Hello, welcome to Drifthook Fly Fishing. I’m writing this article to show you why you should choose Drifthook Fly Fishing and our popular fly fishing kits.
My name is Matthew Bernhardt, and I launched this company with the dream of doing what I love, fly fishing. By trade, I am a creative director, and I consider myself a decent designer.
But what I truly love is fly fishing. I read about fly fishing, I dream about fly fishing. I spend as much free time as I can on the water, fly fishing. Just like a new skier to Colorado sets goals for how many days they want to spend on the slopes, my goal this year is to spend 200 days or more out on the river. I think I will count today as one of them, because I get to talk to you about this program and I’m not stuck in traffic somewhere.
I think that this all comes from my father, who was a pioneer fly fishing guide on the upper Colorado River in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. My family of six grew up helping my mother and father with their rafting and outfitting company. Us kids and my mother would run shuttles and change sheets in the cabins while my father and the other guides would be on the water. At night we would hear tales of fish "this big" being lost or caught.
In the winter my father would guide hunting trips and tie flies. I myself was never talented enough to tie my own flies, nor did I have the patience. I can honestly tell you that I have tied only one fly in my life and it never caught me a fish. But I have tremendous respect for those who can tie flies. It is truly an art form, and it amazes me to this day.
The one thing that I did learn from being around guides and fly tiers is how to pick out a good fly from a bad one. How to see if you have a quality hook, or will it break off on the first fish that you hook into? Is the hackle balanced on your dry fly so it sits upright in the water, or has the thread on your midges been properly secured so it’s not unwinding halfway through the day? A lot of small nuances that a typical angler would not pick up on.
As my journey through life progressed, I thought to myself, would it be possible to truly grasp the American dream and do what I love? So that is when I came up with the idea of the Drifthook Fly Fishing System.
About five years ago, when I was in a local fly shop here in Colorado and I was doing the typical “check out the reader board to find the hot fly of the week,” I thought to myself, “I’m buying this fly for over three bucks, and for the life of me, I’m not 100 percent positive why I’m buying it or even the best way to use it.” I figured that there has to be a better way of managing my fly selection to catch more fish when I’m out on the water.
And that’s when I started to dive into any and every little piece of fly fishing entomology and fly tying articles, books, or videos I could get my hands on. Around this time, my first daughter was born and I spent a lot of time at night with her with a bottle (baby bottle) and YouTube, watching videos on the topic. That is when I realized that there were about a million different ideas from numerous resources on the subject, but they all seemed to contradict each other, and few of them actually gave any sort of guide on the process.
Not only that, did you know that there are almost 6,000 fly patterns on the market today... 6,000? So that’s when I began my journey to build a system of kits that could help everyone, from beginners to advanced fly fishermen, become more successful on the water.
My first question to myself was, “If I’m going to build out the fly kits, what is going to be the most successful set to help people land monster trout?” That is when I built out the Nymph Frenzy Kit. As I continued to build out my kits, I would go through the lifecycles of flies and combine them with successful fishing techniques that anyone can learn to help them with their game.
I also wanted each box to have a gameplan on how to use them. Not just a quick quote like, "Here are the best trout flies." To me that was just as bad as, “This is the best alternator you can buy for your truck. Good luck switching it out if you don't have the right tools.”
So I had my list of flies that I wanted to provide in my fly fishing kits, but as I looked at my list, I realized that I was heading down the same path as everyone else. Was there an easier way to organize my boxes to make it simpler to pick out the most successful fly for any day or water condition?
So as I loaded my boxes, I organized them by categories that are tied back to a seasonal hatch chart for easy reference no matter where you were, what time of year it was, or what type of water that you wanted to fish in. Tailwaters, freestones, lakes, creeks, muddy water, shallow water, ice-off, etcetera.
I thought if I can get it to the point where it’s as easy as, “Look at the chart, look at the label on the box, and try this fishing approach,” then I would be able to provide every fly fisherman an easy guide to get them catching more fish and spending more time enjoying themselves on the water.
Now I had my idea! I was excited. My next stage on launching the company was, where I can get quality flies that I would feel proud of placing in my kits? So I reached out to fly tyers, fly fishing wholesalers, the big fly companies, and pretty much everyone under the sun. It took me two years to pull together a group of fly tyers that I felt confident placing my name behind. And I’ll be honest, I have flies that are tied in the United States, I have flies that are tied in Asia, and I even have flies that are tied in a small village in Africa because they can tie a handful of flies really well.
Each fly that I place in the boxes that I sell has been hand-picked by me. No joke, every set of flies that comes into our shop is vigorously inspected by me. I want to make sure you will be happy with them. Because if you’re not, then not only have I let you down, but I’ve wasted your time and mine as well. And as I just watched my little girl finish her first year in school, I realize that time is the most important thing that we all have. I don't want anyone’s time wasted because we have too little of it.
So no, I don't have the cheapest fly on the market, and I wouldn't want to place my name on a fly like that anyway. But then again, I don't have the most expensive fly on the market, either. But being in my position, I don't have to worry about the overhead of a factory or paying for a large company of employees. I have the freedom of finding the best fly for my business and the best fly for you.
The final thing I wanted to do was to build trust with anyone that I had the pleasure of doing business with. So I thought to myself, if I have enough confidence in my decisions to pick a great fly at a great cost, then I should be able to tell anyone who buys my flies that if they do not meet the standards that they expect, then I would give them a 100 percent money back guarantee. I know that everyone expects this when you purchase; I’m pretty those big box stores would even take back a used diaper. But everyone who purchases a Drifthook Fly Fishing Kit has direct access to ME. I want to know everything—if you think the flies I sold you suck, or better yet, I would love to find out that you thought of a better way of using them than the way I have presented them.
I’m in this for the long haul, and just like the fish that we enjoy seeking and catching, I’m willing to evolve to continue the sport and lifestyle that I love. If you find out that the majority of the fish you’re catching are with a five-fly setup with every fly two inches apart, fantastic! Let me know! Let’s work together to build the perfect "You" kit so everyone else can experience the amazement that you have.
Because what it all boils down to is this: That’s why we are all here, to learn from one another and to enjoy the great outdoors with a sport that we love.
If you have any questions about the Drifthook Fly Fishing Kits, please shoot me an email, because I would love to discuss it all with you. Because I’m not going to lie; it’s also a great excuse to get me out of doing the dishes or changing another dirty diaper.
Drifthook Fly Fishing Founder