Helen Shaw

Helen Shaw learned fly fishing from her father when she was a child in Wisconsin.  During her senior year of high school, she was supporting herself as a fly tyer and by age 20, opened a fly tying business in Sheboygan.  Requests to mass produce flies were turned down because Helen was never willing to sacrifice quality for quantity.  Her flies satisfied the needs of some of the most discriminating fly fishers, including President Herbert Hoover, and she came to be known as a most meticulous fly tyer. In 1953 she closed her Wisconsin store and moved to New York to marry Field and Stream art director, Herman Kessler.  In 1963 they collaborated on Helen’s first book Fly Tying, and set a new standard in fly tying self-study.  Helen did the writing and Herman, the photography.  As a result of this single title, Helen taught thousands to tie flies.  Two more books followed, Flies for Fish and Fishermen, and Fly Tying: Materials, Tools, and Techniques. A true pioneer in fly fishing, Helen  perfected her craft. She first tied flies for the fish, and then for the fisherman..

 

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