Mark Harbaugh Joins AFFTA Ex-Officio Board


Mark Harbaugh, Patagonia’s global sales manager of fish, has joined AFFTA’s Ex-Officio board.  We are keen to have his experience and leadership advising the organization as we grow.  Mark shared a brief bio of his experience and career path, welcome Mark!

As a kid growing up on the family ranch in the Owyhee mountains south of Boise, I was exposed to fishing early on. On a summer vacation near Warm Lake in central Idaho, I caught my first fish with a bamboo fly rod and an automatic reel at the age of seven. That love of fishing and adventures outdoors has been the driver for my professional life.

I got my first job as a tech rep for Garmont Ski Boots, followed by Nordica. In those days, we had the summers off. I started guiding for Terry Ring, which I did for 14 years. Patagonia called Terry and said they were looking to hire a fishing rep; I was hired in 1994.

In 2004 my family and I bought a ranch along the Fall River in Idaho. When we moved in, we found that we had an invasive weed problem. Because we own about a mile of river, I did not want to use herbicides that would leach into the river. We brought 650 goats in to eat the weeds. We also started our own insectary to raise beetles that only eat Leafy Spurge. You can see more on our web site.

After years representing Patagonia as an independent fishing rep, I developed my own agency representing Patagonia, Lamson, and TFO. I was asked 3 years later to take over US sales management. 2 years later I was asked to assume the role of the global sales manager for fish.

Having been in the outdoor/fish industry for over 35 years, I have been able to develop great relationships not only with the retail community but the industry as a whole. I am pleased to work for Patagonia, a company very committed to building the best product and making the world a better place to live and play in.

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Retailers Attending Dealer Summit Enter to Win $1000 Sponsor Credit!

AFFTA is pleased to announce another benefit of attending the 2014 Aspen Dealer Summit…a chance to win a $1000 credit from one of our sponsors!  Each retailer attending will enter their shop name for a drawing to win the $1000 credit, which can be applied to any Dealer Summit sponsor of the winner’s choosing.

Sponsors include Simms Fishing Products, Orvis, Hatch Outdoors, Scott Fly Rods, Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, Ocean Conservancy and Angling Trade.

We’ll see you in Aspen!

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Angler’s Covey Looking to Hire GM


For more than 30 years Angler’s Covey has delivered quality services, products and expertise that enhance the experience of the fly fishing angler. Our goals are to provide the best value possible to our customers and to promote and grow fly fishing in our community. We want to invite people into the adventure of fly fishing and serve them in their journey. This philosophy has helped us grow to one of the largest fly shops in the world.

This growth has created a need for a General Manager to manage a positive, rewarding guest experience that extends beyond the visit to the store or our website.

Please read the qualifications for this position carefully. The successful applicant will have to get up to speed quickly and therefore, we will only consider those who meet all the criteria listed below.

General Manager Job Purpose: Contribute to the company’s profits by leading the team. The ideal candidate is a passionate angler, creative, guest-focused, product merchant, team leader with strong operational and analytical skills.

General Manager Job Duties:

