Before Lincoln was President of the United States, before Stanley found Livingston in the heart of Africa, and before the invention of the phone, the phonograph, or the light bulb, a man named Charles F. Orvis opened a fly-fishing shop in an elegant brick and marble building on the main street of a small Vermont town.
The year was 1856.
Today, Orvis is a bit bigger, a bit more diverse, but in many ways still the same. We’re still in the same small Vermont town. We’re still on the vanguard of the fly-fishing business. And most importantly, we still thrive on quality and service. We pride ourselves on offering products that are steeped in authenticity, that appeal to the discerning customer, and are backed by the best guarantee available anywhere. The very best. Having been around a long time does something to you as a company. You witness many trends come and go. (If you plan to be around for awhile, you avoid all of them.) And you come to learn a thing or two about great customer service and what it takes to bring somebody back to you time and again.
That's how Orvis has become the world's most recognized name in quality fishing gear and the country's oldest mail order business. From such humble beginnings, we've grown to a multi-million dollar company with 44 retail stores in the U.S. and U.K., and more than 500 dealers worldwide.
A Distinctive Country Lifestyle
Orvis, however, is about more than just fly fishing. As the standard bearer of the Distinctive Country Lifestyle, we are passionate about classic design and traditions. We offer fine home furnishings, gear and accessories for wing shooting, classic men’s and women’s apparel, and comforts for the dogs we love (including our famous Orvis Dog Nest™). Today Orvis reaches 50 million homes a year through our mail-order catalogs; thousands each year attend Orvis fly fishing and shooting schools, and book once-in-a-lifetime vacations through the Orvis Travel program.
A Commitment to Conservation.
the heart of The Orvis Company is a commitment to conservation. In the past 10 years alone, we’ve donated more than 10 million dollars—5 percent of profits—to fish and wildlife habitat conservation nationwide.
Celebrate 150 Years with Us
Join us for our 150th anniversary celebration at an Orvis store near you. Take advantage of special savings on our legendary fishing gear. Cast our brand-new Zero Gravity™ fly rod, the most technologically advanced fly rod in the world, and brush up on your sporting skills and knowledge .
As part of our celebration, we’re taking the history of fly fishing on the road. Our traveling exhibit from the American Museum of Fly Fishing will be making stops at select Orvis retail stores. Visitors can see fly rods that belonged to Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, as
well as reels from 1874-present.
Throughout the year, we will also be offering special 150 th anniversary editions of many of our most popular items, including handcrafted Zero Gravity, T3, and Superfine rods, clothing, luggage, and sporting collectibles.
Some say 150 years is a long time. To us at The Orvis Company, it feels like a pretty good start.
Offering rods and flies, Charles F. Orvis launches the longest-operating mail-order business in the world. Charles F. Orvis, 1831-1915.
Orvis patents the ventilated fly reel. The first reel mounted vertically and ported to dry silk and gut fly lines, it becomes the prototype for the modern fly reel.
Orvis’s Wes Jordan is the first to completely weatherize bamboo fly rods. Impregnation protects the customer’s investment, assuring lifetime value.
Orvis introduces the graphite Superfine fly rod, becoming the first to offer rods in bamboo, fiberglass and graphite.
For the first time, thermoplastic-toughened resins are used to strengthen and protect high-modulus graphite.
Orvis launches Zero Gravity, the first rods to combine graphite and boron in a thermoplastic matrix.