Tying your own? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tying your own?

07-28-2006, 12:07 PM
One of our dear friends purchased the Upqua Fly company a little over two years ago. Before that, his only contact to fishing was from me telling him fish stories over a martini or two. In fact when he announced that he just purchased it, he had no idea I had even heard of it.....and Metz, and Tiemco.....all companies that he now owns through Umqua. But do not get me wrong. Mr Hans Bosch is a genius, and has made successes out of all the companies he presently owns. Since the purchase, he has traveled to his Indian Chicken farms and Fly tying factories......learning all he can while fixing their distribution and sales department.

Anyway, I was speaking with him last night, and told him that I spoke with one of his managers who supplies me with tying materials, and he said that they dropped their line of Atlantic Salmon flies in 2002 due to poor sales. They presently have an extensive line of finished flies in all categories from trout, steelhead, pacific salmon, and inshore and offshore salt water patterns. NO ATLANIC SALMON FLIES.

His marketing manager told him that the lack of demand was either due to their assortment, or because Atlantic Salmon anglers are finicky, causing most to tie their own. Hey, I think most trout anglers are finicky yet the assortments of ready made flies in any fly shop is huge. And wouldn't the fact that the demographic of the Atlantic Salmon angler is one of a little higher income strata, which usually does not allow that person all the free time to tie and prepare for his 15,000 trip to the Kola or Iceland.

Anyway, any thoughts on the matter? Do you think the guys at Umqua are missing something? Looking at the over assortment of trout and saltwater flies in any one fly shop makes me believe that these shops could pear down their assortments and still be extremely efficient......making room for a category that perhaps is missing some supply......from what ever demand that does exist.

What are your thoughts? Oh, by the way, no one at Umpqua even knows of this site nor has asked me to post this. I am just curious, and think it is a good topic of discussion and information.......


07-28-2006, 12:21 PM
I think that most serious Atlantic salmon anglers tie their own or get their flies from a fishing buddy. The few that I know who buy their flies do so from shops that specialize in salmon gear, or they buy directly from famous tiers, like Warren Duncan, Marc LeBlanc, or Jerome Malloy. I think the point made by Umpqua was that there are too many flies, with variations of many from river to river without enough volume for any of them. There are a few East coast shops that specialize in salmon flies, and most of theirs are tied in North America. But even they have trouble keeping up with all the variations. Just think of the number of versions of the green machine there are, or bombers. And there aren't hundreds of thousands of potential buyers, either. Yep, I think Umpqua made the right choice, in fact probably the only possible business choice.

07-28-2006, 12:24 PM
Could it be simply that there are more "angler-days" per calendar year fishing for trout and saltwater fish in general than specifically salmon and hence, significantly bigger demand? A trip to a salmon river would be a lot of planning for me whereas trout and saltwater are both doable day trips?

I rarely buy flies from a shop unless I'm looking for something specific that I fogot to tie in advance.

07-28-2006, 04:28 PM
I think Adrian and Jr. Spey have hit the nail on the head. First, the number of Atlantic Salmon anglers pales compared to most other types of fly anglers. Second, as Jr. Spey points out, there are a lot of variations of so-called standard patterns. The black dose is a great example; I have seen over 20 different black dose patterns and who knows which is the "right" one.

From a shop perspective, we see a lot of demand for custom tied salmon flies (again, a lot of demand is relative to the market) from anglers. Some have their own patterns they want duplicated while others buy out of the catalog. Most want to know who is tying their flies (ie mass produced here or abroad or by individual tyers known for salmon flies).

On that note I asked our Umpqua rep and the Orvis rep about tying salmon flies for shops because I was curious as well (Orvis has dropped most, if not all of their salmon flies at this point). Both said that theu could get them tied for a shop or shops. BUT, the minimum quantity that each required to be purchased in order to have them mass tied would be about 3-4 years worth of inventory!

Just my .02

Bill Greiner

07-29-2006, 08:43 AM
All sounds logical and sums up what Umpqua said. Their sales in that area was pathetic because we are a small group of highly evolved radicals who tie our own, and the few who don't want to know the pedigree, or initiate the specs. He actually refered to A.S. fisherman as finicky......to be polite. Nice to be in the manority.