Umpqua Feather Merchants has announced that its founder Dennis Black passed away this morning.
Black is known as a pioneer of fly fishing who revolutionized the industry by working with over 150 expert tyers to increase the production of quality, hand-tied flies. Black's efforts throughout the years helped to reduce the negative stigma associated with flies tied overseas. Part of this accomplishment was driven by Black convincing American expert tyers to allow young women to tie their designs at his factory in India. Dennis is also known for rewarding the creativity and skill of professional tyers with his own unique royalty payment system.
Dennis plying the waters of Thailand (photo: David Lambroughton).
In over 40 years, Black has worked with expert tyers, like Dave Whitlock, Mike Lawson and Randall Kaufmann, to build five separate fly-tying factories in India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Today Umpqua Feather Merchants is known for having some of the best fishing flies constructed of the best materials on the market. Black is also a commercial tyer himself and has been credited with launching the careers of many talented amateur and professional fly tyers.