Introducing the Staying Afloat Series, where we take an inside look into the lives of many different fly fishing guides, shops, brands, and lodges across the world in hopes of finding out how the CO-VID is affecting them, what they are doing to help, and how we can do our part to help them.
Flylords: Who is Cody Richardson? Tell our readers a little about yourself and your art.
Cody: I’m a Colorado native who grew up exploring the rivers and streams of the Rocky Mountains. I switched gears from a career in fire fighting to pursue a personal passion for fly fishing and unique artwork. Starting out by creating personal designs in my home shop for friends and family, these pieces caught on through local Colorado fly shops, and are now carried sold in shops around the world. The most rewarding aspects of this career are certainly coming up with new and intricate designs, collaborating on custom art commissions, license place ‘hunts’, and commemorating the passions and life events of my customers.
Flylords: How has the quarantine affected your sales? Wholesale?
Cody: The wholesale side of my business consists of fly shops, and this has come to a complete standstill. Since the quarantine sales on custom pieces were slowly coming through before the 30% Guide Discount, and thankfully people are stepping up and ordering artwork via the promotion to help.
Flylords: What initiatives have you undertaken to promote artwork and impact the fly fishing community?
Cody: Being a positive influence in the fly fishing community has always been something of interest. Being a small business owner, it’s so cool that I can personally help with causes through my artwork. I’ve been involved with Hurricane Dorian relief, Bonefish Tarpon Trust, Casting For A Cure (Rett Syndrome), Risers for Rett, and Wounded Warrior.
Flylords: What inspired your current campaign of donating directly to guides?
Cody: We are all so interconnected as an industry, and like fishing the littlest ripple can turn into bigger waves. It has been devastating to personally know guides, fly shops, and their families have crucial income depleted due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Sometimes the best ideas come over a cold beer, so during my ‘brainstorming’ (let’s call it that) I decided to give 30% back directly to the guides on artwork starting 3/30/20. This allows me to keep the small business momentum going, and allow me to maximize the amount donated directly back to guides. My goal is for others to take notice and follow suit in the fishing industry and communities we live in.
Flylords: We saw Tucker Carlson shared your campaign, tell us that story and how you got him involved? How can others?
Cody: Tucker saw my artwork in a fly shop and reached out directly to do a custom Tarpon art piece for him. When I called him to discuss shipping details, we commiserated over chasing the silver king. During the conversation, he asked how he could personally help and was glad to share my 30% Back to Guides Campaign on his media platforms. Tucker Carlson is truly passionate about fly fishing, and I’m honored to be working with him to help spread the word about helping out the guiding community!
Flylords: How can the fly fishing community help support artists during these uncertain times?
Cody: We are all quarantined, respecting social distancing, bleaching the house, and concerned with what the next steps will be. In a time when it’s easy to feel restricted socially and financially, I ask people to step up and place the order for a piece of artwork. Your artwork order could mean that guide making rent/mortgage, buying groceries, or even being able to continue with their profession in the future.
Remember – guides rowed us in 30+mph winds, poled us in the blazing sun, help us land that epic fish, spent long days away from their families to help us create lifetime memories of our own. Remember that epic fish (believe me, I’ll make you a piece of artwork you can put on your wall), so your guide can be there for you next season.
We will LIVE with Cody on our Instagram at 7 PM ET on April 3rd. Tune in to hear more from Cody and how you can help impact the guiding community!
Check out Cody’s artwork here, and be sure to support it! Remember 30% of all purchased pieces go directly to the guide/outfitter of your choice!
This series is being helped made possible by the generous folks at Fat Tire and New Belgium Brewing. Throughout the “Staying Afloat Series” we will be sending beer to people who are really in need of a “pick me up”. If you have a good story for someone who deserves some beer shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.