US Presidents Who Fished

| February 16, 2009

Pennsylvania Avenue fishy smell



Dwight Eisenhower – D.Day for that fish.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen George W. hold up a Striper while fishing with George H., and I’ve seen the timeless image of Jimmy Carter fending off a rascally rabbit while rowing around, but I wanted to know more about fishing forefathers, so I hit the trusty google search, and was surprised to find a deeper lineage.

I knew from the Howell Raines book “Fly Fishing through Midlife Crisis”, that Herbert Hoover was a fly fisher during his administration, and that a river he fished outside DC was stocked with Rainbow Trout to insure his success when he fished there. The river was so overstocked that it created an imbalance felt for years afterward. Later in life Hoover wrote “Fishing for Fun and to Wash the Soul”. He also chided Calvin Coolidge for preferring earthworms to fly fishing. Raines has personal insights into both Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush’s fishing experiences – from the touchy-feely Carter, to the pragmatic Bush.

In “Fishing Yesterday’s Gulf Coast”, by Barney Farley recounts, “All of Port Aransas was hoping and holding its breath, when two destroyers and the Potomac glided out of the horizon and anchored a mile or two offshore.” The Potomac was Franklin Roosevelt’s yacht, and he fished with Farley for Tarpon (The Texas Gulf Coast was a singularly famous Tarpon destination back then).

A quick search turns up Chester A. Arthur, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley in his youth, and Dwight D. Eisenhower has a few photographs of fishing laying around as well.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Life Observed

About the Author ()

I write. I photograph. I fish, and I live.

Comments (1)

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  1. Cindy says:

    ah, how simple it must have been back then. when the president wasn’t an international celebrity whose every action was pored over and scrutinized, but instead the icon for a country living the dream. now the american ideal is cynicism. can’t we just go back?

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