Joe Brooks

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Joe Brooks1901 - 1972
1998 Inductee

Joe Brooks is remembered as one of America's best all-around anglers and one who did as much to popularize fly-fishing during his time as any single person in the United States. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Brooks passed up a chance to be a major league baseball pitcher and went to work in his family's insurance company. But in 1945, Brooks left Baltimore to pursue his true passion - fly fishing. Shortly, he discovered that the next best thing to fishing was writing about it. His reputation as a savvy angler and solid writer grew, and soon brought opportunities to do features for Outdoor Life, Field & Stream, and other major publications. Eventually, Brooks became the fishing editor for Outdoor Life, a post he held for many years. Brooks' ascendancy as an angler and writer coincided with the rise of television. He made a number of TV films, especially for The American Sportsman. In addition, he authored numerous books, including his final and most enduring work, Trout Fishing. His books are some of the most instructive ever published on the subject of saltwater fly-fishing. Brooks was known for his wit, his gentlemanly nature, and his devotion to sportsmanship and conservation. But even more, he was known as a master angler, and he set IGFA world records for kawakawa (1958) and permit (1957). Joe Brooks' grave overlooks Montana's Yellowstone River, a fine trout river, and one of his favorites.