DENVER — Fly fishing is big business, but that doesn't mean outfitters have large-scale operations.
Two is the magic number for one local rod manufacturer.
"We really want something that has that high end feel (and) that high end performance. (A fly rod) that’s not going to break your bank," said DJ Louezel after sanding down a cork handle in his garage.
"It's going to be part of memories too, where you catch that fish of a lifetime," reflected Paul Boals before continuing. "You sit there and realize that one of the tools that helped you was one of ours. That’s awesome."
Boals is a certified casting instructor. He and his friend Loerzel are certifiable when it comes to fly fishing.
Together they created the Yampa Rod Company. It may surprise you where they produce these custom creations.
"Yeah, it’s kind of like a garage band for fly fishing in some aspects," Boals said.
Like Microsoft, the Yampa Rod Company started in a garage.
But this operation isn’t high tech -- it's hands on. Each made-to-order rod is hand crafted.
"We’ve had people come back year after year and say, 'I would put this toe to toe with this rod that costs two and three times as much, or I like the cast of this better'," Loerzel said.
This duo builds between 50 to 75 rods per year.
With more people getting hooked on fly fishing, they’re having trouble keeping up with demand.
"Where we would normally run from a four- to six-week turnaround on some of the productions and rods and stuff we build, now we’re double that," Boals said.
"It's been fun to see that balance, from the person that loves that idea of a Colorado product that they can take out this weekend," Loerzel added. "Or, somebody that really wants to invest some time to say 'I’m going to build this custom from the ground up. It's gonna be perfect and just for me.'"
It's easy to see why this company has caught on.
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