The Liar’s Bench at The Angler’s Nook, Shushan, New York

I received a fly order from a customer in Delaware last month. Our back-and-forth e-mail correspondence eventually turned his initial dozen-and-a-half order for my Floating Caddis / Mayfly Emerger into a very sizeable order, as he kept adding more patterns until his order reached ten dozen, including some sulfur Comparaduns and Thorax Duns, and a few dozen of a pattern by Jim Slattery, originator of the Stimulator, called the Triple Threat Caddis. Here’s a link to Fly Angler’s On Line (FAOL) with that pattern: http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/091304fotw.php

The TTC, as I call it, while I’ve never fished it, looks like a great pattern. I’m definitely going to tie some up for my personal fly box. And I had fun tying it. I did them for my customer in tan with orange thread as the FAOL article suggests, a ginger-brown version, and olive. Anyway, to The Liar’s Bench at the Angler’s Nook. My customer in Delaware and I have been in contact and he has sent me some photos. One from earlier this past week caught my attention because of the names painted on the wall. This was all new to me, but I recognized a couple names in the photograph. Investigation that I’ve done led me to this post on Sparse Gray Matter: http://www.sparsegreymatter.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1421

Here is why this simple contact for a fly order morphed and grew into a fascinating bit of fly fishing nostalgia. The photo sent to me by my customer in Delaware is something that I have not been able to find on line, that is, a photograph of The Liar’s Bench at The Angler’s Nook, which was George Schlotter’s fly shop in Shushan, New York. Originally the shop was owned by Ralph Entwhistle. Two names jumped out at me: Lew Oatman, who lived in Shushan, creator of numerous baitfish streamer imitations, including one of my all-time favorite streamer fly patterns – the Brook Trout, sometimes called the Little Brook Trout, and John Atherton. Here is a link to the Brook Trout tied by Chris Del Plato, along with several of Lew Oatman’s other original patterns. https://sites.google.com/site/cdelplato/lewoatmanpatterns

John Atherton, 1900-1952, is the author of The Fly and the Fish, published in 1951. Here is a link to a site with detailed information about John Atherton: http://www.sullivangoss.com/john_Atherton/

Atherton was a very talented artist as well as a fly tier, angler, and author. I encourage you to read the information about his life, it is fascinating. One of his famous award-winning paintings, The Black Horse, hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. John Atherton had more than one-hundred covers published on The Saturday Evening Post.

Here is the photo sent to me by my customer in Delaware. He and his family visited there and he fished the Battenkill River as a young man. The photo was taken in the 1970’s. Don’t forget folks, you can click your mouse on the image to view an enlarged version.

The Battenkill - The Angler's Nook Liar's Bench

The Battenkill – The Angler’s Nook – Liar’s Bench. Photo courtesy of Richard Gordon. Chris Del Plato informed me that Al Prindle was the Shushan Postmaster, for whom Lew Oatman’s pattern of the same name was created.

The remaining names on the bench did not turn up anything on a google search, but I only checked the first page that came up. I’m sure there are some folks who might be familiar with them. Possibly author Mike Valla, who spent some time in The Angler’s Nook, can shed some light on the remaining names. I am very pleased that my customer gave his permission to post this photo. As I noted, I failed to find a single image online of this particular Liar’s Bench. Most of them led to various bars and pubs across the country with this name. Thank you Richard, for sending the photo. This is an incredible bit of fly fishing history for the Vermont – New York area.

An edit with additional information: The comment below posted by Chris Del Plato corrected my original statement (edited above to reflect the correct info) that Lew was the postmaster in Shushan. Chris informed me that Al Prindle was the Shushan Postmaster. If I had looked this up in Joseph Bates Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing, 1950, 1966, 1996, I would have read this: “This bucktail (Shushan Postmaster) was originated by Lew Oatman of Shushan, New York, about 1953 and named for the postmaster of the town (Al Prindle), who was one of Lew’s favorite fishing companions on the Battenkill River, which flows from Vermont into New York state.” Thanks Chris!

Another edit: Rich Norman, in the comments below, corrected the name Peggy as the family dog.

Additionally, I found a photo of a Normal Rockwell cover painting from The Saturday Evening Post. Subsequent research that I did, again sparked by information provided by Chris Del Plato, led me to discover that Al Prindle was the subject of at least two Norman Rockwell paintings. This one is titled “Catching the Big One” though I read online that the original title was “Fishing Lesson.” It was the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in on August 3, 1929.

