Don Green, the founder of Sage Fly Fishing, passed away on January 26. He would have been 97 years old this May. Sage was part of the original trio of brands acquired by a Seattle-based investment firm in 2005 to create Far Bank Enterprises, including Redington and Rio Products.

His obituary follows:

Don A. Green was welcomed into heaven on January 25, 2024. A devoted husband to Sue for 72 years, a father to 5 children, a friend to many, a lifelong outdoor enthusiast, and a dedicated Christian, Don left an indelible mark on those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Born on the family farm in Kent, Washington on May 2, 1931, Don was blessed with a love for the outdoors, whether casting a fly on a favorite river, traveling to parts around the world with Sue, or hiking in the Olympic National Forest. He became a master woodworker in retirement, loved hand building and flying radio-controlled aircraft, and fishing.

As a pioneer in the world of fly-fishing, Don was not just an expert angler; he was a true innovator, pushing the boundaries of tradition and bringing the joy of fly-fishing to countless. His legendary contributions to the sport will be remembered for generations to come, as he inspired enthusiasts to see fly-fishing not just as a hobby but as an art form. 

He started his career at Grizzly Fiberglass in Auburn, Washington, in 1954 with $6,000 from Sue’s family inheritance in a building built by his father. Demand for his fiberglass rod blanks grew, leading to his merging with Fenwick Fishing Rods in 1968. After ten years, he parted ways with Fenwick to focus exclusively on creating graphite flyrods and forming Sage Flyrods in 1980. 

His methodical engineering approach to creative problem-solving conquered challenge after challenge, all in the pursuit of designing the finest fly rods in the world. He inspired those in the field to be the spokespeople for his work, many becoming some of the best in the world.

Beyond his outdoor interests, Don was deeply committed to his faith. His involvement with Christ Memorial Church, now known as Gateway Fellowship, and alongside former Pastor Al Munger was significant. Don played a pivotal role in acquiring the property and during the construction of the church building. His steadfast commitment to his Christian values permeated every aspect of his life.

Don’s legacy is not just one of achievement and innovation but also of love, kindness and a life well-lived. He leaves behind his wife Clara (Sue) Green, Poulsbo, Washington; sister Lynn Breda, Kent, Washington; daughters Marta (Greg) Bright, Poulsbo, Washington, and Donna Green, Poulsbo, Washington; and sons Dana (Lisa) Green of Bradenton, Florida, and Paul (Patti) Green, Poulsbo, Washington; and was preceded in death by son, Mark Green. 

Don was a beloved grandpa to Megan (Chris) Toomey, Seattle, Washington, Hilary (Matthew) Chalk, Centennial, Colorado, Kyle Green, Portage, Indiana, Erik (Samantha) Bright, Bothell, Washington, Joshua (Anna) Green, Shelton, Washington, Joseph (Lara) Green, Langley, Washington; and seven great-grandchildren.

The family will host a celebration of Don’s life with a memorial service at Gateway Fellowship Church in Poulsbo, WA on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at 1:00 pm.

In place of flowers, the family requests that any monetary donations be given to Gateway Christian Schools in Poulsbo, WA ( or Kings Schools in Palm Springs, CA (

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Sage Fly Fishing also posted a memorial message about Don on Instagram that reads:

“It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of Don Green, our legendary founder of Sage.

“Among many things, Don was a man of immense integrity, a passionate angler, and a pioneer of modern fly rod design. Don’s influence on fly rod performance stretches well before Sage came to be, dating back to the 1950s – his innovation using graphite material revolutionized fly rod design forever. Through all of his accolades, Don remained a humble man, never seeking the spotlight, driven by the simple goal of making the finest casting rods for anglers around the world. He empowered those in the field to be the spokespeople for his work. Those he tasked with this responsibility were, and are, some of the finest the fly fishing world has ever seen. This organically created a sense of ownership with Sage and belonging to a community and culture that his rods were creating – everybody wanted to be a part of it; it was infectious. Don’s legacy lies in that culture, which lives strong to this day and will continue well into the future.

“‘Sage is a small company with our stated goal to build high-performance, well-balanced, aesthetically pleasing rods that will give years and years of enjoyment and will perform in a way that will enhance the fishing experience. I can guarantee that Sage will continue to research new materials as they are developed and will continue to search out new ways to build a better fly rod.’ – Don Green, 1984.

“Don, we are eternally grateful for your contributions to the fly fishing world. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to making your legacy proud.”

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Images courtesy Sage Fly Fishing/Instagram