TBT: Ernest Schwiebert, Who’d Rather Be Fishing, Dies at 74


The 2005 obituary for Ernest Schwiebert whose lifelong passion for fly fishing led him to write influential books, help found conservation groups and champion the releasing of caught fish.

“Surely no fly fisherman in history can have fished more widely than Ernest Schwiebert has, and surely no one else has combined angling, artistic and writing talents to better advantage.”

LINK  (via: The NY Times)




One thought on “TBT: Ernest Schwiebert, Who’d Rather Be Fishing, Dies at 74

  1. So, Ernie….

    And how he once bumped into a guy and wildly dreadlocked lovely young woman camping beside the Home Pool (the Swimming Pool) of Estancia San Huberto on the Rio Malleo in Argentine northern Patagonia, camping and fishing “our less-fished water” at the invitation of the lodge’s owners, Carmen and Carlos Olsen, towards trout season’s end in March 1994 (we’d also been there a few months earlier for the best-fed (Carmen Olsen: “You kids look to be half starving to death out here … I’m going to feed you up … come in for some lunches and dinners!”) Christmas, EVER.

    Bumped into, as in….

    Quite a night in the lodge’s upstairs bar and large sitting room with Ernie, a man I knew of through his famous books and his fishing with an elderly, hugely wealthy Brit friend of mine, Mike, for salmon in Iceland, holding court to his group of elderly U.S. fishers; Carmen, the very best of hosts, funny, charming, pouring the drinks and circulating the snacks and calling the great man “Ernesto!”….

    Then I was wheeled over and introduced by her as a Brit, traveller, writer of a book they had on the lodge library’s shelves a few yards away … “He has a wonderful film, too, Ernesto … of trout fishing in Kashmir and mahseer in India … he’s given us a video…”.

    Ernesto, whose evening it was, began looking uncomfortable, so I turned the Stairway to Heaven Lady on him, and he quite forgot his discomfiture and was soon lost in her wild beauty, smiles and quiet English tact and charm…..

    The following morning, the San Huberto guides – Carmen’s two sons and two exceptionally able young Americans – took Ernest and his party off upriver, to the classic Malleo waters of The Meadows below Lanin volcano and the otherworldly Araucaria-dotted Jurassic Park stretch of the upper-uppermost where small pods of huge browns swam in New Zealand-clear water and made your knees shake just at the sight of them. We, meanwhile, had crawled out of our little tent, put some water on the gas stove for coffee, got ourselves up and running, then set off to fish the gorge below the lodge, the bit that runs down to the Indian Reservation section, which in those days was taking a pretty heavy, daily public pounding. Still, I had something in my boxes that, back then, was like gold dust in Argentina – tiny, size 14 – 20, gold and copper beadheaded Pheasant Tails and similar, flies I had tied in Britain in 1989 when Alan Bramley of Partridge of Redditch had tipped me off about what Roman Moser and a few other Austrians were doing to the trout and grayling of their country with some new patterns that included a brass bead at the head. So, when I discovered that Moser’s commercially available beads were only available in large sizes, 3 and 4mm, and only in gold, I got a British engineer pal to turn me some tinies in brass and copper, then tied them into some nymphs destined for first use on my local English chalkstream trout and grayling, then duly used them and caught so many fish that, quite frankly, it was pretty embarrassing.

    So it was, nearly five years later, I had one of Ernesto’s young American guides, Adam, a really nice, very bright Colorado lad and a terrific flyfisher, secretly slip out of the Lodge one (clients having their post-lunch siesta) afternoon to our tent under the riverside willows and ask, “Say, Paul … you couldn’t let me have some of your beadheads … and some of those tiny Klinkhamer parachutes that Mr Schwiebert saw you have that 23-inch brown in the fast water nobody fishes above the bridge as we drove his party upriver yesterday afternoon….?”

    Adam duly got them gratis and so did “Ernesto”.

    I wonder if the Olsen’s remember me and the Stairway to Heaven Lady….?

    [Long one, this – I am not going to spend any more time editing and punctuating it – posted “as is”.]

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