Back in the 1800s, American fly anglers had to purchase fishing flies from Great Britain. That changed when Carrie Frost opened the doors of her C.J. Frost Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company in 1886. What started in the kitchen of her parents’ home eventually put Stevens Point, Wisconsin on the map as the ”Fly Tackle Capital of the World.”
Inspired in childhood by her father, John Frost, she took to the long rod. She could cast well and fish well but her frustration was that trout flies were not manufactured in the United States. Carrie soon found herself experimenting with various materials obtained from local birds and fur-bearers. After tying many types of flies, suited at first to please only her father, others came to her door asking for her fur and feather creations.
Carrie Frost expected to enter the teaching profession but her true passion in life was fishing and so she abandoned the classroom and followed her dreams. Demand led to the establishment of her tackle company, at first employing the household maid and neighborhood girls to assist with fly tying. The demand for Frost flies grew so rapidly that by 1917 the number grew to 150 employees. In only a decade after the establishment of her company, Stevens was annually selling 4.5 million flies and other pieces of tackle.
The enormous success of the C.J. Frost Fishing Tackle Company led to national sales through well-respected establishments, such as Montgomery Ward and others. Her slogan “Fish Fight for Frost Flies,” was known throughout the country. A local business group purchased the company, eventually changing its name to Weber Life Lifelike Fly—the slogan was changed to “If Weber Makes it, Fish Takes it.” Weber eventually became the Weber Tackle Co.