Columnist : Georges Corner
The Legend-Jed Welsh
By George Van Zant
Other Jed Welsh
Stories - Tobakeyed
Breath | Catalina
Jed turned 92 years old this year of 2001. With face-to-face reality just place yourself in his spot. Jed has many friends but all of his old peer buddies are gone; in fact, long gone. He witnessed the invention of the automobile and the internal combustion engine; he watched the city of Pasadena grow from an outpost to itsí present stature. He remembers the long trips to the ocean from his hometown of Pasadena. He tells a story of his father once taking a horse and cart to June Lake from Pasadena. It was in this area of the sierras that Jed was to later establish a guide service. He spent many summers of the early 1900ís teaching the new art of fly-fishing to many patrons. Yes, Jed is a legend and his story needs to be told lest we forget a valuable part of angling history.
Jed was born January 5, 1909 in the town of Pasadena. His father was an immigrant Scottish businessman who was a true ďwandererĒ and traveled all over California but established his name mostly in the western Sierras and
Catalina Island. Jedís father was a devoted fly fisherman and initially brought that influence to the Sierra Nevadasí. His dad Joe also was one of the original people to establish the city of Avalon on Catalina Island. In fact, Joe Welsh pitched the first tent in the cove now known as Avalon. Jed was tremendously influenced by his dadís outdoor antics and his life was to be spent in the outdoor atmosphere.
Before Jed retired, he was a tackle manufacturer, a Sierra fishing guide, a promoter and an angling demonstrator for a number of tackle manufacturers. He is presently known mostly for his weekly outdoor column for the Long Beach Press Telegram. Jed has a devoted group of readers that would never miss his Thursday column. To this day his name is on almost every leader package, hook box, or split shot container in all of the High Sierra Mountain tackle stores.
He has fished for and caught almost every fish in the world. He once held the world record for a roosterfish. He currently holds the California record for a yellowfin croaker. He can tell personal contact stories about the famed Zane Gray and Earnest Hemingway. He has fished out of every port on the west coast.
To say he has a few stories is an understatement. It would be a shame to lose all of this valuable information and itsí influence on modern day angling.
I have undertaken a series to relive the memorable angling moments of his life, so letís have at it!