Back in 2018, Jeff Davis, founder and CEO of the Maine Fly Company, planted the idea that craft-built fly rods in small batches was the key to keeping the fly fishing heritage alive in his native state. We all care about the sustainability of our woods, fields, and especially of our waterways as the first way to enhance the future for the next generation. Davis's intergenerational love of fishing goes to show that the handcrafting of fly fishing gear can work wonders when it supports the longevity of things we do and the places we do them.
Whether you look closely at a custom-built rod or observe one of their signature small batch rods, you'll quickly learn that this down-home fly fishing supplier is a special kind of company. You can find them online, but visiting Maine Fly Company's Yarmouth, Maine location is the best way to find out what this unique organization is doing to help further the fishing message.
Yarmouth and the Royal River
The town of Yarmouth, Maine is nestled on the Atlantic Coast along the famed Casco Bay and between Portland and Brunswick. The coastline here is renowned for its beauty due to the amazing array of islands, inlets, and cays, but the river systems that dot the area come with some of the nation's best fishing opportunities. Not only that, but within very easy reach is Sebago Lake, known for landlocked salmon and lake trout. It has an excellent smallmouth bass fishery as well. But the river that runs through town is where it all starts.
The Royal River is not the mightiest river in Maine, but it is well known for the mills that dot its banks and for the trout that swim in its waters. It runs about 26 miles from its source at Sabbathday Lake to the ocean at Yarmouth, home of the Maine Fly Company.
The origins of the company come from Davis's late father, and his passion for fishing. According to the company's website:
Maine Fly Co. was founded in part to celebrate my late father's passion for fly fishing and Maine. It's the heritage of Maine fly fishing that keeps alive my father's spirit, and that I hope to pass along to my three sons and future generations everywhere. In his name, we celebrate the sport of fly fishing, show appreciation for fine craftsmanship, and remain committed to the sustainability of Maine's lakes and streams.
Maine Fly Company's main objective, even beyond producing and selling stellar fly rods, is to inspire and support the "intergenerational love of fishing for all members of the family." That's an easy way to ensure you're setting your priorities straight.
Design Your Own
The costs of having your own fly rod custom built, to your own specifications, might quickly surpass many angler budgets. In fact, some can make your eyes water because they're so expensive. But Maine Fly Company starts them off at a decidedly low $379. It can go up from there, but it's a really impressive starting point. The best part is that they will personally guide you through the process and show all the possible combinations. A lot depends on the species and size of the fish you would like to target, where you'll be fishing, and your individual style and size. The idea is to create the rod that's the absolute best tool for your work, and Maine Fly does it really well.
Each custom rod comes with a Maine Fly Company signature rod tube for its protection, and it's a guaranteed way to get a "rod as unique as you are," as the company says.
Small batch rods are also a big draw, each named for a Northeastern waterway and ideal for a wide variety of styles and species. Some are so popular they get extended releases and more production, while others are truly "small batch" rods, only available until they're gone. Prices range from the low $300s to the high $400x for most small batch rods from Maine Fly Company.
The store and online site offers Ross and Cheeky reels (some preloaded), fly lines, leaders, and tippets to support all the fly angling needs of anglers, along with nippers, forceps, pouches, and really cool utility wallet. You'll of course find flies but also fly boxes, fly pouches, rod cases, sunglass retainers, books, and stickers. They even sell hats, hoodies, t-shirts, and gift cards, as most good fly shops do.
What People are Saying
As you might expect, folks that have used Maine Fly's gear have found out much to their satisfaction that this fly fishing company is delivering on their promise. Online reviews are always positive, and they have a robust social media following. It's not surprising that their name is coming up more and more in fishing circles around the country. In fact, they have been mentioned by Cast & Carve, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing: Maine TOGUS, and Yarry Outdoors just to name a few.
Recognizing a new gear company is part of what we love to do, especially when we've seen the brand make a name for itself in positive ways. That's the case with Maine Fly Company, a group of generational anglers making things for other anglers. It doesn't get much better than that.