river, smiling people, time with my kids, and the sound of water in my head are things that money will never buy...that said everyone follows their own path so no judgement here if those things don't get your blood going or your soul warm.
Now Umpqua has proved themselves consistent and is tying well over 10 of my patterns and offering them to dealers in the 2015 catalog even though I asked them not to under the auspice that fly sales pay for things in my house like groceries, pre school, PG&E, and T-Ball AND it is just a messed up thing to do to rip off my ideas...all that said they didn't seem to care. Apparently making money was more important then ethics and what the right thing to do is. I know I should not be surprised as the business world is full of this type of thing, but the fly fishing industry is a small world and I was always under the impression that if I did right by people they would do right by me...not the case but at this point there is not a lot I can do except....
Continue to innovate, spend days on the water, ask questions, and solve problems with fur, feather, and steel at the vise and on the water. I started tying flies to catch fish for myself cause I was young and fished with anglers that were way better then me on a river that got fished a ton...I believed that if the fish hadn't seen my flies then maybe they just might eat them a bit better...when I started guiding I was a young guide and I continued to tie to help my clients catch more fish as I was the rookie and knew I didn't know enough or had logged enough years to have the experience to be as good as the veteran guides, maybe if I had flies they didn't I could hold my own...
I have always tried to keep my original focus when it comes to fly design: tie flies that catch myself and my clients fish, by addressing fishing situations while I am on the river...if that translates to commercial sales then so be it. Bottom line I never started tying flies to be a contract fly tier or make money. I signed with Montana Fly Company cause they get that, everyone there has been a guide, and long before they worked in the corporate side of the industry, long before they were guides, they were fly fishermen. They slept in the dirt, drove all night, drank shitty beer, chewed cheap tobacco, wore the same fishing shirt for a week, got funky foot fungus from wearing waders and wool socks for way to many days in a row, and never lost sight of the fact that as we all try to pay our bills through this industry the real reason we got in to it was to maximize our time on the water not money in the bank.
All that said it is finally time to share with everyone the fruit of my last 3-4 years of labor. Why do I say 3-4 years? cause believe it or not that is how long it takes to develop a fly pattern...I take the fact that MFC, their reps, a fly shop owner, and most importantly a fly fisherman or woman is going to spend their hard earned money on my fly pattern seriously. They are going to put faith in my idea that it will catch fish on one of their few days they spend on the water, so I have to do my do diligence and make sure it works!
So stay tuned for NEW FLY WEDNESDAYS STARTING TOMORROW NOV 19TH! I will share some photos of all the new flies that are coming out through MFC and tell everyone a little bit about them and why I developed them.
AND... Be good to each other, drink some good beer, sip some brown water, and listen to the river a bit before you cast into it.