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Community Member Spotlight

John Rohmer

I began my fly fishing journey at the age of seven. I had saved enough money, from raking leaves and mowing lawns, to buy the Fenwick Combo Fly Fishing kit, I had been dreaming of, at Kmart. By the age of twelve I had started tying flies. At that time, Kmart had a smattering of fly tying material. I would check out books from the local public library regarding fly tying, and I found myself in need of material that Kmart didn’t have. That took me to the Yellow pages, where I discovered Arizona Fly Fishing. That was where I first met our Community Member Spotlight, John Rohmer.


The guys in that shop took real good care of me. They were patient and willing to help a teenage kid. They really helped foster the love of fly fishing for me. 


John Rohmer’s contribution to Arizona Fly Fishing is truly Legendary Status. He has impacted thousands of peoples lives through his leadership at Arizona Fly Fishing. His invention and production of Arizona Simi Seal Material; which is manufactured by John Rohmer in Show Low, Arizona, and sold worldwide. He is still extremely active with the White Mountain Lakes Foundation. John Rohmer’s contributions to Arizona fly fishing could never be accurately measured, it’s TOO BIG.


John Rohmer is a gift to the world, and on behalf of the Arizona Fly Fishing Community we are eternally grateful for your contribution to Arizona fly fishing.

-Chris Rich, AZ Fly Shop Founder

What does fly fishing mean to you? What about fly fishing offers you most satisfaction?

Well the most satisfaction is that fly fishing is a constantly changing activity. There is always something new. Even after 60 years I still work on getting to know all the lakes and getting intimate with the waters. They all have different personalities. I enjoy learning them all like the back o f my hand. If you fish enough you know the best way to learn is through repetition. Nothing beats time on the water. You gotta go out and fish to actually learn to fish. You can watch as many videos as you want or practice in your back yard but the best thing you can do if just go fishing. I’m constantly looking and hunting for working fish. I use my eyes as much as anything else while I’m fishing…dark spots, moving waters, birds, bugs.

What does having AZ Fly Shop in the community mean to you? What do you like about AZ Fly Shop?

I’ve spent most of my life in fly shops, working and owning a fly shop. You go to fly shops for knowledge. It allows people to use their own ingenuity and doing things their own way. There is now the option to shop via big box and internet and by choosing to shop at your local shop you are giving yourself more of an experience and education. I miss the camaraderie and this is what AZ Fly Shop brings to the community.

Tell us your most memorable fly fishing story

It is far too hard to tell my favorite fishing story. Over John’s 60 years of fly fishing he grown to no longer count the fish.

Is there any advice you would share with the fly fishing community?

Go out and FISH! Its not about catching fish for me anymore, its about fishing and finding what color is working and Simi Seal is all about color.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the community?

It’s about experimenting. If you design flies the only way you’re gonna find if it works is by fishing it. Catching a fish then changing flies. I have been working on developing a fly for over 10 years. It’s about making new flies for me. That’s how I got into making materials. That’s how I could produce the flies I created. Sparkle yarn is what started it all…it caught fish like crazy. It was Simi Seal that was woven into a yarn. I wanted to have mylar to flare out from the body. Stay tuned for John’s new materials and flies.

John has also started a non-profit organization: White Mountain Lake Foundation. Join us in getting work done with AZGFD. We don’t tell AZ Game and Fish what to do, we help them when it comes to funding and improve the fishing. In addition they have an event coming in October: BECKER BEST. There will be lots of raffles and good fishing!

More on the White Mountain Lakes Foundation

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