Thursday, December 15, 2005

Angling Author Ernest Schweibert Jr.

Never Yet Melted: "Internationally renowned angling author Ernest George Schwiebert Jr. passed away Saturday morning. He was approximately 73 years of age. ...

While still at Princeton, Schwiebert wrote his first book, Matching the Hatch (1955), which astonished the American angling community by realizing American angling's most avidly desired, yet most unattainable, theoretical goal: reconciling traditional artificial fly patterns and their use in actual practice with science. The book's title became a by-word for the preferred methodology of serious dry fly fishermen everywhere. ... In a single step, the youthful Schwiebert vaulted to the supreme heights of angling authority; and, over the years, other publications appropriate to his sporting stature followed. ...

In the course of a long and illustrious career, he fished, and wrote about, the finest rivers all over the world. He was a regular habituee of the choicest waters and the most exclusive clubs, and was renowned for his enthusiasm for the best of everything. As the years went on, Schwiebert's elitist perspective and idiosyncratic writing style came in for a certain amount of criticism. He was reported to be a colorful personality, and intensely competitive, by those who traveled in the same circles. Criticisms of Schwiebert's latest book and anecdotes of conflicts in the field and at events became staples of gossip in the sporting community. One envious scribbler went so far as to caricature the great man in an anonymously published, pretentious and ridiculously overpriced lampoon. ...

The roll of major angling writers is thickly populated with egotists and curmudgeons. His passing, however, is bound to silence criticism. Even those who did not like Ernest G. Schwiebert will be forced to acknowledge that we have lost probably the single-most important angling theorist of the last century, the most important figure in North America this side of Theodore Gordon."

1 Comments:

At 3/18/2011 11:50 PM, Blogger don said...

I was so so sad when I heard of Ernest's death. He is still my favorite fly fishing writer. I personally lived and haunted the fly shops and bars in West Yellowstone for 6 years and got to know a number of people who knew and fished with Ernest. Ya, so he liked good Scotch and wine and women, big deal. (I do too,lol.)To a man, when asked (by me) if he really WAS as good as his reputation, every one said yes, without hesitation. To that shrinking minority of fly fishing people today who still have an interest, curiosity, or respect for the rich history and Romance of the sport, Ernest Schweibert is perhaps the last great American writer. All great artists have huge egos and personal flaws, but we must judge them on their art and contributions to society. Ernest's contributions speak for themselves. Tight lines Ernest!

 

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