Marküs Mueller is Sight Line Provisions European rep!We have been expanding pretty rapidly across the Atlantic, and it is largely due to the efforts of Marküs. As you'll see, he's an excited and passionate guy as well as owner of Zefix Fly Fishing. He has channeled these passions and used them to bring SLP to the global stage. We're excited for you to meet him!
First things first, where are you from and how did you get into fly fishing?
I’m from Munich (Germany) - 37 years young and spend my whole life in this town close to the Alps mountain region. I only left Munich for 1 1/2 years - when I travelled Australia as a backpacker and spent some months in Asia as well. I did this in my mid twenties. As with most of us, my dad introduced me to fishing in general when I was a little kid. Then I always wanted to learn more and get more out of the fishing. One day I went to a fishing pond in Austria and a stranger gave me a flyrod - that was the beginning of a new way of life for me - even when I needed a few years more to realize that…
How did you first hear about SLP?
That is a very simple answer… Christaan Pretorius posted a picture of a SLP bracelet on Facebook - I saw it and a had to order them right away…so I did order two bracelets for myself…a brown grayling and a special orange dryfly.
What made you think SLP products would be so successful in Europe?
I am a man that really loves bracelets, rings and so on…I always wanted some jewelry or "sexy" stuff that shows the biggest part of my life (beside my family), but I didn't want to be ashamed or not feeling comfy wearing different items from the flyfishing industry. Then I opened the SLP delivery and I was absolutely lost for word. Since that I have not had one day in my life without at least one bracelet on. As I really know the European market well - having a lot of flyfishing friends and having high goals - I knew that SLP had to come to Europe ! And damn, how cool would it be to be that guy who did that?
Where can people find SLP now on your side of the Atlantic?
So far we have eight countries covered with a suitable retailer: Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. So we have some countries free in Europe but SLP is not a product to make a quick shot, have a intense affair and then move on to the next one - we want our customers to feel a bond with SLP and we want our products to spend many many years next to the flyfishing men and women. Our bracelets start to tell stories about the experience of the owners…we want our retailers to share our point of view.
Tell us more about Zefix Fly Fishing.
Zefix FlyFishing is a still young but yet successful "Fly Fishing Only" store and shop. I am a one-person-company, so the years of building that company have been very hard and many times it has been extremely tough. From the beginning I always had one goal! I wanted to sell only brands in my shop that take care of the environment and make awesome products with a "style". I didn’t want to sell brands that sell the same products! Why? There is only one number 1 (of course different people have different number ones) - and I wanted those number ones for my shop. Today I can say that I'm on a very good way by having two absolute fly fishing Global Players (Patagonia & LOOP) in my shop - with SLP I have my first and only brand as a wholesaler for Europe and now I can benefit from my extremely good network in Europe. And you know what? From time to time I see a smile in my own face when I think back to the start…hard work and passion does pay off!
What is your “home pool”? Do you have a favorite place to fish or species that you spend your afternoons with?
My home river is the "Isar" and I really love the grayling and hucho (Danube salmon) - both species are at risk and are quite hard to catch…that’s what I'm looking for when I'm not fishing with clients. Beside my home river I would say Norway is my home pool as well - I go there 3-4 times a year and that's for 2 decades now!
What is your go to bracelet?
That’s a very hard call - on the one side it has to be my first ever (the brown grayling bracelet) - the reason is obvious ;-). My Artist Edition Mexican Textile Lost Cast Trout 2.0 is so awesome that I have to mention it as well
What's next for SLP Europe?
We still have some countries where we can take a retailer - that said we are not in a rush - because we really want to "match the hatch". In April 2018 I will bring SLP to the biggest Fly Fishing Fair in Europe (EWF 2018). Keep your eyes open for some great content on our social media channels!