Dealers and Anglers Deserve the Truth – Use Your Buyng Dollars to Send Your Message


Where did your 2013 Chubby order go?

Dear Fly Anglers,


Since our last update, Idylwilde has made some big strides. I’m pleased to announce that we have secured long-term manufacturing in Sri Lanka, we have printed our 2014 catalog, and our sales reps are heading into the field with a new electronic order form to write your pre-season orders. We’ve also taken delivery of our first shipments of flies from Sri Lanka, and they are available for immediate purchase. Your sales rep will have samples and a list of available flies later this week. Our office staff is also standing by to serve you.


We are aware of Umpqua’s press release and letter announcing its partnership with our former Philippines factory. We understand that Umpqua’s sales reps are telling dealers that Umpqua has, in effect, purchased Idylwilde. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Instead, Umpqua is selling the flies that Idylwilde already paid its manufacturing partner in the Philippines to produce for the 2013 season. Idylwilde did not authorize the sale of those flies to Umpqua, and Umpqua did not contact us about buying them. It seems that Umpqua was hoodwinked into buying flies that the manufacturer did not have the right to sell. Consequently, Idylwilde is attempting to reclaim its flies from Umpqua. This unsettling turn of events shows precisely why Idylwilde is no longer doing business with its former manufacturing partner in the Philippines.


Regardless of how this situation resolves, I am very sorry that you have been thrust into the middle of this. But your buying decisions will be the bottom line. Should Umpqua and its sales reps be rewarded for this backdoor approach? Or should Idylwilde’s reps and staff be rewarded for being honest and for working hard to find a new manufacturer?  We trust your good judgment.


How did this dubbing get from the Idylwilde warehouse to Colorado without Idylwilde paying for it?

How did this bag Chubby Dubbing purchased by Idylwilde (posted in FB contest on March 22 before shipping the Philippines) dubbing get from the Idylwilde warehouse to Colorado without Idylwilde paying for it? Hmmmmm very interesting.

Many of you know, and have been a part of, the Idylwilde story. You were there as I built the company, built the factory in the Philippines, and grew Idylwilde into the brand it has become. The same hard work and tenacity that built Idylwilde is still driving the company today. We are going to deliver on our pre-season promises for 2014. And we’ll have one of fly tying’s most accomplished experts, Dave Bloom, on the ground in Sri Lanka overseeing quality control throughout the production season. As always, we will continue to support our products with consumer marketing to ensure that our flies sell themselves.


Please feel free to call or email me directly if I can be of service or answer any questions.


I appreciate your time and consideration.


Best regards,

Zach Mertens

The Backstory (Learn the Truth)

1. Idylwilde Dealers, Reps, Sig Tyers and Consumers Held Hostage

2. Idylwilde Delivery of Flies Currently Compromised for 2013 Season

3. Idylwilde 2013 Order Update

4. Operation Chubby: The Long Way to Colombo

5.  Operation Chubby, Part 2: Rebirth in the Mahaweli Valley

6.  Some Reasons to Celebrate this Septober!

25 Responses to “Dealers and Anglers Deserve the Truth – Use Your Buyng Dollars to Send Your Message”

  1. Brian says:

    I would sincerely hope that you’ve done your best to contact Umpqua in an attempt to explain the situation. As you said they may have been “hoodwinked” into buying something without the background knowledge of what has occurred. If Umpqua really did intentionally try to scalp your flies then I would say they deserve the bit about the “backdoor approach”– and I would do my best not to purchase their gear.

    However, if they haven’t been given the chance to make things right then I would say this post is rashly written, and will probably only serve to make them feel better about their decision.

    Well keep up the hard work, sweet flies, and keep letting us know how the Sri Lankan journey continues.


  2. Mike @ MRFC says:

    I had a conversation with Mr Fyhover at Umpqua today….trust me, they may have been “hoodwinked” but they absolutely allowed themselves to be…intentionally or not. If you don’t want to know the truth the easiest way is not to look for it. No excuse for what was left out of thier “due diligence” process prior to purchasing those flies. I have no doubt that in an industry with often questionable ethics this is one of the most unconscionable things I have seen. I truly hope the blowback is large and immediate. There is no way to excuse or positively “spin” what Fryhover and Umpqua did here.

    Our shop is just an Idylwilde dealer…no other connnection.

    Mike Lum
    Madison River Fishing Co
    Ennis, MT

  3. Zach says:

    Brian – To answer your question Yes I have reached out twice to Mr. Fryhover. A personal conversation on the phone with him yesterday. Today a representative of mine reached out via phone. My hope was to find a business solution to make things right by the dealers, reps and sig tyers. Idylwilde offered to purchase the entire “existing” inventory of Idylwilde flies that is being offered in the Thrilla in Manila sale. That is 70,000 dz. flies that I am willing to purchase a 2nd time so all parties involved can walk away doing what is “right.” Both times my offers to re-buy the flies from Umpqua were turned down by Mr. Fryhover.

    They were given a chance. The post is merely a matter of stating fact. If I couldn’t prove with actual documentation that Idylwilde paid for those flies my attorney would never have allowed me to put that in writing. One does not make that kind of statement if they can’t back it up.

    You make the very reasonable suggestion that Idylwilde should contact Umpqua and try to make things right or explain the situation. Which Idywlilde did do. What about the opposite? This is a small industry. Would you have thought that Mr. Fryhover should have reached out to Idylwilde to make sure his facts were in order before closing the deal? I or my attorneys never received any inquiries. Do you think that Mr. Fryhover does not read this blog or was aware of Idylwilde’s very public claim on those flies?

