Our Bozeman fly shop works with over 150 different vendors to provide our customers, friends, and fellow guides with one of the most complete fly fishing assortments in the country. Ok, that might sound a little grandiose! We carry a lot of gear, from a lot of manufacturers.
Umpqua Feather Merchants is one of our premier partners that is well-known for supplying the highest-quality flies on the market today. In addition to offering some of the best flies around, they also have a well-rounded and complete selection of leaders, tippet, hooks, packs, streamside accessories, hackle, tying materials, fly boxes, and more. They are a great partner in our endeavors, but they are also just simply a great group of people, doing great things.
Here’s one of my favorite parts of the Umpqua story that illustrates their commitment to the people that build these amazing flies in a world far, far away.
“In the 1970’s, Dennis Black, Umpqua’s founder, was searching for a way to mass produce hand tied, high quality flies. At a time when foreign factory production in the fly
tying world was unheard of, Dennis was determined to find an answer. He went on to
open three factories overseas, including a factory in Thailand called Thai-A-Fly. In 1987,
Thai-A-Fly opened its doors and has been producing Umpqua flies ever since.
For 30 years, Thai-A-Fly has been hand tying and manufacturing the highest quality
flies for Umpqua Feather Merchants. Thai-A-Fly is located in Chiang Mai, Thailand and
employs about 140 people. 70 of those employees are full time fly tyers.
Each tyer goes through about eight months of rigorous training to get up to production
speed and quality. Tyers start out with basic patterns, such as a wooly bugger,
and then progress to more challenging patterns. Umpqua and Thai-A-Fly pride themselves on producing the highest quality flies on the market, so each fly is held to a very high standard.
Tying flies is a tradition passed down through families in Thailand and is a true art
“Our employees have such a strong work ethic, positive attitude and are extremely
hospitable,” said Daniel Eisenmenger, Director of Systems Development. “I lived in
Thailand for two years and worked with the employees every day. It was amazing to
work directly with Thai-A-Fly and oversee production.”
In January of 2018, Thai-A-Fly will be moving to a new location with a completely new
building. The new building will be more efficient and up to date. Umpqua and Thai-A-Fly are excited for this move and to continue to produce flies at Thai-A-Fly.”
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