Coming up with new patterns, people who STEAL intellectual Property(pertaining to fly tying)
Hi guys, I'm going to go out on a limb here and do something a little different in this blog post. It may come off as a little negative, but I feel that it needs to be said; I get asked on a weekly basis about how to come up with new fly patterns, i.e. the process of it, naming it, etc. Coming up with new and original patterns isn't easy, and for the sake of fishing, it's not necessary. But being in an industry where new and exciting flies can be the difference between making money and not making money, we all have to try to be creative. We, however, have taken a different approach. There are numerous different companies out there putting out content on a weekly basis showing off unproven fly patterns for no other reason than to sell materials and/or flies. We refuse to do this. If we don't personally fish a fly, or if we don't know its effectiveness yet, we will not sell it. Going out and catching 2 fish on a fly doesn't mean "it works". We have to see a fly, day-in and day-out, work better than something else before it's even considered to "work". It has to take a crappy day of fishing and make it a great day(sometimes for a few months to a year).
Then there's another side to all of this- We'll call it the "overlap". Sometimes people aren't aware that a pattern already exists(this happens all the time) and they think it's original, so they name it and if it's a company, they will market it. It may happen once or twice a year to a company that knows what they're doing, and more to a company that doesn't look into their "product" before marketing it. No harm, no foul, the right thing to do is *update* their info and give the original maker the credit, and they should absolutely use the original name for the fly. Some do, many don't.
Then we come to the downright "stealing", for lack of a better term, antics that too many companies use. And sadly, you can bet that if a company is releasing fly patterns every few days, this is what they are doing. They might switch a color here, or a material there, but it is more-or-less identical to someone else's pattern. Unfortunately, this is part of the fly fishing and fly tying world, and if you're going to have commercially-available patterns, it's going to happen to you.
The reason I am bringing this up is because in September or October I was contacted by a company that I do business with often, letting me know that another company from UT was taking our patterns and selling them as their own under a different name. They were upset because they sell our patterns(tied and bought from us) and this was going to take money out of their pockets for a product that we gave them rights to sell. After contacting this (unmentioned) company, they agreed to not only give us credit for the flies, but they weren't going to have them tied and sell them. They did neither of these things. So when I was contacted today by another company letting us know that this same UT company was taking credit for our patterns, calling them something different, and selling them and the materials to tie them, I was floored. Once again, I wrote them an email and gave them 7 days to correct this garbage or I would not only put their name on the header of our site letting everyone know how they conduct their business, but I would blast them on all of our Social Media accounts for ripping us off again.
There is no legal recourse for ripping people off in the fly tying world, so have made it known that if there is any pattern that we sell that we didn't come up with, the "inventors" name is put in the title and before we sell them we will reach out to that person and ask their permission to sell them. We offer money, products, or anything we can to earn the rights to sell them, because it is the RIGHT THING TO DO. I don't get upset often, especially when it comes to things like this because I know it happens sometimes, but this company is well-known for doing this. Before they were a "big" name in the Western US, the two owners were shot down by every local company when they were trying to profit off of selling other peoples' patterns without giving them credit, or in some cases they completely changed the names of patterns and acted like they were their own. I have dealt with this company on a business level and I have come to know them. They are decent people, but very suspect and every other local shop knows it. I don't want to sling dirt on anyone's business, but for the sake of my own, I will.
We need and appreciate everyone of your support. If we do something wrong and you see it, contact us and we will fix it. If you see anyone ripping off other peoples fly patterns and claiming them as their own, let us know and we will do everything we can to right the situation. The "intellectual property" of the fly-tying world may as well be the "Wild West", so help us fix it. Thanks!