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Fishing flies supplier see upsurge in demand

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Gone Fishing is taking on more fly tyers to cater for the upsurge in demand for its products.

Kenyan-based supplier of flies, Gone Fishing, is set to double its production floor space following a surge in demand over the last 12 months.

The company says that it has attracted new business and seen orders rise from existing customers for its saltwater, trout and salmon flies. Managing Director Johnny Onslow said: “This is certainly an encouraging trend for the industry. The upsurge in orders we have received also reflects satisfaction with the quality and service we offer our clients.”

The new production facility will be capable of manufacturing 18,000 dozen flies a month and the company has embarked on a training programme for new tyers, including the recruitment of handicapped youngsters from a local school who are keen to take up fly tying as a profession.

“We focus on quality development and training for all staff and link our customers with their own team of fly tyers with whom they can discuss their requirements.

“A most successful initiative was to welcome one of our customers and his family to our base in Rongai. While he worked with his team developing new patterns and establishing a close relationship with the tyers, the family enjoyed a sunshine break. The benefits of this close relationship are significant.”

Onslow added that the company was on the up despite the ‘dubious’ reputation of some operators in Kenya. He admitted: “Many customers are wary of dealing with anyone from this part of the world. However, it is worth pointing out that many of the best known brands originate from here.

“As in all industries, there are a few unscrupulous operators. Customers coming here looking for the cheapest prices need to be beware. Sadly, our Government, despite its pledges to support export businesses, has not produced any obvious legislation that has been supportive.

“However, it has been very successful in increasing the cost and complexity of the importation of raw materials and overseeing the rocketing of licence fees – 90% of what we use is imported, so life is not easy.”

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