St. Croix Rod, craftsmen of Best Rods on Earth® for 75 years, is pleased to announce the hiring of Zack Dalton as Director of Fly Fishing Sales. Dalton brings 23 years of experience in the fly fishing business to his new position on St. Croix.
A lifelong fisherman, Dalton grew up in Idaho Falls with immediate access to world-class trout fishing. He entered the fly fishing industry as a manufacturing leader and customer service representative for RIO Products in 1998. His career at RIO would take him around the world, and Dalton’s authentic fly fishing skills earned him wide recognition. it spread to the kingdoms of rainbow trout, salmon, saltwater and beyond. Dalton was already an established authority and respected voice in the fly fishing industry when Far Bank Enterprises acquired RIO in 2005, at which time he remained on board and began managing sales of the RIO and Sage brands. He continued as the sales manager for all Far Bank brands until December 2021.
Now living in Poulsbo, Washington, Dalton, 44, begins the next chapter of his professional career with St. Croix Fly Fishing this week.
“I am extremely grateful for my many years at RIO and Far Bank,” says Dalton. “We have released many highly successful products over a number of years, and that goal, to bring new products to market that help fly anglers experience greater success and satisfaction, is truly what motivated me to join this exceptional team that St. Croix is building. to re-establish his fly fishing record for the benefit of fishermen.”
St. Croix CEO Scott Forristall has deep roots in the fly fishing industry and has worked closely with Dalton in the past. “Zack briefed me during my own time at Far Bank,” says Forristall. “He is a student at the institution of fly fishing, sport and industry, and has proven instrumental in the company’s sales success, but he was also heavily involved and trained in product development. He had personal relationships with just about everyone in the business and was the best sales manager in the fly fishing industry at the time. I think he still is.
Forristall emphasizes that St. Croix is serious about leveraging its research, technology, materials and manufacturing capabilities to provide fly anglers with exciting, inspiring and engaging new rod options to move forward with. “St. Croix has always been in the fly fishing market and was an important part of our portfolio for many years,” he says. “Our ability to design and build rods is second to none, and now we are assembling a team that I believe that will allow us to win and command a seat at the table in the fly rod market.”
Dalton points to many factors that make St. Croix a special company and a unique career opportunity. “There are 75 years of history and heritage here, which translates to so many personal stories and memories associated with the St. Croix brand on behalf of fly fishermen everywhere. There is also a very strong family culture that permeates the brand. Then, of course, there are the significant design and manufacturing capabilities of St. Croix, which, in my opinion, are unmatched in the industry. It all adds up to a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to re-engage with the fly fishing community, re-establish authentic relationships, and ultimately do the work that is going to earn the attention and respect of fly fishermen. I couldn’t be more excited.”
In his capacity as Director of Fly Fishing Sales, Dalton will work closely with St. Croix Vice President of Sales Steve Self as well as St. Croix Fly Fishing Brand Manager Tom Larimer to build relationships with a network of the best and most trusted fly fishing retailers in North America and eventually throughout the world.
“Zack’s skills, knowledge and humble personality have served him well, and it’s the same attributes that make him the best choice for this critical new position on St. Croix,” says Self. “He has earned respect in the fly fishing industry because he gives what he gets; He has built relationships of trust by being a good partner and advocate for the community, both the fishermen and the trade. We know we have a lot of work ahead of us, but success in any job starts with the people who are given the task, and we have worked very hard and invested the necessary resources to build the best team possible. Zack now has the responsibility to carry out that role and cement the relationships that will expand the St. Croix Fly Fishing family to include our critical retail partners.”
Larimer agrees. “I have known Zack for years, but only as a fierce competitor. Watching his leadership from a distance, I’ve always admired his approach to his game. In my opinion, there is no one better equipped to lead the sales team as St. Croix reinvents the flying side of our business. In addition to his primary role in solidifying and supporting our retail presence, Zack’s significant experience in developing fly fishing products will add tremendous value to our overall go-to-market strategy. There is a surge under this brand: tangible energy building internally as we continue to execute on our new direction and test prototypes that will challenge the market. With Zack joining the team, that momentum reached light speed.”
About Santa Cruz rod
Based in Park Falls, Wisconsin, St. Croix has proudly produced the “World’s Best Rods” for 75 years. Combining state-of-the-art manufacturing processes with skilled labor, St. Croix is the only major producer that still builds rods completely from design to fabrication. The company remains family-owned and operates duplicate manufacturing facilities in Park Falls and Fresnillo, Mexico. With popular trademarked series like Legend®, Legend Xtreme®, Avid®, Premier®, Imperial®, Triumph® and Mojo, St. Croix is revered by all types of anglers around the world.