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Preston, home of The Driftless Fly Fishing Co.

Fri, Apr 11th, 2014
Posted in Preston Features

Preston Area Chamber of Commerce members welcomed Melvin Hayner, owner of The Driftless Fly Fishing Company, with a ribbon cutting on April 4. Photo by Mitchell Walbridge

This is no fish tale. There is a new business in Preston, Minn. that may reel you in hook, line, and sinker. Well hook and line anyway. No sinkers involved here. If you, a friend or family member loves to fly fish or have always wanted to learn now is the time and The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. is the place.

Melvin Hayner has loved fly fishing his entire life, learning from his grandfather who was a fly tier and fly fisherman. At the age of 9 Melvin learned to tie flies and has never stopped. Originally from Oregon and then living in Michigan he moved to Minnesota and has been fishing the southeast area of the state for the last 22 years.

With all of Melvin’s knowledge and love of the sport of fly fishing, it naturally progressed to Melvin who stated his website www.minnesotaflyfishing.com in 2004 along with starting a guide service for people interested in learning to fly fish or those who know how to fly fish that like to have an experienced guide along with them.

For the last 10 years Melvin has been thinking about buying a building and opening The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. but was waiting for the time to be right. With his children grown, a new job in Rochester, and the perfect building available, Melvin felt everything was coming together to open the business he has been thinking about for so long.

The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. offers guided fly fishing trips in southeast Minnesota including the South Branch of the Root River, which is listed in Trout Unlimited’s Book of America’s 100 Best Trout Streams, according to Melvin.

All gear, flies, tackle, personal instruction, digital photos of your catch, and streamside lunch are provided with each trip. Families are welcome whether beginners or experts in fly fishing. Melvin is a family oriented and patient instructor who enjoys teaching the art of fly fishing to persons of any age.

Melvin has received prestigious guide endorsement from The Orvis Company, and The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. is the only authorized Orvis dealer in southeast Minnesota and Hayner is one of only two Orvis endorsed guides in Minnesota. The Orvis Company began in Vermont in 1856 and is one of the oldest fly fishing companies in America. The Orvis Company has grown to have endorsed lodges and guides around the world. Orvis is committed to conservation, says Melvin, adding that the Orvis company donates 5 percent of its pretax profits to conservation causes and organizations.

The endorsement by the Orvis Company is of great importance as it brings The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. and the city of Preston to the eyes of the international community. When anyone in the world looks up information about where to find a guide endorsed by the Orvis Company or to find the Orvis brand of equipment and accessories, The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. in Preston will appear along with others from all around the world.

Streamside lunches include sandwiches, chips and salsa, desserts and drinks. Once in awhile on colder rainy days Melvin says they have been known to break out the grill and cook up some brats as well. While enjoying lunch Melvin and his clients discuss techniques, flies, weather conditions, etc.

Spending a day on the water in an 18 foot Old Towne canoe with family and friends while learning the art of fly fishing from an expert, all while enjoying the beauty of southeastern Minnesota, sounds like a perfect day for anyone who loves to fish or loves the outdoors.

Hayner states that the Preston EDA, everyone involved in tourism in the area, and the National Trout Center organization have been very welcoming and convinced him that Preston was the right place at the right time.

Business has been great since The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. opened. Hayner is beginning to book up for spring and summer guide trips already so if you are interested it is better to book your trip early rather than to wait.

Hayner states that The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. will be doing some schools and promotional free lessons during Trout Days in Preston this year, which will be a great experience for novices and experts of fly fishing.

At this time hours are 7- 9 p.m. during the week with weekend hours being 8 a.m.-9 p.m. These hours will be extended in the near future.

The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. is located at 208 St. Paul Street, Preston, Minn. To book your guided fly fishing trip or for more information visit minnesotaflyfishing.com or email Melvin at melvin@minnesotaflyfishing.com. Melvin’s phone number is (507) 327-4276.

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