Mark Innis has been a commercial fly tier for 42 years. He was born into a commercial fly-tying family who tied flies for shops all across the United States. His grandmother, Aunt and a couple sister’s-in-law tied flies for Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop, Livingston, MT in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and early 90’s. They also tied flies for fly shops in Missouri, Idaho, California, and Tennessee, to name a few.
At 5-years-old, Mark was put to work sorting and prepping feathers for his grand- mother who raised him. He prepped marabou, sized hackles for dry flies, and many other tasks that were necessary to help the fly tiers stay busy so they would not have to take time away from tying flies.
“I knew I wanted to tie a fly when I got old enough … and that day came a few years later, when a fly tying vise was given to me by a neighbor. I practiced tying flies every waking moment I wasn’t doing chores, in school, working for the fly tiers, or sleeping.”
Mark got his first fly order at the ripe ol’ age of 13 years old. His first order was 10 dozen # 4 Black Woolly Buggers. Over time he started tying for more fly shops in and around Montana and Idaho supplementing his income. He tied 2000 dozen during the winter months for decades. He knew he was never going to get rich tying flies, but it was never about money!! It has always been about the art of fly tying! After 42 years of fly tying and creating effective patterns, he feels he has only scratched the surface of an ever-evolving art.
Montana Trout Flies received a call January 2016 to go to Cambodia to help set up a fly-tying operation outside of Sisophon, Cambodia, in a little village of Rongcho. The training went so well and the young fly tiers were so appreciative of the work, they gave 110% to their training. After this mission came to an end and it was time for me to return to the U.S.A., I had that nagging inner feeling that I had to go back to Cambodia and continue teaching fly- tying and help create as much opportunity for the wonderful people there.
Mark has many fly designs to his credit: the Oridinal (Innis) Amberstone, the revised Amberstone, the Amber Swallow, Holographic Swallow, the Gallatin Hopper, the Black Vader, with numerous Midge, Mayfly, Stonefly, Emerger, and various Terrestrials patterns to name a few!!Shop Our Flies