Catching the Big One - painting by Norman Rockwell. This was originally titled Fishing Lesson. Al Prindle,the postmaster in Shushan, New York, for whom Lew Oatman's Sunshan Postmaster fly was named, was the subject for the painting.

“Catching the Big One” – painting by Norman Rockwell. This was originally titled “Fishing Lesson.” Al Prindle, the postmaster in Shushan, New York, for whom Lew Oatman’s Shushan Postmaster fly was named, was the subject for the painting. This photo came from http://www.rockwellplates.com.

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54 comments on “The Liar’s Bench at The Angler’s Nook, Shushan, New York

  1. streamertyer says:

    Don, Al Prindle, fishing pal of Lew’s, was the Postmaster in Shushan. You can connect the dots… 😉

  2. Kelly L says:

    Donnie, I adored this blog posting today. What a feast. I also very much enjoyed that photo. I don’t know anyone who can weave a great story about flies, history, and tie them altogether, like you can. As you know, I am from Texas. There are no old fly shops around here, like those in this story. So I have to learn about them, and enjoy them, via posts like your blog. Fly fishing is picking up around here, slowly but surely.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Kelly;

      Guess you’ll have to move to Pennsylvania, New York, or Vermont to find stuff like this and have it close to home. 😉 Thank you very much for your kind words and compliments, I am very happy that you enjoyed this post. Hope you can start fishing soon! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Bruce says:

    Very Interesting post, Don.

  4. Bill says:

    Nice touch, DB, giving Jim Slattery the credit he’s due for the Stimulator. Also, another of your great history lessons about fly tying.

  5. Don, this is a fantastic blog post! I love reading about fly fishing history! Keep the posts coming! -Austin

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Austin;

      I’ve very happy that you enjoyed reading this…I’m still amazed that there doesn’t seem to be other online photos of The Liar’s Bench. If there are, I suppose they are buried well back on the google and other search engine pages. Thanks again for your comment! Nice to hear from you!

  6. Steve Sawczuk says:

    Hi Don,
    Good post. Coincidently, the Shushan Postmaster (#8) was the top fly on a sink tip stripped slowly this past weekend at the pond. You should have a few for your October visit.

    Steve

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Steve;
      Glad you liked the story. And it’s surprising that you fished that pattern, I mean the Shushan Postmaster of hundreds of flies you could use? That’s great! I guess I will have to tie some up before my visit there next month. Thanks for your comment, glad you had a nice weekend at the Club.

      • Steve Sawczuk says:

        Don,
        I’ve used it on and off for a number of years, especially up in Weston. Love the way it looks. Not much was going on on top so I decided to try some of the more traditional streamers rather than the standard fare the fish usually see there subsurface.

  7. Don Bastian says:

    Well, Steve, that plan was a good one! Use something different that no one else even has! 😉 I noted the wing of fox squirrel, similar to my RSP. In fact a couple times tying those for orders I was out of red squirrel and used fox squirrel as a substitute. Thanks for your comments!

  8. […] and found the chapter on Lew Oatman quite interesting. Then I remembered that Don Bastian had mentioned Oatman in a post a couple weeks back. It was an interesting read and Don can certainly tell a good story. One of the […]

  9. Hi Don, Some more information about Al. You can also find images of Al in several more series of Rockwell Prints called the “Old Timers” or “Old Buddies” series. Several calendars were made from these prints. Al is featured with a good friend of his, who just happened to be my great-grandfather, Alva Roberson. “Alvy” was the town barber in Shushan for many years. You may already be aware of this, but you can also find some good information about Al and Lew in a book called “The Founding Flies: 43 American Masters Their Patterns and Influences” By Mike Valla. There is a chapter dedicated to Lew Oatman. http://books.google.com/books?id=5OlRhB4gm_0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hello Tony;
      That is great that you were able to add more information about Al and the fact that he was a good friend of your great-grandfather. I have seen but not yet obtained a copy of Mike Valla’s book, that is something I definitely need to do. Thanks for the information and for your comment! Appreciate it!

    • Robert Qua says:

      Excited about seeing the “Liars Bench.” My dad was Pat Qua .He was originally from Hebron, just over the hill from Shushan. My mother was from Shushan (Piser). I wish I could see more of the names. Al Prindle (old Al) Okie Butcher, Lew Oatman are all familiar names. I also remember several Rockwell calendars featuring Al and Alvy. Thanks for the memories!
      Bob Qua
      rvq@linrip.com

      • Kevin Laughton Orange. N.S.W. Australia says:

        Hi Don, Well I pick up a thread now and then from your organisation. I am still fishing and hunting in fact just returned from a pig hunt yesterday. Only shot 29 this trip of 3 days but it was over 40 degrees cent and that is pretty hot to be hunting pigs “out west”

        Caught some really good snapper in early January on the South coast on N.S.W. at Bateman,s bay around the 10 lb mark.

