Monday, August 3, 2009

Matt Matsushita Dies In Car Crash

Sadly, I must report the death of a matchless fly tyer. Matt Matsushita died Sunday afternoon in a single car accident, about 20 miles east of the Green River in Utah, while returning to his home in San Diego after the FFF Conclave. The accident occurred at about 2:45pm. His vehicle turned into the median and rolled several times. According to Utah Highway Patrol, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Matt, 60, was a fantastic tyer, specializing in small, extended body mayflies. His work was exquisite and he was always so willing to share his techniques. He created tools that helped make working on small flies easier. He was such a kind, gentle man, and it pains me to think that he will no longer be with us. Truly a loss.

3 comments:

Karen said...

I am Matt Matsushita's sister and I so appreciate your recognition of Matt's passion and talent for tying flies. He will be missed by all who knew him. Thank you for your words of support and comfort. Warm regards, Karen Matsushita Byers

Anonymous said...

I just met Matt on Saturday the 1st, such a fantastic fly tier. I was impressed by his willingness to share his techniques and secrets.

The world is a sadder place with his passing.

flytier015 said...

Matt and I had breakfast together one morning at Loveland.. I asked him about the brass fly holders he made himself. He talked about his childhood and how he enjoyed building models and still did when he had the time. This love of model building lead him towards taking engineering classes which got him in to buying many tools so he could machine his own parts. When he was unable to buy the type of electronic wire clips that most people are using to hold their flies for display, he decided to build his own. No parts are soldered or welded. He manufactured his own springs and cut the brass tubes out of mismatched tubing (that is how the tube stays together because they are mismatched in size).

Matt had donated four of these brass holders along with four of his flies and they were set in some kitchen counter material he had cut and drilled to size. I made sure I was the one to win his donation in the silent auction, I bit high enough to out bid everyone else. I bought them with the intention of placing them in my glass display cabinet. I mentioned this to Matt and he told me those flies were for fishing, not for display.

I saw Matt again on Sunday morning, as we were waiting for the elevator, taking the last of our bags out to our cars. He mentioned again that I should use those flies for fishing. We laughed and said our goodbyes.

I was deeply saddened when I found out about his passing. He will be missed.

Larry Gibbs
FFF Auction Coordinator