Al Troth Dies

Al Troth, a most accomplished fly tyer and fisherman, who lived his last years in Dillon, Montana, died August 3. Al was an old Pennsylvania boy who taught high school in Williamsport, one of the trout meccas of the state. The E. Hille Company of Williamsport was very active in those years, and Al bought tying materials from them for the flies that he fished every summer in Montana. The lure of the west became overwhelming, and he moved his family to Dillon in 1973, where he guided on the famed Beaverhead, Big Hole, and other rivers and tied flies for a large group of devoted clients.

The world will forever be in debt to Al for the Elk Hair Caddis, and many of his other highly innovative imitations. His tying tactics and skills inspired tyers the world over.

I never had a chance to take Al up on his offer to fish together, but we had some fun discussions at conclaves and other venues, and I truly enjoyed his very sincere attitude and the excitement that came through when he talked about fishing the Troth Skater for big Beaverhead browns feeding on cranefly adults. I shall miss those opportunities to trade ideas and fishing stories.

Al Troth developed the Elk Hair Caddis and many other highly effective imitations.


  1. Theo Bakelaar says:

    A big man has gone….a man who gave the people some beautiful things to fish with and with lots of success. Its one of the most favorite dry flies I personal used all over the world. Here in Europe but also in your country. Didn’t know He was the Man of that fly….thanks big man and have a save trip to heaven. Cheers from The Netherlands.

  2. Kevin Kirkelie says:

    To the flyfishing world……….. We’ve lost a great man, and a dear friend. A legend he was and forever shall be. The gifts of his knowledge, that Al had shared with so many, will stay in our hearts and thoughts for many years to come. I had the privilage to spend many hours and days, watching over his shoulder, at wee hours of the mornings, his master craftmanship at work. He had taught me so much in all those years while living in Dillon. I first met Al at one of the local fly shops and from that day on, a new friendship began. I was asked many times to go fishin’ with Al…………… Man that guy could fish. I took Al huntin’ a few times and still have a photo of both of us with nice Whitetails that we had gotten the same evening. A wonderful man, a great teacher, and a dear friend…. He sure will be missed. To all those big fish in Heaven….. you better watch out…… Al’s on his way.

  3. Gary Borger says:

    Thanks Kevin for your great comments on Al Troth. He was an important influence on many fly fisher’s and bot he and his work will be sorely missed.