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Local Author Champions ‘The Virtue of Fly Fishing’

November 1, 2023

By Ty Walker

You may remember him as the owner of The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, the man who taught you how to cast a line in the Sandy River or guided you down the Deschutes.

For more than 40 years, he and his wife ran what became the first specialty fly fishing shop with a fully functional website in the Pacific Northwest. He still owns the domain name online.
They retired from the business and sold that shop on US Highway 26 in 2021, as covid and the decline in fisheries took their toll. But Mark Bachmann, 79, has not gone gently into that good night. He has taken his wealth of experience and knowledge of all things fly fishing and become an author. In September he self-published his first major book, “The Virtue of Fly Fishing.” Bachmann will read excerpts from “The Virtue of Fly Fishing” followed by a discussion with the audience from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at Whistle Stop Bar & Grill, 66674 E US Highway 26, in Welches. A small supply of books will be for sale at the event.
Bachmann encourages attendees to purchase copies on ahead of time to facilitate discussion. He said the 306-page book – available in hardback, paperback and kindle versions – is selling well at the online outlet.

So is it a novel or autobiography? “It is neither and all,” Bachmann said.
“It’s a nonfiction book with lots of adventures and lots of details about everything from geological dissertations on how watersheds are made to the sociology of fly fishing,” Bachmann said. “The impact that fly fishing has had on society actually has a lot to do with it.”

He added that it is a historical dissertation as well. He starts by telling the story about the first thing written on fly fishing, which was a manuscript from the 1400s by an English nun titled “A Treatise On Fishing With An Angel,” only in old English “angel” is pronounced angle, hence the word angler or angling.
Readers will learn what the fly fishing business is all about from an author with a conservationist and environmentalist point of view. Bachmann is the fishing guide who navigates them through the waters of fishing politics.

Bachmann has caught a lot of species all over the world with his fly rod, from North America and Central America to Russia. But it’s hard to beat fly fishing in the Pacific Northwest, he said.

Fly fishing for steelhead and Pacific salmon helped put his Welches Fly Fishing Shop on the map.
“We were on the leading edge of fly fishing for steelhead and salmon,” Bachmann said. “It was not well known that you could even fly fish for steelhead and Pacific salmon before we got into it.”

Bachmann and his wife and fishing buddy, Patty Barnes, have been married 49 years and raised six kids together. Come learn about the art and sociology of fly fishing on November 19th.

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