Tuesday, December 1, 2020

26 Years of Mad River Outfitters!


In the Spring of 1990, Mad River Outfitters founder and owner Brian Flechsig ran his first guide trip on our home waters of the Mad River, here in Ohio. It was later that year, that he hosted his first Trip to the Pere Marquette River in Michigan.

Fast forward to the Fall of 1994. He quit his job as the manager of a fly shop in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 1st. Moved to Columbus on November 1st and first opened the doors of Mad River Outfitters on December 1st.

He tells the story often of how he and his Dad pretty much built the first store themselves.

4 storefronts and 26 years later, here we are. One of the largest fly shops and outfitters in the United States....and still going strong. Actually, according to Brian, we are just "Getting Started".

Hopefully one day we can get Brian to tell us the whole story. We'd love to share it and would certainly be an interesting one. 

To Brian, his family and the entire team at Mad River Outfitters.....

HAPPY 26th ANNIVERSARY MRO.....here's to many more!

Very speical thanks to all of the friends, employees, subscribers and customers who have made this milestone possible. We could not have done any of this without YOU!!!

Stay tuned..........

Mad River Outfitters
833 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


Thursday, October 8, 2020

New Rods from Temple Fork Outfitters

Temple Fork Outfitters has released four new rods that we couldn't be more excited to share with you. Let's begin with the LK Legacy rods which pay homage to great angler, Lefty Kreh.

TFO LK Legacy Fly Rods

The LK Legacy series pays homage to TFO’s founding rod designer Lefty Kreh by incorporating all his wisdom in the creation of the ultimate “big water” trout rod for intermediate to advanced anglers. Whether casting dries, nymphs, or streamers, the LK Legacy’s perfect tracking and a crisp, smooth recovery make them very powerful and responsive. LK Legacy series lighter line weights will easily protect 5x tippet when fishing to highly selective trout. And the mid to heavier line weights are excellent for windy conditions or distance casting as they are designed to efficiently generate high line speed and very tight loops. The combination of light weight and durability make these rods perfect to fish from first light to sundown in the high mountain west where conditions can include wind and big water.

From a delicate 3-weight to the very popular 8-weight, 11 models allow the LK Legacy series to perfectly match a broad range of conditions, techniques, and species. All models feature alignment dots color coded by line weight and LK Legacy rods come packaged in a labeled rod sock and a TFO rod tube.

The LK Legacy series puts unsurpassed power and responsiveness in the hands of the freshwater angler. Combined with TFO’s no-fault lifetime warranty against defects, these rods are the perfect choice for the wide-open space of broad rivers and other big water worldwide. Fish the Original.
However, Temple Fork Outfitters didn't stop there. They took this new legendary rod and crafted a one-of-a-kind two handed version. 

TFO LK Legacy Two Handed Fly Rods

The LK Legacy TH series was designed by Temple Fork Outfitters for intermediate to advanced anglers seeking faster blanks that deliver more efficient line movement and more recovery crispness. These rods can pick up longer, heavier fly lines and tips with minimal effort and a unique touch-and-go feel. The five rod LK Legacy TH series features the 6-weight for trout spey or overhead casting off the beach and longer 8-weight rods for steelhead and salmon.

The LK Legacy TH series is constructed with high modulus carbon fiber material and finished in a matte grey color tipped with hunter green thread wraps. Componentry includes up-locking, anodized cut-out reel seats with braided carbon fiber inserts. All rods feature black frame stainless steel stripping guides

and anodized, double-foot, stainless steel snake guides. LK Legacy TH rods are finished with a thinly tapered, composite cork handle for more ergonomic handling and durability in the foulest fishing conditions. All models feature both grain window and gram weighting for easy line pairings, as well as alignment dots color coded by line weight. LK Legacy TH rods are packaged in a labeled rod sock and a TFO rod tube.

The LK Legacy TH series is uncompromising in performance and quality when compared to any other rod on the market. Add TFO’s no-fault lifetime warranty against defects and they are clearly a benchmark by which to judge all advanced two-handed rods regardless of price.


From here, we move onto the new Temple Fork Outfitters Blue Ribbon Fly Rods. Fly rods that we here at Mad River Outfitters are very excited about.

TFO Blue Ribbon Fly Rods

The Blue Ribbon series is perfect for the freshwater angler who needs to effectively cover water with repeated casts over the course of the day. In these situations, the successful angler is the one whose fly is in the water the most. For this reason, the Blue Ribbon series is designed to load easily with minimal back cast allowing the angler to make quick accurate casts with very little effort. So, whether its casting indicators, or multi-fly rigs from a drift boat, or bait fish patterns to the bank all day the Blue Ribbon series is engineered to deliver cast after cast with ease.

