J. Edson Leonard Jr. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: J. Edson Leonard Jr.

07-30-2005, 10:10 AM
Those of us who have been around the sport of fly fishing for any period of time will remember the contributions J. Edson Leonard has made. His home spun ole fashion humor and philosophy was a refreshing view of what fishing comraderie was all about. His knowledge and contributions to the the sport of fly tying was endless. His teaching methods, principles, and books were priceless. They will be past on to future generations for sure.

Growing up as a kid, I would enjoy his devotion and help he gave me, trying to unlock the secrets of Barrington Brickyard Pond.

LEONARD, J. EDSON JR., 89, of Winsor Drive Barrington died Thursday at the Hospice Inpatient Center in Providence. He was the husband of Page (Hubbard) Leonard.

Born in Los Angeles, CA the son of the late John 'Jack' and Florence (MacNeil) Leonard, he has lived in Barrington for over 40 years. Mr. Leonard was an Aerospace Engineer, Author and a contributing Editor for Field & Stream magazine. As an Engineer, he was a Manager at General Dynamics Aeronautics Division specializing in advanced propulsion systems used on the Atlas Booster, Minuteman, Polaris, Delta, Ablestar, Agena and other space vehicles. He later worked for Hughes Aircraft Co., Leesona Corporation and American Philips-Cryogenic Division. A WWII Marine Corps Veteran, he served as a Platoon Sergeant Artillery Instructor. As an avid outdoors man and fisherman he published his first book, Flies, the first encyclopedia of fishing flies in 1950. This was reprinted in part in Aquatic Insects of California, University of CA Press, was a Best Seller for this type of text used in many Universities and Colleges and was reprinted 15 times. He later authored Fly Rod Casting and Bait Casting 1953, Feather In the Breeze 1974, The Essential Fly Tier 1976, and The River Has A Way 2004. He was a speaker at colleges, Rotary and sportsmens clubs and taught fly tying for Barrington Adult Education Programs. He was a member of the Barrington Lions Club, Salt Water Fly Rodders of America, the Outdoor Writers Association and Trout Unlimited. Besides his wife he leaves a son Eric P. Leonard and his wife Priscilla 'Dee' of Riverside, a daughter, Lauren Leonard of Providence and two grandsons, Mark and Casey Leonard. He was also the father of the late John E. Leonard, III. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 12:30 in the Smith-Mason Funeral Home, 398 Willett Avenue, Riverside. Burial with Military Honors will be in Forest Chapel Cemetery in Barrington. Calling hours are Monday 5 to 7 PM. Visit smithmason.com