Mark Bachmann, Owner and CEO
Mark Bachmann grew up fishing in the Lake Pend Oreille drainage in northern Idaho. At the age of 11, he caught his first trout — a 15" native cutthroat — with a fly from Grouse Creek, which crossed the family’s cattle ranch. At times, this creek was home to migrating Kamloops and Bull trout which fed on Kokanee salmon and grew to huge sizes. This private water was the class room for Mark's formative years.
Having grown up catching large trout from rivers, it was natural for Mark to fall in love with steelhead and salmon when he moved to Oregon in 1963. It was then that he landed his first steelhead from Oregon's North Umpqua River. In 1965, he caught his first winter steelhead with a fly from the Sandy River. He has now fished the Sandy for over 50 years and is one of the steelhead fly fishing pioneers on this river. His best fly rod season on the Sandy was the winter of 1969-70 when he landed 64 steelhead, the largest 42". In the years between 1965 and 1980, hundreds of steelhead were caught with fly fishing equipment, drift gear and pulling plug from a boat. Every approach was grist for the mill.
Mark was the store manager at Larry's Sport Center in Gresham, Oregon from 1974 - 1979. This position put him in contact with hundreds of other steelhead fishermen. In 1981, Mark decided he liked fly fishing best and quit using other types of gear. That same year, he started The Fly Fishing Shop with partners Patty Barnes, Houston Fuller and Mark Stensland. Mark and Patty are now the sole owners.
The Sandy River is Mark's home water where he fishes 35-40 winter days a year. He spends even more time guiding and fishing summer steelhead on the Deschutes River. Mark started fishing the Deschutes for steelhead in 1967. He became a fly fishing guide there in 1981. Floating camp-out trips are his specialty. Both single and two-handed fly rods are employed with floating and sinking tip fly lines. All methods are utilized including waking, damp, wet, and deep sunk flies. He now uses a jet boat and works out of a stationary camp.
Mark has held a current Oregon State Marine Board Outfitter/Guide License since 1981. He has up-to-date American Red Cross First Aid and CPR training, a BLM permit, and is fully insured. He has a full stock of specialized guide boats, as well as camping and instructional fly fishing equipment to make your experience with him productive, comfortable and safe.
In addition to producing The Fly Fishing Shop's web site, Mark is a respected writer of fly fishing articles for many magazines and publications.
“We acquired a new, much larger facility for our store in 2001. Since then our business has grown steadily and we are a leading retailer of fly fishing equipment, worldwide. The rewards from this business allow my wife Patty and I to visit some of the best fly fishing locations in both North and Central America. We have spent over 100 days fishing in Belize, and nearly as many days exploring both the east and west coastlines of Mexico. Fly fishing continues to provide an avenue to explore and experiment with the natural world that surrounds us. You can never know too much. At an age when many guys are enjoying retirement, I feel I am finally hitting my stride and am continuing to read, practice and study every day. Like every other dedicated fly fisher, I am still learning too. The best part is I'm learning to take better pictures of fresh caught, live game fish because I'm around where a lot are being caught. I hope I get to take a picture of one of yours.” — Mark Bachmann