Gone Fishing emerges from Covid challenges

Kenyan fly-tying company Gone Fishing, like many in the industry, has gone through some major challenges in 2020 thanks to Covid-19 but it has now seen orders pick up and has just re-employed the staff it had to lay off at the start of the crisis.

Not only that but the firm’s diligence in treating the threat so seriously meant that it did not have a single Coronavirus case throughout the pandemic.

Boss Johnny Onslow told TTW: “No one is going to forget 2020 and the often-tragic impact on all our lives and businesses. If you had asked me in April 2020 how I saw the future of Gone Fishing, you would have received a subdued answer masking a real sense of pessimism as our orders evaporated or were vastly reduced.

A successful business friend of mine upbraided me for not seeing that Covid would change the way people do business and that surely fishing would be seen as a safe pastime and that the market would pick up. However, he was right!

“It was enormously painful and expensive to have to pay off over 30 tyers and reduce staff to the barest minimum. Accounts and marketing staff found themselves packing orders and giving out materials, the person in charge of dying suddenly had cleaning duties and tyers shared the orders we had to maintain an income to as many people as possible.

“That all this was done with a cheerful acceptance that the world had turned upside down and that the survival of the business was at stake, was a tribute to the fortitude of all concerned.”

With so many people forcibly absent, social distancing was easy to achieve and it meant that none of the team tested positive for Covid-19.

Now, with orders flooding in once more and the order books looking extremely healthy, the company has begun re-employing everyone who was laid off and running training again for new tyers.

Johnny added: “We are looking ahead with more optimism despite the ever-increasing rates of infection globally. Stay safe and go fishing please!”