Ted Williams, an angling hero in my book [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Ted Williams, an angling hero in my book

02-20-2001, 09:55 AM
I've always been inspired by Ted Williams. Amidst his great fame in baseball, his comment that he was a flyfisherman who played baseball on the side was a motivating anecdote for me throughout my own angling life pursuit.

His article in this month's Fly Rod & Reel Magazine exemplifies his lack of delusion from all the hoopla in our sport, and the way I see it he tells it just like it is.

For what it's worth, I've been bantering around the web for years that the right policies for fisheries management are to nuture what God and nature put in place. Protection, not bio-engineering (for fun and profit) is the key. We can not better nature, but we can help by not beating her to death. I'm just a face in the crowd, I was just another small kid whispering "that's Ted Williams" at a Boston sporting show, before my own real angling life got in high gear perhaps three decades ago. Yet it's good to know that when it comes to what counts in the stewardship of species, He and I see eye to eye on the issues.

But I'm a nobody, and this is the venerable Ted Williams. He's been around the bases a few times. He's been to more places than I have daydreamed. He has pondered 'right' from wrong in fisheries policies in the reflection of more sunsets than anyone I can think of, and it is reassuring to read that his conclusions lead him to fight for putting and keeping things as they were intended, as they started out - where ever possible. The angling community is lucky to be able to benefit from his sage wisdom. His health slows his trot around the bases a bit, but his words are still fierce and spirited.

We're way beyond hope in many fisheries around the world. We have proliferated exotic species to the point that people don't even recognize what is natural, and what is not - nor do they care. We even protest vehemently when initiatives are aimed toward restoration and reversal of some unfit introduction of species when it means less sport, game or other selfish gains.

Ted's article can be read <!--http--><a href="http://www.flyrodandreel.com/pages/conservation.html" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url-->.

You may or may not agree with his views, but you'll probably agree that Ted is truly an icon of our times.

steve moore
02-20-2001, 10:20 AM
Um Juro, I hate to burst your bubble but the Ted Williams who writes the conservation columns for Fly Rod & Reel is not the same person known as "The Splendid Splinter". Ted Williams the baseball player is in a rehab hospital on a ventilator. Ted Willimas the outdoor writer will be receiving an award at the CCA banquet on March 16th at the Burlington Marriott.

02-20-2001, 10:31 AM
<font size="4">&gt;POP&lt;</font><!--4-->

So much for assuming a name is a name, or a person I should say. Both Beantowners too, and the orginal Ted has done a lot of outdoor writing in his day. I haven't been following the mags until recently, does it show? This winter's got me piling them up.

BTW - I saw "the splinter" recently on the news leaving surgery, didn't realize he was still in rehab? My admiration for him is not lessened by his alter ego, or non-ego.

I'll be at the banquet. I need to see who this "imposter" is! http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif

02-20-2001, 12:57 PM
On topic, does anyone happen to have a copy of his book "fishing the big three" (Florida Keys) or know where I can get one? N/A on-line.

02-20-2001, 02:52 PM
Do not not feel bad, I thought the same for many years.

02-20-2001, 04:59 PM
Wasn't it Rosanna Rosanna-Danna who said...

<font size="3">NEVER MIND</font><!--3--> http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif

This laughs on me, but it will make meeting Ted at CCA a bit more interesting on March 16th!

02-20-2001, 05:59 PM
Juro...hang in there! What's in a name anyway!? This should all blow over by the end of August... In the meantime, the next time you're on the Cape and make a dinner reservation, just tell them you're Ted Kennedy and they will have a table with a view ready and waiting! See you in Wilmington...

02-20-2001, 08:13 PM

Try this site, you may find it helpful. In fact, I used it to find a number of fishing books writen by Ray Doogue, a long lost relative no doubt.


They also have a function that will notify you by email when a copy becomes available, if they don't have one on hand.

~Mark Doogue

02-20-2001, 09:00 PM
Well, not sure how the written word is coming across but I am laughing at myself in this matter, I assure you! In my own defense after having been a 12 month angler for most of my adult life (see NorthFk's earlier post on Washington fishing) I have really only bought a handful of magazines over the last 15-20 years and the majority of those have been since the introduction of hard winters into my angling schedule. I do have an old collection of WSAS journals (including the one with Eric Bigler's Deschutes article) and a fair book collection but haven't been keeping up with the mags, so I was headed for a faux pas. Frankly and with all due respect I never heard of another "Ted Williams!". Pleased to know I will make his acquaintance in two weeks.

I do have a concern about this turn in the thread though... Mr.Williams shares the same values for indigenous species as I do and I was energized to read this article not just because I thought it was the "other" Ted, but more so because it was someone with a name being published in a big magazine saying "Ted Turner is right" and at least rhetorically positioning the removal of exotic species as brown trout in certain waters as the right thing to do.

Just to be 100% clear, I do not believe rotenone is the answer, I believe in not screwing it up in the first place - but in the cases brought to the table by the other Ted it's way too late for such proactive measures and the dillema is long past proactive resolution in these cases.

To me it's refreshing to hear someone who puts the vision of indigenous species before self-centered sporting, commercial, or human-centric perspectives in this day and age when people hardly believe or recognize that there were once plentiful salmon runs in New England and Maine, the Connecticut River; and throughout the north atlantic.

I frequently talk to people who say restoration of salmon in the northeast is a waste of money and time. I get replies from offended trout anglers who are upset at my calling brown trout "exotic" and cite the fact that they were the carriers of Whirling Disease to the US (or that humans carried them).

The real point which got buried by my TW identity crisis was in my exhuberance that someone with a name (albeit the wrong one, or the right one depending on perspective) had the balls to stand up and say "it's not about personal gratification dammit!".

