AFFTA Hires Lucas Bissett as New Executive Director


AFFTA looks to capitalize on the growth our industry has seen and establish a new and exciting direction for the organization under Bissett leadership.

May 28th, 2021 — The American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) announced today that Lucas Bissett has been hired as the Executive Director of the organization. Bissett has been an AFFTA Board member for four years, serving on the executive committee for the last three, and will assume Executive Director responsibilities on June 1st, 2021.

“As a fellow member of the executive committee and AFFTA’s Vice Chair, Lucas has helped to shape the vision of AFFTA. As the Executive Director, he’ll be implementing that vision,” said Board Chair Jim Bartschi. “Hiring Lucas was a unanimous Board decision. We are confident in the direction he will take the organization and industry, and in his commitment to serving all AFFTA members.”

Lucas Bissett has been the owner/operator of Lowtide Charters, a fly fishing outfitter business just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, for ten years. Bissett is also the President of Anglers Bettering Louisiana’s Estuaries, a non-profit focused on coastal restoration and community engagement and outreach.

“Lucas has the passion, focus, and commitment to take AFFTA to another level. All of us who fly fish should be grateful to have such a knowledgeable and energetic leader at the helm of a trade association that punches far above its weight,” said Chris Wood, CEO of Trout Unlimited and AFFTA Board member.

“I have broad experience leading executive searches and have been really impressed on two fronts when it comes to inclusive practices,” said AFFTA consultant Kenji Haroutunian. “One is the thorough process I participated in with respect to job description, outreach, and candidate consideration. The other is the eventual choice of Lucas Bissett as someone who clearly understands the priority for AFFTA to take a leadership position, including DEI issues where Lucas has shown his sensitivity and awareness on the topic. I’m excited for the future of fly fishing with Lucas running the association.”

Bissett received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications from University of South Florida in 2003. Mr. Bissett’s Black Mangrove Project in St. Bernard, Louisiana has been part of an Emmy Award winning documentary and numerous radio programs, magazine articles and podcast stories.


The American Fly Fishing Trade Association’s mission, asthe sole trade organization in fly fishing representing manufacturers, retailers, guides and outfitters, media, and associate organizations in all 50 states, is to guide the sustainable growth of the fly fishing industry through Trade Development and Stewardship.


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