Brian Flechsig

Fly Fisher, Fly Tier, Trip Host, Entrepreneur

Brian Flechsig tied his first fly and caught his first fish on a fly rod when he was seven years old. Today, from his fly shop in Columbus, Ohio, which he founded in 1994, Brian outfits sportsmen, teaches classes, and guides groups on fishing trips to some of the world’s best places to fish. He has been in the fly fishing business for most of his adult life. Brian is one of America’s new generation of fly fishing personalities. He has been featured in a series of fly fishing instructional videos from Mad River Media, including the famous title, Carpin’ with good friend Dave Whitlock. Regular guest appearances on the popular television show “The Walker’s Cay Chronicles” with Flip Pallot have made Brian one of the most recognized names and faces in mid-western fly fishing arena.

Listen to Brian Flechsig's Show...

The Lure of Success: How Passion Turned into Profit for a Fly Shop Owner

Brian Flechsig owns Mad River Outfitters, Midwest Fly Fishing Schools, and Ohio Fly Fishing Guides. He started his fly shop in 1994 with a passion for fly fishing and the will to succeed, but not much more. Today, Mad River Outfitters ranks as one of the top three largest fly shops in the United States. Join us and learn how Brian started his business on a shoestring and how he has grown it through consistent marketing and proper business management.

Just a few of the questions asked and answered during the interview:

  • What inspired you to start a business in the fly fishing industry?
  • How has your business evolved from its initial concept to the multi-faceted enterprise it is today?
  • How has your passion for fly fishing influenced the way you run your business?
  • How do you engage with the local community through your brick-and-mortar shop?
  • In creating your product lines, do you select low, medium, and high-cost products to appeal to the broadest spectrum of customers or focus on one price point?
  • What is the top-selling or highest-grossing product at the fly shop?
  • What are the top 2-3 selling fly patterns in the shop?
  • What platform do you use for your e-commerce store?
  • Do you use manufacturer’s supplied photos for your products, or do you take your own?
  • What types of marketing do you do?
  • What marketing has worked the best for you?
  • Do you do all your marketing in-house or do you outsource some of it?
  • Which advertising channels have you found most effective for your businesses, and why?
  • How much luck is responsible for your success?

He is the author of The Fly Fisher’s Guide to the Mad River, Ohio’s premier trout stream. He is active in many conservation activities and efforts to bring the sport of fly fishing to everyone. He is also the primary host of our popular YouTube Channel.

Brian oversees the entire operations of Mad River Outfitters, along with his sister companies, Midwest Fly Fishing Schools and Ohio Fly Fishing Guides. He is very versed in many aspects of fly fishing and holds a special passion for saltwater. He served as our head guide at the Wilds for eight seasons and is passionate about largemouth on the fly. He also still finds time for a few days on the Mad River in his AuSable River boat.

Brian hosts many of our store trips, including the Amazon Peacock Bass Trip in January, the Labrador Brook Trout Tip in July, the Slide Inn Trip in August, and the New Orleans Redfish Trip in the fall. You can find details on all of these trips here on our website, Mad River Outfitters.


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