Fulling Mill is a brand which considers the production of flies for fishing to be no less than an art form. Each fly is a small masterpiece, and its commitment to quality is held steadfast from the design of the fly, to sourcing the material, to production. Indeed, they refer to their quality commitment as being 200%, meaning that if ever you feel like a Fulling Mill fly has disappointed you they will replace it with two additional flies.
Fulling Mill is a truly international company, and can trace its heritage back to 1930s Kenya. The business began when Denis Whetham suffered a rugby injury and emigrated to Kenya. In order to keep himself busy during his recovery, Denis took up fly fishing and discovered he had a knack for tying expert fly rigs. His friends and fellow anglers soon picked up on this fact, and began to ask him to construct their own flies. 30 years later, and Denis’s small hobby had blossomed into a thriving international business, employing 30 staff to make and distribute flies to over 20 countries. In the late 1960s that Denis sold his company to the local tea production giant, and took on the role as marketing director for the newly named Kenya Fishing Flies.
In the 1970s Denis aided friend Andy Unwin start up with his own tackle business, Unwin and Sons, and Kenya Fishing Flies ceased trading. The expert fly tiers moved to Unwin and Sons and the business prospered. A decade later and Barry Unwin (Andy’s son) decided to open up the UK branch of the business. For the first time, Fulling Mill is the name used to supply expert fishing flies.
By 1995 the success of Fulling Mill had far outstripped the success of any of the previous fly tying businesses, and Barry bought out his father’s business. A decade later, Fulling Mill truly established itself in America, and was purchased by Alistair Jack, a Scot with a passion for fly fishing. By 2015 the business had grown so much that it opened a second manufacturing plant in Sir Lanka in order to keep up with demand.
The businesses heritage and client base isn’t the only international thing about Fulling Mill. Fulling Mill cares about the quality of each individual ingredient, and so sources its materials from suppliers around the world. The wing post and hook are both sourced from Japan; the body, hackle, and thorax are all from the USA; the tying silk from Germany; and the braid and micro ring from the UK. Although it would be considerably cheaper to source all the materials from one bulk manufacturer, Fulling Mill believe that the extra expenditure is worth it in terms of quality for the final product. Not only this, but both the Kenyan and Sir Lankan factories are owned entirely by Fulling Mill, so it can completely control every aspect of the production process to ensure high quality with every product.
Fulling Mill is a brand that really understands fly fishing, and with that understands the faith fly fishermen and women place in their flies. With an arsenal of different fly types produced every day in its factories, Fulling Mill aim to produce a fly that will entice whichever predator you’ve got your eyes on and you can always trust that a Fulling Mill fly will do the job.