TWIN BRIDGES, Mont.— The historic R.L. Winston fly shop was destroyed by fire this weekend, as flames enveloped the Big Sky Country landmark.
Madison County Sheriff Roger Thompson told local news outlets that the fire was reported at around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. By 8:00 a.m., fire crews were extinguishing what was left of the shop, where R.L. Winston has crafted bamboo fly rods since 1975.
Fire crews stated that the building was full of the building material, which may have contributed to an extraordinarily intense blaze. The building, reports say, is a total loss. No injuries were reported.
UPDATE: R.L. Winston released an official statement earlier today:
The R.L. Winston Rod Company suffered a great loss in history, tradition and the best bamboo rods on the market on Sunday morning, when the Winston Bamboo shop caught fire. It is suspected the fire resulted in a total loss of property and equipment, valued at over $1 million. Fortunately, no one was harmed and no damage to surrounding property occurred.
The fire took place exclusively at Winston’s Bamboo shop. Our Boron/Graphite facility and Bauer Fly Reel operations run separately and business hours have not been affected.
More than the money, the fire feels like the passing of a cherished family member. Countless hours through many hands have shaped the fine bamboo rods that have passed through the now charred doors. It is not surprising the emotion Winston rods is feeling, and the healing process will take time. But, as we grieve, we also look to the future.
The R.L. Winston Rod Company has been in business for almost 90 years. A fire will not impede that history and continued growth, as we move forward. Every situation has two sides. We will choose to look at this as an opportunity and continue our passionate drive toward the future. Winston will be rebuilding the facility over the coming months and we hope to have operations running by the end of the year. It wont be easy, but this fire represents a great opportunity to reinforce our time-honored traditions and get back to our storied roots.
To our customers, we apologize for any inconvenience, but know that by 2018 we will be back up and running stronger than ever. Don’t hesitate to place your orders now, knowing that the same quality with a heightened sense of place will be available again soon. We hope that you will follow us through this journey as we build the next chapter of the company’s history!
Thank you for the initial out pouring of condolences and support! For more information please contact us, at [email protected] or by phone at 406.684.5674.