        All for now, will let you know when I catch a Barra on those flies you made’
        regards’ K.L.

  10. Rich Norman says:

    Don

    This was just brought to my attention!

    In September of 1975, after graduating from college, spending the summer in Shushan fishing, rather than taking a good job in NYC, I went to work for George Schlotter for $50 a week plus room and board. My room was the old Angler’s Nook building you picture above. I lived there for the next year and a half, and would guess this was taken in the summer of ’76 as that is when I put up that rack on the left so I could live outdoors! It stayed up for a few years. I first worked for George in the shop, but we later started Battenkill Flies and Materials, mainly to raise the Grizzly strain we had and wholesale it. Our partnership ended in 1981. After 1981, Gary Borkowski and several other guys lived there. The building was torn down several years ago by the new owners.

    Many people think George started the Angler’s Nook, but it was actually started by Ralph Entwistle in the late 50’s. Ralph was a commercial artist and illustrator (that kind of runs along the Battenkill) from Jersey, and I think he ran it mostly as a summer thing with the campground behind it. He was there when I first fished the ‘Kill in 1963. Ralph sold it to George in 1970 and moved to the White River in Arkansas. His son still lives in the area. George built the larger more modern building next door, which everyone seems to remember, but it was originally a diner, and the building you picture was the original Angler’s Nook.

    Any way, Ralph started the liars bench. Of the names listed, you are correct on what you have above. Pat Qua was a fisherman up in Camden Valley, Peggy may be his wife, but I have asked Ralph’s son to help me identify the others. Very interesting, brings back a lot of memories! Many more that I would add to it at this point.

    There were two other tackle stores nearby. The tackle box, owned by Al Wiles (purchased from Roy Brown mentioned in Bates’ book I believe), and the Springhole owned by Ralph DeMille, a fun place but more of a club!

    Thanks, it brought back a lot of good memories!

    • Don Bastian says:

      Well hello, Rich!
      Wow! Is all I can say! So very cool! This, your information, is definitely worth a re-post of that photo and article, along with the pertinent facts you presented….but I’m pretty busy over the next several days….will hope to get to this next week! Thank you so much for sharing your memories of the Angler’s Nook! I can’t tell you how very much I appreciate this! Thank you!!!!

      • Rich Norman says:

        Some other facts!

        It was originally a gas station back in the 20’s.

        When I moved out, George and I kept our brooder boxes in the old shop.

        The entrance to the campground ran along the side of the building. I used to get guys showing up at 4 and 5 in the morning, beeping their horns to get a campsite. I’d love to ask Richard Gordon when he took that picture. Hopefully I’ll get some more from Rich Entwistle. Ralph’s son.

        I corrected my e-mail address! 😉

    • bill sweet says:

      Thank you for all that Rich. Brings back many sweet memories from the pre-snot era. I was quite the fish bum in the 70`s-80`s on the `kill. Spent many months of hours at the `nook. Tied thousands of leaders which made their way to Manchester. You fellows [George in particular] taught me much of the tying techniques I used. I once brought in some unusual mayflies from a particular section of the river which I had never seen other than in books. George told me they were imitated by Grey Fox I believe. Very large; sizes — 4-6-8. Would love to someday re-connect with you lads, at the least, online. I recall telling George of trying to imitate the up-down swimming action of nymphs and him telling me of the Leisenring lift. Many excellent times were had bonding with fellows as you two. Thank you for that. Best wishes,
      Bill Sweet, River Keeper of old.

    • Hi,

      My name is Kathy Hillis-Dickinson. My dad, Ted Hillis, hung around the Tackle Box and The Springhole at Buffum’s Pool.

      I’m looking for photos of both any time after 1957, the year he won the trout contest. Please reply if anyone has something they can share with me.

      Thank you.

      Kathy

  11. Rich Norman says:

    Oh, and Okie butcher is THE Okie Butcher of Butcher trapping supplies, also up in Camden Valley. Okie used to sit on the bank, I was told, looking for big fish to start rising. The old timers said he was famous for wearing out the seats of his waders before the soles. His family are the same Butcher’s from Butcher Hollow where Loretta Lynn comes from.

