Feather-Craft's Ed Storey Dies

Word began circulating on Tuesday that Ed Storey, founder of the mail order company Feather-Craft, died on Sunday. Feather-Craft was created in 1955, and Storey built his business around mailed “bulletins” — completed without a spell-checker, according to those on his list — but later started one of the most successful catalogs in the fly fishing supplies and gear business.

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  • Betsy

    My husband received Feather-Craft catalogs for years. Always looking for fishing updates and recommendations, he devoured the information Ed included in his catalogs. Some time ago, Ed had described the ‘insurance’ rig for fishing the windy Florida Gulf. My husband was intrigued because we visit his mother who lives right on the water in St. Petersburg several times a year, and were very interested in fishing this area. Before purchasing the rig, my husband called and spoke with Ed directly. Ed was intimately familiar with the area and gave my husband detailed recommendations for selecting the flies, setting up the rig, etc. Ed spoke with him as though they were old friends. We are very sorry we never had the chance to meet Ed and share our fishing stories, and pictures of our catches — all possible because of the time he took to share his personal fishing stories with us.

  • Greg Senyo

    I am saddened to hear of Ed Storey’s passing, he was an inspiration and life long contributor to fly fishers around the country. His kindness and dedication to so many of us will never be forgotten. Ed Storey will be sadley missed and my condolences and prayers go out for him and his family.
    God Bless

  • Joe Kissane

    Ed Story was a rare individual, a pioneering businessman, and a good friend. He lived by the belief that no one was ever sorry they did their best or treated someone well. On a personal level, he was extremely generous with his personal knowledge and he always had time to discuss whatever was on your mind – so long as it was done in a civil manner. I never saw him angry, and he believed that if you couldn’t say something nice about someone, you should say nothing at all.
    He would sometimes tell stories that included fly-fishing celbrities, and that wasn’t done to make him seem bigger, it was simply because those guys were among the thousands (literally) who considered Ed their friend. He gave free fly tying lessons and casting lessons from his store and when he couldn’t do it, he had someone else from his staff fill in. His lessons were priceless, and in an era when fly fishing became big business, and others were trying to make a buck, Ed was making friends. Ed’s contributions to St. Louis went well beyond Feather-craft, as he and his family were involved in volunteer work, and are genuinely just plain good people – unpretentious, sincere, caring, honest and decent people.
    For those of us who have fished using his signature pattern, the Crackleback, Ed is a true icon. The Crackleback is the fly that isn’t anything, but is everything. If you fish it, you know what I mean. If you don’t know what the Crackleback is, you need to find out – it is “trout crack.”
    Ed’s life in the past couple of years had been a bit frustrating at times, and although he tried to fish whenever circumstances allowed, it was difficult. I will think of him often when fishing, and hope that his spirit is gratified in the knowledge that he has made my life more pleasant – not just applying what I learned from him to my time on the stream, but from the friendly conversations we shared over the years.
    As attached as I am to my fly rods, I have one that he sold me last year that is now more special than ever. He talked me out of spending more money on a rod that might have been good enough, but was not exactly matched to my casting style and the type of water I wanted it for. After four or five lengthy conversations we agreed on the rod, and it is now almost integral to the skeleton of my right arm, it works so well for me. And all of this is not to say you couldn’t come in, see a rod, and buy it without jawboning for hours on end. That was very possible, too. But those who did that, missed out on gaining something far greater than the best rod on the rack – they missed out on the experience that was Ed Story.
    I will miss him.
    Joe Kissane

  • Larry Medina

    My deepest condolences to the Storey Family. I was fortunate enough to meet Ed once when traveling on business and in Missouri… I took a 3 hour side trip specifically to stop in the shop after calling and finding out Ed would be there that day. After many uyears of reading his comments in the catalog, this was a guy a just plain HAD TO MEET in person!
    Ed was a very warm individual who had an extremely positive outlook on life and he cherished his family and his business like no other. He introduced me to all of the family members who were there that day and took a good hour to talk to me while we strolled around the shop and he gave me his insights on just about everything on the shelves, walls and in the cabinets.
    He will be missed by those of us who have read his comments over the years- a great loss to Fly Fishing.
    Larry