The Blue Ribbon series is constructed with intermediate modulus carbon fiber material and finished in a chestnut brown color with premium cork grips. The light weight up-locking solid brushed aluminum reel seats include an integrated hook keeper and have carbon fiber inserts. The 11-rod series is finished with SiC stripping guides and ultra-lightweight chromium-impregnated stainless-steel snake guides. All models feature TFO’s line weight ID system on the handle and alignment dots color coded by line weight. Blue Ribbon rods are packaged in a labeled rod sock and TFO rod tube.
The Blue Ribbon series is all about efficient casting when keeping the fly in the water is key. And when combined with TFO’s no-fault lifetime warranty against defects, these rods are the perfect choice for covering lots of water in search of your favorite freshwater species. Fish the Original.
Finally, the new Temple Fork Outfitters Stealth Fly Rod series. We bet you didn't see this coming.

TFO Stealth Fly Rods

The Stealth series was designed by TFO National Advisor Jason Randall specifically for European, high-stick and tight-line nymphing techniques that require drag-free drifts and ultra-sensitive strike detection. This rod series is engineered to powerfully deliver accurate multi-fly presentations yet to be extremely light and perfectly balanced as necessary for comfortable fishing and extreme sensitivity. Every decision in the creation of these rods has been driven by the goal of maximizing direct-contact fishing performance and, as a result, there is no better set of tools than the Stealth series if that is your focus.

The Stealth series is constructed with high modulus carbon fiber material and is finished in a matte green color. Two models are available – a 10’ 2-weight weighing an incredibly lite 2.8oz and a slightly longer 10’6” 3-weight offering slightly more reach and weighing 3.0oz. The series has down-locking machined aluminum reel seats and feature black single-foot stripping guides for weight savings and black single-foot snake guides. The Stealth series comes in a cloth rod sock and a TFO rod tube.

The Stealth series was designed with singular goal of creating the most direct connection possible between fish and angler. Then we covered each one with TFO’s no-fault lifetime warranty against defects, making them perfect for the angler dedicated to the art of direct contact fishing.
So there you have it. All the new fly rod series from our friends at Temple Fork Outfitters. These rods are sure to leave a lasting impact on the fly fishing industry as a whole and for that, we couldn't be more excited.
Make sure you head over and check out the full collection of Temple Fork Outfitters fly rods over on our website at www.madriveroutfitters.com

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Ohio Fly Fishing Guides - Head Guide Josh McQueen

Josh McQueen recently took on the new role at Ohio Fly Fishing Guides as head guide. So we sat down with him and asked him a few important questions.

You’ve taken on the role as head guide for Mad River Outfitters Ohio Fly Fishing Guides, what’s your goal for the guide services?

I'm most excited about offering a guide program that gives our clients the best fly fishing experience possible. By not only offering them guide services that help them catch great fish, but also experiencing what Ohio has to offer through our fleet of unique watercraft, the nature they're around and learning along the way. My number one goal is to offer a guide service that's better than anything you can find in the country. A guide service that is on par or better than anything you can find in Montana and Alaska. I want each angler to be in a comfortable and safe environment where we're having fun, learn and catch great fish.


So, what’s your top fish to fly fish for and why?

I don't know if I can state just one... I mean, obviously, I think as far as Ohio goes, the three main things that I fish for are Ohio Pike, Steelhead and Smallmouth Bass. Honestly, I love them all and it's hard to pick just one. The reason why is that they are all so different. Steelhead gives you great fights with great action and hits. Smallmouth is the same only in the summer, with a mean fight and Ohio Pike, last but not least… Honestly, they’re probably first on the list. They are fierce, fast and shocking when they go for a fly. They really get you excited and get your blood pumping. So how about a top three? It's way too hard to pick just one!

What should people know about Pike in Ohio and Protecting them?

It takes 18 years to grow a trophy Pike in Ohio. That's a really long time. So obviously if you mishandle or kill a fish, that's not a resource that's easily recoverable. The other thing that's tied into handling that people don't realise is how tender and sensitive that fish is. Even though they are large predators and tough looking, which, in their environment they are, when you're handling a Pike, you have to be incredibly gentle. We need to also fight for them legally, as they are not protected by the State of Ohio. If you want to go out and keep 100 Pike a day that are between 18"-40" long you can take as many as you like legally, and that is just not right. This is a fish that definitely should be protected, that have to be careful with and educate anglers on.



