Honoring Richard Schaaff

November 3, 2010

Frenzy, Frenzy Interviews

Richard Schaaff – East Fork Fly

Recently the fly fishing world lost a great man, Richard Schaaff.  We didn’t personally know Richard, but many of our River Buddies did and spoke very highly of him.  We admired his work at East Fork Fly.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Let’s honor Richard with a look at his work and some of his own words:

“Rich Schaaff is a photographer and fly fisherman living along the banks of the East Fork of the Lewis River in Washington State outside of Portland,Oregon.

He openly acknowledges his over-indulgence in the pursuit of trout and steelhead, but refuses to seek professional help. Instead he bought a Nikon camera which he maintains is his form of therapy on the road to recovery. He feels that taking photographs of some of the nuances of flyfishing and the landscape surrounding it will have residual health benefits.

“I don’t recall the actual moment my fly fishing and photography hit head on, but I knew than I was a goner.”

Rich moved out west a decade ago from New York City in order to avoid seeing people talking to themselves on the streets. Now he wades in rivers and still sees people talking to themselves except they are usually harmless fly fisherman blurting out a few choice words when a fish throws their hook or they take an unintentional dip in a cold river in winter.

East Fork Fly Photography is currently being shown at the RiverRun Lodge on the fabled Deschutes River in Maupin,Or.

In addition he was honored to be chosen as one of the featured photographers on website Midcurrent amongst some very talented company.

A man is lucky to one good fishing partner in his lifetime. I was blessed with two. My brother Gary instrumental in getting me interested in fly fishing when he was a guiding on the White River in Arkansas. I offer gratitude for his knowledge and my tighter loops Also my good friend Dr. Michael O’Toole who has consistently proven he can operate as well on a river searching for steelhead with the same finesse that he has already proven as a surgeon.

Then there is my wife Julie who’s spirit and understanding has set me free to live in the moment and still leaves the porch light on long after the hatches have ended.

The way I figure it is. If you have already found my site then you are also in a state of over-indulgence and probably chase fins to much also. But who am I to judge.

Thank you once again.

Richard Schaaff”


7 Responses to “Honoring Richard Schaaff”

  1. Chubbs Says:

    we would really love to hear any of your stories or thoughts on Richard. R.I.P Richard Schaaff.


  2. Gary Heller Says:

    Although I did not know Rich personally or meet him ever we were friends on the FaceBook social network and i always enjoyed and even laughed out loud at some of the comments he had left on my posts. I enjoyed reading about his Fly fishing ventures and really felt he was someone I would enjoy meeting and getting to know.

    I was very sorry to learn of his passing.

    He is in a good place, I know.


    Chubbs Reply:

    definitely in a great place!


  3. Mike Nutto Says:

    Ok here is a story I was fishing on a certain River with Mr. Schaaff ,he was off gabbing with a Mr. Vance .I had walked away from they and was in a small section of river ,casting to a spot where I thought a trout would be ,when all of a sudden a brown trout like no other I have seen to this day rose up to take a bug in front of me not more then three feet away.I couldnt believe my eyes I cast a small 264 ntmph to the fish it went for it but I missed .I was shaking in my shoes and then all of a sudden I heard the car start and Rich and Vance start driving away.Im like where are they going ,I slowly backed out of the pool and got on the bank and ran after them. I caught up and they were like where did you go and all I could muster up was Big fish ,and turned around and went back for the fish.
    Well I got back to the pool and Rich snuck through the brush and watched me cast to the fish .It felt like I was there for hours.I cast to that fish so many times and then finally he came after my fly and Rich caught the fish coming after my fly and going after it as its head came out of the water for the fly ! I MISSED ! I was trying to get the slack line in as the fly came back to me ,it was a tight fishing situation .That is not the end of the story ! We came back the next day and now the fish was spooked but it was still there I tried again but to no avail ,I moved up river and caught a nice brown up river but nothing like this fish .Rich decided to stick it out.I have never seen a left handed guy cast like Rich I dont remember what he was using that day but i know it was a dry fly ,I had returned to the pool to see if Rich would get this monster ,I didnt think he would because the fish were taking under the surface but Rich kept casting .Wouldnt you know it that fish rose up out of that pool and took Riches fly right in front of me .The battle was on and Rich fought the fish well for a good five minutes , this fish was having none of it and went down the river then back up then down the river and back up in this pool .I tried to net it twice and and it was having none of that !then it just shot into the deepest part of the pool .I could see the tail ,it made three hard swishes with its tail and the leader snapped. I dont think I had ever really felt my heart break until that moment.Rich just looked at me and said did you see that ! I have dreamed of that fish for a long time and learned something that day that no matter how discouraged you are you need to stick it out just like Rich did ! We both talked about that fish with serious reverence after that .


    Chubbs Reply:

    that is an awesome story Mike! one of my favorite pics is with you, vance and Schaaff in Black and White!


    Mike Nutto Reply:

    if you go to my pictures on my facebook there are three pictures of the fish in the pool one of my line over him one of the fish and one chasing my bug http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1453362974391&set=t.1427532223
    i dont know if those will let you see the pics but this fish lives in my head and these are the photos of the fish ,the pictures dont do the size of this fish justice ,it was just that Rich caught the action



  1. Tweets that mention Honoring Richard Schaaff | Fly Fishing Frenzy -- Topsy.com - November 3, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by flyfishingfrenz and flyfishingfrenz, Evan Davies. Evan Davies said: Great tribute to Rich Shaaff @flyfishingfrenz http://ht.ly/33Ziy – We truly lost one of the special souls in the fly-fishing community. […]

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