Art Flick Catskill Legend: A Remembrance of His Life and Times

Art Flick Catskill Legend: A Remembrance of His Life and Times

November, 2016
Roger Keckeissen
Publication Information: 
Livingston, Montana: Clark City Press, 2014
Fly Fishing Collection

Art Flick was a revered fly fisherman and tier who was largely known for one simple, useful and insightful book, Art Flick's Streamside Guide to Naturals and Their Imitations. Published in 1947, then reprinted in 1969 and 1974, it was written at a time when fly fishers were feeling the urge, and the need to become amateur entomologists. Art's book was a true "streamside" guide, being small enough to tuck into a vest, and featuring photographs of the most important flies for Catskill streams and their imitations. While focusing on airborne mayflies (Ephemeroptera) the book included stoneflies (Plecoptera) as well as certain nymphs. Thus an angler armed with a selection of flies featured in the guide, could wade the stream, observe what insects were flitting about or floating on the water, match them to the photos, tie on the appropriate fly, and be fast into a trout moments later. 

Writing with simplicity, grace, humor and great wisdom, Art Flick, caused reviewers to call his guide one of the most valuable reference works in fly fishing, a bible for dry-fly fishermen, the wisest book on trout fishing ever written, and many other praises. Art Flick died in 1985. 

And now we have an biographical tribute by Roger Keckeissen, since deceased, a former guide on the Henry's Fork in Idaho. Bil Flick, Art's sone, was the person responsible for bringing Roger's manuscript to Russell Chatham's attention. Chatham read it in one sitting, deeply moved by its verve, literacy and detail. 

This particular edition is a deluxe collector's edition, bound in goatskin, edited by Russell Chatham and published by Chatham's fine Clark City Press. Russell who also wrote the introduction to the book, includes an essay of appreciation by Nick Lyons. 

Visit Special Collections to see this and other rare and wonderful books in our Fly Fishing Collection. 

Paul Piper

Special Collections Librarian