A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

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mikevalla
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Location: 1 hr north of the Catskills

A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by mikevalla »

He's the last living member of the classic Letort school of fly anglers. He's spent his entire life roaming that famous Pa. limestone creek---going back to his boyhood. And it was a true honor to accept his gracious offer to spend an entire day with him yesterday---touring the famed Letort Spring Run. It was also a great honor for me to include Ed in "the new book"--since he was one of my heroes going back to Feb. 1968 when I read one of his first magazine stories.

-We met for breakfast, and after a very long chat about "the old days" Val and I climbed into his conversion van for the tour of a life time. We stopped here and there along the road, climbing out of his vehicle at several stops along the way. First, Charlie Fox's stretch, then the famed Otto's Meadow (it's in Marinaro's book). Then, the upper stretches. Ed told his tales and remembrances as we walked along that historic little creek.

It was 6 hours of talk, chat, and personal tour. Val shot dozens of photos of us. What a treat.

And then---he showed me, and pointed out on the stream, the home of "Old George"---that big 27 1/2 inch brown trout that I described in Ed's chapter in the book. And he told the whole story----one I first read decades ago. But this time I learned more, from the man himself, in "real-time."

Then, we stopped by the Yellow Breeches fly shop---chatted a bit there. Then a very long lunch-----and still more chats and tales from Ed.

Ed Shenk---master of Letort Spring Run. A Pennsylvania classic------

Image

Image

Ed at the home site of "Old George"---that big bruiser that "shook his head like a punch-drunk fighter" when Ed finally caught him, nearly 50 years ago.
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BrownBear
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Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by BrownBear »

There's only one word for your day: WOW!!!!!

Thanks for the glimpse!

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ewpeper
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Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by ewpeper »

Good for you, Mike. A day with Ed Shenk had to be special. My recollection of the guys in that Cumberland Limestone Fraternity was that they almost thought of themselves as a unit apart from the rest of fly fishing -- in a good way -- and there were few if any refereneces to "I" among them. It always seemed that it was "This is the way WE do things." or "WE found that such and such was the case." This despite that fact that almost all of the regulars wrote books at some point.

All of that notwithstanding . . . I still hate the Letort. It's the only stream I know of that's tougher fishing than the Henry's Fork -- by an order of magnitude. :D

Eric
A mountain is a fact -- a trout is a moment of beauty known only to men who seek them.
Al McClane in his Introduction to The Practical Fly Fisherman . . . often erroneously attributed to Arnold Gingrich

redietz
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Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by redietz »

ewpeper wrote:. . . I still hate the Letort. It's the only stream I know of that's tougher fishing than the Henry's Fork -- by an order of magnitude. :D
Amen. I've probably been skunked on the Letort at least 50% of the times I've fished it. My winning percentage on the HF is much higher than that.

Still, I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I do catch a trout in the Letort that I just don't get anywhere else.
Bob

ted patlen
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Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by ted patlen »

yo,

i know many who are reading this will not understand but did you throw up?

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Joe Fox
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Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by Joe Fox »

ted patlen wrote:yo,

i know many who are reading this will not understand but did you throw up?
Yesterday Mike told us it was not as bad as your driving. :)

ted patlen
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:03 am

Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by ted patlen »

upon reading my reply to mike i realized that some may think i was making a reference towards ed shenk. NO I WAS NOT.

it is a reference towards MIke and Mike alone.

and joe, my driving skills surpass many, in many different ways. you have been with me a few times and have survived. scarred yes but alive just the same.

yo

Jaybird
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Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:23 am

Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by Jaybird »

Hi guys , I often lurked around here and then I saw this topic and had to join . Eds book was one of the first I read when I started flyfishing 20yrs ago , it's simple and understandable and really always stuck with me . The question I always had but never heard it ever put this way is , before Ed and the rest of the Letort gang started fishing out west , how much where terrestrials flies used , if at all ? It's really the bread and butter to fishing out west now , and it's what always gets glorified when talking up those great Montana streams "Hoppertunity" . Just wanted to know everybody's thoughts as this is a very , Very knowledgeable group here .

upstatetrout
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Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by upstatetrout »

You can find all that information by reading Vince Marinaros book A Modern Dry Fly Code.The boys from PA practilly invented terrestrial and Minutae fly fishing
patterns and techniques.

Tom

Jaybird
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Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:23 am

Re: A day-long visit with Ed Shenk

Post by Jaybird »

That's what I thought , what a huge piece of the American flyfishing scene brought to you by a few guys on a little spring creek in central PA . Just Amazing , yet I feel it's not appreciated enough .

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