|Ole Anderson's trout, steelhead and salmon flies|
|His passion was fly tying ... Bob Ruud|
|Ole was a self-taught tyer who got his start, sixty years ago, by taking the flies from his brother Ray's hat and cutting them apart just to see how they were made.
I get a comforting feeling when I hold Ole's flies in my hand. They're soft, warm, bright and beautifully put together. What more could a fly fisherman ask for?
Ole passed away at his home in Naches, Washington State, on January 26 2002. He was 74. He and I corresponded regularly by email for a little over three years. We exchanged gifts, mostly flies and books, although he always gave much more than he received. I will miss his dry wit, and his feelings for his friends, and his love of fly fishing. I consider myself very lucky to have known him.
YAKIMA - Warren Frank 'Ole' Anderson, aged 74, passed away on January 26, 2002.
Ole was born on January 8, 1928 in Oakland, California.
He served in the Army in Korea, the Merchant Marines, as a Master Carpenter, in construction, as a sign painter, and as a brakeman for the railroad.
He also was a cartoonist, artist and carver.
He donated time during the Nile Valley Days.
His passion was fly tying. When it came to fly tying he was an admitted traditionalist and loved the older patterns. Ole shared his knowledge and expertise with anyone that showed an interest in fur and feather.
He lived in Oroville, California and Kent, Washington before moving to Yakima in 1969.
Ole didn't leave any known relatives but he had many friends, a special thanks to Annelle Eglehoff, Pastor Craig, Jim and Corky, Jenny, and Dr. Gondo, Dr. VonStubbe, and Dr. Boyd, Dean and Karen, Jason, Herb and Mary, Denny Sveen, Jake, and Patrick Donoghue of Nova Scotia, and a very special thank you to Anna and Wayne Burnett and family.
Ole was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred 'Millie' Anderson.
Obituary written by his good friend Bob Ruud.
Regarding Ole ... an email from Dave Caprile sent on Feb 4 2002
My name is Dave Caprile. Ole sent me the URL for the page you devoted to him and his flies several years ago. I intended to look up the page again and notify you that he had passed away, but apparently you had already been notified.
I wonder if you know how tickled he was to have photos of his flies and your complimentry comments on that page? He'd mention it in passing, as if only a casual, matter-of-fact reference, but his eyes sparkled with that mischevious, fleeting glint that meant he was more than just a little bit pleased. But you had to watch for it ... you had to know him.
I was born and raised in the San Francisco bay area, and moved up to Yakima in the fall of 1978. At that time, there was barely anything offered in the way of quality fly-tying supplies, beyond the normal Herter's-type stuff .. all pre-packaged in cellophane. One of the reasons I moved to Yakima then was to fish, and I enjoyed fly-fishing more than anything. Asking around, I found Ole very shortly after my arrival - he and his wife, Millie.
Of course I called first, but upon my arrival, I was welcomed as if a long lost buddy. He did allow me to pay for some of the materials he sent me home with that first meeting, but what he allowed me to pay wasn't 1/3 the value. I knew it. He knew it. I think he only allowed me to pay in order to satisfy myself in some small way, that I wasn't taking advantage. Ole was not a wealthy man ... in dollars, anyway.
I'll fast-forward ... suffice it to say that Ole and I became good friends - sharing many an hour at his fly-tying benches in the three homes he owned while I knew him. He introduced me to Steelheading on the Klickitat and desert fishing in the quality waters of central Washington. He also drank me under several tables ... but he quit drinking about ten years (or so) ago. He loved his dogs, who were always around, tails a-waggin', performing tricks for treats. And Millie - a wonderfully kind, long-suffering and patient woman - usually sat in her chair, knitting or crocheting, until she passed away about seven years ago.
Ole passed away sometime Friday, I think. Bob Ruud called me to tell me he'd found Ole Saturday morning. Ole called me about 9:00pm Friday night. We talked about 45 minutes - mostly about nothing. I thought he just wanted some company, but maybe he knew something more .. I don't know. I had just spent most of the day and part of the evening with him on Wednesday, the 23rd of January. We had a great time and he told stories as only he could - resplendant with vivid colours and colourful language - stories from his past; stories about railroading, merchant marining, soldiering, building and, of course, fishing. His tales were always spoken with the elegance of composition that natural-born storytellers have .. though often the cruder elements of life surfaced. But this always added to the realism of his trials and the absurd nature of man as he had found it. He also painted signs for a living, but the pictures he painted of his life's struggles kept anyone within earshot doubled up with spazms of laughter.
I remember telling Ole, during that last visit, that I was kicking myself again, for each time I came up to visit, I fully intended to bring a tape recorder and get these pearls down on record. I had intended to do this for years. I always forgot to do it. I always enjoyed our "sessions", but now I'll only have the fragments I can remember. At least I'll always have had Ole - and he had me - but that's of little consequence, as I always got the better of that deal.
I was 30 when I met Ole Anderson, and I had the pleasure of knowing him for these past 23 years. I shall miss him much longer than that, God willing. That tough old Swede with the heart of gold ...
Geez ... got kinda long-winded, Pat. And I don't even know you. As I said, Ole mentioned you and the 'trades' you both made, but somehow, from what you wrote about him, I just thought you might like to know ...
By the way, for some silly reason, I brought my pipes up to Ole's that last Wednesday, and I played for him. He'd never heard me play before, and for some reason, I did that ... ... and I'll be playing them at his memorial service, as well.
Signal Light and Coal Car
Limit Lander and Green Butt Skunk
Blue Max Canyon and Scotch Coachman
Copper Top and After Dinner Mint
Freight Train and Conrad
Max Canyon and Max Canyon Dark
River Spey and Jack O' Lantern
Abbey and Grey Heron
Midnight Express and Black Pink Butt Spey
Two of brother Ray's Flies
Blue Banjo and North Fork of the Feather River
My Mom had a little canary named Birdie. He died.
My Mom asked Ray to bury him nicely in the back yard. He did just that, after he yanked out the tail feathers, wing and a few neck and breast feathers.
About five months later someone remarked how pretty the yellow was on his caddises. He kind of snickered, and said the yellow feathers were from Mom's canary, Birdie.
Mom heard him and smacked him alongside the head with the broom.
He used dyed hackles up to his time of death.
He never forgot dear old Mom.
Jake with a 25 inch rainbow caught using Ole's Hornet
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