  • Has direct oversight responsibility for the sales floor, web store, purchasing, merchandising, inventory control, shipping and receiving.
  • Manages staff effectiveness by recruiting, hiring, orienting, training, coaching, evaluating, recognizing, rewarding, and disciplining managers and associates.
  • Meets or exceeds the shop’s objectives by establishing plans, budgets, and measurements; allocating resources; reviewing progress; making mid-course corrections; evaluating sales trends along with achieving KPI’s for sales, margins, customer service, conversion rate, profit and loss, productivity, and efficiency.
  • Creates and sustains a culture of exceptional customer service among managers and associates while fostering an authentic environment for all outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Performs Manager on Duty (MOD) responsibilities for the entire store, including management of opening and closing procedures, monetary assets, the customer experience, associate activities, and other duties as required. Ensures the efficient daily operations of the store.
  • Manages staffing schedules for the managers and associates to ensure budget compliance and strategic balance to maximize the customer experience.
  • Manages Ecommerce team by developing strategic goals, prioritization and management of website projects and campaigns in support of these goals, and defining KPIs for online engagement including SEM, SEO, Site Optimization, Email, Content Marketing, and Social Media. Supervises web store merchandising, site operations, product delivery, customer satisfaction, and inventory management.
  • Manages Merchandising manager team. Responsible for planning, purchasing, directing, controlling, and evaluating all or most inventory planning and control activities. Supervises OTB budgets, store promotions, markdowns, and inventory audits.
  • Manages all policies and procedures related to safety, loss prevention and standard operating procedures, as well as adherence to laws and guidelines. Responsible for all compliance aspects of store operations.
  • Contributes to developing strategic plan by studying technological and financial opportunities and presenting recommendations.
  • Initiates and manages promotional sales and events for the store.
  • Works cooperatively with other managers to further the goals and objectives of the store.
  • Builds company image by collaborating with customers, government, community organizations,and employees as well as enforcing ethical business practices.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by participating in the sport regularly. Mustfeed a fly fishing passion that is contagious to customers, managers, and associates.
  • Advances personal management skills by attending educational workshops, reviewingprofessional publications, establishing personal networks, benchmarking state-of-the-art practices and participating in professional societies.

    Skills Required:

  • MUST have passion and knowledge for fly fishing
  • Ability to lead, coach, and motivate
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Strong problem solving skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Tenacious work ethic
  • Ability to be self-motivated in a small company environment/ takes initiative
  • Outgoing, must be a “people person”
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Eenergetic, motivated, and able to multi-task
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Merchandising skills
  • Sense of humor

Experience and Education Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A. /B.S.) from four-year College or university and two to three years related experience/training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum of 6 years retail management experience
  • Minimum of 2 years retail experience in the Outdoor Industry field
  • Familiarity with SEM, SEO, Website Optimization, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, SocialMedia
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office (Excel, Word)
  • Proficiency with retail POS systems
  • Evidence of total addiction to fly fishingPosition Type: Full Time – Salary with Bonus plan Must Relocate to Colorado Springs, Colorado Minimal Travel Requirements.

    Send resume and all correspondence to:

    Updates to job posting will be placed at:

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AFFTA’s Position Statement on Magnuson Steven’s Act and H.R. 4742


September 19, 2014

Contact: Ben Bulis

(406) 522-1556


Bozeman, MT – The House Committee on Natural Resources introduced H.R 4742, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, in late 2013. The bill is poised for a vote this session. H.R. 4742 eviscerates many of the Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Fishery Management Act’s 2007 reauthorization’s strongest conservation provisions:

  • Removes reasonable rebuilding timelines that allows marine species to recover from years of overfishing;
  • Shifts Annual Catch Limits that maintain fishing efforts at sustainable levels from annual quotas to multi-year quotas that would threaten opportunity and management stability;
  • Hinders the recovery of the Endangered Species Act-listed resources, such as salmon and steelhead.

H.R. 4742 does not reflect the conservation ethos that defines the character of the fly fishing industry and its natural resources-dependent community.

Since 2000, when a federal court decision required the National Marine Fisheries Service to comply with the conservation and stock rebuilding provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and with new mandates included in the Act’s 2007 reauthorization, 34 previously overfished populations have been rebuilt, and the number of populations subject to overfishing has been reduced by more than 60%, from 72 to 28.

Changing any of the Act’s provisions now, just as so many of our nation’s marine resources are on the cusp of recovery, is unwarranted and threatens to send us back to the days of overfishing when opportunity was severely limited because of a lack of healthy fish populations.

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association—the nation’s sole fly fishing trade association—will be developing recommendations for reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Conservation and Fishery Management Act and will share those recommendations with Congress as the reauthorization process moves forward.

