Our April Member of the Month is Montana Fly Company’s President and Founder, Adam Trina. Read below to see what Adam had to say about the company’s Columbia Falls, Montana-based hub, the history of the company, and time on the ski hill:
Let’s talk about Montana Fly Company. In a nutshell, what do you guys do up in Columbia Falls?
Our Columbia Falls office is the hub of domestic operations. It’s a warehouse, fulfillment center, main sales office, financing and accounting division, and R&D center.
From Columbia Falls we control the production at our four fully-owned factories. We manage and work closely with our sales reps and dealers across the country. We also oversee the logistics of our international distribution channels in Canada, New Zealand and Australia, Europe, Japan, and South America.
How did MFC business start?
The idea of Montana Fly Company started on the Smith River in Montana in 1997. At that time, I had been guiding since 1990 all over the state’s watersheds. On that trip, I was with a group of clients who, after a few nights of watching me and Todd Wester tie flies by the light of our headlamps, asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Todd, who was a guide for George Anderson’s Yellowstone Angler in Livingston at the time, had some experience in training fly tyers down in Costa Rica in 1990 and 1991.
If you haven’t fished it, the Smith is a multi-day float and camp trip. By the third night the above question was asked and I said I didn’t know (I was 25 years old at the time and I’m 43 now) but I knew I wanted to do something with fly tying because I had been tying commercially myself since high school and was always passionate about it and Ioved the innovation.
After some discussion, Todd Wester said, “Why don’t you start a fly factory down in Costa Rica? The one I was working with went out of business but I still have some contacts there.”
Over the next 18 months I put together a business plan, got help financing from my clients, (Joe Webster and his crew) flew to Costa Rica and found Todd’s contacts. That was 1998, and by 2000 we expanded production to Thailand and later Cambodia.
How has AFFTA membership benefitted you?
AFFTA has worked hard to provide better and more relevant data to manufacturers and retailers on all aspects of the fly fishing industry.
The dealer summit, putting retailers and manufacturers together for a few days of sharing ideas, along with the annual fly tackle dealer trade show help connect manufacturers to both existing accounts and future partners.
What’s one thing you wish AFFTA members knew about your business?
At MFC, it’s important to us that our customers know we view our relationship with dealers, sales teams, fly designers, commercial fly tyers, and support teams as long term. Over the last 20 years, the loyal relationships with our partners have naturally grown our business year after year.
When you’re not in the office, what are you most likely to be found doing?
I love being a dedicated and involved soccer dad to my two daughters. When I’m in the US, you’ll find us on the ski slopes any day when there are more than five inches of new powder. Or I’ll be in my drift boat or raft when the conditions are good enough to pull me out of the office, which doesn’t take much…even a San Juan worm hatch.
I also enjoy hiking/mountaineering with or without my fly rod, usually within Glacier National Park, which is only 20 minutes from our office door.
When I am in Asia, I spend my weekdays with pretty long hours at the factories, but on the weekends and holidays I’ll make a three hour drive down to the beach and chill or I’ll travel around S.E. Asia, meeting new people, learning to cook different styles, and always learning about new cultures.