Carrie J. Frost(1868–1937)

Photo courtesy of William F. Jenkins.

Born in Wisconsin and a business owner by her late twenties, Carrie J. Frost was instrumental in making Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the “Fly Tackle Capital of the World.” Frost shared a passion for fly fishing with her father John and felt that the European flies available to them were not adequate or enticing to the local trout and bass. Frost spent much time investigating and researching insects and bait, then spent as much time attempting to replicate them in an artificial fly.

Feeling confident in her flies and her tying abilities, Frost started the C. J. Frost Fishing Tackle Manufacturing Company in 1896. To foster the success of the business, it is said that Frost chose to use her first and second initials so that customers were not aware that the company was owned by a woman. As the business grew, Frost moved to different buildings to house her employees and eventually constructed a building for the company in 1907. The year before, J. W. Baird of the Milwaukee Northwestern Sportsman estimated that the annual fly production at Frost’s company totaled more than four million units.

Carrie Frost sold her company and retired in 1919. The new owner, Dan Frost (no relation), renamed the company the Frost Tackle Company; this company was later purchased by the Weber Lifelike Fly Company and continued operations until the 1980s. Carrie Frost enjoyed her retirement and spent much of her time fly fishing on the trout ponds that she built on her Richford property. To commemorate Frost’s accomplishments, a street in Portage County Business Park in Stevens Point is named in her honor.