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Another Ff@ Legend Lost!


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In the midst of chaos... follows even more chaos. I have just received some very sad news from the States today.


Pic: Dave and Mary Lu Lewis of (and with) Performance Fly Rods


Dave Lewis, friend, mentor, member of FF@list and owner of Performance Fly Rods, has passed away: 08.05.09.


A ‘great one’ has slipped back into the current. He is already sorely missed.




“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters. ” – Norman Maclean




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The Day Bumblechook Creek Ceased to Flow

Today at 10:48am




There are bad days of catching fish, but there is never a bad day of fishing. - Sam Stovepipe, venerate sage of Gar Island


There are, however, some very sad days in life. Some of them - the saddest of all - are loosing dear friends to whom you have looked to for advice and the lagniappe boost we all need from time-to-time.


Such a day began several months ago. A day many of us who are the 'collective friends and extended family', have been dreading. Like one person said in an email during the past 48 hours, 'we all knew it was coming, but no one wanted to imagine it.' Very, very true.


August 5, 2009, for ... the members of FF@-listserv, the community of fly rod builders, purveyors of fly-fishing goods and paraphernalia, lovers of fine fish photography, seekers of trout stream wisdom, students of the greater purpose found in 'being on small trout waters', those fortunate few who shared water, rarefied air and precious time ... and the rest of the world - knowing it or not ... was the day the Bumblechook Creek ceased to flow.


Those who were privy to the influence of a dear soul named Dave Lewis, are on this day experiencing the painful drought of loss, of a dear friend, a bearer of the waters of a good life. The waters that flowed effervescent and free ... from the fabled Bumblechook Creek.


We now thirst.


The following is the official obituary for David N. Lewis, friend, mentor, confidant, sage, artisan and consummate 'faux curmudgeon' and purveyor of all things bright and beautiful, on Bumblechook Creek




David N. Lewis, 66, of Harrisonburg, VA, husband of Mary Lu Stout Lewis, died from pancreatic cancer on August 5, 2009.


David was born January 4, 1943 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where he lived until he was 21. He was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Haines Lewis and William M. Lewis, and his only sister, Isabelle Blose.


He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary Lu Stout Lewis, his brother, William M. Lewis, Jr., sister-in-law Lois and niece Mary Ellen; his brother-in-law, William A. Blose of Pittsburgh; niece Susan Blose Tomlinson, husband Jim and sons Matthew and Daniel; niece Virginia Blose Ellwood, husband Jim, their son David, his wife Andrea, and daughter Amelia; and their daughter Heather Dalle-Tezze, husband Jeremy and son Vincent. David is also survived by his mother-in-law Mary Stout, brother-in-law Francis Stout, sisters-in-law Nancy Pyle, Becky McCaskey, and Jamie Stout.


At David’s request, there will be no public services.


A personal reflection from his wife Mary Lu


I would like you to know a little bit about the essence of the man whom I have shared my adult life with. We met when I was 16 and he 20. We married two years later, after he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. He started his teaching career at Montevideo High School as I started to school at Madison College. Four years later I joined the staff at Montevideo teaching art. We developed strong lasting bonds with the faculty and students in those early years. David directed the student plays there for many years, always had great fun interacting with the students throughout his entire career and learned many important life lessons.


As a little kid growing up in Pennsylvania, David had the good fortune to have a teenage brother willing to take a little boy along fishing from an early age. In the late 1940’s most people kept the fish, which they caught on worms and spinners. Pennsylvania was one of the first areas to have streams designated catch-and-release. David and his brother soon transitioned to fly fishing and relished the idea of returning the native trout to their sparkling habitat. David was a natural born engineer, having an instinct for designing and making things. In his early teens he made his first fly rod, which he perfected over the years. After 22 years of teaching, he started his business, Performance Fly Rods, selling his custom fly rods at fly fishing shows on the east coast and through his web site.


Montana has always been a trout fisherman’s Mecca. David’s first two-week adventure there in the early 1980’s turned into a long-lasting love affair with the beauty of the state and the native trout species that live there. His early competitive desire to catch fish transitioned into a desire to meld with the beauty of his favorite isolated haunts and a reverence for the beauty of the different species he caught.


David always had many hobbies and interests. In his early teens he became fascinated with photography, setting up his own dark room and developing his own photographs. Photography continued to be an important part of his life. Many years ago he started photographing the special places he fished and the beautiful fish he caught. When he started his business and the age of computers dawned, he designed his own web site, Performanceflyrods.com. He eventually started to combine his photographs with his extensive writing. Many of his special photo journals can be viewed on his web site: http://www.performanceflyrods.com/journals.html


David always had tremendous energy and vitality and every day was full of energetic work or play. With his cancer diagnosis in November came a resolve to keep on doing the things he loved. He eschewed the commonly held refrain of “fighting cancer”. He felt his last year should be in pursuit of the peaceful everyday activities that brought meaning to his life. He continued to build fly rods all winter and into spring. He then had a number of ideas for photo journals he wanted to complete this spring. At times with great difficulty, he was able to finish those journals.


I have been blessed to have been so well loved and respected by a partner who met life with passion and resolve. We are presented with many challenges in life. We define ourselves by our response to them. How David dealt with this final challenge was an inspiration and gift to me and I am sure to others.


I will share some of his written thoughts this year, “I look forward to life as it comes to me and feel blessed at every turn. I never go fishing with a sunset expected at the end of the day, but I'm pleased if there happens to be one. I just take it as it is handed to me. I figure if you keep chasing those sunsets and rainbows, you'll always be ten steps ahead of what you missed along the way.


Perpetual optimism drives me to thinking Mary Lu will enjoy healing and peace in her remaining years. The little bit of time I have left surely engages the same optimism. I fully intend to enjoy every minute of it. I intend to be as productive as I've ever been. I've enjoyed perhaps more rewarding personal contacts than I ever have before. I've encountered a peace and tranquility in facing death that I never knew possible. The feelings of completion are almost overwhelming. I know how truly fortunate I am to be able to move on without any regrets


I believe you carry along the spirits of all you have come to know in your brief span here to your death and beyond, perhaps. Comfort is knowing you have been a part of all you have known and the assurance that you have done your best by it all. I have no regrets, no losses, no empty passages of time, only warmth and love for it all as I move on to my final wanderings.


There just seems an overwhelming warmth that descends on you when you are surrounded by folks who care, with long term and long distance friends who have you in their thoughts and carry you along as part of their soul.


I have my best friend with me and my cat and chickens and no need to chase after anything unrealistic. I think I'm pretty lucky.”


I would like to express my undying appreciation to our whole Hospice team, without whom this year would not have been possible, and to our special angels, Joy Kanagy and Julia Patterson. Many thanks also to Doctors Robinson, Duelge, Urbanski, Witt, Vest, and Huffman; all the kind staff at the cancer center; the sweet caring nurses, sitters and staff at Rockingham Memorial Hospital; the kindness and generosity of neighbors, friends, and family.


Mary Lu Lewis

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