The news had begun to circulate yesterday that George Maurer, proprietor of Sweetwater Bamboo Flyrods, had died suddenly of a heart attack.
Maurer had been the most renowned rod maker to work in Pennsylvania since the 19th century era of John Krieder and Samuel Phillippe. He built parabolic rods inspired by the tapers of Paul Young, and standard tapers based on the works of Jim Payne and Goodwin Granger.
Maurer was a friend of the angling writers Harry Middleton and John Gierach and built rods named after some of their books. I’ve never owned one myself, but I’ve often heard the model he called the “Old Philosopher,” a 7′ 5″ for 5 wt., singled out for exceptional praise.
Maurer’s shop in recent years was located at a wide place in the road along the rural highway paralleling the Big Pine Creek in North Central Pennsylvania, where cities are far away, and newspapers are few. It will be a while before a full obituary appears.
I remember George well. He was a student in our department at KU. Not just an average student, a GOOD student! We had many conversations I will always remember; about business, dogs, whatever. He was such a brilliant and gentle soul. My sincere condolences to his family. He will be missed by many.
I guess I may one of the last to hear that George is no longer with us. He taught me how to make a fly rod, encouraged me to look into buying Bellinger’s and in recent years we had drifter apart. However,we would usually call one another about every three months or so. We were the type of friends that would pick up just were we left off. I was thinking wow, I have not heard from George for a while I hope he is alright and then I found out why.
His spirit will live on in my within me. He was truly a gentle and giving mentor.
It’s December 6, 2008 yesterday I found out
about George. Over the years we spoke on
the telephone and George would always say
if he ever got out to Colorado we would fish together. It never happened.
The last time we talked it was about Harry Middleton , George cried on the phone…He loved Harry and wanted me to write an article about Harrys life…George said he would back me 100 percent, he just wanted the truth out about his dear friend. I decided that I would not write the article, it would have to be someone else…I regret not writing the article for George.. I bet George and Harry are fishing together right now.
It’s not too late. A lot of us would still like to read something new about Harry Middleton.
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