    • Rich Norman says:

      Don

      Heard from Rick Entwistle, he told me Peggy was their dog! That was news. The John you see on the right was John Rehm, a good friend and companion of Ralph. We are still trying to figure out who Wes is, and I am trying to get the last name.

      Rick told me the bench was actually done by Ralph, Al Wiles, who owned the Tackle Box, Ralph DeMille from the Springhole and Henry McIntyre, one of my mentors. I actually tie a wet fly named for Henry which was featured in V.5 1.3 issue of Fly Tyer, along with the Breadcrust as Henry taught me to tie it. If the Bench still existed, those are four names that I would add to it.

      Rich

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Rich!
        Wow! The info you have provided is awesome! I want to eventually put it together to add to that article, or re-post it – the Liar’s Bench photo, adding the information you have provided. This is great! Problem is, in the present term, I’m so busy with my fly orders. I’m making headway, but I still have a lot of flies to tie. I will probably send it to you for editing and any clarification if needed. Thank you so much for this help! 🙂

      • Rich Norman says:

        I need to get Mike Valla over to take a picture of where it used to be. I have a piece of wood I grabbed after they tore it down. I am trying to get some other pictures of it, any i had are long gone. As we are contemporaneous in age, you probably remember there were 3 big “Angler’s” fly shops in the 60’s. The Angler’s Nook, Jim Deren’s Angler’s Roost, and Stan and Carol Molinski’s Angler’s Cove, all gone now.

        Gettin ready for retirement, thining of going back to doing some commercial tying again, what’s it like out there? Haven’t done any since ’96.

      • bill sweet says:

        Hi Rich;
        Do you know if Henry was perhaps related to the jeweler from Argyle? That was who was responsible for putting the first fly rod in my hands. Remembering it vividly now. He had a couple bamboo rods from Orvis which we used. He took me to your shop first, then to the most immediate section above the covered bridge. From there on to the stretch about a mile below East Greenwich. That was I believe about 1971-72. I forget his first name, however I am sure his last name was McIntyre. soon to retire myself–hope to hear of you soon. Any news of George or his sons? Lost touch when they moved out west.

      • Rich Norman says:

        That was Henry’s brother Dick. they were both from Argyle originally. Henry went to Florida in the 30’s and then came back and was the Granville watchmaker, Dick was the Argyle watchmaker!

        George is doing well. He trailers on the Delaware in the spring, heads west for the summer, and imposes on some guy in New York for the winter. The boys are all good, and Greg, the youngest, lives not far from me here in Washington County. Georgie is out west working as a fireman I believe, don’t know what Matt and John are up to. Mary Ann lives in Pinehurst.

        I remember you and the name, but I need to put a face with it! 😉

      • bill sweet says:

        I dont recall “Okie” by name but used to get trapping supplies at O. L. Butcher’s up until they closed. Still trap when time and land available. Bobcats, fox, and fisher mostly. Beaver for bait and a few mink n mushrats. Try not to target ‘coons cuz only worthwhile with large sizes-most times need to let go about 75% of them because they are smalls-mediums. Freeze the hides now too, cuz I dont have the strength in fingers to flesh them anymore. Think butchers place closed about 80-81. Poor old Battenkill taking a beating over the years. Less shore cover, snot, heat die-offs, low water. People’s homes always want an unobstructed view of river so they take out the bushes n trees. Way of the world I guess.

  12. Kevin Laughton says:

    Hi from N.S.W. Australia !!,
    Am I looking at a site for the “Anglers Nook” owned by Ralph Entwistle??
    I have been 3 times Australian Fly Casting Champion of Champions, (now retired after 60 yrs. competing in the Australian Champs since 1951).
    On the 28th December 1970 (whilst on R and R from the Vietnam conflict), I took a Richard Entwistle fly fishing in central N.S.W. and his father owned the “Anglers Nook.” I actually have his business card here in our hunting and fishing diary from that time.
    We took 353 boys from America, who were in Vietnam, hunting and fishing.

    If Richard could contact me that would be outstanding,

    Kevin Laughton
    “High Country Safaris”
    from 1969 to 1972.

    • Rich Norman says:

      You are correct, and that is about the time that Rick would have been doing his service. I will pass this on.

      Rich

      • Kevin Laughton says:

        Thanks Mate , Over the years since the late 1960s I have contacted quite a few of the boys from the U.S.A. that I took out hunting and fishing whilst they were on Rest & Rec . Some have been back here a few times since then and we have visited many of them in the U.S.

        Greg Miheve ( a well known fly tyer from Florida) was here a couple of times and I often get flies from him to catch Barramundi.