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Tycoon Tackle, Inc. Announces the Addition of New Agent in Puerto Rico—The Tackle Box

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – Today, Tycoon Tackle, Inc. announced the addition of The Tackle Box, Inc. as a new Certified Agent in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Tackle Box is owned by Jose Pazos and is a one-stop shop for all inshore and offshore angling needs.  The Tackle Box can fill the needs of the offshore angler, specializing gear to catch Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, and other blue-water species.  In addition to fishing tackle, Pazos and his bilingual staff can recommend the proper baits, strategy, and the information needed for angling success in the waters of Puerto Rico.

Jose Pazos, a native of Puerto Rico and an experienced angler, opened The Tackle Box, after buying a small inventory that from his very good friend Till Brauer, in December 2003.  Pazos had been in the construction business and entered the fishing tackle business as a “dream hobby.” However, very soon after opening the store, sales began growing quickly and Pazos realized the store was not only going to a hobby, but a calling in life.  Today, more than 10 years later, Pazos is no longer in the construction business and his “dream hobby” has become his vocation.  Pazos said, “I am very happy and enjoy the work a lot, I’m also very grateful to all my customers who have supported me from that first year until now.”

The Tackle Box is located at the following address:

Calle Doncellas #105

Punta Las Marías

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00913

Phone: 787-726-1662

Fax: 787-779-2114


Jose Pazos, owner of The Tackle Box said, “We are very happy to associated with Tycoon Tackle, this great brand was in the market since before I started fishing, selling the best rods in the history of fishing. I still have customers who have had their Tycoon Rods for more than 40 years and never want to change them, they only bring them in to be refurbished.”

Tim O’Brien, President of Tycoon Tackle said, “We are excited to have Jose and The Tackle Box as one of our family of Certified Agents.  Their knowledge of fishing tackle and of the sport will be a tremendous asset to our company.  I am looking forward to working with them in the coming years.”

Tycoon Tackle, Inc. is a Charlottesville, Virginia-based angling outfitter that originated in Miami, Florida in 1935.  The company was on the scene in the formative years of big-game angling and at one time more than 95% of all world record fish were caught on the company’s fishing rods. Tim O’Brien, owner and President the company, said, “The company began with little money but ‘a fortune in ideas’ and in time grew to become a leader in the angling world, by not only making the best and most desirable fishing rods but by being a leader in promoting the catch and release of gamefish.”  The company is still family owned and committed to manufacturing products in the United States of America.



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Sportsman’s Groups, Industry Oppose House Bill to Undermine America’s Clean Water


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Sporting groups representing a full spectrum of anglers and hunters from all across America today announced their opposition the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014. If signed into law, this bill would jeopardize Clean Water Act protections for important fish and game habitat, including millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of miles of headwater streams.

“Plain and simple, a vote for this bill today is a vote against America’s sportsmen and women who depend on wetlands and headwater streams to provide the highest quality fishing and hunting opportunities,” said Steve Moyer, Trout Unlimited’s vice president of government affairs.

Prompted by a series of Supreme Court decisions and stakeholder requests, the Environmental Protection Agency and Corps of Engineers are currently undergoing a public rulemaking process to clarify which bodies of water are protected by the Clean Water Act. These waters include seasonally flowing intermittent and ephemeral streams and certain “isolated” wetlands, all of which contribute to water quality and provide fish and game habitat. The rule has no impact on farm ponds, farm ditches or “mud puddles,” as some in the House have claimed in recent weeks. Claims like that fuel the partisan divide and amount to little more than political theater.

“From toxic drinking water in Toledo to the ‘dead zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico, we’ve seen a number of serious water quality problems this summer that demand solutions. The proposed Clean Water Rule is a common-sense way to better protect the drinking water supplies of 117 million Americans and improve the habitat for thousands of species of fish and birds. Rather than undoing 40 years of progress under the Clean Water Act, we urge Congress to work with anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts to improve water quality in ways that will create billions of dollars of economic benefits nationwide and expand outdoor recreational opportunities for tens of millions of Americans.”, said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation

The rule is presently subject to public comments, and members of the House can comment on the bill just like any other American.

“In the years since the Supreme Court decisions, we’ve seen the first increase in the rate of wetlands loss in the history of the Clean Water Act,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.  “Passing this bill and halting the proposed rule risks continued loss of wetlands such as the prairie potholes, America’s most important waterfowl breeding habitat.”

