St. Croix Rod, handcrafters of the Best Rods on Earth® for nearly 75 years, is pleased to announce the hiring of Tom Larimer as Fly Fishing Brand Manager. Larimer brings over 25 years of experience in the fly-fishing business to his new position at St. Croix, the past seven of which were earned as National Sales Manager for G.Loomis Fishing.
Growing up in the Milwaukee area, Larimer cut his teeth in the fly-fishing industry working retail while still in high school. He started a guide business at age 22 and quickly expanded his experience beyond Wisconsin. After guiding four seasons for Fred Telleen in Alaska and Ray Schmidt in Northwest Michigan, Larimer would follow his fly-fishing passions west to the steelhead and trout rivers of the Columbia Gorge. He quickly fell in love with the area and its fish.
“I got a job working for John and Amy Hazel at their Deschutes Angler Fly Shop in Maupin, Oregon, and spent a few years guiding for them. At the time, Dec Hogan was also working for the shop. It was a real privilege to learn from some of the best guides and retailers in the industry,” says Larimer, who eventually started his own business in 2006. Larimer ran Larimer Outfitters, primarily serving steelhead and trout fly anglers on the storied Lower Deschutes River, until going to work for G. Loomis Fishing in 2015. Additionally, Larimer has served as an advisor, ambassador and product designer for several prominent fly-fishing companies over the past two decades.
“My obsession with fishing has always been driven by innovation,” says Larimer. “Whether designing equipment, tweaking a fly pattern, or developing new techniques, I’m always thinking about how I can improve the game. The industry knows me as a fly angler because of my background, writing, and teaching, but I love every style of fishing, regardless of the equipment. I’ve always admired anglers who fish all disciplines and try to absorb information and experience from every aspect of the sport. Ultimately, that breadth of knowledge makes a better angler. St. Croix operates in that same way and is constantly looking to apply its experience and technology in new ways for the benefit of anglers.”
Larimer will be focused on helping position the St. Croix brand to deliver better fly-fishing experiences to anglers and says he couldn’t be more excited about the incredible base he’ll be starting from. “I’ve owned four companies and love building brands. In St. Croix’s case, it already has vast knowledge and technology born from 75 years of serving anglers, a unique company culture and identity, and highly talented people – top to bottom – who love coming to work there every day. I like the longstanding tradition of continual improvement in Park Falls; things are never good enough and there are always changes that can be made to improve experiences for the angler. There’s a humbleness there that I appreciate, too. So many of the pieces are in place, and it’s obvious to me that St. Croix’s Leadership Team knows what it will take to compete in today’s fly-fishing market.”
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Tom to our St. Croix family,” says VP Marketing, Jesse Simpkins. “We are committed to handcrafting more and better tools for all anglers, and that requires a focused expansion into fly fishing, where our technologies, materials, resources, and Tom’s knowledge and expertise are already being leveraged to meet the needs of the fly-fishing market in exciting new ways.”
Larimer begins his employment with St. Croix Rod on May 18.