Yellow Dog Fly Fishing is moving into the retail world, with the acquisition of Fins & Feathers in Bozeman, Montana. Fins & Feathers is the second store in Bozeman to sell to a major fishing brand, following the sale of The River’s Edge fly shop to Simms Fishing earlier this year. You can learn more about Yellow Dog’s new retail project in the press release below!
From yellow dog fly fishing:
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures EXPANDS OPERATIONS TO INCLUDE WHOLESALE: TO ACQUIRE BOZEMAN-BASED FLY SHOP, “FINS & FEATHERS”
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures – a Bozeman-based travel company specializing in fly fishing vacation packages and worldwide travel, has announced the acquisition of local fly shop, Fins & Feathers. Yellow Dog will take ownership Nov. 1, with retail operations and fly-in store offerings continuing at the current location in Four Corners, eight miles west of Bozeman.
Founded in 2000, Yellow Dog is a specialty booking company focused on providing the best fly fishing and travel experiences in the world. With both freshwater and saltwater destinations, Yellow Dog sends anglers to more than 240 different lodge and outfitter destinations in 36 countries. The decision to expand the company’s services and diversify its retail offerings was driven primarily by the desire to better serve and prepare traveling customers.
“Yellow Dog has always put our customers first,” said company founder and CEO Jim Klug. “The only gap in our service offerings has been the ability to ensure customers have the right flies, equipment and clothing for every destination we offer – whether close to home – or halfway around the world. By acquiring Fins & Feathers, we can now pair specific fixtures and fittings with the most important information for our entire line of locations. We believe this acquisition will complete the circle for the overall Yellow Dog customer experience.” Klug adds that the expansion and diversification will better protect Yellow Dog’s customers, staff and overall business from future uncontrollable disruptions, such as those the company experienced during the recent pandemic.
Toby Swank, owner and founder of Fins and Feathers of Bozeman says, “We are excited to join the Yellow Dog team and help them continue to evolve as one of the leading brands in fly fishing. Our Bozeman-based businesses have worked closely over the years to engage the local fly fishing community while finding creative ways to add value to our customers’ shared fly fishing experiences. This is the next step in that process and we are thrilled to be a part of the Yellow Dog family. Like Fins & Feathers, Yellow Dog was founded and created in Bozeman, and they’ve been part of the local scene for over two decades. This is the perfect fit and one that will benefit our customers, employees and the fly fishing industry as a whole.”
Fins & Feathers first opened their doors in late 2000 with the simple mission of sharing their expertise and passion for fly fishing with local and traveling anglers. The Orvis Company was the first major manufacturer to partner with Fins & Feathers and provided the opportunity to differentiate the emerging shop brand from other bona fide Bozeman fly shops at the time. Since first opening, Fins & Feathers has been under the same leadership and ownership – longer than any other fly fishing retailer in Bozeman. The store currently carries Bozeman’s largest and most complete selection of flies, fly rods, fly reels, fly lines, waders, boots and fly tying supplies. Product lines available in the store include Simms, Sage, Scott, Skwala, Hardy, Orvis, Patagonia, Scientific Anglers, Umpqua, Hatch, Ross, G. Loomis, Waterworks-Lamson, Fishpond, Abel and Thomas & Thomas, among many others .
In early November, Fins & Feathers fly shop will be rebranded as Yellow Dog Outfitters. Klug notes that while a new look, new name and new signage will be in place by mid-November, the store will continue to focus on serving the Bozeman market while gradually introducing expanded online solutions. The initial and primary goal is to maintain the authentic, friendly service and professionalism that Fins & Feathers has been known for for the past 23 years.
As for whether Yellow Dog Outfitters will offer in-house guiding services and equipment on area waters, Yellow Dog co-owner Ian Davis is quick to clarify that the store will focus solely on providing retail solutions and information. “We have no desire to push more commercial vessels into the area’s rivers,” Davis said. “Instead, we will refer business guide and area reservation questions to a few existing Montana outfitters and guides that we have known, worked with and supported for years.” Swank will retain its equipment licenses and regional guide operations, and after the closing, Fins and Feathers Guide Service will continue to operate as a separate entity.
Moving forward, the staff at Fins & Feathers will remain in place and the brick-and-mortar location in Four Corners will continue to operate as before. By combining the two businesses, Yellow Dog will employ 40 to 50 people between the Four Corners retail location and the travel office in downtown Bozeman.