Murray Pedder – In the Beginning…
It was my father, Dennis, who first introduced me to fishing at the age of five and then fly fishing and tying at the age of twelve. My first fly-tying kit was very basic and in less than two weeks I was asking for another. I was hooked. Given my newly-discovered passion, my dad would take me, every Saturday, to Leo Rosenstein’s in town to stock up on tying supplies. Through the store, I was introduced to Terry Ruane – a phenomenal fly tier. Over the next six months’ worth of Saturdays he taught me the finer points of fly tying.
Racking up Experience – Globally
I first entered the world of work as a casual employee in the fishing departments of Outdoor Living and M.E. Stores. After completing a diploma in data communications, I realised my passion for fly fishing and the outdoors was where my heart was, so I left the communications industry.
Over the next two years, I worked for Gone Fishing in their wholesale and retail division. While with Gone Fishing, I spent time in Botswana assisting with the establishment of a small fly-tying operation whose employees needed fly-tying training in smaller patterns for fresh water species. At the time, Gone Fishing’s tying expertise lay in the tying of flies for large bass and pike.
Zomba Fishing Flies – Malawi
After leaving Gone Fishing, my wife and I moved to Malawi for four years. We managed a fly tying operation there – Zomba Fishing Flies. The company exported upwards of six hundred and eighty-four thousand flies a year to both Canada and America. We employed seventy fly-tying experts on a full-time basis and an additional one hundred and ten seasonally. It was while running Zomba Fishing Flies, that I learnt the true meaning of quality-production tying. The American and Canadian markets only accept flies tied to the highest of standards and of exceptional quality. The company took just two years to turn a profit and grew substantially during the time that my wife and I ran it.
Fly Fishing Adventures and Fly Fishers Unlimited
After leaving Zomba, I joined Fly Fishing Adventures – taking over the retail management from Derek Manson in 1994. However, as with anyone, in any industry, there was a definite desire to escape being merely an employee. So, together with Ricko Cronje, I founded my own company. We named it Fly Fishers Unlimited and the two of us worked together in the retail industry for close to sixteen years. A big part of our business was the making of custom flies and rods. Within this retail business model, we added the option for travel. We thus ran, hosted and guided trips to the Seychelles, Cuba, Costa Rica, the Zambezi, Mozambique and to local fishing hotspots.
I have had the privilege of fishing in the Seychelles, Costa Rica, America, Zambia, Mozambique and many of the great local destinations South Africa has to offer.
I have also acted as the Fly-Tying Field Editor for The Complete Fly Fisherman magazine for over 8 years. This role includes writing articles on fly tying as well as the practical application of using flies for all manner of species, both locally and abroad.
I now head up production, customer relations and certain aspects of our travels at Flyz Inc.