In 2012 at Emory University a fly-fisherman and an IT guy with entrepreneurial aspirations began to brainstorm ideas for their final college project. Two years later Monthly Fly was created in June, 2014. “We came across the dollar shave club, that’s a really cool business model,” Josh said, one of Monthly Fly’s founders and owners. Josh and his business partner Mike wanted to find a business that could help change the fly-fishing realm. The online-subscription model was exactly what they were looking for.
Many fly-fishing enthusiasts may know about a few online fly-subscriptions circulating the Internet. Owned by Josh and Mike, Monthly Fly has one goal, keeping its customers on the water with quality flies at the end of their line. “We acknowledge that fly tying is an art, frankly I don’t want to fish with art. We have a saying here at Monthly Fly, one’s for the trees, one’s for the rocks and one’s for the fish,” Josh said. As an avid fly-fisherman in Appalachia on small streams he says he loses many flies on every trip, sometimes 10-15. He said, “I used to tie, I love it and I enjoy it, but I realized I didn’t want to spend my time on the bench. I wanted to spend that time fishing and with my family.”
Monthly Fly does that for its owners and its customers.
I have been subscribing to Monthly Fly for a year, for $9 a month. During the year I have received a wide variety of flies and filled a few fly boxes because $9 gets you 15 flies every month delivered to your doorstep.
Most of the deliveries feature five patterns in different sizes that come in an air-inflated pouch, which protects the flies and include a write up on each fly pattern. This ‘Match the Hatch’ subscription includes flies that are popular in your area during that delivery.
I had a few issues during my subscription which Josh and Mike personally addressed immediately over their Facebook messenger and via email. They certainly strive to make things right. Fly patterns vary across the nation and so do specific names for them. Last year I mentioned by email that I would like to see some salmon flies during the salmon fly hatch out here in Montana. I received some salt water salmon streamers. I wrote Josh and Mike and they immediately contacted me, apologized for the mix up and sent a small gift to make up for their mistake.
The last issue I had were hooks breaking on specific fly patterns while reeling in a fish. I wrote them again and addressed the issue. I told Josh that I did not want any gifts or flies, just the assurance that he would discuss this with their factory. He did. Josh said, “If two or three hooks break out of hundreds of thousands, that’s an acceptable loss for us.” I don’t disagree.
Aside from those particular issues I haven’t had any further problems come about and I am still subscribing. I enjoy learning about the variety of flies they send and I think they match the hatch very well. They are very keen on listening to customers, receiving feedback and addressing every issue promptly and constructively.
I tie my own flies almost every week but I still enjoy receiving flies from Monthly Fly. Their business is growing and they are constantly learning about how to make their service better and more customer friendly. Recently they changed their subscription terms so customers can cancel at any time without any penalty. Josh says they are big on evolution and change and they also want to capture that nuance of the fly shop experience.
“We work very hard to match the hatch,” Josh said. “We send you the right flies at the right time for your local waters.”
I recommend this fly subscription to anyone looking to build their collection. Having a wide variety of flies to use at a very reasonable price can be useful.
Monthly Fly is a member of Trout Unlimited and donates stock fish in the area of every subscriber for every subscription. They also teamed up with IFlyFishMontana to bring new subscribers and our readers a special gift for signing up. Enter this code: IFLYFISHMT to receive 10 flies as a special gift when you try out their service.