Ontario Fly Company was started last year in October by a young man in Ontario, Canada, named Liam. Liam is only 14-years-old and he ties some very nice flies. “My family introduced me to fly-fishing when I was really young but it didn’t take hold until last summer,” Liam said.
At 14-years-old, this entrepreneur in the fly-fishing world speaks eloquently with a surprising wisdom about fishing. “I enjoy and appreciate the outdoors and want to conserve it. I think fly-fishing is great way for young people to do that,” he said. “I’m a catch and release fly-fisherman and I think it’s important to release all the fish for the sustainability of our streams.”
When Liam isn’t fishing spring-fed headwater streams for native brook trout, he ties flies on his desk behind his computer in his bedroom at his parents home. I really like simple flies but I want to expand to more modern flies,” Liam said. “I really like the attractor features that modern flies incorporate and that catch the fish’s attention.”
Liam found a love for the art of tying flies and became very interested in Tenkara rods. He found a small Etsy shop online that made flies mostly for Tenkara rods and he was inspired. He thought it was a great business model. After overcoming a few speed bumps in his fly-tying business he sent he first order off to North Carolina earlier this year. “I sent out about a dozen soft-hackles and nymphs,” he said.
Eventually he’s looking to have a career in science and the outdoors. Right now he wants to turn Ontario Fly Company into a full-fledged online fly-tying store. If he gets to a point to where he can’t tie all the flies needed he will outsource to other local fly-tying individuals.
I hope he does keep tying flies, because I think he’s found his calling. I was fortunate enough to have him send me a few flies to review. I was very impressed when I received the flies.
The shipping took some time and that was understandable, I assume they had to pass customs coming from Canada. They were packaged in little glass vials and seemed like little works of art, I almost didn’t want to fish with them.
The conditions on the river weren’t the best at the time for dry flies so I tried his beadhead-flashback pheasant-tail nymphs. I was using an indicator and dropping the nymph about two feet from the surface. After a few casts on the Blackfoot river I reeled in a native westslope cutthroat.
After catching a beautiful-native westslope cutthroat trout in green water I was pretty stoked. I decided to try one of the other nymph patterns. I tied on a hares ear and let it go to work. A few casts later I landed another fish.
Two flies, two fish. The flies are tied very well and hold up after many casts. The pheasant tail that caught the westslope was a little beat up and probably unusable but I’m not complaining. It caught a beautiful fish.
On my next visit to the river I went to the Clark Fork and tried out some PMD’s and elk hair caddis. It wasn’t early enough for the PMD’s in my opinion so I tied on an elk hair caddis. After a quick cast to get my bearing I recasted and caught a juvenile westslope cutthroat.
Ontario Fly Company surely has well tied patterns that produce fish. Three visits to the river producing three fish in a row is something most fishermen want more of.
I’m sold on his quality, presentation and entrepreneurialism. If you have time and a few bucks I recommend stopping by Ontario Fly Company on Etsy. IFlyFishMontana has teamed up with Ontario Fly Company to bring you a discount. You can enter the code FLYFISHMT and receive 20% off your order now.
Here’s a video of the action on the Clark Fork River with an Ontario Fly Company elk hair caddis.[wpvideo o7LtrSgq]