Gunslinger

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Rivers of a Lost Coast is a new documentary that looks at our relationship to nature through the eyes of the most fabled angling community in American history. This surprisingly touching film was recently labelled a must see by the San Francisco Chronicle and Seattle Times.

The following few paragraphs were written by George Snyder and appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on January 23, 1995. Although George misinterpreted a few facts, the large majority of the piece is accurate.

“Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Santa Rosa for Bill Schaadt, perhaps one of the most widely known fly fishermen on the Pacific Coast.

“Mr. Schaadt, a native of San Francisco, died of cancer last Tuesday in Santa Rosa surrounded by his fishing friends and family. He was 71.

“Mr. Schaadt made his living as a sign painter along the Russian River after moving to Monte Rio as a young man. He was known locally as an excellent pen-and-ink artist, producing cartoon and drawings not only of his beloved fish but of other subjects as well.

“He was perhaps best known for his love of fly fishing, using the technique in the ‘50s and ‘60s along the Russian River and also on the Pacific Coast’s major salmon and steelhead streams, including the Smith River in the northern part of the state and the Chetco in Oregon.

“Mr. Schaadt is also credited with being among the first West Coast Fly Fishermen to successfully use flies to catch saltwater fish, including striped bass and rock fish.

“Despite his modest living circumstances, Mr. Schaadt managed to fish Costa Rica, in the Florida Keys for trophy tarpon and in British Columbia. Mr. Schaadt, who was a friend of the late author Ted Trueblood, a former fishing editor for Field & Stream magazine, was profiled in that magazine and also Sports Illustrated, Outdoor Life and other wildlife publications.

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