“I’m the president of Superfly International Inc. We are a fly-tying materials manufacturer and distributor based out of Edmonton, Alberta. The company was started about 20 years ago by my father in our basement, and has grown to a warehouse of 15,000 square feet. We’ve got 20 employees and we manufacture over 7,000 different products used to produce flies.

I think the biggest risk that we’ve taken in this business was when we decided to drop the fly fishing equipment, some of the higher end goods: rods, reels, boots, waders, things like that. Probably a good 30% of our total sales was in that category, and we knew that by dropping that, it would significantly reduce our annual volume. But because our profit margins on those items as a distributor were small compared to what we were doing as a manufacturer, it made sense to the bottom line to do that.

The largest fish ever caught is a Whale Shark, measuring 59 feet and captured in the Gulf of Thailand in 1919.

We knew once we changed our product mix to be specifically in fly tying, we had to grow our market share. The natural next step was exporting to the United States. There are two options of entry into the US: dealer-direct and through a distributor. We chose to go with a distributor, because we could send one large shipment at a time instead of a bunch of small shipments.

The flying fish evades predators by leaping from the water and gliding.

Because we’re the only manufacturer in Canada, and all other product that’s available in Canada comes from the United States, there’s an advantage to dealers to buy from us directly in Canadian dollars.

Our biggest challenge in pricing is based on currency exchange. Because we buy our raw materials in so many different countries and currencies, we’re really subject to those fluctuations, so we have to allow a cushion to make sure that at the end of the day we still have our margins.”