      • Rich Norman says:

        Passed your note on to Rick, he had just been thinking about you. Hoping he will be able to get back to you on this blog.

  13. Don Bastian says:

    Hi guys!

    I just want to say that I think it is absolutely fantastic that this post initiated this dialogue that started and is growing between people who had direct dealings or association with the Angler’s Nook! Way cool! 😉

    I had written to Rich that one day I intend to eventually combine all this information into a more cohesive article about the Angler’s Nook and the Liar’s Bench…great stuff! Thank you all for your willingness to share your information, contacts, and experiences!

  14. kevin laughton says:

    Hello again Don,
    I have just found a photo of Richard Entwistle taken by me in 1970 at Orange , N.S.W. Australia whilst he was on R & R from the Vietnam conflict.

    He is sitting at our kitchen table with 7 trout lined up in front of himself..

    I don’t know how to send this shot to you !!

    Do you have an E:mail address ??

    I won 2 out of 3 fly casting events in Sydney last weekend and was 2nd in the third

    regards

    kevin laughton

  15. Don Bastian says:

    Hi Kevin;
    Thanks so much for your continued interest in this topic! That’s great you found a photo of Richard from 1970. Sending it; you’d have to scan it, or take a good digital photo of the photo, then e-mail it to me at: dwbastian@chilitech.net

    Congratulations on your casting prowess in the recent contest!

    Best regards;

    Don

  16. streamertyer says:

    Following this with much interest, Don et al. Always excited to add to Oatman’s ‘six degrees of separation’. Thanks Rich, Bill, Kevin.

  17. Kevin Laughton says:

    Hi All,

    Still haven’t heard from Richard Entwistle , !! Hope he is in good health,

    regards

    Kevin Laughton

  18. Don Bastian says:

    Reblogged this on Don Bastian Wet Flies and commented:

    “The Liar’s Bench” post was written almost two years ago, and it is still continuing to grow. In the last two days, I received two lengthy and well-written e-mails from a man in New Jersey named George Nimmo. Mr. Nimmo fished this area for years, and he has proven at once to be an excellent writer, moreover he is a valuable and bountiful source of additional, detailed information on the characters, the original fly shop owned by Ralph Entwhistle, and the history of The Angler’s Nook – a combination fly shop / campground / hangout / diner.

    One of the most interesting bits of information on this whole story comes from Kevin Laughton, who lives in Australia and, through this blog article, discovered this topic. An Australian connection? Amazing but true. Mr. Laughton and others took several hundred US soldiers on active duty in Viet Nam fishing in Australia on R&R in 1970. One of the fellows Kevin hosted was none other than Richard Entwhistle, the son of The Angler’s Nook original owner, Ralph Entwhistle.

    With a few more e-mails that I’ve saved, Mr. Nimmo’s expansive information, and a photo of Richard Entwhistle in Kevin Laughton’s kitchen in 1970 in Australia with some nice trout…yes, this will one day be a largely expanded article on The Angler’s Nook and The Liar’s Bench.

    Please make sure you read through the entire list of comments. It is well worth it.

    • Kevin Laughton says:

      Hello again Don,

      Thanks for the up-date .
      In December we had some dreadful news, my wife of 56 years was diagnosed with liver cancer !! Never smoked in her life , she did 2 bouts of chemo but has deceided to give that a miss, there is no cure for this particular cancer.

      So I haven’t done any fishing since the Barra trip.

      I was given a very old (feb 1952) silent film of the 2nd Australian fly casting championships held in Tasmania in February 1952. The person who gave it to me said they thought it might be me that was featured a few times as well as Dick Wigram , Malcolm Gillies and a host of other very well known casters and fly fishermen of the 1950’s.

      It was in fact me and I have since put a voice-over on the disc as no one else would have known who the casters were , and have sent a copy to the Australian Casting Federation and also one to the Australian Fly Fishing Museum at Clarendon in Tasmania.

      Kind regards

      Kevin Laughton

      • Don Bastian says:

        Hi Kevin;

        I am so sorry to hear the news about your wife’s poor health. I went through that eight years ago, my wife of nearly 34 years succumbed to pancreatic cancer in February 2007.
        I understand your not fishing right now…
        That old silent film is a great find, and it is wonderful that you were able to identify the people in it.

        That is very cool stuff, but again, I am sorry to hear about your wife.

