Meet the Founder
Brad Smith has worked in the outdoors industry for most of his life. Growing up in Indiana, fishing opportunities weren’t readily available. However, an early life of guiding and tournament fishing lead him to being an outdoors writer with over 1,000 paid publications to date.
Brad didn’t just stay in Indiana though. He has fished all over the country, from ocean to ocean. He has also fished with and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. Starting Walton Rods has been a natural progression of a passion to create a life on the water.
Brad currently still resides full time in Indiana with his wife Lindi and their son, Walton.
Meet the Operations Manager
Mike Malchow has been an avid outdoorsman fishing and hunting for the last 30 years. Fishing has taken him across the country from Southern Florida to Ontario and from the Carolinas to Montana all pursuing his passion of fishing. Mike is a veteran serving 11 years in the 75th Ranger Regiment. His goal after leaving the Army was to continue pursuing his passion of fishing. He now finds himself in Colorado pursuing every species of fish the West has to offer. His favorite type of fishing is any freestone fishery where he can chase trout. He loves the dry fly but get just as much excitement hefting big streamers chasing big brown trout.
Meet Our Walton Rods Team Members
My name is spencer watson. I have been flyfishing for about 3 years, but fished my whole life. It’s part of me, something I could never give up. The search continually drives me , putting me in new water and different situations at all times. I enjoy a challenge and this sport offers it.
My name is Drew Baker, I am an avid outdoor enthusiast with a bad habit of music. Im from a small town called Philipsburg in southwest Montana. I take every chance I can to get away from the stresses of everyday life and immerse myself in all Montana has to offer. My favorite avenues in doing so are hunting and of course, fly fishing. The tranquility fly fishing allows is second to none. What was once a weekend hobby has since turned into a lifelong passion of slinging bugs at big fish. Currently I write a fly fishing editorial and photograph for the Montana Hunting and Fishing news magazine, as well as guide for Renegade Outfitters. Find me on Instagram @montanatroutbum
Natives is an apparel company dedicated to bringing public awareness to native trout across the US. We work collaboratively to protect native trout species and educate anglers about conservation. We do this through native inspired designs by providing a new perspective, taking the native trout from different regions and pairing it with each state symbol on our apparel.
I’m Capt. Jesse Males, an avid fly fishing, snook snatching, kayak paddling, tarpon slaying, mountain hiking, manatee swimming fool from Central Florida. Over the years fly fishing has had a huge impact on my life and particularly on how I view the world we spend our time in. Aside from partnering up with Walton Rods, I am currently the owner and operator of backwaterflyfishing.com as well as our online fly shop, backwaterflies.com. The lifestyle that is called fly fishing has taken me to some amazing destinations and has provided me with some amazing experiences in the wild. From chasing big salty critters in the Florida Keys, to roosters in Coast Rica, to small wild trout in the Carolinas, and all the way up to the high mountain cutthroat of Wyoming; I have been blessed to experience fly fishing at its finest.
My name is Bridget Fabel and I became addicted to fishing at a young age. I am currently a fly fishing guide in Southern Utah that spends my summers living in a 1971 camper trailer on National Forrest Land. I spend most of my time hiking 1-10 miles to reach backcountry lakes that are often unmarked or unnamed and filled with native trout that are ready to eat my flies. I love fishing alone in the mountains and being surrounded by tall pines and wildlife. I love fly fishing because there is always somewhere to improve and I love the difficulty and precision that it takes to catch a chunky trout. My two greatest passions in life are hunting and fishing and I love the life I live outdoors.
Micah and Abigail Crider
We are a fly fishing couple from Saint Paul, Minnesota and constantly looking for ways to incorporate our business and marketing degrees with our passion for the outdoors and fly fishing. We spend the majority of our time chasing trout in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as the many species inhabiting the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” We also regularly take trips to target new species across the various regions of the US. We love this sport because of the challenge it gives us, the places is takes us and the new people it allows us to meet.
You can also follow us on our blog, The Driftless Flyer, for more.