The recreation economy is a growing player in this discussion. As Moyer said, the bill is bad for sportsmen’s interests and for the industry surrounding outdoor recreation.

“Our goal is to promote the sustained growth of the fly fishing industry,” said Ben Bulis, president and executive director of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association. “That can’t be accomplished without clean water in our rivers and streams across the country. As a nation, if we fail to protect our streams and wetlands, we could destroy the $200 billion hunting and fishing industry that supports over 1.5 million jobs. These jobs depend on clean water for quality fishing.”

Joining Trout Unlimited, National Wildlife Federation, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and the American Fly Fishing Trade Association were B.A.S.S., Bull Moose Sportsmen’s Alliance, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, The Berkley Conservation Institute, The International Federation of Fly Fishers, The Snook and Gamefish Foundation, The North American Grouse Partnership, the American Fisheries Society and the Izaak Walton League of America in sending a letter to the House of Representatives. The letter opposed this legislation and recommended that the House work through the public process to address potential concerns with the rulemaking without derailing this much needed clarification.

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Simms Line of Insulated Outerwear Gets Anglers Ready For Fall Featuring Innovative Kinetic Jacket with PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation

BOZEMAN, Mont. (for immediate release) – As the weather cools across the US, Simms new lineup of outerwear has anglers covered.

Simms’ Fall 2014 lineup of gear is in stores, headlined by the Kinetic Jacket<>. The Kinetic utilizes PrimaLoft® Gold insulation which stacks warmth where it’s needed for optimized layering options without the bulk.  PrimaLoft® Gold provides retains 96% of its warmth when wet—the most of any synthetic insulation.  Polartec® Wind Pro® stretch-fleece in the underarm and body panels provide greater breathability and range of motion.

“The Kinetic Jacket really speaks to Simms steadfast approach at providing specific product benefits to the angler,” says Brandan Hill, Simms’ Sr. Director of Product.  “By utilizing PrimaLoft® Gold insulation across the jacket, we can assure angler warmth and comfort for all day fishing.”

The Fall lineup also includes a new version of the company’s popular Fall Run Jacket<> and Vest<> that both use PrimaLoft® Gold insulation.  The midweight insulated gear are the perfect layering companion for Simms GORE-TEX® line of outerwear.  Simms is also launching the new Women’s Fall Run Jacket<> designed specifically for female anglers.

Also part of Simms’ line launch is the revamp of the ExStream™ Jacket<> and Pant<>.  Both incorporate PrimaLoft® Silver insulation and a polyester diamond weave face fabric for high abrasion resistance and water resistance.  The ExStream™ Jacket comes complete with removable, insulated 3-point storm hood and padded collar.  The ExStream™ Pant keeps cold weather anglers warm and is the perfect insulation pant for layering under Simms line of award-winning waders.

All of the new Fall PrimaLoft® outerwear can be seen across Simms network of specialty fishing stores or<>.

About Simms Fishing Products: Established in 1980, Montana-based Simms is the preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear and technical fishing apparel and accessories.  Simms’ new 80,000 square foot facility in Bozeman is the country’s only manufacturing facility for fishing waders.  The full line of Simms gear is available at specialty and large format retailers across North America as well as For more information on Simms, please<>. Media contact is Rich Hohne (406-922-1243

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AFFTA Members Elect New Board

Bozeman, MT: The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) membership recently completed a board voting cycle to elect four new industry professionals onto the vibrant board of directors. Each elected board member will serve a three-year term, and also be available and active on the board sub-committees.

After the results were tallied Larry Barrett of Farbank (Sage, Redington, RIO), Ben Kurtz of Fishpond, Michael White of Blue Ribbon Reps and Shawn Combs of Orvis were elected to the board. Barrett, Kurtz and White have all previously sat on the board and were seeking re-election; Combs is new to the AFFTA board. AFFTA board chairman Tucker Ladd remarked, “We are pleased to have Shawn’s wealth of industry experience and passion for the sport. Welcome aboard!”

