Further Down The Line

So now we find ourselves at the point in which I talk about future goals I suppose. Where I want to see the company go, whether or not I’m going to get back into the online world. Or perhaps this is where I talk about the myriad of fisherman’s tales I’ve heard, about river monsters and how they came so close to catching the biggest fish you’ve ever seen. And while, some of those stories do come across my modest desk, the majority of my day is sitting around, talking about fishing, and selling a handful of tackle pieces at a time. I still get out onto the water and put my own product to the test, and I take the time to get around Alaska and remind myself of the beautiful area I live in, but otherwise, my days are pretty routine.

I suppose that’s why I decided to get into writing this whole blog, to more or less act as a journal of sorts. I took the time to bring my introduction, a bit of history as to why I am where I am in life, but there really is no other major secrets to who I am. No riveting page to turn to next, just a guy who loves fishing, and sells fishing products. Fortunately, I do have a bit of talent for writing, and I hope that I don’t bore you to tears with my choice of writing style, but I feel that perhaps if you’re still here and reading that you may actually be a little interested in what I have to say about where I am, what I do, and who I am.

So where do I go next with this piece? I’m not sure. I could talk about the history of our family here, or I could talk about the old man who comes in every day swearing up and down that he caught an orca once with a standard fishing rod. Whether or not I believe his story is irrelevant at this point, he has the story down to every last detail, and every enunciated point of his story is perfectly practiced. Who knows? It may have actually happened. If you tell a story enough to believe it yourself, does it really make it any less true? Probably, but that’s the case with almost all fishermen and women today as much as it was back then.

All I know is that I have a small part to play in almost every story that comes in. There are so many locals who use my product that I feel like my company has a small amount of credit due with every fish caught in my town. Though that may be reaching a little far, I do sell more than just my own bait and tackle, and there are those who still swear by using good old fashioned fishing worms, which I also cultivate in a mound behind the shop. No matter how it’s done though, I’m glad to play a small part.

The Perfect Cast

When I first decided to form a bit of a business out of my own created lures and tackle, it wasn’t a quick jump from having nothing, to having the business I’m currently in. I began, like many small businesses, in my shop until the wee hours of the morning, working on dozens of small items until I went cross eyed. I started to sell them at the local flea markets, and with the advent of online progression, started my own little online store. Soon, orders started to roll in, one here, four there, and next thing you know, I was getting more orders than I could reasonably make at once. It was great to see that level of popularity, but I soon realized that I bit off more than I could chew.

Now, one could think that it would be a simple matter of hiring on more people, and forming a little bit of an assembly line. But we’re talking about a craft that took me a lifetime to perfect just the way I wanted it. It’s not really something you can just narrate to someone and have them pull it off to the same level. So after filling out a few hundred orders to get the start-up capital, I stopped doing the online version of my sales, and put the money into a small store. During the remodelling and such, I took the time to make as many lures as I could by hand to ensure that I had enough to stock the place when it opened. The time was well used, and I managed to ensure that I had a full display in my small store.

When I finally opened the doors to the public, it was quite the feeling. Obviously, the attention my store received in person wasn’t quite what it was online, but it was something nonetheless. I had my own little slice of the market, and was selling something that no one else was. It was my family, in the form of a small bauble, that others could use for their own benefit. It was like we had the key, some secret that the rest of the world wasn’t let in on until we cracked the door of the vault the tiniest bit, and let them have a small peek.

Or it could simply be that I sell a product people like, and choose to use. I can have all the ideas of some grand family secret, and they could all be for nothing, but no matter what, it’s the techniques that have been handed down that people enjoy, so I pride myself in that. I still do custom work for specific customers, and enjoy listening to the stories of the old retired men who sit in chairs in my shop and seem to enjoy just spending their days there. I’ve had to install a coffee machine specifically for them, but I’ll admit, I like having the company around when I’m alone all day.

Spool The Line

To me, there is no greater feeling in the world then being out on a calm lake, in the early morning hours, the only sounds the local birds and the light rusting noises of putting together your rod and reel. I know this feeling is shared by many others in the area, and indeed across the world, but I can only assist those in my region, which is why I opened my own tackle shop. With no more experience than growing up on these lakes and rivers, and holding a fishing rod long before I held anything else, I ventured out to start my own handcrafted tackle line, and from there, the rest is really history.

I grew up in a remote city in Alaska, where everything is remote really, and my father, like his before him, was the first to bring me out onto the lake, and cast my first rod. From there, was many seasons passing, casting out with each morning hour, well into the evening. We caught and sold fish at a local market, all by hand, no nets, no massive operation, just patience and skill. Skills that my father passed down in the form of knowing what fish were attracted to what stimulation, and learning to choose the right bait and tackle to catch the right prey. These tricks of the trade passed down from generation to generation, and put into one simple action, creating the best possible tackle for local fishermen and women to use.

I have has my shop here in Alaska for a number of years now, and still am amazed at the popularity I’ve managed to amass. I don’t like to blow my own horn, or act like I know any better than anyone else out there, but one thing that I know for sure, is that the pieces I put together for people, even some custom jobs, get the job done, and keep my customers coming back. It gives me the opportunity to do something that I not only love, but has been ingrained in me throughout the years of practical application and trying and testing my own products. It’s great to take something that has been in our family for so long, and sharing it with those who wish to do the same. Whether professional sport fishers, or those looking to get away for a weekend and see if they can catch themselves their own dinner.

Harkening back to the days in which we were self sufficient, and needing to find our own sources of food, locals around the area continually hit the open waters in search of their weekends meals, and I’m happy to play a small part in that endeavor. No matter the purpose for their fishing expedition, it’s great to know that my assistance plays a small part in their successes. And with every child that walks through the door, I see myself, learning all there was to know, and one day passing it along.