How to make money in fly fishing

There's a saying in fly fishing. 

How do you make a million dollars by owning a fly shop?  

Answer: start with 2 million dollars!

We know many of you just want to go out and fish and enjoy everything that goes with it, but others out there have a desire to make a few dollars as well.  No matter what camp you're in lets go over a few ways you can make a few bucks in the fly fishing industry.

 

1.  When I wanted to buy something as a kid my dad's first response was always "GET A JOB!".  Well the same goes here.  Go check out some local companies in the fly fishing industry and apply.  Whether it's your local fly shop, guide business, lodge, etc.  Not only will you make some money there but you'll learn a ton from working with others in the industry and make yourself a better fly fisherman.

2.  Start small.  I have a friend of mine who just got back into fly fishing and he recently started selling flies on Ebay.  He will admit his flies aren't the greatest but he's making a few bucks to buy new gear, and put a few dollars in his pocket.  Don't be afraid to just do a little bit here and there.  Sell some flies, tie some leaders, take some pictures and sell them to companies in the industry, offer to do a review of a product and post a write up or YouTube video on it.  You might get paid or even get some free gear out of it.

3.  Media.  I hinted at it above, but all companies, including fly fishing companies, are desperate for media exposure.  Whether this is a blog, website, social media account, YouTube channel, podcast, or even making a video or taking pictures.  The more followers the better as always.  Some influencers get paid decently for their content and with the right drive you can make it a good part or even full time business.

3. Create something.  See a need in the industry that needs filled?  Go do it!  I've seen some awesome products come by in the industry in the past few years.  Whether its a tool, new fly pattern or technique, or even a website you make to sell products online, get those creative juices running and get it done.  Technology is great with machines like 3d printers, laser engravers, cnc machines, etc that you can get things done a whole lot easier than in the past.  Connect with the right people and you may have a big company knocking on your door wanting to buy your product and sell it by the thousands!

4. Be a professional.  The best teachers in the world are always still learning.  The first step and last step is get educated.  You lose in life when you stop learning.  So you want to be a guide, casting instructor, lodge owner, captain, etc.  Go spend some time learning first and grab a hold of those people that are a wealth of knowledge and don't let go.  They are imperative to you succeeding and in this industry, as many others, the more you know the better your success should follow.

 

I talk to so many business owners on a regular basis, many in different industries.  The biggest mistake I see out there from people who are struggling to make their businesses succeed is that they have a "passion" for something but don't have the business sense to actually make it succeed.  I don't care if you love fly fishing, if you want to turn it into a job then go get some education. Whether formal business schooling or an apprenticeship under a successful business owner, don't sell yourself short.  You need to know what you don't know and don't be too selfish to think you will just figure it out.  Knowledge is the key to success.

 

What did I miss?  Comment below on something you may be doing or want to do in making a few bucks in the industry.

 

As always, check out all of our gear on the site.  New products hitting our Deposit Program, great overall prices on tons of gear from rods, reels, lines, boxes and more and don't forget about our trips!  We have places all over the world to send you.

 

Professional rambler,

Ryan Gouldsbarry


3 comments


  • David Gilbert

    Thanks Ryan! This is great advice and will take the information you described and use it for sure!


  • Josh

    I am doing just that. I am currently working out details on starting my own fishing brand like you have done here. I am talking to rod and reel manufactures to help me build my own brand of fly and conventional gear, just like Risen Fly has done. I love what y’all are doing and God Bless.


  • Fred A. Rowe

    How to become a signature fly tier. Do you approach companies about being an influencer or wait for them to contact you? Outdoors writers, a dying breed, are always looking for new stuff.


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