Your top three pieces of fly fishing paraphernalia that you can't go without?

That's definitely tough. Can't go without my buff. I gotta have that. Can't go without my pliers, I always have to have a great pair of pliers. Last, definitely my Size 6 Beadhead White Wooly Bugger. Won't leave home without it. Won't do it. I mean, if that's the last fly you have, you can catch a Crappie on that and use it as Pike bait. You can always start with the food chain at the bottom and work our way up with one of those!


Watch our recent fishing trip with Josh here:

Book a trip with Josh or any of our guides today!


Monday, July 27, 2020

Back in Action! - Mad River Outfitters 2.0

Back in Action!

The move is complete and we are ready to go here at 833 Bethel Rd.

The online store opens back up tonight, Monday July 27th at 6:00 p.m.

The retail store opens to the public at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, July 28th. We will be back to normal business hours and exceptional customer service. **Please know that Covid-19 "Safe Practices" will be in place and of course, in accord with the Governor's Mandate, masks will be required to enter the shop.

We should be back to filming regular YouTube episodes within the next week as well.

Thanks for your patience and support during this transition time. We think you will agree that it was worth the wait!!!

The staff of Mad river Outfitters

Brian, Andy, Patrick, Ryan, Linda, Justin, Liam, Katie, Paul, Joe, Dev, Josh, Judy, Roger, Cristina, Bella and Rogue


833 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214



Tuesday, July 7, 2020

End of an Era....New Beginnings.

It's July 7th, 2020 and we have now entered our final week here at 813 Bethel Rd. Moving containers have arrived and the shop is gradually being packed away for the big move. The end of an era for sure, but an exciting beginning to a new one as well.

We wanted to touch base here and let you know that we are going away for a bit, but will be back soon and better than ever. Mad River Outfitters 2.0!!!

Here is the schedule of what is happening this week:

• The online store will shut down this Thursday, July 9th at 6:00 p.m. EST. The website will still be there to browse, but you won't be able to buy anything until we get the new location operational. 

All standard orders and curbside orders placed before that time will be processed and shipped as normal.

All curbside pick-ups must be picked up by Saturday, July 11th as 5:00 p.m.

Saturday will be our official "last day" of business and we will not be available at all via phone or e-mail on a "normal" basis until we re-open. It will simply take time to get the systems in place in the new shop.

If you have an emergency, or a problem with an order, please send an e-mail. We will be checking as we can from home in the evenings and will do our best to help in any way that we can.

We are anticipating that the new store, located at 833 Bethel Rd. in the Olentangy Plaza will open it's doors to the public on Monday, July 27th. 

We are anticipating that the online store will re-open for orders on Sunday night, July 26th.

Stay tuned here, YouTube and Social Media for updates as we go.

7/25/20 UPDATE- We will be taking Monday to finalize the merchandising of the shop and for Orientation/Training for our employees. The online store will re-open at 6:00 p.m. on Monday night and we will open our doors to the public at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 28th. 

If you have any questions or need to contact us, please do so before Saturday, July 11th at 5:00 p.m.

We appreciate your patience and understanding here while we make this transition. We look forward to getting back to Exceptional Customer Service and can't wait for you all to experience Mad River Outfitters 2.0.

The Staff of Mad River Outfitters

Brian, Andy, Patrick, Ryan, Linda, Justin, Joe, Liam, Katie, Paul, Cristina, Josh, Dev, Roger, Judy, Bella and Rogue.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Moving Towards a "New Normalcy"

In these videos, Brian takes some time to explain the current state of Mad River Outfitters as we move forward as well as instructions for curbside pickups.

****5/28/20 Update- We have now moved to 10:00 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Monday- Saturday for Customer Service Hours and Curbside Pickup. 

• Thanks for the tremendous outpouring of support during this time. Our online store has kept our "skeleton crew" extremely busy and has allowed MRO to uphold the promise of keeping our employees' paychecks coming, even for those who have not been working at all due to concerns. We thank you all for that support and please keep it coming.

 Today we move to "full staff" and will be gradually getting everyone back to work. This will allow us to start up "Customer Service Hours" as well as "Curbside Pickup". More details below and in the video. These two customer service options will start on Wednesday, May 13th.

 The BIG news here is our New Store, which should be ready early Summer. The new store is 5 doors down from the current location and will be one of the largest and most complete fly shops the industry has ever seen. New vendors, new departments, new employees, full-time classroom, it's going to be a showpiece for the country and we can't wait for you all to see it. Our employees will begin preparing the current store immediately for the move to the new location. We'll of course keep you updated as we progress.

