In the late 1970s the local Bozeman TU group used to put on an annual "Fly Fishing Fair" at the Gallatin County Fair Grounds. I can't remember who asked me to get involved but it might have been Dave Kumlein from the local Troutfitters fly shop. So that year it became my responsibility to organize the Fly Tying exhibitions. There was no email in those days. I wrote snail mail postal letters to a dozen or more local fly tiers, asking them to come to Bozeman to show everybody their work. Only Bing Lempke and George Grant actually showed up. George expressed surprise when he saw me. I used my nickname Sandy and he apparently assumed I would be a woman.
It was a real pleasure to actually meet George. He was a reserved and not in any way effusive man. He did smile a lot and was graciously helpful at every step of the way. George did tie some of his famous nymphs but he did not demonstrate his weaving technique. He tied those flies with strands of already woven hair hackles he brought with him. He gave all those flies away to people who stopped to watch.
He did bring some nymphs mounted in small plastic boxes which were for sale. I bought two nymphs. I can't count the number of times I kicked myself for not buying more. George also had two audio cassette tapes with him he had recorded at home, perhaps in order to be able to tell good stories without hassling with a manual typewriter. I bought both copies.
I have since used software and the keyboard to transcribe both of those audio cassettes into text, which you can read below as George-Grant-Transcript-1.htm and George-Grant-Transcript-2.htm. I also used software to re-format the cassette audio stream into mp4 format, which I have uploaded to YouTube. I don't really have a YouTube channel yet, just a few miscellaneous resource items about George Grant and Bing Lempke. And Al Troth. I do hope to start adding my own fly tying videos to that channel eventually. Perhaps by the end of 2023.
George wrote a lot. He started off a bit awkwardly but kept at. He wrote several books, made a dozen or so audio story recordings and he wrote an on-going newsletter for years. It's fun to watch his skills develop over time. Born into Butte Montana mining family poverty he wasn't given a good education. He was a smart determined and creative guy who could have learned anything. Later on in the book I quote a paragrahph he wrote about the state of the Big Hole River that is eloquent.
I could try to say more about George and his accomplishments and his life story but George does that below, in George-Grant-Transcript-1.htm. I also have the following jpeg images of his work, displayed in the George-Grant/Gallery link in the Table of Contents (TOC) at screen top-left.