Fly Fishing Hall of Fame inducts members

There are numerous halls-of-fame that honor members who excel at their craft.

There is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, and the Rock Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, to name a few. There is also a Fly Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum located at Livingston Manor, in New York. On Saturday, the FFHF had a ceremony to induct and honor those individuals who have significantly enhanced the culture of fly fishing.

Some of the names mentioned have probably crossed your path via reading or television, and may stir a memory or two. And if you are young readers wondering how can you make a few dollars in this economically-challenged time, read on.

Article Photos

OBSERVER Photos by Gene Pauszek
Willie Fedrick, second from left, and Ken Hollander, second from right, teach their pupils how to tie flys. The duo teaches a free fly-tying class Monday nights at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. This week, Monte Kennedy will be on hand to lend his expertise.

To be considered for the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, one must obviously have a passion for fishing, and fly tying. There are numerous fly tying classes offered locally and the patterns of flies or imitation insects which fish love to feed on have their origin from some of these people.

Ed Shenk has been fishing for over 80 years and a tyer for over 65 years. Some of his noteworthy creations are: the Le Tort Cricket, Flat Wing Le Tort Hopper, Shenk Cress Bug and the Shenk Sculpin. He has written over 500 fishing articles in most every fishing magazine in the U.S., and has won numerous awards in his field.

Larry Solomon studied the aquatic life of caddis flies from an aquarium in his apartment. With his hands-on knowledge of these insects he co-authored, with Eric Leiser, a book called, “The Caddis and the Angler,” in 1977. The book is still a reference on the subject today. Solomon, in 1979, published, “The Complete Book of Modern Fly Fishing.” Not only did this book instruct anglers on using tackle, tying flies, casting techniques, etc, he also brought awareness of the importance of caring for our waterways, including streams and rivers. He also encouraged fishermen to get involved with conservation minded groups like Trout Unlimited and the Federation of Fly Fishers.

Carrie Frost was born in 1868 in Steven Point, WI. As a youngster, she shared her dad’s passion for fly fishing and earned a reputation as a fly caster and fly fisher. After graduating high school she became a school teacher, but soon returned to her hometown to tie flies for her father and his companions. She was excellent at her craft and soon had to enlist the help of her other girls to satisfy the growing demand for her flies.

Frost started her own company, the C.J. Frost Fishing Tackle Manufacturers, and in one year she had 97 people working for her. In 1917, she had 150 employees, which helped to make Stevens Point the “Fly Fishing Capitol of the World.” Not bad for a lady who used her initials to name her company so the customers would not know she was a woman!

Thomas McGuane developed his appreciation for fly fishing using his father’s gear and spending Saturdays at a local rod shop. He wrote not only books like, “92 In the Shade,” and “The Sporting Club,” but he also was the scriptwriter for the films, “Tom Horn” and “Missouri Breaks.” Two other books that gained acclaim in the fly fishing world were, “The Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing,” and “Upstream: Fly Fishing in American West.”

Stu Apte, in 1950, landed a 100-pound sailfish on 16-pound tackle. A student of Joe Brooks, he at one time held 44 saltwater records and some still stand today. His Tarpon Fly is on a U.S. postage stamp, he has written numerous books and he is a regular contributor to various magazines. Apte is also an angling editor. It is believed he has fished every corner of the world from Iceland to the Florida Keys and everywhere in between.

Joe Brooks died of a heart attack in his 60’s. Fishing legend Lefty Kreh stated Brooks was, “one of the best known American fly fishermen of many many years…. and my biggest influence!”

Brooks was the fishing editor of “Outdoor Life” magazine, featured on the ABC American Sportsman’s series, wrote countless articles and ten books on fishing, including the “Complete Guide to Fishing Across North America.” Brooks also developed the “Blonde” design streamer flies that work in fresh and salt water.

Dr. George Parker Holden, a famous early author who penned “Streamcraft” and later “The Idyl of the Split Bamboo Rod,” which were published in the early 1900’s, was a pioneer in American fly fishing.

Paul Young, in 1926, opened up a tackle shop in Detroit, Michigan, where he designed unique shorter and lighter three-piece bamboo fly rods. Considered at first a novelty, Young’s rods didn’t gain popularity until “Field Stream” author, A.J. McClane, and “Esquire Magazine” founder, Arnold Gingrich, discovered and used these rods to catch large Atlantic salmon, which they wrote about in their publications. Young also wrote books and developed fly fishing tackle, including line materials, tapered formula leaders and bamboo rods that are highly treasured today.

Someday, maybe someone you know will be inducted too!


Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick teach free fly-tying clinics on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club starting at 6 p.m. All equipment, vises and materials are provided FREE.

The Westfield Fish Game Club will host turkey shoots at its club located on Ogden Road on Sunday, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4. The events will start at noon and last until they’re finished. These events will be held rain or shine. The public is welcome. All legal centerfire firearms are permitted. Ammunition will be provided for birdshot and deer slugs only. There will be 22 caliber shoots on the indoor range. Bring your own ammo.

If your club is holding a similar event contact the OBSERVER at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will resume its annual Hunters Helping the Hungry program. On Tuesdays Con Club members are urged to bring a non-perishable food item with them . All donations will be distributed to the needy in the community through the efforts of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Youth Organization during the Christmas season.

The Bear Lake Rod Gun Club has scheduled a two-day trapping course on Oct. 18 19 from 6-10 p.m. You must pre-register by phone by calling Roger Witt at 595-3418.

Fly tying classes have resumed on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., at the Sinclairville Free Library. Classes will continue until May. All tools and materials are provided free. For more information, call 962-3635 or 485-3919 or log on

The Gowanda Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Fall Fishing Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Cattaraugus Creek. Sign-in gets under way at 5 a.m. at the Gowanda Moose Club, located on Aldrich Street. The tournament begins at sunrise and is a catch-and-release event following DEC rules and regulations, with tournament personnel on site to measure and weigh-in the catch. There will be awards, door prizes and food for the participants at the Moose Club after 3:30 p.m. For more information, log on to, or call 532-2834 or 532-2288.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to

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