Monday, September 7, 2009

Fran Betters, Dean Of The Ausable, Dies

Sunday, September 6, 2009 marked a sad day in the fly fishing world, with the death of Fran Betters. Betters, known for flies such as the Ausable Wulff, Usual, Haystack and a host of other patterns for his home waters in the Adirondacks, was the proprietor of the Adirondack Sport Shop for many years. Due to failing health in recent years, Fran had been trying to sell his shop.

As do many anglers who travel through Wilmington, NY during an Adirondack trout adventure, I have many fond memories of dropping in to to say hello to Fran. He was always at his tying desk and ready to give advice on how and where to fish. Although known for his famous patterns, Fran also tied mighty nice parachutes, terrestrials, caddis and muddlers. The Piggy-Back Nymph was the forerunner of the parasol-style fly and his Haystack set the stage for what we now call the comparadun style.

Fran was a writer of many fine books about fly fishing in the Adirondacks as well as Fran Betters' Fly Fishing, Fly Tying and Pattern Guide (1986). He will be missed by many, especially his wife, Jan.

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