Ed Shenk, a Pennsylvania icon and a man who left a lasting legacy on the sport of fly fishing passed away peacefully on April 10, 2020. He was 93 years old.
Almost all fly fishers have been impacted by Ed Shenk in some way, whether they know it or not. His home water was Letort Spring Run where he shared the water, and ideas, with other leading fly fishers of the day such as Vincent Marinaro and Charlie Fox.
He wrote 18 articles for Fly Fisherman magazine starting with “The Cress Bug” in the January 1972 issue. He was a great observer, and most significant contributions were transferring what he saw in nature to his fly-tying vise. He created and wrote about the Letort Hopper, Letort Cricket, Shenk Cress Bug, Shenk Sculpin, and Shenk White Minnow. And while many of these flies have since evolved into more complex variations with synthetic materials, Shenk and his peers laid the groundwork for how we imitate trout food sources both at the vise and in our on-the-water presentations. Stories like “Sculpinating Trout” (March 1985) started trends that we are still following today. The last story he wrote for Fly Fisherman was the obituary for his friend, fishing companion, and another legend of the sport. His story “Charles K. Fox; 1908-1997” was published in the July 1997 issue.
He wrote one book Fly Rod Trouting (Stackpole Books, 1989).
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