Curt Gowdy succumbs to leukemia at 86 [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Curt Gowdy succumbs to leukemia at 86

Dble Haul
02-21-2006, 01:09 PM
Although many people know Curt Gowdy as a Hall of Fame inducted announcer of the three major sports, my dad and I always knew him through his great outdoors programs that he hosted. Curt passed away at 86 yesterday, leaving behind a legacy that is difficult to encapsulate because of the sheer volume of his work.

From an online article today.....


While most of his network assignments were for NBC, he was the host of "The American Sportsman" for ABC. The program played to his lifelong love of the outdoors (a state park is named for him in Wyoming) and was as different as possible in content and pace from the games he called. With no one keeping score, Gowdy hunted and fished for 20 years with the likes of Bing Crosby; the bandleader Phil Harris; the actors Peter O'Toole and Robert Stack; President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn; and the former Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams, one of his closest friends, who made fishing his second pursuit of perfection outside of hitting a baseball.

"Harris was an excellent wing shot," Gowdy told The Times in 1984 before the program's 20th and final season. "Some years ago, we did a pheasant-hunting show in Nebraska and he showed up with a 28-gauge Winchester pump. When our Nebraska host saw it, he said, 'Mr. Harris, I'm not being smart, but these Nebraska pheasants are big and tough and you can't bring them down with that little thing.' He was wrong."

Curtis Gowdy was born in Green River, Wyo., where his father, a Union Pacific Railroad superintendent, taught him to hunt and fish.

"I was a very lucky guy," Gowdy said in 2002. "I grew up in Wyoming. My father was the best fly fisherman in the state. We had free access to prime-time fishing and hunting. The outdoors was a way of life for me. I should have paid them to host 'American Sportsman.' "


I'll be thinking of him at least once this season while I fish. Condolences to his family, especially his son Curt Jr. who continues to follow in his footsteps.

02-21-2006, 02:28 PM
Farewell Curt.... Meeting up with old friends Grit Grenchen, Joe Brooks, Phil Harris, and of course, Lee Wulff. They already have your fish'in hole staked out.

Remember watching the American Sportsman series every Sunday. Back than no one practiced conservation measures on fish stock or bird game. The program later changed its format to a more conservation one.

First time I recall, watching sportman target larger species on lighter tackle. Remember Lee stalking tuna in Labador using the method.

After the program we would fly cast in the back yard no matter what the weather. Spinning was just coming into vague with the advent of monofiliment lines. Having a new spinning reel, we could not afford a rod too. We would fish a baitcaster rod up side down. Of course the guides were quite small. Hah!, remember the days!

Don't forget to mention the Bosox and Pat's were World Champs for awhile.

Raise a glass and say Hi Neighbor!.....Have a Gansett! That's Narragansett Lager Beer.

02-21-2006, 05:56 PM
Curt Gowdy was definitely a great source of inspiration in fact I can't think of anyone who got my angling motor spun up as much as he. His public influence on the sport was huge but his approach always classy and in many ways set a tone for the angler's typically refined demeanor in the tradition that many before him had. He did not betray the essence of the sportsman for the camera's eye.

I used to watch American Sportsman growing up with my dad, boy how the fishing shows have gone from quality to quantity over the years. The angler's world is a better world now thanks to you sir. We are indebted and you will not be forgotten!

02-22-2006, 12:43 AM
Met him several times at the fly Casters of Boston Meetings. He was a member for many years and also was a speaker...a real gentleman..