Bill Schaadt
Artist, sign painter, collector and avid fly fisherman – 2012

Bill Schaadt was an artist, sign painter, collector and avid fly fisherman. Bill Schaadt spent his childhood years with his family in San Francisco, California. He discovered fishing at an early age along the public piers of San Francisco Bay. He quickly became obsessed with the art of angling. In his late teens, Schaadt moved with his mother to the small vacation town of Monte Rio along California’s Russian River. It was during the post war years along the famous Russian River, where Schaadt built his infamous reputation. With incredible angling skills and a quirky demeanor, the elusive angler quickly became the subject of countless classic fishing stories. From the 1950s to mid 90s, Bill Schaadt was one of the top fly fishermen in the country, if not the world. An innovative user of shooting head fishing lines, Schaadt helped pioneer Chinook salmon fishing on California’s Smith River. In 1974, Bill Schaadt was the focus of a Sports Illustrated article titled The World’s Best. Schaadt was also featured in Trey Combs’ Steelhead Fly Fishing, and again in Russell Chatham’s collection of short stories titled The Angler’s Coast. Bill Schaadt’s screen appearances’ include, Myron Gregory’s 1955 instructional film Chinook Salmon on the Fly and the 2009 Skinny Fist Productions documentary Rivers of a Lost Coast. Even 15 years after his death, the memories he created for others make him a living legend.