Ontario Fly Co. Review

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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.

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Rainbow trout caught on an Ontario Fly Company’s hates ear on the Blackfoot River

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.

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David Detrick

David Detrick is an avid fly-fishing enthusiast and a journalist. He started IFlyFishMontana as a student project and has goals for the publication being a prominent news and review site for the fly-fishing industry.

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