  19. rjbates says:

    Wow. Grew up near Shushan (in Coila), with boys that trapped for flies (tying materials I assume – Don) – at the Angler’s Nook and a father who fixed things in Oatman’s house. Now, I fly-fish in the Smokies and am married to a guy who ties all the flies I need and makes me my own bamboo rods. But still miss being up on the Battenkill and near these dear places. Great to learn of this past.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi rj:

      Thanks for your comment and additional input! This is so great that this topic has stayed alive…I am quite certain there are more comments here than any other article on my blog. Pushing 4 dozen now…
      Always good to hear more details from a new voice, and it’s great that people who are following this are scattered across the world. Thanks for your comment!

  20. Kevin Laughton says:

    Hello again Don,

    Still haven’t wet a line since my Barra trip as my wife is extremly weak now, it is really hard to believe,.

    Great to be kept “in the loop” from the U.S.A.

    regards to all,

    kevin Laughton

    • Don Bastian says:

      Again Kevin, sorry to hear of your wife’s worsening health. That is a tough road to go when you are the spouse of someone with a terminal illness…I’ve walked that road. I wish you the best. Enjoy these times…

  21. ddclyons1 says:

    Coming to this post way late but enjoyed it very much. I bought Mike Valla’s camp up on Perry Hill Road this past fall and if any of you old Battenkill hands want to stop by for a beer drop me a note: ddclyons1@aol.com.
    Bill Sweet: rock snot is not really a big deal on the ‘kill. The only section of river that I see getting any sort of bloom on anything close to a regular basis is up on the West Branch above Manchester. The main stem doesn’t have a problem that I have seen. Lots of positive stuff being done on the river to counter act some of the not good stuff from the past – all those old deflectors turned out to have been designed badly and the river up along the Special Regs area has become over-widended in areas as a result so now those have been taken out and structures have been placed in the river to correct these issues – takes time but it is working.

    I’ve been coming up to the river since 1977 and have pent the majority of my time up in Vermont but am exploring NY more and more. The one common theme I have noticed is I don’t think anyone has ever said the fishing is any good on the Battenkill. Good fihing on the Battenkill i defined a the present minus 15 years. : >

    By the way – I would love to get a copy of that photo to copy and frame for the camp.

  22. Joe Carabello says:

    I started fishing the Battenkill in 1987 long after much of the recorded history of the Angler’s Nook was written. My weekends in Arlington, VT always began with an evening stop at the Angler’s Nook to check the chalkboard out front to see the hatches and flies. Back then we would stay with Doc Bill Lesko and his wife, Joan at their Twin Rivers Farm on Rte 313 in Arlington (the first section of the river to have the restoration completed). Bill soon introduced me to George Schlotter and my views of fly-fishing and fly tying were changed forever.

    Whenever I came up from New Jersey, I would spend as much time with George as possible and learned at his knee. Warm days, cold days it didn’t matter. Neither if I was going to fish or not. I was thirsty for the knowledge that George could pass on.

    Ten years later we found our home on Murray Hollow Road in Arlington and that gave me more time with George. But, alas, it wasn’t to be for long. Changes in George’s life, and those of his sons, led him to the decision to move on to travel and tie. After all the hours spent at the Angler’s Nook he was gone.

    Last weekend my sons-in-law and I traveled to fish the Upper Delaware with well-known guide, Joe Demalderis. Fishing was slow causing us to change flies often looking for the answer when Joe suggested, “Try this.”

    “Hmmm,” I said. “That Iso looks familiar.” His retort was that it was tied special for him by his good friend, George Schlotter. I almost fell out of the boat. The next few hours were spent fishing and telling of warm reminisces. We spoke of George, his sons, the Nook, the flies, and the many fishermen I met coming and going. Unfortunately, George had already left Hancock so a reunion was not to be.

    I still have some of those Isos, Vermont Caddis, and Cahills that George tied back then and I don’t plan on using them anytime soon. The one Shushan Postmaster I had I lost long ago to a hefty brown. I have tied others that never seem to work as well.

    I’m hoping to return to the Delaware in the spring and maybe our paths will cross.

    • Don Bastian says:

      Hi Joe;
      All I can say is, Wow. I mean Wow! I love these stories / comments that folks have posted here about The Angler’s Nook, all because a friend sent me that photo of the Liar’s Bench some years back. These comments have been coming in over a significant period of time. The place, and the topic, has developed a life and character of its own, and I plan to develop all this information into a significant article, maybe even a chapter of a book one day.
      Thank you so much for your comments and for sharing this information! I love that you were able to add more information and diversity to this topic, and yet add more humanism and the angling / fly tying connection to this. Thanks again!

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