Jack Gartside: Forever a Boy

I finally, finally, finally got around to uploading this video profile of Jack, created about 2004. It was created by Chuck Kraemer of PBS’s Greater Boston who, in only a few minutes, manages to capture so much of who Jack was and what made him special. It’s an amazing piece of filming, editing, and story telling. Kraemer, One senses, realizing what a wonderful story he had before him, felt bound and determined to tell it well.


Bears Den Expo, February 20 + Gartside swag

bearsdenlogoFor those of you in the New England area, be sure to check out the Bear’s Den Fly Fishing Expo.  It’s this Saturday, February 20, at the Holiday Inn in Taunton, Mass. This is the show’s 12th year and a lot of people now consider it the premier fly fishing show in Massachusetts. The energy is great, and with free admission, free parking, and free programs the price is hard to beat.

Of special interest to Gartside fans: Scott Wessels who runs the Bear’s Den has been working for a few months now on a T shirt featuring a picture of Jack. Originally the plan was to raise a little cash for Jack when he was in the hospital. Sadly, that didn’t work out. But the shirts are finally ready and you can get them at the show (or afterward, I assume, at the shop). They feature the (in)famous picture of Jack and Gerald (the Becks graciously allowed the rights) and a Gartside BeastMaster fly.

Addendum February 23: Dave Skok emailed me that sales of Scott’s Gartside T shirts were brisk at the show. Proceeds are going to the American Museum of Fly Fishing. If you missed the show but would like a shirt, contact the Bear’s Den.

Jack interviewed on Fishface Radio

In case you missed it (or even if you didn’t) here’s a hilarious interview Jack did last March with his old friend Snag Hoofish (aka, Strayhorn Spadewater) on Snag’s Fishface Radio show. Jack was concerned beforehand that he might not sound sharp but he managed to deliver classic Gartside. The interview starts about 17 minutes into the show. Enjoy.

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The Marlborough fly fishing show

fly-fishing-logo-largest_5gkdAnother year, another Marlborough fly fishing show. Attendance was off some this year, both on the exhibitor side and on the attendee side. A cratering economy will do that, I guess. But Jack had one of his best shows ever. Sales were brisk. His booth was busy from the time we opened until the time we closed. And while I didn’t get to see it myself, people who came by the booth afterward said Jack’s talk on striper fishing technique went very well (he was concerned beforehand that chemo-fatigue might affect his performance).

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say hi, ask questions, reminisce, or just wish him well. I thought I knew most of Jack’s adventures but it was fun to hear a few ones this weekend: a night fishing trip with Terry Boylan to Plum Island that ended with Jack and Terry hiding in the weeds from a boat full of drunks armed with rifles and searchlights who wanted to shoot them after nearly mowing down their inflatable raft; there was also something about a trip on a tramp steamer to South America that nearly ended very badly (got to ask Jack for more details on this one).

As we closed up the booth Saturday evening Jack told me how pleased he was to be able to attend the show after all. The injection of good will he got this weekend is as sustaining for him as anything the doctors do. His support network, he calls you guys. It’s a wonderful thing to see.

Here’s a video Dave Souza shot of Jack showing how to tie a Secret Sand Eel…

Pasta Fest!

spaghetti.jpgAs part of an afternoon-evening program/dinner, I’ll be giving a short talk on successful and unusual fishing tactics at the Greater Boston Trout Unlimited Pasta Fest on Sunday, April 6, 2008. This event is open to everybody. If you’re interested in having a good time and supporting the work of Trout Unlimited, come on by. You’re sure to have fun. I’m trying to convince my giraffe, Gerald, to come out of hibernation for the event (I know he loves pasta) but he’s been looking a little tired lately so I’m not sure he’ll be able to make it.

The event will be held Hibernian Hall, 151 Watertown Street/Rte. 16, Watertown, MA. For complete details, click on the link below:


Back from Denver

Rocky MountainsHi Everybody. Just returned from the Flyfishing Show West in Denver, where the turnout was excellent and where fishing and fun were “in the air,” with lots of people stopping by to tell me of their adventures past, present, and soon-to-be.

I always enjoy these shows since they give me an opportunity to visit with old friends and to meet new ones. I was fortunate enough to be tying next to Doug Swisher and his friend Sharon and was also able to spend some time with Dave Whitlock, Gary Borger, John Betts, AK Best, and John Gierach among others, people I don’t get to see often enough except at shows and whose company I always enjoy.

Also had a chance to pick up some great flytying materials; necks from Bill Keogh and some new and interesting materials from Doug Swisher and also from Gary Borger, enough to keep me in experimental material for some time to come. You’ll probably be seeing some of this material incorporated into some of my fly patterns before too long.

I gave two slide presentations at the show on “Tigerfishing on the Zambezi,” which were well-attended and well-received and invited many interesting questions, including one posed by strange-looking gent who asked me why there weren’t more elephants in Colorado? Didn’t have an answer to that one but maybe one of you can help me out here. If I can discover what mental institution he’s currently residing in I’ll pass it along.

I’d like thank everybody who stopped by my tying area and bought flies, books, and materials. Due to airline restrictions I wasn’t able to bring a lot of stuff with me and I apologize for running out of some items early in the show. If there’s anything you wanted but I didn’t have you can always order whatever it is from my website.

Other Upcoming Flyfishing Shows I’ll be appearing at:

Flyfishing Show East, Marlboro, MA January 18, 19, 20
Flyfishing Show East, Somerset, NJ January 25, 26, 27

If you’re in the area, please stop by and say hello. Till the next time, Happy Fishing!