AFFTA president Ben Bulis stated, “We were excited to see our membership so active in the voting process this year, and are keen to welcome our new board members. We just came off of a great IFTD show, eager for the new Dealer Summit and to continue to move the sport of fly fishing forward with our new board.”

The AFFTA board of directors convenes four times annually, the next board meeting will be in Aspen on October 20 immediately preceding the inaugural Aspen Dealer Summit.

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Cheeky Fly Fishing Launches All-New Boost Reel Series

Arlington, MA — Cheeky Fly Fishing is excited to announce the Boost Reel Series, the latest in fly reel innovation from Cheeky. The Boost Reel Series features three new additions to the Cheeky family, the Boost 325, Boost 350 and Boost 400. With the Boost Series, you get the unparalleled performance you’ve come to expect from Cheeky Reels, with a price tag that won’t break the bank.

Reel Grp

Perfect for 2-weight to 8-weight applications, the Boost Reel Series is a must have for all
freshwater fly fishing excursions. All Boost Reels feature the Rev Carbon Fiber Drag System, an alternating stacked disc drag developed specifically for the Boost Series, Cheeky’s MAX Arbor for unbeatable retrieval rates, and the signature Cheeky look that sets you apart on the water.

“The Boost Reel Series is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work here at
Cheeky,” said Cheeky Fly Fishing Owner Ted Upton. “We wanted to design a reel with that distinct Cheeky style and performance, but at a more approachable price point for our customers.”

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Boost Reels is their unmatched strength-to-weight ratio. At 4.3 ounces, the Boost 325 weighs less than your cell phone, yet has the stopping power to halt any runaway beast. Whether you’re making 1,000 casts a day or just getting into the sport, the lightweight and indestructible design of the new Boost Reels will keep you on the water longer.

“With the Boost Reel Series, we’ve combined incredible performance, good looks and great value. We couldn’t be more excited to bring these reels to market,” said Upton. Cheeky Boost Reels are available from $209 and can be pre-ordered now at

All Cheeky Reels carry a Lifetime Warranty, are fully machined from aerospace grade aluminum and anodized to endure the gnarliest fresh and saltwater elements fishermen face. For more information on the Boost Reel Series and other Cheeky products, please visit

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Simms and TRCP Join Forces To Conserve Critical Habitat

BOZEMAN, Mont. (for immediate release) – Simms and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) are teaming up to help conserve critical fishing habitat.

For a limited time only, Simms is offering that 50% of all sales of its popular Ebbtide LS ebbtide-turtlegrass_s14_trcpShirt will benefit TRCP and be allocated towards the organization’s efforts to conserve critical fishing habitat.

“Helping conserve critical fishing habitat is something we are very concerned about at SIMMS,” says K.C. Walsh, Simms’ President.  “TRCP has always been at the forefront of assuring anglers will have great fisheries for generations to come.”

All Ebbtide LS Shirts ($59.95) are available online at until August 28, 2014.  The Ebbtide LS Shirt is one of SIMMS’ best selling technical fishing shirts.

“TRCP has a mission of conserving critical fish habitat.  Working with a company like Simms provides us the opportunity to extend our reach,” says Jenni Henry, TRCP’s Director of Development & Marketing.  “We expect the exposure from this partnership will lead to great things for our organization.”

More information on this exclusive offering is available at

About Simms Fishing Products: Established in 1980, Montana-based Simms is the preeminent manufacturer of waders, outerwear and technical fishing apparel and accessories.  Simms’ new 80,000 square foot facility in Bozeman is the country’s only manufacturing facility for fishing waders.  The full line of Simms gear is available at specialty and large format retailers across North America as well as For more information on Simms, please visit<>. Media contact is Rich Hohne (406-922-1243

About TRCP: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission of guaranteeing all Americans quality places to hunt and fish.  We are a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to strengthening the laws, policies, and practices of fish and wildlife conservation.  Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a voice for all sportsmen in Washington, DC and around the country. For more information, visit

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