  4. Brian says:


    Well it sounds to me like you’ve done your due diligence. I’ve contacted Umpqua to express concern and let them know I’d like to hear what their reasoning is behind these actions — and I hope many other anglers do likewise. But I’m thinking that Umpqua has lost at least one customer (me) and I applaud the git ‘er dun attitude you’ve taken by starting another facility.

    And 840,000 flies?– that’s insane. Hope you get ’em via legal means!


  5. Zach says:

    Hi Brian – I applaud your integrity, thank you for caring enough to take a stand on Idylwilde, its customers, its reps and its Sig Tyers behalf. Your integrity has restored some of my belief in humanity. I hope there are more like you.

    Thanks for the support and well wish’s. All of us at Idylwilde were looking towards the future and have been dragged into the past in a very unfortunate and shameless way.

  6. Zachary says:

    I just trashed about 100 Umpqua flies and fly box!!! That’s just dirty bird business.. Keep up the good work Idylwild..

    p.s. Can you send me a catalog I’m about 100 flies short now:)

  7. Anthony John Palmer says:

    Zach, I’m just a super-obsessed angler and tier, here to say how astonishing this story is… never been a customer of yours but I’ve been ogling your stuff since you started, and as a casual observer to this epoch it occurs to me that bad press alone would be the catalyst for a resolution. As an industry leader Umpqua has a reputation to consider and why they aren’t protecting it at any cost is puzzling; simple business acumen from the right U-exec would solve this for you overnight. Now it’s a matter of ethics, which are transparent and lots of us can see right through this. Seems the problem isn’t the problem, their attitude about the problem is the problem. I can speak for plenty of normal fly fisherman: (I’ve never strung those two words together before) we’d like to see this turn out in your favor, at no cost to Idylwilde. I ditched Orvis and Bean long ago. lmfao

  8. Jim B says:

    Right on, Zach! From the ashes has risen a phoenix. Great that you did the right thing and took the high road…it’ll pay off in the end. All my Umpqua gear is going in the trash tonight!!!

  9. Paul says:

    I for one can not jump to far onto one side of the fence because I am not around to hear the full story. However, I have been an Idylwilde supporter and will continue to do so. I will not purchase an Umpqua fly at anytime because I choose to support Idylwilde instead. If this sends a message to a company doing back door deals then that is a bonus.

    Good work Zack.

  10. zach says:

    Zachary – send me a message on the Idylwilde FB page and I will get a catalog in the mail to you.

  11. Luke says:

    Just because of this. Idlylwilde is my choice fly company. Never liked umpqua.

  12. mills says:

    Man alive, what a bunch of shit you and your company has gone through. You’d like to believe that even your staunchest competitor wouldn’t play but those dirt pool tricks but hey, Umpqua show’s their stripes here and it’s evident that I wont be buying their gear

  13. Pete says:

    To put a positive spin on things, Idylwilde must have some pretty DAMN good patterns if your competitor is willing to slang those as their own. Are they not confident in their own patterns? Sounds like they are scared to me. In my opinion, it’s blantantly clear that Idylwilde provides the most progressive patterns, coming from the best current sig tiers in the industry….with some serious variety to boot. Umpqua has habitually been behind the ball in this area IMO….maybe focusing on their latest gear release?? Who knows. All of my “go tos” are Idylwilde flies and they will be for years to come!!

  14. Zach says:

    @ Anthony – You NAILED IT! with your take on the situation. Couldn’t have laid it out better than that myself.

  15. the jeweler says:

    i can see it now. ” Umqua presents there new innovative fly designs. New for this year.. last years idy. inventory .
    wow innovative….

  16. Jimbo says:

    “I spot em I got em! Breaking Traditions

  17. Ha says:

    Karma is a bitch, ain’t it?

  18. Zach says:

    Ha – Check in with me in 6 months and lets see what the Karma score is looking like at that point.

  19. Wildtrout says:

    Zach, you always paid your reps and sig tiers, as promised. Thanks. As i recall, Thingamabobber burned all their reps a few years ago, claiming they went through ‘re-organization’.

  20. Bubba says:

    Gotta love capitalism and competition. Looks like Idylwilde lost

  21. Zach says:

    Appears that way doesn’t it? I too love capitalism and built a business from nothing into a brand that others wanted. Stay tuned Bubba because I am a huge fan of the American legal system!

  22. the freak says:

    SO Zach, I’m just curious, why didn’t you just buy the frickin flies?

  23. Zach says:

    Freak – I did pay for the flies. My partner Mr. Tan refused to ship the flies or even return any communication once I fired Chris. Idylwilde had (and currently still holds) a credit balance with Mirabel when Mr. Tan unilaterally decided to cut off communication and the shipping of flies. I even called Mr. Fryhover and offered to pay for the flies a 2nd time to follow through on the promises I made the dealers and my reps.

  24. Zach says:

    PS Freak – I challenge anyone: 1. To produce an invoice that was even presented to Idylwilde for those 70,000 dz flies that I am accused of “not paying”!! Show me the unpaid fly invoices!
    No shortage of people saying “I (Idylwilde) didn’t pay for those flies” not one of my many accusers or detractors have presented any hard evidence to substantiate those claims. In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. To all appearances I (Idylwilde) has been convicted guilty by the spreading of rumors with no hard facts (in writing) to substantiate those rumors.

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