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View Full Version : Kephart Fishing Info--Yeah, He Loved Fly Fishing


Don Kirk
12-17-2011, 02:44 PM
I suppose it is a bit risky to talk about yet to be published information, as there has never been a shortage of plagiarizers when it comes to fishing in the Smokies. However, this tidbit is a bit too juicy to sit on without sharing with the board.

As of late here, Horace Kephart has been talked about by some as though he was a casual fisherman. The facts are though, that this was hardily the case. In fact, Kephart loved to fish and was not shy about approaching the tackle makers of his day for a free sample or two, a practice still honored among today’s outdoor writers.

Kephart’s fly wallet can be inspected at Western Carolina University (along with a small tackle box containing his Al Foss, CCBC and other hard baits.) Years of diddling about in the world of antique tackle enabled me to recognize the flies in the wallet, of which most are clearly tied by Louis Rhead who spent much of his life around Cornell University not too far from where Kephart resided in his sober days.

Rhead is best remembered as an artist and illustrator of children's books, most notably were editions of Robin Hood, The Swiss Family Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, and Heidi. He also was an extraordinarily talented tyer of what arguably were the first “realistic” flies. Below this post is a letter from Rhead to Kephart that board followers might find interesting.

Here’s Rhead’s obit from The New York Times, Friday July 30, 1926:

LOUIS RHEAD, ARTIST AND ANGLER, DEAD. Exhausted Recently by Long Struggle In Capturing a 30-pound Turtle.
...About two weeks ago Mr. Rhead set out to catch a turtle weighing thirty pounds which had been devastating trout ponds on his place, Seven Oaks. After the turtle was hooked, it put up a fight for more than half an hour. Although Mr. Rhead was successful in the end, he became exhausted. A short time later he suffered from his first attack of heart disease. Yesterday's was his second

Rhead and Kephart went down with their boots on, God Bless us all to be so fortunate.

Thanks also to everyone who has been so generous to share a knowledge of flies and fly tying in the Smokies.
http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/album.php?albumid=109&pictureid=676http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/album.php?albumid=109&pictureid=678

Don Kirk
12-17-2011, 02:47 PM
I am a dull boy when it comes to posting pics. If you want to see Kephart's fly wallet or Rhead's letter to Kephart. Please email me for it.
dkirkemgruppe@aol.com

BlueRaiderFan
12-17-2011, 08:24 PM
Very cool...I've seen a pic of Kepharts fly wallet somewhere before...his mess kit etc too.

Drifter
12-18-2011, 09:56 PM
......
Kephart’s fly wallet can be inspected at Western Carolina University (along with a small tackle box containing his Al Foss, CCBC and other hard baits.) ....


Interesting Don. Thanks for sharing.

Where on the WCU campus are the Kephart artifacts housed? I'd love to stop by and take a look.

NDuncan
12-19-2011, 11:25 AM
Rhead and Kephart went down with their boots on, God Bless us all to be so fortunate.

I thought Kephart died in a possibly drunk driving one car accident? I wouldn't really call that fortunate.

Don Kirk
12-19-2011, 06:41 PM
Have you ever watched an uncle waste away, gasping for air as lung cancer rots him from the inside out? The stench will stagger you while their death gasps mute you like duct tape across your mouth…

Have you ever had a friend placed in long term care where they finally expired on a urine soaked pad? Week after week with no one there to really care 22 out of 24 hours a day other than staffers making minimum wage?

We're all going to leave the earth--every single one of us. Personally, I'd rather be shot, and richly deserve a bullet, than go like I have seen way too many other go lingering hour after hour filled with death gasps and heby-jeby tremors.

Darn toting. HK went the way he lived, clearly doing what he placed great value on. He was wearing his boot when the county coroner punched his ticket, God Rest His Soul.

flyman
12-19-2011, 06:57 PM
Have you ever watched an uncle waste away, gasping for air as lung cancer rots him from the inside out? The stench will stagger you while their death gasps mute you like duct tape across your mouth…

Have you ever had a friend placed in long term care where they finally expired on a urine soaked pad? Week after week with no one there to really care 22 out of 24 hours a day other than staffers making minimum wage?

We're all going to leave the earth--every single one of us. Personally, I'd rather be shot, and richly deserve a bullet, than go like I have seen way too many other go lingering hour after hour filled with death gasps and heby-jeby tremors.

Darn toting. HK went the way he lived, clearly doing what he placed great value on. He was wearing his boot when the county coroner punched his ticket, God Rest His Soul.

Agreed, I watched my alcoholic grandfather waste away a quadriplegic from a broken neck he sustained in a fall down a flight of stairs while drunk. He told me more than once he wished the fall had killed him.

BlueRaiderFan
12-19-2011, 09:52 PM
I'd rather live clean and die in my sleep or just have my heart go out and pass out and then move on to the other side, but that's just me. If I can't have that, then I say; wrestling a bear like Brad Pitt :biggrin:

Rog 1
12-20-2011, 11:06 AM
This is why we have living wills these days....if you don't have one and feel like the recent posts make sure you have one drawn up for you...I lost my Dad several years ago...he was 92 but was legally blind, couldn't drive and was almost deaf...before he died he told me one morning that his condition was not living...this coming from a man who grew up hunting and fishing and fought in the Pacific for four years and could not accept a life empty of stimulation...

Knothead
12-20-2011, 09:15 PM
A living will is a good thing- saves a hassle with the doctors and hospital or nursing home. My mother-in-law hung on for almost two weeks, slowly going downhill. My father went in about week. He always said he wanted to be 90 years old and get shot by a jealous husband.:biggrin: My mother's father went how he always said he wanted to go- in his sleep. Sat on the couch and had a heart attack and was gone! My best friend in college said he wanted to get run over by a beer truck.:p