 "Customer Service" hours will be 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Basically, we will be available by telephone for service and consults. Feel free to give us a call and we'll do our best to help. Outside of those hours, please leave us a message and we'll do our best to get back to you. E-mail will remain the best way to contact us during this time.

 "Curbside Pickup" will also be available during those same hours. 10 - 6:30 p.m., Monday- Saturday. Place your order online and wait for the e-mail confirmation that we have your order processed and ready for pick-up. When you arrive, simply give us a call and we will set the order outside of the front door. More details and a video coming tomorrow on exactly how this process will work.

 The retail store will remain closed to the public until further notice.

Here at Mad River Outfitters, our mantra has always been: Exceptional customer service is what we do. Fly Fishing is what we love and sell.

That being said, with the current restrictions on retail, such as limiting the number of customers who can shop at one time, or limiting the amount of time that those CAN shop etc., we just don't feel that we can offer our usual "Exceptional Customer Service" under those circumstances. Combine that with the reality that we will need the full staff in order to run the online store AND prepare the current store for moving, we don't feel it is the right choice to open the store right now. In addition to this, with the fact that we will be preparing the store and stock to move and we don't feel we can currently offer the retail experience that Mad River Outfitters is known for.

• The online store is of course fully operational and we are not experiencing any drastic delays in processing or shipping.

Any questions, you can reach us during our "Customer Service" hours stated above or send us an e-mail and we'll do the very best that we can to help.

Thanks again for your patience and understanding, as well as your support through this challenging time. Stay tuned for updates as things change. As usual, we ave a lot in store for you, it's just going to take some time.

The Staff of Mad River Outfitters,
Brian, Andy, Patrick, Linda, Ryan, Justin, Cristina, Judy, Roger, Paul, Liam, Joe, Dev, Josh, Rogue and Bella.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Minimum Basic Operations

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Please Note: From 4/1/20 to 4/5/20 we were experiencing some technical difficulties related to our Google account. As a result, we did not have ANY access to e-mails and also had to temporarily shut down the online store. We we not able to send order confirmations, tracking numbers and general communications about orders.

As of Monday, 4/6/20 these issues have been resolved and the online store is OPEN for business again and we ARE able to send and receive e-mails.

Mad River Outfitters will be closed for business in accordance with the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order which went into effect at midnight last night. We will be operating under article 13- Minimum Basic Operations as outlined in the Order:

13. For the purposes of this Order, Minimum Basic Operations include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations: 
a. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions
b. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences

Here’s what this means exactly in regards to Mad River Outfitters retail store in Columbus, Ohio:
1. The store is Closed to the public.
2. “Curbside Pickup” is no longer an option on the website. The practice has been deemed illegal for a non-essential business like our under the Governor's Mandate.
3. We will be operating as described above, with a very limited staff who will be adhering to very strict quarantine standards.
4. Therefore, we will be unable to answer the phones as we normally would- please leave a message ONLY if you have an emergency or a problem. We will be checking voicemail periodically throughout the day but will not be able to return calls related to general fishing or retail store questions. These will be welcome though via e-mail.
5. We will be shipping orders as we can and receiving merchandise as delivered to maintain the value of our inventory-as stated above
6. We will be monitoring e-mails basically 24 hours a day. This will be the best way to reach us….by far. We will respond, as we always do, to every single e-mail.
7. Again, the online store will remain open and orders will be shipped, just know that there will surely be a delay in processing and shipping time as per our normal routine.

We would like to thank our friends and customers for the overwhelming outreach of support. We greatly appreciate your willingness to support a small business like ours. As of right now, our full staff is being paid a full salary regardless of whether they are working or not. Most are not right now, in accordance with the order. Mad River Outfitters also has 26 years of reserves and we will survive this shutdown, as long as it is over soon.

Let’s all work together and get through this. Please stay at home.

Please send us an e-mail if you have any questions.

Leave us a message if an emergency or you have a problem that we can help with.

Thanks again for your support and understanding,

The staff of Mad River Outfitters,
Brian, Andy, Patrick, Linda, Ryan, Justin, Judy, Josh, Dev, Roger, Cristina, Dick, Paul, Rogue and Bella

April Fools 2020

Friends, we are of course on hiatus here from filming videos so we wanted to let you know that there won't be an April Fools episode this year. We know that many look forward to it and we're sorry that we can't get it done this year.

In the meantime, we think that last year's was pretty epic so maybe have a look back here. We hope it brings a smile to your face. Stay tuned and stay in touch. We hope to get back to normal silliness soon!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

3-21-20 Update

Quick update from Brian at the shop. We are closed to the public but we are here and working, safely. Online and phone orders are shipping out as normal.

