For most of us, fly fishing is more
than just a sport. It’s been central to
our lives in many ways, providing a
much-needed break from the daily
grind, and giving us time on the
water we’ll never forget, as well as
friendships that will last a lifetime.
That’s why I’m especially excited to
announce that our organization is
undergoing a significant evolution
that I believe will better reflect the
importance fly fishing plays in all
our lives. The new name of our
organization is Fly Fishers International (FFI), and with it comes
a reinvigorated approach to our programs, mission, and purpose.
As president of FFI (formerly known as the International
Federation of Fly Fishers, or IFFF), I wanted to give you a little
background into this change, which is a tremendously exciting
new chapter in our group’s storied history, and for the future of
Our core values remain unchanged—to continue to serve as a
strong advocate for fly fishing in all waters for all fish, to preserve
and promote the arts of fly casting and fly tying, and to help
ensure that future generations can enjoy these same one-of-akind
So why the change?
Change can be difficult, and we want you all to know that the
process leading up to this evolution involved hundreds if not
thousands of hours of in-depth discussions and thoughtful
debate among board members and dedicated volunteers.
Rebranding and a potential name change was originally identified
for consideration by the Strategic Planning Committee when it
first met in May of 2015. Why was it being discussed? Certainly,
one key issue revolved around the name: based on research, fly
anglers do not find the name “International Federation of Fly
Fishers” appealing, nor did it sound like a modern organization.
Looking at the average age of IFFF membership, organizational
goals for growth, and a perceived lack of relevance among some
fly fishing groups, we knew it was time to ask some hard questions.
The process of exploring potential rebranding began with the
hiring of a marketing and branding agency, which was tasked
with evaluating current recognition of the organization within
the fly fishing community, and to document and analyze the
thoughts and opinions of our members regarding our current
Early on, questionnaires were sent to three sample populations:
the general fly fishing community, current IFFF members, and
members who had allowed their IFFF membership to lapse.
Although the three sample populations were diverse in terms of
their demographics and relationship to the Federation (members
versus non-members), their comments were consistent. One of
the most jarring results was that up to 88% of non-member fly
anglers had never even heard of the International Federation of
Fly Fishers (and we’ve been around since 1964). Another result
made it clear that, while our core mission was still very relevant,
there was a disconnect between what we do in the context of our
mission, and what people think we do.
Overall, the survey results were quite clear: our organization
needs to do a much better job of informing both members
and the general public of what we do, and why that mission is
critical to ensuring our opportunity to fly fish doesn’t vanish.
From protecting public access to passing on the art of fly tying,
or teaching two-handed casting to addressing overcrowding and
habitat degradation, there is a clear need for the voice of the fly
fisher to be heard.
Therefore, leadership agreed a name change was central to this
rebranding—and to signal, in no uncertain terms, a fundamental
evolution was underway. Through further research and
discussion, Fly Fishers International was recommended as the
strongest name choice. The name incorporates elements of our
current name, but is reconceived in a simple, straightforward
way that emphasizes our primary market target—people who
fly fish—while embracing the international presence that we
continue to nurture and expand.
Finally, Fly Fishers International is also already echoed in the
name of our organization’s long-time publication, Flyfisher
Magazine, offering another level of recognition among our
current members, corporate partners, and the fly fishing
community as a whole.
As many of you have rightly pointed out, organizational change
will not simply occur with the change of our name. A great deal
of hard work lies ahead. We recognize the need to do a much
better job of increasing public awareness for the great work our
organization continues to accomplish, and for taking better
advantage of the partnerships, potential projects, and other
opportunities that could benefit from FFI’s help in making
But these efforts won’t be nearly as effective without your help.
Please join Fly Fishers International as we work together to
cultivate conservation, education, and community within the
sport of fly fishing.
President, Fly Fishers International
Check out the new website!!!
Exciting times for us and the FFI