ART FLICK CATSKILL LEGEND: A REMEMBRANCE OF HIS LIFE AND TIMESby: Roger Keckeissen
This book is a tribute to his passion for detail, and for a story well told. It is in effect both his biography and his epitaph. Art was one of the most sophisticated dry fly anglers in the American lexicon of such fishers and makers of flies, a passion culminating in his Streamside Guide, first published in 1947 by Putnam, a thin but valuable work which would become one of the most popular, best selling fishing books of all time. Color & B&W photos, 8.5×11 inches, 195 pgs.
Literature, History & Humor
Later in life he would become known as the Sage of the Schoharie, the stream which flowed but a few miles from his family’s and later his, Westkill Tavern. Early on, like everyone else, he drowned worms in the local waters. But after learning about fly fishing, he evolved into one of the most sophisticated dry fly anglers in the American lexicon of such fishers and makers of flies, a passion culminating in his Streamside Guide, first published in 1947 by Putnam, a thin but valuable work which would become one of the most popular, best selling fishing books of all time.
His legacy is simplicity, informed through careful observation, pointing out you needed only a very small well selected number of flies, and that going astream vest bulging with boxes filled with hundreds of them was not unlike driving from New York City to West Kill for a long weekend with four steamer trunks strapped to the top of the car filled with fifty changes of clothing including not only casual wear, but a number of business suits, black and white tuxedos, and a couple of clown outfits for comic relief.
Art was revered by every great fisherman of his day, chief among them Ray Camp, outdoor columnist for the New York Times. Born in 1904, and passing on in 1985, Art’s run of fame spanned forty-five years, but even today, there is no one who dry fly fishes for trout who does not hold him in high esteem.
He was not a professional author, nor was he even an amateur as are so many who tell their personal tales in the hook and bullet press, great literature be damned.
By all accounts, he was a remarkable savant, a genius who could recite from memory vast passages verbatim from books he admired. Among these were histories and the great classics. This he did for his own amusement and often by a campfire, for the edification of friends.
Roger Keckeissen was born in New Jersey and grew up there. His love of the outdoors was developed early on in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains. Later he was drawn westward clear into northern California where he joined the logging industry as a “topper,” the man who climbed the tallest redwoods. With money saved from this, he bought the Henry’s Fork Angler in Idaho, and guided there for some time before settling eventually in Livingston, Montana where he would spend the rest of his life.
Publisher: Grey Fox Variant
Publish Date: 03-09-2015