My grandfather, William Bitner Browne, and my father, Frank Browne, introduced me to Orvis as we are and always have been a fly fishing family. In its heyday, Orvis was the ONLY fly fishing outfitter worth its salt. Founded in 1856 by Charles F. Orvis in Manchester, Vermont by 1880 its famous bamboo rod was named the best in its weight class by leading outdoor aficionado Ned Buntline. In 1942, the company joined the war effort by producing split bamboo ski poles for U.S. troops and in 1966, they opened the first fly fishing school in America. Over time, Orvis became a bit of your grandfather’s brand, lacking the diversification of larger big-box sporting-goods stores or the technology of specialty fishing stores.
Fast-forward to today and I can pleasantly say that Orvis has embraced their roots, but found its way to re-birth. What they are producing, today, is the quality you know with curb-appeal for younger generations. In 2008, they introduced their Helios line which is the lightest and strongest line of rods ever built and it forever changes the fly rod industry. Orvis also started incorporating lines of clothing and equipment that you can be proud to say came from Orvis. It truly is a company that stands the test of time, integrity intact.