The first time Gary graced the portals of the Little Lehigh Fly Shop was to inaugurate the first Leisenring Day. He was delivered by Dave Baker of MAIN LINE FLY TYERS fame. They stopped for lunch at Dave’s favorite diner. When Gary went to the rest room the waitress asked if that was David Letterman. When Dave assured her it was, she asked if it would be all right if she asked for an autograph, which she did. As they were leaving, she approached Dave saying “the autograph says Gary Borger, not David Letterman.” Dave explained that David Letterman was his stage name.
Gary looks so much like Letterman the show flew him to New York to participate in a Letterman look-alike contest.
Aside from looking like Letterman, Gary is one of the world’s foremost fly-fishing educators. Gary holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Campus in Wausau. He has been recognized in The Millennium Edition of Strathmore’s Who’s Who,” “Who’s Who in the Midwest,” “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering,” “Men of Achievement,” the “Dictionary of International Biography,” a multiple year honoree in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teacher’s,” “Outstanding People of the 20th Century,” and “Outstanding People of the Millennium.”
He has been a fly fisher since 1955, and since 1972 has taught classes and lectured internationally on all aspects of fly fishing for trout and salmon.
A free-lance writer and photographer, he has written ten best-selling books on fly fishing: “Nymphing,” “Naturals,” “The Borger Color System,” ” Fishing the Dry Fly” “‘Designing Trout Flies,” “Presentation,” “Fishing the Film,” “Reading Waters,” “Long Flies,” and “The Angler as Predator.”
Gary pioneered fly fishing video instruction with his release of “Nymphing” in 1982. Since then he has appeared in four videos for the 3M Company; and in cooperation with the Federation of Fly Fishers, produced the environmental video “Where The Trout Are.” His video production company has produced an additional 17, internationally acclaimed videos in the “Skills of Fly Fishing Series.” This production work has earned him a listing in “Who’s Who in Entertainment.”
Gary was also a consultant on Robert Redford’s movie “A River Runs Through It.”
With his award-winning CD/cassette tape, “My Madison,” he pioneered fly fishing, nature-music audios. In addition, Gary has been involved in the design of many fly-fishing products, and unique fly designs. He is a founding board member of the River Alliance of Wisconsin, a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Federation of Fly Fisher’s fly casting instructor certification program, a member of The Order of the Jungle Cock, Trout Unlimited, United Fly Tyers, the Federation of Fly Fishers, and other conservation organizations. He is a recipient of the Ross Allen Merigold Complete Angler Memorial Award, the Charles K. Fox Rising Trout Award, The Buz Buszek Memorial Fly Tying Award, The Federation of Fly Fisher’s Lifetime Achievement in Fly Casting Instruction Award, the VFS Fly Fisherman Readers Poll Hall of Fame Award, the Joan and Lee Wullf Conservation award, and is internationally recognized for his conservation efforts; in recognition of this work he received the first Lew Jewett Memorial Life Membership in the Federation of Fly Fishers in 1979. In 2013, Gary was named one of the top seven most influential fly fishers of the last 50 years by Canada’s Fly Fusion Magazine. Gary is currently working on a 20 book series entitled Fly Fishing with his son Jason.
Gary has been the single most influential factor in my fly-fishing career.
More importantly, he has had a great influence on my Spiritual life. I consider him my pastor,
In November I was devastated by the death of my beloved son Moose. As most people couldn’t get across town in a snow storm for Dave’s service, Gary flew from Vancouver, Washington to Kingston, Pennsylvania providing needed comfort for me and my family.
Gary speaks to me weekly through his blog Jacobs Well, it’s an important part of my weekly routine. If you don’t subscribe to it you should.
If you have the chance to attend a fly-fishing show where Gary is participating, go out of your way to learn from him.
During Chuck Furminsky’s Fly Fishing shows Gary usually conducts a Sunday morning bible study, don’t miss it. You will observe an articulate man saying a lot of meaningful things in a few words.
Gary wrote the introduction to my book, appeared yearly at my shop, comforted me when needed, gave advice and provided the ultimate example of a Christian, fly fishing, classy gentleman.
My acquaintance with him has been an honor.