Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum announces 2012 Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Inductees


The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum’s  Hall of Fame Committee is pleased to present the 2012 Fly Fishing Hall of Fame Inductees:

Dr. George Parker Holden

As an angling student, George Parker Holden followed the writings of Thaddeus Norris on American angling.  In 1919 Holden penned his first book, Streamcraft. At the time America was experiencing a truly unique fly fishing evolution – weaning itself from the British tradition. This new American manner of fly fishing was distinct in both style and technique. It relied on an approach of recognizing specific natural insects and developing their imitations. The book American Trout Insects, written and illustrated by Louis Rhead influenced Holden to do further investigations and confirm his findings by testing his selection of patterns on Catskill streams.  Streamcraft  was truly ‘An Angling Manual’ on how to’s for the angler.  His second book followed only a year later and was titled The Idyl of the Split Bamboo Rod. It was also a ‘how to’ book focusing on the construction of bamboo fly rods.  ‘Idyl’ remains a classic for those interested in cane rodmaking. Two of Holden’s most recognized followers were Everett Garrison and Ray Gould.  His last book, Angling: Recollection and Practice was published in 1931.

Paul Young

In 1926 Paul Young and his wife Martha Marie opened  their first  tackle shop in Detroit, Michigan. It was in this shop Paul designed and developed a unique line of shorter and lighter three piece bamboo fly rods.  At first these rods were scoffed at by customers and the industry. They were considered novelties or toys not capable of catching large fish.  A short time later, A.J. McClane, founding editor of Field and Stream and Esquire Magazine founder Arnold Gingrich, discovered they were indeed capable of catching large Atlantic Salmon and of course they wrote about them.   Young’s designs would change the shape of bamboo rods to come, being lighter, thinner and available in three pieces for ease of travel.  Young’s designs  flourished  and South Bend, EW Edwards and Heddon Company would soon be selling Paul’s rods.

Young was more than a rodmaker.  His first book Making and Using the Dry Fly (1933) was revised in 1935 as   Making and Using the Fly and Leader.  It provided the angler with instructions on many topics such as how to tie a fly and how to properly fish a stream. In addition to fly tying and reading the water, Young’s appraisal of the use of leaders and their construction were monumental in the development of modern day fishing.

Throughout his early books he made it clear that fly fishing should not be all consuming, but be about More Fishing, Less Fussing  and used this as the title of his 1940 book.   As a fly tying and fly tackle retailer, Paul developed his own line of materials, tapered formula  leaders and of course bamboo fly rods that today are highly treasured. 

Joe Brooks

According to Lefty Kreh,  “Joe Brooks was one of the best known American fly fishermen for many, many years…and my biggest influence”. Joe Brooks fly fished every corner of the world. Several times he  logged over 75,000 miles a year just  fishing in Central and South America.   Joe was the fishing editor of Outdoor Life magazine; featured on the ABC American Sportsman TV Series;  wrote countless articles; and authored  ten books including Trout Fishing,  Saltwater Fly Fishing and the Complete Guide to Fishing Across North America that encouraged everyone to discover waters outside of their local radius.

Brooks believed in starting fly fishermen at a young age and, with the assistance of J.Hammond Brown and Frank Burt Smoot, developed “The Junior Outdoorsman”. This was published by the Maryland Fish and Game Association and targeted to young boys to teach them about fishing and conservation.   His teaching generosity was unmatched.  At that time Joe was the Chairman of Fresh Water Committee of the MD Fish and Game.  This interest youth education blossomed two years later with the founding of the youth educational organization, the Brotherhood of the Junglecock.  He, Smoot and Brown led the way and remained active through out their lives.

Joe is considered the first  modern saltwater fly fishing pioneer.  He developed the famous ‘Blonde’ design streamer flies, that worked both in fresh and saltwater, he was the first to fish for bonefish with a fly and chased fish in undiscovered waters both shallow and deep.

Joe Brooks died of a heart attack in his early 60’s  while wading the Big Hole River in Montana.  He was  connected to every fly fisher in the 20th century and that connection will last forever. 

Carrie Frost

Born 1868, Stevens Point, WI.  Carrie shared her father’s favorite  pastime of fly fishing.  At an early age she was recognized as an accomplished fly caster and fly fisher.  After graduating from high school and following a brief two-year stint as a school teacher in Minnesota, Carrie returned home to Stevens Point, WI  to follow this pastime.