And so I will go again to the Marriott as I did last year, and this time hope to share a chuckle and a drink with this man, the other Ted. I'll share this little anecdote with him, and I am certain he has heard it before - but what I wager he has heard less of is someone who shares his views that the right management policies are those that are founded on the welfare of indigenous species in their natural habitats, not quotas and sporting values.

Everyone here is of course entitled to their opinion on the matter, and there are fisheries that either didn't exist or would have been eliminated without the introduction of foreign species - but there are countless rivers and streams that should have never been touched and it's my opinion that as many of these resources should be managed purely for their indigenous species' welfare.

BTW on the "real" Ted - sadly as many know, the Splendid Ted is unable to fish since suffering a stroke that renders him unsteady on his feet and only able to see straight ahead, according to news accounts. His lifelong angling record is overshadowed only by his lifelong batting record. He grew up fishing in San Diego and got hooked on flyfishing in the Keys for bones, tarpon, permit, etc. He used to spread his annual schedule after his baseball career by spending 60 days personally approving the Sears fishing tackle line, 45 days as then vice-president of the Red Sox, 60 days in a baseball camp in Lakeville MA, August through October on the Miramichi River fishing for atlantic salmon, and the rest of the time on the Keys chasing bonefish and tarpon. That makes him more of a fishing nut than a baseball star if we were to count sunrises.

Couple good articles (CNN) worth reading <!--http--><a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/features/1998/williams/1996_2.html" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url--> (especially the last few paragraphs on the giant salmon in the Cascapedia) and <!--http--><a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/features/1998/williams/1967.html" target="_blank">from the archives</a><!--url-->.

02-21-2001, 08:44 AM
Yes, I used to Curl with his father Wally Williams and some time ago he told me his son was an accomplished writer on flyfishing.

02-21-2001, 09:29 AM
Juro, as to eliminating all exotics... I agree, many fisheries wouldn't exist. but now that they are, for better or worse established, I think we should manage what the resource has, and stop trying to play god, by introducing more species or hatchery raising those exotics to beef up the supply. "if we manage environment THEY WILL COME", ; ) Tom D

02-21-2001, 11:45 AM
At the risk of piling on, Juro...NO. It was Emily Litella, not Roseanne Rosanadana.

02-21-2001, 01:29 PM
Are you sure it wasnt' the other Rosanna Rosanna-danna? http://www.flyfishingforum.com/images/flytalk/Wilk.gif When we play trivial pursuit I wanna be on your side.

02-21-2001, 09:22 PM
Powers, on the topic of trivial pursuit... have you been searching out wild brookies in Myles Standish lately?

02-22-2001, 09:56 AM
Wild brookies in Myles Standish? You'll remember that that's a sore point. Somebody once told me that there were some in a pond called Gallows, and he used to catch them with someone named Uncle Crusty, and they were near a creek. It was a really good story, right down to the orange colored flesh of the fish and how delicious they were in the pre_C&R days...

So I scoured maps and drove 4WD trails until I finally came up with Gallows Pond, and found it to be a perfect kettlehole devoid of inlets, tributaries, outlets, or other things that could be interpreted as a creek. It's in a steep depression, ringed by thick brush, so the only way it can be flyfished is from a rock just offshore or from some sort of personal watercraft. It turned out to be a lot of trouble for a wild goose chase, but then my correspondent was going to try to track down his Uncle Crusty and figure out if it weren't maybe a different pond, or elsewhere, or something.

[FWIW, this is only one of a dozen south shore native brookie rumors I've chased without success. It's what I do. I look for stuff that isn't there.]

02-22-2001, 01:13 PM
Ah but friend, it was not me who created the obsession in your mind, I only spoke (from Seattle at the time) of a real place from my childhood whose exact location I could not extrapolate in words.

And the plot thickens. Uncle Crusty has since passed on. He does however have a son, who is privy to the knowledge.

With deference to the snipe hunt you engaged in, I'll make the effort this March to contact him and ask for the inside scoop.

The pond did in fact have steep banks, yet the spot we fished was a kidney shaped cove with an inlet stream passing under the dirt roadway, which was freshly graded that year (1976-1977 perhaps?). Both the stream and the area around the inlet provided plenty of room to cast, far more than the average New England stream would.

BTW - I have been told by your neighbors that there are even more remarkable secrets in the Myles Standish park than any tale I could muster. It may be me who is on the snipe hunt this spring.

October Caddis
02-22-2001, 03:08 PM
Thought you would get a kick out of two stories about Ted the ball player/ flyfishing great.
1st one I read long ago and if he fished with the intensity that he came to the plate then I would believe it.
There was a famous sports writter for the Bangor paper that fished with Ted. They were Salmon fishing in New Brunswick and the sports writter had his leader all tangled. Ted comes along and asked him why? The writter gets mad in frustration and asks Ted, "If he has ever tangled a leader before"? Ted says, "Yup just once 20 years ago and I vowed right then never to do it again and I havn't"! Onlt Ted Williams could decide to become so perfect.
The other story involves my late Uncle, Ken Wrye who was one of the great bass fishermen on the South Shore. Ted many years ago,soon after retirement from baseball called my uncle and asked if he could go striper fishing with him? My uncle just about told him to get a life and no I don't take no one I don't know and trust fishing with me. This was in the era when the good striper fishermen that caught big bass kept things secret. God I would have done anything to fish with Ted Williams my baseball hero of all time and maybe one of the best flyfishermen of all time.

02-22-2001, 10:06 PM
Ken sounds like he was quite the angler and definitely has the east coast attitude if you know what I mean, bless his heart. No ass kissing going on there!