General Manager, Oklahoma City

Tom Adams

Tom Adams



Tom Adams was born raised in Oklahoma City and has Backwoods since 1987, spending most of that time at his current position as General Manager. Tom's outdoors experiences started early, with family trips to Colorado and New Mexico parents every summer. Fishing and hiking were regular activities, and soon he was regularly backpacking the Weminuche Wilderness in southwest Colorado in high schoool, rock climbing at Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Those early experiences laid foundation for a lot of outdoor interest.

Tom earned a degree in business management from Southern Nazarene University but knew he didn't want to sit in a cubical. "I'm just not a suite and tie guy," Tom says. Instead he looked into a position at Backwoods, where he had shopped as a customer for much of his early backpacking gear. Fortune was on Tom's side, and he was hired on as assistant manager in 1987. Just a few months into his new job, Backwoods brought fly fishing in Backwoods. Tom, with his fishing background, immediately became the Fly Fishing manager. Tom thinks of it as trial by fire.

These days you'll find Tom at Backwoods in Oklahoma City. "The best part of this is our customers and the relationships we build with our customers," Tom says. "Playing with the gear is a lot of fun, too. You buy gear right, and buy good quality gear, you don't have to replace it every year."

Tom's expertise is in certainly fly fishing - that's where his passion is. But he's still a fan of hiking and backpacking. "Getting outdoors builds confidence, away from the trailhead, sleeping in the dirt. The further you get from where the cars are parked, the more cool things you'll see."

""So much water and so little time." - Tom Adams

Q&A with Tom

Where do you want to visit? I'd love to fly fish for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.
What’s at the top of your bucket list? Steelhead fly fishing. I'd definitely like to get to New Zealand. Trekking, tramping and fly fishing down there.
If you could drop everything and go on an all-expense paid vacation right now, where would it be? New Zealand
Biggest adventure you’ve taken? Fly fishing for a week in Argentina. I outfitted customers for five years for that trip, and finally got to go with them on year. I spent a night in Buenus Airies and got to fly fish in southern Argentina for three days. I thoought the coolest thing would be the fishing, but it was the people that I really enjoyed. The guides, the people at where we stayed, they were all really interesting and laid back. Plus the fishing was second to none. I fished all dry flies, big foam hoppers, all topwater. It was an amazing experience.
How many countries have you visited? Argentina, Guatamala, Mexico, Texas (cause it's a whole other country), the Virgin Islands
What’s the most important piece of gear you pack in your backpack? Rain jacket, water filtration and a headlamp. Everything else I think I could figure out
Favorite Outdoor Activity Fly fishing. I love to go on bike rides too
Any vices? Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I don't know if you can have too much choclate in your life.
What’s your spirit animal? Horney toad. They're starting to come back around here, and they are just the coolest animals.
Favorite Outdoor Memory Fishing with my dad. Growing up with my brother fishing on a pond or lake. We caught bass, snakes, frogs… just a ton of fun being soaking wet and covered in mud. It was just one of those magical places growing up. If you grow up with something like that, fishing just sticks in your bones.
When I'm not sharing my expertise at Backwoods, you can find me: Home is my safe place, but I doa mile swim three days a week, or a bike ride, or a hike. Including the dishes at home.


Tom is a fixture in the Oklahoma City fly fishing community, guiding fishing trips and gear expertise for decades.


Tom's Go-To Gear

  1. Lightspeed Image ID: 22215
  2. Osprey Talon 22
    Osprey Talon 22
    As low as $110.00
  3. Fits Light Hiker - Quarter
  4. Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System
  5. Osprey Daylite
    Osprey Daylite
    As low as $50.00
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