Fly Fishing Literature

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mikevalla
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Fly Fishing Literature

Post by mikevalla » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:22 am

John McDonald called fly-fishing "the most literary of sports."

I loved literature during high school and in college. My senior thesis was a comparative of the works of William Golding--"man's inhumanity to man." I had almost switched to majoring in British Literature in college. Big fan of Jane Austen's works and writings from that era.

So, I suppose, that interest also captured my interest in fly fishing literature. I loved Schaldach-- Coverts and Casts and Currents & Eddies. Around the same time I was trying to wade through Golding's works, in high school, Ernie Schwiebert published his Remembrances of Rivers Past.

I still think Ernie was a great writer. Now, it seems, newer followers of the sport either love him, or don't like him at all (usually, if someone mispronounces his last name, I can tell right away where they stand on him). Some view his writings as a bit foppish. It may be sort of a generational thing with Ernie---I don't know. However, during the 60's and into the 70's Ernie was "the guy." I think it had to do with the fact that many of us took our first serious study of fly fishing entomology in his Matching the Hatch. It was "the work." I still have my copy that I purchased in around 1970.

But I most like his "Remembrances." His chapters Song of the Catskills, Legend and the Letort, Homage to Henryville, and Time of the Hendricksons are my favorites

>>>So, what's your favorite fly-fishing literary work?
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Eperous
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by Eperous » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:42 am

Hmmmm... somewhere I just recall seeing something about Ernie Schwiebert, his Matching the Hatch and Remembrances of Rivers Past.... :?

He WAS THE guy when I was growing up, especially in the Garden State... as a young flyfisher listening to much more experienced anglers on the Big Flatbrook talk about this pastime, everyone--- with their Battenkill, or Leonard, cane rods--- quoted Ernie... "the man".... all that made quite an impression on me... I have most of his books, and most autographed except for his last two part work Nymphs...

He was quite the writer, loved his stories...

To add to this, I grew up reading Schwiebert--- Matching the Hatch, the "bible"--- Art Flick's Streamside Guide, and Charlie Fox... I could NOT have learned from better teachers...

All that said, I don't have one favorite piece of angling literature... but I do have two favorite authors of angling literature... and they are: Nick Lyons and Harry Middleton... ;) Middleton's The Earth is Enough and On the Spine of Time are among my all-time favorite reads... :D

Sorry, not the answer you were looking for... :(

But, where did I just read about Schwiebert and Remembrances of Rivers Past... damn! :x

Ed

mikevalla
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by mikevalla » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:00 am

Hmmmm... somewhere I just recall seeing something about Ernie Schwiebert, his Matching the Hatch and Remembrances of Rivers Past.... :?
Yes, Ed.....and thank you for reminding me :)
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gt05254
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by gt05254 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:37 am

Ernie was an interesting guy. I had the pleasure of visiting him at home a few times, and played with his incredible bamboo collection, like 70 or 80 rods. His ego was monumental, and we butted heads a few times, but in the end, I have a letter from him after I left AMFF that I treasure. I make it a point to ask younger (like even up to age 40 or so) fly fishers and tyers if they've ever heard of him. Sadly, the answer is often "no". AMFF published a photo collection of flies he tied; he made my art director sit with him for 8 hours while they tweaked the photos (ego thingy). But enough of my name dropping.

Oh, wait, that's right, I'm not done with that. I also get to include Nick Lyons among old friends, and his "Spring Creek" is among my favorite bits of fishing lit.

Gary

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catskilljohn
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by catskilljohn » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:13 am

Mike Valla is my favorite.

Here is a little story about Mr Schwiebert.

I didn't know him, but I was in the same room as he was 3 or 4 times. The friend I had in NJ that owned a fly shop was a member of the Ernest Schwiebert TU chapter, and he did a lot of demo's and talks during meetings about Delaware river striper fishing, tying, all fly related things. Since Mr Schwiebert lived in Princeton and was a "local" guy, he stopped in his fly shop often. I used to tie salmon flies for Mark [he hated doing the time consuming stuff] and when I asked who wanted a dozen #6 Dusty Miller's he said "these are for Schwiebert" :shock:

Mark told me he bought flies from him all the time. CJ
"Gentlemen,remove your hats,this is it"
"This is where the trout was invented?"
"Oh he existed in a crude,primitive form in Waltons England"
"But this is where they painted spots on him and taught him to swim"

ted patlen
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by ted patlen » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:33 am

yes,
there were many sides of schweibert.

jersey fishermen who didn't know of ernie just were just fishermen. everytime i fish the gorge, i would try to think of something he wrote abut the place.

matching the hatch, nymphs..frequent articles...yes, he was the man then, as was jerry mcguiness, and gadabout

cj,
cool little story

yo

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gt05254
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by gt05254 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:35 am

One more on Schwiebert: He used to use the AMFF table at Somerset as sort of "home base". I remember watching guys sort of hovering out in the crowd, waiting for the opportunity to step up to Ernie. There were always a bunch of them, and invariably, they would stick out their hand, and say, "Mr. Schwiebert, you won't remember me, but........blah blah blah." It was fun to watch.
Gary

zazzer
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by zazzer » Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:59 am

I loved Ernie’s anecdotal style of writing, it’s seemed to captivate me, I grew up with Remembrance’s, Matching the hatch, art flick’s ,, Nymphs , I also remember Joe Brooks Trout Fishing, and an author I think was highly underrated A j McLean,
I met Ernest Schwiebert once and felt I had to thank him, at the time I didn’t know for exactly what but he surmised his writings to me by >{they caught you a few fish?} I answered yes but now I think his writings had given me Etiquette, and attitude towards fly fishing and the outdoors that was healthy . I once herd him say that fishing is the least important thing about fishing. And this is very true.
As for my all time favorite I have to say I’m a sucker for The pleasures of fly fishing by Vernon S Hidy,

And A. J. McClean . Fishing with McClean .

There is are some authors quoted in the pleasures of fly fishing I’d love to get my hands on, I’m working on it. Some very old dead ones.
I’m also enjoying the hell outta your books Mike, Great. Stuff.
Last edited by zazzer on Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BrownBear
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by BrownBear » Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:00 am

mikevalla wrote: >>>So, what's your favorite fly-fishing literary work?
I'm with you on Remembrances and Match the Hatch, but I have to say I'm a real western steelheader in my choice of Numero Uno para las truchas. I'll post Roderick Haig-Brown for the honor, but don't ask me to pick which of his works is best. Mix in Nick Lyons and Mike Valla, and you have a library to carry you across the continent and keep you company for life.

Edit- Anyone not familiar with Haig-Brown can get a quick bio here along with a list of his many books. Quite the conservationist, citizen and writer, RHB.

mikevalla
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Re: Fly Fishing Literature

Post by mikevalla » Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:05 pm

Can't say I knew Ernie Schwiebert-- like Gary. I probably spoke to his wife more than to the man himself. Attended his memorial at Princeton. Communicated with his son a few times. He promised me he'd send that Quill Gordon sketch that was in Trout. Never received it---and then I saw it auctioned at Langs...oh well.

-M
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