A Fishing Family




I come from a family of fisherman, hunters and outdoorsmen. I have great memories of my Dad, Grandpa and Uncles taking me fishing as far back as I can remember. My introduction to fishing for Salmon and Trout in Lake Michigan was in 1974. My Uncle Will (pictured on the left with my oldest son Matt) would take me on fishing trips up the west side of Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Baileys Harbor in Door county. We fished mostly from the piers in Port Washington and Sheboygan. When we ventured all the way up to Baileys Harbor, we would fish in the empty boat slips. There were some huge fish in Baileys Harbor! We fished for whatever we could catch, Salmon or Trout. We caught Coho’s most of the time but once in a while an occasional Trout. As a young teenager I dreamed of fishing for Salmon in a boat. As luck would have it a coworker friend of my Uncle Will’s invited us along to fish for Salmon on his boat. My introduction to trolling for Salmon was holding onto a rod for hours, no board with rod holders mounted on it, no downriggers to get the bait down where the majority of the fish were. It was nothing like we troll for Salmon today. We did catch one Coho that day, so for a fourteen-year-old kid, the trip was a success. Fast forward a couple years: My Dad bought a boat for Salmon fishing. He set it up with a board across the back, mounted downriggers and added a bunch of pole holders he had made. I was hooked! Shortly thereafter he started making his own flies. It wasn’t long after he started making flies, he taught me how to make them. That was really the start of Hammerflies, although I didn’t turn it in to a business for many years. I’ve been making my own flies…… on and off ever since. I would occasionally buy one from a bait shop because I would hear this one or that one was working well. I was never satisfied with the quality. So, it was time to start making all of mine own again……….no more buying trolling flies from the local bait shops. I had a lot of interest in my flies from friends and locals because they caught fish and they would last. In 2012 I decided I was going to start Hammerflies. I developed patterns and color combinations that catch fish trip after trip. I did a lot of testing (and still do). I use nothing but the highest quality components to assure when you buy Hammerflies you’re buying a product that will last and catch fish trip after trip.