"I've Told You My Secrets" - Steelhead Expert, Harry Lemire
Former editor of Fish&Fly and now publisher at Wild River Press, Tom Pero in his latest newsletter informs us of the passing of Harry Remire, a steelhead expert who he interviewed along with author Sean Gallagher for a new book due out next spring.
The great steelheader Harry Lemire has died. He was 79. Lemire fished flies exclusively since the 1950s, when he moved to the Pacific Northwest from his native New England to take a job with Boeing. Several years ago he and his wife Marlene moved from their longtime home in Black Diamond, Washington, to a long walk from my Bothell home north of Seattle.
Harry was fishing the apple orchards of the Wenatchee River on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains when he gave up on a steelhead to which he had been casting, convinced he had spooked the fish. On his last cast he overshot the target. Raising his rod and quickly stripping in line, the fly began skating. The fish took. Harry Lemire had hooked his first steelhead. He never forgot. He would catch thousands.
Although weakened from the leukemia that took his life, during the last year this friendly, elegant man graciously rallied and spent several interview and photo sessions with Sean Gallagher and me. It is our great privilege to have completed what we believe is the finest interview ever with one of the sport's true originals. It will be featured in Sean's new book called Steelhead: The Lure and Lore of a Pacific Northwest Icon, scheduled for publication next spring.
You are invited to join in celebrating the life of Harry Lemire from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 7 at Russell's Restaurant & Loft, 3305 Monte Villa Parkway, Bothell, Washington. Lovely food and drinks will be served. Tales will be spun. Please telephone Warren Ballard at 206-793-5226 or Bruce McNae at 425-785-6605 to let them know you will be there.
Last week, on the first day of summer, I cut an armload of white roses from my yard and brought them to Marlene Lemire. She handed me a manila envelope. When I arrived home I sat in the sunshine and paged through the typed transcript with Harry's small, careful corrections in pencil. On page 37, the last, he had stapled a piece of yellow lined notepaper with this message:
"Well that's it--I've told you my secrets. All I can add is keep your eyes open, slow down and keep in tune with the river. If you feel a bump and you ask yourself, Was that a fish? It was. So slow down and fish for it."
"If you feel that I've given away a lot of secrets--don't worry about it. After fishing for steelhead for over sixty years, steelhead fishing as I know it is almost gone."
You can find Tom Pero and news about current and upcoming titles via www.wildriverpress.com