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HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Arrick’s Fly Shop has been serving West Yellowstone since 1993.
Arrick’s is owned and operated by Arrick and Lorie Swanson.
Arrick began his journey of fly fishing in 1974, when he was just eight years old. What started as a hobby when Arrick was eight, gradually grew into his life’s passion as he learned more about what fly fishing had to offer. When Arrick would go camping with his family in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico, they would camp along the small stream and it was here that he learned how to fly fish with his father. It was also in 1974 that Arrick began being interested in tying flies for himself and for Christmas that year received a fly tying kit.Soon afterwards, he began taking fly tying lessons from a local shop in Albuquerque and from there he took private lessons from a local expert.
Back when it all began, Arrick and his dad, Ken, would be out fishing all the time. Arrick’s first and favorite book on fly tying is below as well as some of his old fly tying tools. Check out his old vise, hair stacker and hackle pliers. How many of you out there remember using these old school versions for tying your favorite flies? Ah, the good ole’ days.
It was in 1980, when Arrick was 14, that he and his family first visited Yellowstone. During this trip they fly fished together and after seeing all the rivers in the area they became serious about fly fishing. Arrick learned a lot by exploring fly fishing from anything he could read, but he feels his best teacher was being on the rivers and streams with his father, learning together as nature taught them.
After reading one of Charlie Brooks’ books, Arrick would sieve the rivers and look at the insects, then he would tie flies that looked like the insects, matching the size and color the best he could. Arrick started tying flies commercially for his own business, Arrick’s Fishing Flies, in 1982, when he was sixteen years old. He ran his operations from his parents’ home a few years later.
April 4, 1985 an article was written about young Arrick: “He’s a businessman with hopes of owning his own fly fishing shop some day. He’s also the first vice president of New Mexico Trout, an organization devoted to the preservation of these cold-water fish. He’s been tying flies…”
In the summers of 1987 and 1988 he worked in West Yellowstone at a local fly shop. Once Arrick graduated from the University of New Mexico with a biology degree, which he pursued with fly fishing in mind, he moved permanently to West Yellowstone. This is where he worked as a guide in the summer and tied flies in the winter. He continued guiding for several years while he and his father ran Arrick’s Fly Shop and both he and his staff continue to tie flies for the shop today.
Arrick lives in West Yellowstone with his wife, Lorie, and has two wonderful sons from his previous marriage. They like to spend their free time enjoying the outdoors in and around Yellowstone. They have enjoyed visiting many beautiful places and National Parks, but wherever they travel they know that Montana with it’s mountains, pristine waters, and intact wilderness is where they want to call home.
For Arrick, the most special part about this area is that it’s complete. While you fly fish you can still watch and experience all aspects of nature, not just the great fishing, but also wildlife, thermal features, the mountains and unspoiled wilderness. Arrick has great admiration and respect for the Yellowstone area and he wants others to enjoy Yellowstone as much as he does.
Arrick has been a licensed outfitter (#1604) since 1991 and in 1993 he opened Arrick’s Fly Shop. He decided to move to Yellowstone Country, especially the West Yellowstone area, because he says the fishing here gets into your blood and soul. It just grows and you compare all other fishing to the Yellowstone area because it is the mecca of fly fishing. Whenever he was anywhere else he would dream about the next time he would be back fishing near Yellowstone. This is why it felt so right and natural for him to move here and to open Arrick’s Fly Shop here in West Yellowstone.