Ernest Schwiebert

Ernest Schwiebert

(1931-2005)

  • By: Paul Guernsey
[img 1 right]Fly-fishing lost a legend when author and angling personality Ernest Schwiebert died of renal cancer on December 10, 2005 at the age of 74. An architect by profession, Ernie Schwiebert published his famous book, Matching the Hatch, in 1955 while he was still a student at Ohio State University. His other books include Nymphs: A Complete Guide to Naturals and Their Imitations (1973) and the two-volume, 1,745-page Trout (1978) among many other angling works. He was also one of the founders of Trout Unlimited.

At the time of his death, Schwiebert had recently completed the manuscript of Nymphs II, a complete revision of his earlier Nymphs book. "We threw out the book and kept the title," Schwiebert joked during a 2004 interview with FR&R. During the same interview, Schwiebert also said he had recently spent 10 days fishing in Chile, and three weeks fishing in Argentina.

Schwiebert's publisher, The Lyons Press, confirmed that Nymphs II would be published posthumously. However, at the time FR&R went to press, Lyons was unable to confirm whether the book would still be released on its original October, 2006 publication date.

In a brief statement, Lyons said, "Ernest Schwiebert was arguably one of the greatest writers of the American fly-fishing community. Through his voluminous and detailed works…we came to know and understand the most elemental aspects in a way that changed our sport forever… Ernie was also legendary as a bon vivant, a fascinating conversationalist and a man who lived life with few regrets. He is survived by his wife, Sarah, his son, Erik, and two grandchildren and will be missed by many."