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Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1444
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Received an interesting email the other day. I had always questioned if flies from overseas were made in sweat shops or things like that. Apparently fly tying can be a source of income for the natives of Kenya, and offer them a better quality of life. I will cut out the company's name on this, and remove the link to the website but thought some of you might find this interesting.

The email reads:

Quote:


Dear Fly Shop,

This is Eric Owner to XXXXXXXX a company based in Kenya. We’re well known to supply of fishing flies although USA to Canada.

We supply most of our flies to our daily customers from OHIO, UTAH and Arizona and our company consists of 15 full time tiers and each month tying more than 2000 dozens of trout flies, Salmon/Steelhead and Saltwaters.

We therefore, kindly request you to offer our bid by accepting us tie your flies with best quality and services.

Will be glad to hear from you and in case of any question don’t hesitate contacting us.

Cheers

XXXXXX



There was a link provided that you could check out as well, but I removed it per the rules of the site. It seems that the owner of the company must have a large preserve and hires the natives to tie flies for him. The company is part of a special program for Africa. Now whether or not the owner is ripping them off is up to debate. From the looks of the photos on the page, he is providing them shelter, clothes, work, and a better quality of life. Now this is all interpretation from the site, and not based on actual evidence. There is not a ton of info on who is actually tying the flies, and what the living conditions are but I have drawn a few inferences from the site.

I may email the guy back and find out more on what his program is about and such, and learn who is actually tying the flies, their quality of life and such. I would never have someone else tie flies for me, but I am interested in learning more about this program, and what it does for the natives. I imagine he is not paying them much, as the flies can be purchased for very cheap, but think that the tyers are happy and content judging by the smiles on their faces and such in the pictures.

I am imagining that the line, "accepting us to tie your flies", may be a reference to having them tie custom patterns or something. I will do a bit more investigating on this and update you all if anyone is interested. Glad to see that some of my perceptions of overseas fly businesses are not all sweat shops and children tying flies, and may actually help the individuals who are tying the flies. Hope that these Kenyans are not being ripped off.

Hope you found this as interesting as I did.

Posted on: 2/20 8:27
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Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

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2008/5/5 11:06
From King Of Prussia, Pa
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Yeah sounds awesome. Maybe you should move there and apply for a job.

Posted on: 2/20 8:40


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

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2006/9/11 10:32
From Berks County
Posts: 481
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Quote:

JasonS wrote:
Yeah sounds awesome. Maybe you should move there and apply for a job.


Maybe you should apply to a sarcasm school because yours sucks.

Posted on: 2/20 9:11


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1444
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Really man?

Posted on: 2/20 9:35
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Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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There's a documentary floating around out there showing a fly tying shop in China. The "shop" was clean and tidy - walls painted in nice colors with decorative plants etc. The tiers were young women who had plenty of space to work, seemed cheerful, and actually tied flies that looked pretty good. I don't recall what they were paid but it seemed reasonable by China standards. Was this a dressed up propaganda film? Perhaps. Nevertheless, it certainly portrayed better standards - both working and quality of the product - than I would have imagined. I'd still prefer to support American tiers (who, after all, actually fish with their flies) and American products...but this film served to further remind me that trade and the dignity of work are complex.

Posted on: 2/20 9:42


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1362
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Actually there are a couple of big fly makers that use African operations - I might be mistaken but I think Umpqua was one.

They go over each year to train the ladies exactly how to tye a particular fly in person, check their working conditions etc.

Which is very different to the Slave labour in China.

Posted on: 2/20 9:43
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Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1444
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Thanks guys. I had always thought this was slave labor. I would rather tie all of my flies myself and use my own flies, but just thought this would enlighten some, who may have the same assumptions that I did about this.

Not sure what JasonS's problem is

Posted on: 2/20 9:46
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"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process."



Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2013/10/29 14:04
From Westmoreland/Tioga
Posts: 214
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Quote:

mike_richardson wrote:
Received an interesting email the other day... There was a link provided that you could check out as well, ...


You received some spam, written by someone for whom English is obviously a second language, with a link and you followed it? You are braver than I am.

Quote:

mike_richardson wrote:
The company is part of a special program for Africa.


Africa is a continent, a physical entity, "programs are usually associated with political entities.

Quote:

mike_richardson wrote:
...he is providing them shelter, clothes, work, and a better quality of life.


Slavery could often be described the same way.

Quote:

mike_richardson wrote:
Glad to see that some of my perceptions of overseas fly businesses are not all sweat shops and children tying flies, and may actually help the individuals who are tying the flies. Hope that these Kenyans are not being ripped off.


