Recent rip to Umpqua Feather Merchants allowed me the opportunity to meet and integrate with other members of the Umpqua Team. The innovation of sling pack and waist pack design went beyond my imagination. The smallest details, from hidden nipper ports and tapered covers on fly patches, to extra support on hip belts and closely trimmed flaps on waist seams prevent the angler from unwanted line tangles. Getting background from Riley Cotter on how the Zero Sweep technology went full throttle after meeting a former Special Ops veteran on all packs and bags was nothing less than amazing. Each pack has been carefully thought through to make your time on the water most effecient and enjoyable. Look for exciting new digital-Camouflage packs this fall and hot orange hemostats/nippers to accent these great looking bags. I might be getting ahead of myself~ Who is Umpqua Feather Merchants you ask?
Since 1972, Umpqua has been blazing the way for hand tied flies from coast to coast. Owner Dennis Black had the foresight to envision a group of select and established tyers to teach and produce the best production flies to reach US market. He saw production of jewelry in Southeast Asia and converted a manufacturer to tie some of the first overseas flies. This did not receive a warm welcome stateside, it took time to establish credibility and consistency for a very particular fly market in the US. Dennis spent the better part of a year teaching managers who to tie a fly properly. Umpqua keeps a close on on quality of material before it even gets to the tying manufacturers, which helps eliminate a good portion of bad flies. The use of TIEMCO hooks, which are chemically sharpened, set Umpqua flies apart from lesser quality tied flies. It also started with a great team of fly tyers. Names like LaFontaine, Barr, Quigley, Mercer, Nemes, Dennis, Andrews, Kaufmann, Lawson and Mathews were a part of the senior roster. Later, Umpqua added younger and innovative tyers, some you may have heard, like Charlie Craven, Lance Egan, Landon Mayer, Andrew Grillos, Bob Reece and Brian Silvey are part of a much larger and well established crew of great fly tying history. Ask your local fly shop if they carry Umpqua Flies and why they set a standard for other companies to follow.