For most 13-year-olds, life is filled with cell phones, gaming, friends, sports and virtual learning. If you’re so blessed to cohabitate with one of these creatures, they would be certain to list all the reasons why there is no time in the day for you, chores or anything else. However, for one 13-year-old South Park student, he has managed to turn a passion for fishing into something more.
In many ways, Aiden Kind is like any other South Park student. He games, has a phone, plays football but…he has a part time job. You see, Aiden is the man behind ARK Flies. That’s right, this 13-year-old ties and sells premium walleye fishing flies.
ARK Flies started back in 2019 as a 10-year-old Aiden was looking for a way to make some extra money for fishing tackle and trips. His dad, Jon, convinced him that cutting lawns wasn’t really a thing anymore and he should find something around his passion for fishing. Aiden admits it took some practice, but after watching some You Tube videos and trial and error, he was able get it down.
A little 3x2 desk between the living and dining room is where this tackle company CEO gets to work fulfilling bait shop and custom orders for all levels of anglers. Aiden uses a combination of dyed deer hair, “due to its natural buoyancy”, along with different color threads, hooks, and adds some Kystal Flash or tinsel material for that flash. Now the color combinations that are available are endless; Black & Green and Black & Red are some bestselling colors. One of Aiden’s favorite color combos is Purple & Red. It takes Aiden about a minute to make one from start to finish and Aiden makes around 1,500 a year. Now that is some serious commitment.
Aiden’s tip for using flies, “buy a bunch of different colors and keep switching up until you find a hot color”. With a tip like this, Aiden will certainly have a future career in marketing.
If you’re in the market for some locally made custom walleye flies, look Aiden up on Facebook and Instagram at ARK Flies or order yours today or at Rymer's Lakeshore Mart, located at 7893 US Highway 45 South. Flies are $1 each or $1.25 each with flash.
Pulling flies and jigging for walleyes is at the top of Aiden’s list of fish and fishing technique. However, Aiden was very quick to mention perch fishing on the Mississippi River.
ARK Flies aren’t just a local favorite but are used by some of the top walleye anglers including, Rob Cardenas, Fish Addiction TV host, Michael Olson, and the 2021 National Walleye Trail Angler of the Year, Drake Herd. These are just a few that have wet a line with Aiden’s flies.
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