What is your definition of a sweat shop? What makes you think that children are not involved?

Our views of reasonable working conditions and child labor probably do not jive with the reality of life for some in Kenya. While Kenya is fairly stable for an African country, it is still very far from what we are used to.

Posted on: 2/20 10:24


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Most "sweat shops" offer appalling pay and hours by American standards. That said, yes, they are an IMPROVEMENT of quality of life for the workers themselves, who are working there willingly.

Not that I necessarily think it's a "good" situation. I just see the sweatshop labor stage as a step in the industrialization process. We had it here in the U.S. too. Think of factory workers back in the late 19th and early 20th century. The answer to their plight isn't to shut em down. It's to help them get through the process more quickly.

Where it gets to the point where you have to take immediate action is if the workers are children or there against their will.

And for what it's worth, pictures mean nothing. It's what people do. The Germans had pictures of smiling Jews in concentration camps.

Posted on: 2/20 10:27


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 1420
Online
If they aint got any AC - they are sweatshops (especially in Africa)

Damn it's hot here! :)

Sometimes our own political views get in the way of reality!

Posted on: 2/20 10:38
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Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1362
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Should we boycott Kenyan coffee too then ? - and English is Kenya's first language...

Having been an English Colony, Kenya is and continues to be a lot more advanced that most African or Asian countries still, the recent Islamic attacks excepted.

If I want cheap flies, I'd rather my money went to Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia that are poor but democratic than communist China.


Posted on: 2/20 10:57
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nowhere is so sweet, as the bosom of the vale where the bright waters meet.


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
2008/3/11 9:40
From Lambertville
Posts: 1202
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Interesting topic. If I were a fly shop owner I don't think I'd order flies from an unknown tying company whether in China or Africa. When buying flies from a U.S. company, I think I would prefer flies tied in an African country if they were the same quality as China tied flies.

I did a quick search and found a post on the subject at Global FlyFisher Blog from 2012:

The African fly connection

They mentioned that they received some phony appearing solicitations from African based companies or would be companies but at the same time noted that they are some legitimate fly tying companies there.

It makes sense because there is fly fishing in Africa, I would guess especially in S Africa.

Posted on: 2/20 11:47


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

Joined:
1/6 9:36
From Montgomery, PA
Posts: 167
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Quote:

JasonS wrote:
Yeah sounds awesome. Maybe you should move there and apply for a job.


Don't worry about it Mike. You won't please everyone. I took the 5 minutes of my life I won't ever get back and browsed back through his posts, which the majority are negative or filled with sarcasm so it doesn't bother me as much as I'm sure it bothered you. You just keep on posting and contributing in a positive manner and life goes on.

There are guys that will throw the stones at people for using products from the Chinese or Africa if you will. But they don't have a single problem wearing clothes, or driving vehicles made from there. (china obviously)

There are some that fish with fly rods made overseas. Doesn't make them any less of a person for doing so IMO.

I would buy flies from someone in Africa or china direct (if they are a reputable company) before I would support a big wholesale USA company that gets them from overseas cheap for resale.

But I'm thankful I have friends and family members for that. So its never been an issue for me.

As far as my fly rod building goes.. some stuff is from here and some is from china.. it's a mix and match thing for me. No hard feelings here bud





Posted on: 2/20 13:10


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

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2007/3/9 14:18
From Enola, PA
Posts: 444
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Montana Fly Company produces most of their flies in Thailand saw a short film on it a year or two ago. They are up front about it and a couple of their top guys spend a lot of time there. If you go to their blog you can search for the Thailand tagged posts

Posted on: 2/20 13:21
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uhh...nevermind


Re: Overseas fly tying not as bad as I thought

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2013/10/29 14:04
From Westmoreland/Tioga
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GeeBee, I guess your question was directed at me because I didn't see anyone else mention the language.

Quote:

geebee wrote:
Should we boycott Kenyan coffee too then ?


Sorry for the confusion but I never advocated boycotting Kenyan anything. I did imply a boycott on links in spam and I stand by it. I tried to point out that it possible that neither Mike's pre-email perception nor his post-email perception were entirely accurate.

Quote:

geebee wrote:
and English is Kenya's first language...


I never said the author was Kenyan. Are you saying this was written by a native English speaker?

Quote:

We therefore, kindly request you to offer our bid by accepting us tie your flies with best quality and services.


Quote:

geebee wrote:
If I want cheap flies, I'd rather my money went to Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia that are poor but democratic than communist China


I have no problem with that.

Posted on: 2/20 14:01



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