My brothers and I grew up fishing in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. As a small child fishing is what provided for the family when times were tough and being a good fisherman came with a lot of honour. I would spend countless hours hiking rivers, canoeing lakes and fishing the ocean blue. I grew up off the grid on Vancouver Island and then on the Slocan River in the Kootenays. It was there that I developed a deep love for adventure, the outdoors and fly fishing. Fast forward a bunch of years and I still love fly fishing, going on adventures and being in the great outdoors. My wife and I do a lot of hike in fishing to remote alpine lakes. We are happiest when we are exploring old logging roads to lesser traveled destinations near and far.
My day job since college has been making the world a better place by building powerful brands for clients we believe in. I called my company FreeBird Agency because with a name like that clients can’t be too upset if I’m not able to reply to emails or calls because I’m out of cell range.
Tying flies and fly fishing is my meditation, an escape from the noise of daily life. I tie flies at night rather than watch TV. In the day I’m either fly fishing or dreaming of it. That and surfing, tropical adventures and making the most of a powder day.
I had been thinking about starting a fly fishing company for a long time. I loved the idea because it would force me to get out even more and to start documenting my adventures. Last summer when my favourite lucky hat from Jobbies Long Boards in Costa Rica disintegrated after years of wearing I searched high and low for a new lucky hat. I wanted it to say adventure, good times, outdoors, fly fishing, connect me to cool places and most of all it had to be lucky.
I didn’t want to wear a big box corporate brand, even if it was one I really liked. To me a hat needs to be more personal. Not being able to find a hat that was lucky and or one that I really liked, I decided to make my own and called it Hook And Vice. Friends and strangers alike were pretty stoked on it. Soon after, I was flooded with people asking where they could get one. Turns out everyone needs a little luck so I made a few more and as an experiment and here we are. I figure that fly fishing or not, you might as well be getting lucky.
I’m not yet sure what the end game for Hook and Vice is. It might be just hats and T’s for friends. It may spin into a coffee shop concept or it may become the next big fly fishing brand? At this point all I know is that when I’m having my morning coffee from my Hook And Vice coffee mug it comes with memories of great days spent on the rivers and leaves me inspired to get outdoors and explore a little further. When I’m wearing my lucky Hook And Vice hat I’m proud because it because it represents those who love to fly fish, tie flies, explore the great outdoors and most of all have good times. As long as people are stoked on what we are creating we will continue to make it.
I hope you enjoy Hook And Vice as much as we have enjoyed creating it.
Noel Fox & the Hook And Vice Team
Adventure: We are always up for an adventure. Be it deep into the wild or out on the town, as long as it’s an adventure we are in.
Fly Fishing: We are a fly fishing brand. Anything fly fishing we love it.
Friends & Good Times: We are positive and love having good times with friends.
Fly Tying: If you tie your own flies you rock.
Travel: Your Hook And Vice gear is always up for a holiday.
Authentic: We do what we say we are going to do by when we say that we are going to do it and we keep it real.
Respectful: We respect the environment, treat the fish we catch with care and we don’t bad mouth others.
Nice: We are not violent, depressing or mean spirited.
Positive: My grandmother always said that if I didn’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Words to live by.
Story Tellers: We love the adventure and are happy to document and share our experiences with others and on social media.
Private: We keep our fishing locations a secret, even if the location is well know. Happy to post photos and tell our stories, but we don’t give up the exact location of where we are. If we want to tell a friend where were are we send them a direct message. No public messages on social media.
We KeepEmWet: Posting the occasional photo of tonight’s dinner is great, but we don’t want to see a bunch of dead bloody fish hanging on a stick.