Renzetti: 50 Years of Fly Fishing & Giving Back
Fifty years ago, fly-fishing enthusiast and machinist Andy Renzetti was busy creating the perfect fly-tying vise in a garage in Romansville, Pa.
“I was frustrated with the fly-tying vises available at the time,” Renzetti said.
After sports retailer Orvis took notice of the quality of Andy’s fly-tying vises, his future business success was sealed.
Fast forward five decades and Renzetti is known worldwide as a manufacturer of the finest fly-fishing equipment. Renzetti and his wife, Lily, relocated their thriving niche company to Titusville in 1996, bringing not only manufacturing jobs to North Brevard, but also raising awareness of the Space Coast’s riches as a fly-fishing destination.
“When someone hears about fly fishing, they think of a trout stream somewhere in Montana or the great 1992 movie, ‘A River Runs Through It,’ but what they don’t realize is that our local waters are some of the best in the world for it,” Lily Renzetti said. “This is a paradise for fly-fishing. You can fly fish from a boat, on the beach and on the banks.”
The Renzettis also brought with them a culture of community service.
Renzetti regularly hosts fly-fishing and rod-building fairs that introduce enthusiasts from around the world to the local waters, at the same time raising money for local nonprofits.
The company also partners with the local chapters of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing and Casting for Recovery to spread the healing qualities of this graceful sport.
Project Healing Waters offers fly fishing programs for disabled active military personnel across the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, in Department of Defense healthcare facilities and the Warrior Transition Command. The program is recognized as a leader in the field of therapeutic outdoor recreation for the disabled through the use of fly fishing as a rehabilitation tool.
Casting for Recovery enriches the lives of women with breast cancer through fly fishing retreats.
Andy is also a long-time Rotarian, and Lily has been involved with several nonprofit groups, including the Pilot Club of Titusville, a service organization dedicated to helping individuals with brain-related illnesses, including Alzheimer’s, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, depression and more.
With their company at the half-century mark, the Renzettis wanted to do something special.
“In celebration of our 50th anniversary, we are partnering with another organization close to our hearts, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation,” Lily said.
A portion of sales from vises sold this year has gone to this nonprofit, which supports the families of fallen first responders and wounded veterans.
Lily is also active with Space Coast Health Centers, a North Brevard organization that improves health care for the underserved.
“Lily has worked tirelessly to support Space Coast Health Centers,” said Health Centers CEO Arvin Lewis. “She is focused on unconditional care and improving community health by providing access to high-quality, low-cost care.”
Fly fishing is balm for the soul. For Andy and Lily Renzetti, it also serves to heal the community.
What is a vise?
“A fly tying vise is used to hold a fish hook as it is being turned into a fly through the wrapping of string, feathers and fur onto the hook's shank.”
8800 Grissom Parkway
Titusville, FL 32780