Mary Dette

Daughter of one of the pre-eminent Catskill fly tying families, Mary Dette is the last of the original Catskill fly tyers. Although her first contribution to the family’s fly shop was to sell earthworms by the dozen, Mary learned fly tying from her father and mother, Walt and Winnie Dette, and soon tied with the exquisite ability that marked her as a Dette. With attention to detail and exacting methods, Mary creates flies that never vary within a pattern. She ties patterns from the large Coffin Fly, designed by her father, to the tiny Spotter Midge, designed by Mary herself. In addition to the perpetuation of a local craft, Mary has contributed to the Catskill region throughout the years with her gift of  knowledge, teaching her skill at formal fly tying seminars and providing tying wisdom to any supplicant who knocks at her door. Her evening ritual of recording insects at a local filling station provides anglers with the daily Roscoe fishing report. Mary’s reach extends far beyond her local waters: Her fly shop is a touchstone for anglers traveling to the Catskills from all over the world . In addition to the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame, Mary and her family have been honored by many angling communities, including Theodore Gordon Flyfishers and The Eastern Council of The Federation of Fly Fishers with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, which named the Dettes the First Family of Catskill Fly Tying.

 

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