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1992. First Edition . Signed. LEISER, Eric. The Dettes. A Catskill Legend. (Fishkill, New York): Willowkill Press, (1992). Quarto, original pictorial beige leather gilt, raised bands, burgundy morocco spine label, elaborate wooden slipcase with inset shadow box and four hand-tied flies by the Dettes. $2500.Signed limited first edition of this photo-illustrated biography of the Dettes family of professional fly-tiers, letter ""O"" of only 26 copies signed by the author as well as Walt, Winnie, and Mary Dette, the ""First Family of Catskill Fly Tying,"" with this deluxe edition specially designed by Joan Stoliar, handbound in imported calfskin, and specially housed in a slipcase designed by Don Leydon from black walnut with an inset shadow box displaying four hand-tied flies by the Dettes illustrating the stages in tying the Hendickson fly, mounted with an excerpt for Smedley's Fly Patterns and their Origins.Written by Eric Leiser, this work focuses on a special Catskills family widely believed to be responsible for helping to spread the art of fly tying across the United States. ""Walt Dette, the Catskill Mountains fly tier who passed on his complicated art to future generationsÂ… was an exceptionally gifted fly tier. And for almost three-quarters of a century, he, along with his wife, Winnie, and their daughter, Mary, have been part of the tradition of Roscoe, a center of fly-fishing, and are the last of the renowned school of the Catskill fly tiers. Mr. Dette, along with Rube Cross, is a major link in a chain that reaches back to Theodore Gordon, long considered by many as the father of dry-fly fishing in this country. In 1928, when Mr. Cross was one of the acclaimed professional fly tiers in the East, Mr. Dette approached him with an offer of $50 if Mr. Cross would reveal the technical processes involved in the construction of his flies. ""He told me to go to hell,"" Mr. Dette said, ""even though I'd promised him I'd not tie commercially and thus compete with him, nor would I divulge his techniques to anyone else."" Dressing flies was a jealously guarded secret during that era. This did not discourage the young Dette. He began purchasing flies tied by Mr. Cross and others. While his soon bride-to-be, Winnie, took notes, young Dette meticulously untied the Cross flies, one turn of thread at a time, in order to learn their construction. Unlike Mr. Cross, however, Mr. Dette shared the procedures with any and all who asked. Thus, not only was a wealth of technical knowledge preserved but in his willing students it was also eventually spread throughout much of the country. There is no doubt that Mr. Dette has directly, or indirectly, affected all who fish with the fly todayÂ… In 1990, for example, the Eastern Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers presented their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award to 'Walt, Winnie and Mary Dette, the First Family of Catskill Fly Tying, for their untiring dedication to the sport of fly-fishing and their efforts to preserve the Catskill fly tying tradition.'"" (New York Times). Fine condition.
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-04-03           Check availability:      Biblio    


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