Press Powell

Press Powell

Andy Dear | Monday, 7 June 2021

In last week's front page about Dick Kantner, I referenced toward the end his recommendation that I contact Press Powell of Powell Fly Rods. Dick and Press were good friends, so it was an easy sell to get Press to participate. What was unexpected was that the interview I did with Press became a very important event in my life in more ways than one.

  Anyone here on Sexyloops who has any history at all in fly fishing is keenly aware of the Powell family legacy. 4 Generations of Powells have been involved in rod making, and their influence on the craft is both deep and wide. Press was such an easy interview, not only because of the pride he took in his family's history, but also because he LOVED to talk!

  When I interviewed Press, he was in the midst of a pretty tough battle with colon cancer, but you'd never know it, as every time we spoke he was always upbeat and enthusiastic about this project. So much so that he sent me quite a large packet of archival material to use in our interview. When I said in the opener that my interview with Press became a very important event in my life, that's because much of that archival material he let me keep. There is some fantastic stuff in there like handwritten correspondence between him and Gary Loomis, a book on fly fishing written by his grandfather which is autographed by Press and his father, famous rod maker Walton Powell, and multiple other pieces of literature about his family's influence and legacy on the rod making industry.Many do not know this, but Press's Uncle, Buddy Powell was a highly accomplished tournament caster who greatly influenced not only the Powell rod designs but on rod designs industry wide. He was also one of the early adopters of the double haul in tournament casting circles.

  Press and I had several more conversations before he passed away from colon cancer just a short time after our interview. Much like the others who participated in this series, he and I's personality seemed to really "click"....we got along like long-lost friends. After Press passed, I waited a few weeks, then decided to call Dick Kantner who had introduced me to Press to see if he knew about Press's passing....suprisingly he did not. I sat on the phone with Dick for probably a good 5 minutes with not a word spoken between us, while he wept over the loss of his friend.

Here is the link to the interview I did with Press.

Hope you all have a good week,