For our local customers we are offering “Curbside Pickup” as well. Place your order online, choose this option, and we’ll have it ready in about 15 minutes and send you an email. Call us when you get here and we’ll walk it out to you. Easy. Hope all of our friends and customers are well and thanks for the overwhelming support.

- Mad River Outfitters

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Update on Recent Events


Thanks for signing up for our Free Beginners Program scheduled for this coming Monday. We greatly appreciate it.

We do although at this time, feel that it is a prudent and responsible action for us to postpone this event due to the current concerns.

We have over 70 people signed up and although still legal according to the State of Ohio, we don't feel that it would be a responsible action to hold the event.

The value of the health or our friends, customers and employees is worth way more than the value of a free fishing class. It's only fishing.

The make-up dates will be Wednesday, April 8th and Wednesday May 6th.

***Please respond here and let us know if you will be able to rescheduled for either of those dates. There is no need to re-register. We will simply move you over.

***If you can't make either date, and registered online, we will be happy to arrange for a refund of your online registration fee or we can roll it into store credit.

Please though let us know that you received this message and as to whether you will be able to make one of those dates.

We hope that you understand and respect our decision here and think that it is in the best interest of all at this time.

We'll look to hear and thanks again for your support.


Brian Flechsig

P.S.- are are open for business as usual and are available by phone or e-mail if you have any questions or concerns.

Friday, January 24, 2020

2020 Fly Fishing Film Tour

The Fly Fishing Film Tour is always an event we look forward to. For many years now, it's been a huge privilege of ours to see the Ohio fly fishing community come together to to laugh, enjoy some beers, movies about the sport we love and more importantly support charities that are changing lives. This year's Fly Fishing Film Tour will be on Thursday, March 5th and hosted at Studio 35 | Drafthouse & Cinema.

Every year tickets sell out as fast as we can publish them on the website and this year is looking to be the same. With hundreds coming together we're certainly excited for the movie lineup. Featuring exclusive shorts that tell the stories of everything from fishing guide fairy tales, to serial steelhead semantics, canyon conservation in Colorado, mountain biking for marlin, jumping jaguars and jungle fish in whitewater rapids and the audacious Aussies who explore the largest coastline in the world. From saltwater to fresh, this year’s film is geared to get you stoked for another incredible season on the water. Check out the stoke reel for yourself below:

Yeah, if that doesn't get you excited, we don't know what will. Having just spent some time with Flip last month, we couldn't be more excited to see what he's bringing to the silver screen this year. The films, camaraderie and brews are only half the event. This year, we're giving a majority of the proceeds to our friends at Casting for Recovery and Trout Unlimited Madmen Chapter if you want to learn more about who they are, how they're impacting the world and more, go head over here.

Every year we hold a raffle for general prizes, specific prizes and grand prizes. Stay tuned, as we're going to be announcing all of our prizes very soon. Needless to say, this is going to be a big year. We've also got a couple sponsors who we can always depend on making this event a memorable time, so big thanks to both Centeral Ohio Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited.We're grateful for their support in such an incredible event.

Well, that's enough from us. if the stoke reel, raffle and all-around-kick-ass-time doesn't have you sold, you can stay home Thursday, March 5th, 2020 and watch our YouTube Channel. Pick up your tickets here and learn more about this years Fly Fishing Film Tour here.

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Wild Golden Dorado

The Golden Dorado is a fish that not many have heard of. But when you see it for the first time you may find it unforgettable. The Golden Dorado is one of the most wild fish in the world, native to the Amazon, it is an incredible predatory gamefish.

Our guide here at Mad River Outfitters, Pat Kelly, is hosting a trip to the Tsimane (pronounced SA-MAAN-EE) Pluma Lodge in July where he and others will be fishing for this wild gamefish. Needless to say he's excited. The Golden Dorado feed on bait-fish called Sabalo that swim through gin clear headwaters. They're a freshwater fish that hunts in packs and fight like hell. The folks we've talked to about fighting these fish say they almost never leave the air during a good fight.

In the excitement of this trip, we sat down with Pat Kelly to shoot a brief video where he shares some information about the Golden Dorado, the Tsimane Pluma Lodge and the adventure in the Bolivian Amazon in general. Check it out below!

We're stoked about this trip and can't wait to learn more about this fish and the adventure that awaits Pat Kelly down in the Bolivian Amazon. Fun fact: The Amazon goes across 9 different territories in South America!

Want to learn more about this trip? Click here!