Dwight D Eisenhower
About 24 miles, as the crow flies from the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum, is the farm of one of the greatest men in history. A fly fisherman named, Dwight Eisenhower.
Ike was not a particularly good caster and a football’ injury resulted in a “hell of a time wading rough streams,” but despite these constraints Ike stands out as one of Americas most avid fly fishing presidents.*
Born October 14, 1890 in Denison Texas, he spent his youth in the small farm town of Abilene, Kansas where he delighted in hunting, fishing, football, and military history.
He won an appointment to West Point where his pranks, fondness for cards and smoking earned him average grades and little respect from his teachers. They thought that he would be a good officer but not a great one.
At Camp Meade Maryland he married Mamie Doud and became friends with George S. Patton, Jr.
Prior to World War II he finished first in his class at the Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Eisenhower commanded the Allied troops that invaded North Africa in Operation Torch, directed the invasions of Sicily and Italy and was Supreme Commander in Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied western Europe.
At Normandy he led one of the greatest military forces in history launching the D-Day attack and winning the admiration of Allied leaders.
After the war he became chief of staff of the Army and wrote his popular memoir Crusade in Europe.
After serving as president of Columbia University he returned to uniform as the first Supreme Commander of NATO forces in Europe, the most important military job in the world.
Ike, an avid outdoorsman, particularly enjoyed fly fishing for trout and cooking his catch over an open fire.
According to Ike fly fishing provided “…two to three hours, when you are thinking of the … wily trout. Now to my mind this is a very healthful, beneficial kind of thing and I do it whenever I get a chance”.
Hundreds of constituents sent him flies, reels and rods, a favorite being his Orvis Manchester impregnated bamboo fly rod, 8 foot, 6 inch two piece.
His retirement home in Gettysburg is managed by the National Park Service as a museum and historic site.
Ike’s fly rod and some of his other fishing gear is on display at the farm’s reception center .