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Gary LaFontaine


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My friend the late Gary LaFontaine with my friend the late Al Miller.  

My friend the late Gary LaFontaine with my ftriend the late Al Miller

Growing up in Connecticut Gary LaFontaine caught his first fish at age eight using a fly. At age 15 he published his first fishing article. In 1963 he attended the University of Montana majoring in Behavioral Psychology. Gary and his wife Ardyce returned to Connecticut where she worked with mentally disabled children. They moved in 1973 to Deer Lodge, Montana where Gary worked as a guard at the Montana State Prison. He later took up a post in the children's ward at the historic Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs, Montana.


Challenge of the Trout was his first book that was published in 1976 (no longer in print). His second book Caddisflies gained him national recognition in 1981.[6] The next book he published was The Dry Fly: New Angles in 1990. Then Trout Flies: Proven Patterns in 1993 and then Flyfishing Mountain Lakes in 1996.


Gary LaFontaine; author, angler and entomologist published in excess of 100 articles on fly fishing and fly tying in more than a dozen different regional and national publications. He authored five books, best known of which was Caddisflies and coauthored many others.  A pioneer in using SCUBA gear for underwater research, he spent many bone-chilling hours observing trout and their insect prey species in their environment.  He observed light patterns which reflected from the organisms and discovered that a trilobal polymer filament would, when blended with other materials in small amounts, reproduce these light patterns.  Thus, his “Deep Sparkle” and “Sparkle” patterns came in to general usage with stunning results.  When he died at age 56, Gary was working on another book on the incredibly complex group of Blue Wing Olives.  Steve Qualline, of Bob Marriott’s Fly Fishing Store, has probably said it best: “Gary’s greatest legacy was the way he touched, and taught countless lovers of fly fishing!”

This tribute is from Fly Tyer magazine, I take no credit.

CADDISFLIES is a must read for any student of our sport.

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