Richard Herkimer Conroy was not born with a fly rod in his hand (his mother would not allow it) but by the time he was four he could cast a line further than men ten times his age. Few anglers know his name, let alone his story, and only scattered traces remain of his meteoric rise and ignominious decline, but “Little Dickie” Conroy’s influence is still felt today. Mocked, jeered, and once nearly burned alive by those who took offense at his unconventional style, Little Dickie’s mastery of the fly line has yet to be equaled. From elite casters to green dilettantes, many have tried, but no one has ever thrown a line like the dapper young man from Kansas who once, in front of three thousand people, landed a fly on a poker chip from fifty yards away while turning a one-handed cartwheel.
“Little Dickie” Conroy, age 5, from the collection of Richard Haas Continue reading