January 29, 2024
The founder of Sage Fly Fishing Don Green passed away January 26, according to an Instagram post by the high-end fly-rod company.
According to the post: “Among many things, Don was a man of immense integrity, a passionate angler, and a pioneer of modern fly rod design. Don’s influence on fly rod performance stretches well before Sage came to be, dating back to the 1950s – his innovation using graphite material revolutionized fly rod design forever. Through all of his accolades, Don remained a humble man, never seeking the spotlight, driven by the simple goal of making the finest casting rods for anglers around the world. He empowered those in the field to be the spokespeople for his work. Those he tasked with this responsibility were, and are, some of the finest the fly fishing world has ever seen. This organically created a sense of ownership with Sage, and belonging to a community and culture that his rods were creating – everybody wanted to be a part of it, it was infectious. Don’s legacy lies in that culture, which lives strong to this day, and will continue well into the future.”
Green founded Sage in 1980 as the Winslow Rod Company with just six employees and 1,500 square feet of manufacturing space. It is still located on Bainbridge Island, Washington, but now has 175 employees and a 30,000-square-foot facility. Green had formerly worked for Fenwick and Grizzly rod companies. To read a complete account of the history of Sage fly rods, click here.
Green was proud of the company he built. In his own words: “Sage is a small company with our stated goal to build high performance, well-balanced aesthetically pleasing rods that will give years and years of enjoyment and will perform in a way that will enhance the fishing experience. I can guarantee that Sage will continue to research new materials as they are developed and will continue to search out new ways to build a better fly rod.”