In 1896 Carrie began tying flies at home for her father and his companions.  She was recognized as an outstanding tyer.  The demand for her flies was overwhelming and soon she had to enlist the help of a family maid and neighborhood girls.  This was the start of the C. J. Frost Fishing Tackle Manufacturers (Carrie used her initials so customers would not know it was a woman owned business).  Within a year, 97 people were working for her. By 1917 her business grew to 150 employees making Stevens Point the ‘Fly Tackle Capital of the World’.

Ed Shenk

A fisherman for over 80 years, a tyer for more than 65, Ed Shenk has also  been a  recognized instructor for more than half a century.  He has fished with high profile individuals such as President  Jimmy Carter, Joe Brooks, TV celebrities, sports stars and everyday fishermen just like us. He is respected by all.

Ed is a master on his homewater the LeTort and there he developed his most remarkable flies: the LeTort Cricket; Flat Wing LeTort Hopper; Shenk Cress Bug; and,  the Shenk Sculpin.  He is known as a terrestrial expert.

He has written over 500 articles for just about every fishing magazine in the USA, authored Fly Rod Trouting in 1989, and released a video in 2000.   A co-founder of the Cumberland Valley TU, he is a Limestone Legend and has received many awards including the Charles Fox ‘Rising Trout’, Limestoner, George Harvey, and the Order of the Hat. 

Larry Solomon

Larry studied the aquatic life of caddis flies from an aquarium in his apartment.   With this first-hand knowledge, he joined  Eric Leiser and co authored  The Caddis and the Angler in 1977.  This book was the frontrunner to many of the books on Caddis flies that followed and a reference to this day.  Eric and Larry brought more than caddis flies to the surface as they  developed new patterns and fishing techniques.

Following this highly successful book, Larry published The Complete Book of Modern Fly Fishing  in 1979. It provided anglers with the latest information on tackle, fly casting, fly tying and fly fishing for both fresh and saltwater. It was also in this book that he brought an awareness of the importance of the well-being of our rivers and streams. He encouraged fly fishermen to help by joining conservation minded groups such as Theodore Gordon Flyfishers, Trout Unlimited and the  Federation of Fly Fishers.

Thomas McGuane

Born in Michigan, Tom discovered the beauty of fly fishing and appreciation of a cane rod at the grip of his father’s whippy Leonard and by spending Saturdays in Paul Young’s rod shop.

While we recognized him for his books, 92 in the Shade and The Sporting Club, McGuane is also an accomplished scriptwriter for films such as Tom Horn and Missouri Breaks.

Tom  shares his emotions for his 50 years of fly fishing and explains  “what fishing ought to be about”.  Tom’s contributions to the literary world of fly fishing are immense and in the genre of Schweibert, Lamb and Lyons; his stories are rich. His  two books The Longest Silence, a life in fishing  and Upstream fly fishing the American West,  bring our shared passions to life. They will be here for future generations to take pleasure in. 

Stu Apte

From the day in 1950 when he landed a 100-pound plus sailfish on 16-pound tackle, Stu Apte has been recognized as one of the all-time great anglers.  A student of Joe Brooks and pioneer in saltwater fly fishing, at one time Stu held 44 saltwater records and some still stand.  Now residing in Montana, he has fished every corner of the world from the Florida Keys to Iceland and everywhere in between.  If there is water, Stu will fish it.

Stu is known for more than record fish. He developed many new fly patterns and was honored by having his Tarpon Fly on a U.S. postage stamp.  He  improved knots and leaders,  wrote several books, is a regular contributor to various magazines and is an angling editor.   Over his 50 year career as a fly fisherman he has made countless contributions to our sport.

A ceremony and reception will be held in the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum at 3 PM on Saturday, October 6, 2012.

Later that evening a dinner will be held at Wolf Catering at Tennanah Lake, Roscoe, NY.

For more details contact the CFFCM at 845-439-4810



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  4. Jake Trimmer on

    Ed Shenk is a well deserved inductee into the Catskill Hall of Fame. Ed has been a mentor to many flyfishers and respected by all. Now, into his eighty’s Ed still manages to run a trap line and hunt with enthusiasm while many of his contemparies become couch potatoes. E. Mariano, C. Fox, R. Trimmer, E. Koch, W. Skilton and the rest of the LeTort regulars should be proud of his dedication to our fly fishing endeavors.

  5. Mark Sturtevant on

    I am so pleased to see that Ed Shenk will be recognized by his peers for his outstanding contributions to fly fishing. Ed has been a friend and mentor to me for 20 years and I owe him a great debt. Bravo CFFCM!

  6. Ralph Bare on

    Enjoyed reading The Longest Silence. Thanks to Tom McGuane for bringing this reader on fly fishing trips to wondrous places, while sitting in his armchair in Arizona. A worthy inductee is Thomas McGuane.

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