Legend today & a legend for generations
Having had the pleasure of visiting IFTD (ICast) in Orlando, USA over the past couple years we have been lucky enough to meet some of the globes most influential fly fishermen & driven personalities behind the international brands we all covet.
But meeting & ‘getting to know’ the people who make the fly fishing world go around are two different things… that is why we jumped at the chance to take Scientific Anglers’ Jeff Pierce for a beer & meal during his visit to South Africa.
Jeff was in town to play host to the Scientific Anglers Bring your Own Rod (BYOR) initiative.
Who is Jeff Pierce & why should you care?
Jeff Pierce, on paper, is the Foreign Sales Manager for Scientific Anglers. Not impressed? You should be. Not only is Jeff the MAN when it comes to fly-line technology & line selection but he is also an out-&-out fishy guy with an incredible reputation as a fly-tyer, fly fisherman, and respected contributor to the globes biggest fly fishing magazines.
Vagabond Fly Disclaimer: We have always had a great time & a solid laugh with the team at Scientific Anglers. They boast a crazy collective of individuals who genuinely make the fly fishing world a better place. To emphasise the point, when we asked Jeff for an image of a photo that reminded him of South Africa he sent us this…
Welcome to South Africa
In perfect Vagabond Fly style, we ushered Jeff via the dodgy part of town (What kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t show him the real Johannesburg) before heading off to a more upmarket & trendy suburb for a bite. The venue was selected on the merits of its craft beer so we were taken aback to find that Jeff doesn’t drink… this guy was crazier than we thought.
Breaking the ice over a beer… ginger beer!
Ok, so it was more like a Coke & platter of snacks but we had to know… why no beer? It turns out that Jeff Pierce is one of those individuals who excels at most things they try; after crashing as a youth at a BMX championship if left him with his handlebars through his liver & out his back, the doctors told him to avoid alcohol.. he turned to fishing! Nice!
Jeff Pierce first made his name at Mustad serving them for 15-years before making the switch to Scientific Anglers. He can officially boast to catching pretty much everything… on fly! He now adds our indigenous Yellowfish to that list too & it would appear he is smitten with this local species. “I finally understand those that chase Yellowfish” he said, after which he referred to himself as a Trout & Yellowfish guy.
With a wealth of knowledge & experience chasing fish around the world we enjoyed stories of favourite fish & world experiences. It struck us that Jeff’s crossover from conventional to fly simply changed tactics, not targets. Yes, he loves & respects the history of fly fishing and trout fishing holds a place in his heart but there is nothing he won’t challenge on a fly rod. If you think it’s only possible on conventional tackle, Jeff wants to prove you wrong. If you think the conditions make fly fishing ludicrous Jeff Pierce will be out there… proving you wrong! He is a fly fisherman’s’ fly fisherman, hard-core to the bone & a top bloke!
Did you know: The Johannesburg BYOR event was, by Jeff’s estimation, the largest turnout he had ever seen. Big up South Africa! Further to that we can proudly boast that a fishy guy like Jeff was more than complementary of the fly fishing bug-bitten South Africans he met on his journey.
The world of fly fishing is blessed with great people doing great things & supporting each other and right at the top of that list is Jeff Pierce.
We can all learn something from the man in both a fishing sense but also how he approaches other people within the industry: welcoming, uplifting & genuinely interested!