Creator: Lilly, Bud


Provenance Note: Personal and business papers created by Bud Lilly were donated to Montana State University Library by Robert Dotson of Bellevue, Washington, on April 15, 2010. Additional materials were provided by Timothy Gordon of Missoula, Montana on September 10, 2013. A Lunker Club log book was donated by Esther Lilly May 12, 2017.


Historical Note: Walen F. "Bud" Lilly was born on August 13, 1925 in Manhattan, Montana. His mother, Violet Collins Lilly, was a descendant of Mary Wells "Granny" Yates, a pioneer Montana settler who first arrived in the territory in 1863. Bud attended public schools in Manhattan and early developed a lifelong interest in fishing. In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve and attended officer training schools in Butte, Montana and Fort Schuyler, New York. Bud was assigned to the USS General R. M. Blatchford during the latter part of World War II and during his service visited Hiroshima, Japan after its bombing by American forces. After the war Lilly attended Montana State University in Bozeman, earning a bachelor's degree in science and beginning a career as a public school teacher in Roundup, Deer Lodge, and Bozeman, Montana and at Scottsdale, Arizona. He married Patricia Bennett on March 15, 1947 and the couple had three children: Gregory, Michael and Annette. In 1961 he purchased a trout fishing tackle store in West Yellowstone, Montana that had been started by Don Martinez and operated by Charles Borberg. Known simply as "The Trout Shop," Lilly's business became a great success, coordinating information regarding local fishing conditions, providing a space for fishing enthusiasts to gather, and offering a wide variety of custom made flies and related tackle. His entire family worked at the shop at one time or another, and all three of his children provided guiding services. Publications associated with the Trout Shop included various editions of a merchandise catalog and a fishing map, both of which were created by collaboration with David Bascomb, a California advertising executive and fly fishing enthusiast. As Lilly's fame as a guide and store owner grew, he also became an advocate for catch and release fly fishing along with streambed and habitat conservation. Among the people he personally guided on fishing trips were British Ambassador Sir Peter Ramsbotham and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Among the organizations Lilly has been active in are Trout Unlimited, the Federation of Fly Fishers, and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. In collaboration with Paul Schullery, Lilly has written three books on fly fishing: Bud Lilly's Guide to Western Fly Fishing (1987), A Trout's Best Friend: the Angling Autobiography of Bud Lilly (1988), and Bud Lilly's Guide to Fly Fishing the New West (2000). Although Lilly sold the Trout Shop in 1982, his business interests continued with the formation of the Western Rivers Club, an organization he founded to keep his former customers in touch, and the Angler's Rest, a guest hotel for fishing visitors in Three Forks, Montana. In addition to his work with the Montana Ambassadors, a state sponsored program to entice visitation and investment in Montana, Lilly has also worked as the river keeper for Baker Springs, a land development company near Manhattan, Montana. After the death of his wife Patricia in 1984, Lilly remarried in 1985 to Esther Simon, then the executive director of the Federation of Fly Fishers, and the couple have two children, Christopher and Alisa.


Content Description Note: The Bud Lilly papers consist of biographical and genealogical materials, correspondence, organization papers, literary productions, business records, photographs and motion picture film all created or collected by Lilly in the course of his life and business career. Among the personal biographical and genealogical materials are documents that represent Lilly's military service and family life, including a letter he describing a visit to Hiroshima, Japan shortly after the detonation of the atomic bomb in World War II. The correspondence series includes letters generated in the conduct of Lilly's business interests as a store owner and fishing guide. Among the authors represented are Roderick Haig-Brown, Tom McGuane, Curt Gowdy, Lee Wulff, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The series of organizational papers includes communications and documents from a wide variety of sportsman's and environmental groups. The newspaper clipping series contains in chronological order a selection of articles dealing with Lilly or his family. A series of documents representing literary productions contains materials that directly relate to Lilly's three published monographs and numerous journal articles, again presented chronologically. Business records document the financial, legal, and social activities of Lilly's store, outfitting activities, and consulting work. The photographs have been arranged under broad subject headings assigned by Lilly and sequentially numbered. An additional deposit of papers received in September 2013 has been placed in Series 8, and the folder arrangement follows the order of the previous seven series.

RESTRICTIONS: The corporate income tax records and payroll information found in Box 8, files 15-18 are restricted from public access until 2082.


Series 1: Biographical material

Lilly family correspondence, World War II military service records, genealogical notes and other documents pertaining to Bud Lilly's immediate and extended family. Included are a selection of letters and greeting cards from Lilly's children and grandchildren, documents pertaining to Lilly's teaching career, and licenses, certificates, and other memorabilia. Of particular interest is a letter written by Bud in 1945 while still serving as a U.S. Navy officer describing the destruction at Hiroshima, Japan.

Box 1
1. Bud Lilly family correspondence
2. Military service records
3. Military service records
4. Military service records
5. Teaching career documents
6. Pat Lilly
7. Greg Lilly
8. Greg Lilly newsletters
9. Michael John Lilly
10. Annette Lilly
11. Christopher Lilly
12. Alisa Lilly
13. Lilly grandchildren
14. Family history and genealogy
15. Family history and genealogy
16. Family history and genealogy
17. Family history and genealogy
18. Licenses, certificates, memorabilia
19. Sons and Daughters of Gallatin County Pioneers

Series 2: Correspondence

Letters, postcards, and accompanying materials from friends, colleagues, business clients, and some celebrities such as former United States President Jimmy Carter and Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight. The letters have been sorted alphabetically, with separate folders for those writers whose letters were especially numerous. Other prominent writers who are represented by one or two letters have been indicated in the appropriate alphabetical folder listing.

Box 2
1. A
2. B (including Max Baucus)
3. C
4. D
5. Dunbar, Jan and Calvin
6. Dunbar, Jan and Calvin
7. Dunbar, Calvin - World War II reminiscences
8. E - F
9. G (including Curt Gowdy)
10. H (including Roderick Haig-Brown)
11. J
12. Jacklin, Bob
13. K (including Bobby Knight)
14. L
15. M (including Tom McGuane)
16. Mintz, Bennett J.
Box 3
1. N
2. O
3. P
4. R
5. Reed, Nathaniel P.
6. S
7. Schullery, Paul
8. Schullery, Paul - notes on Donald Martinez
9. T - V
10. W - Y (including Lee Wulff)
11. No last name
12. Catch and release survey responses
13. Greeting cards
14. Framed letter from Jimmy Carter

Series 3: Organizations

Letters, brochures, reports, fund raising solicitations and other documents generated by organizations in which Lilly had an interest. Included are historical, heritage, and environmental conservation groups as well as those devoted to angling interests. Especially prominent are records from the museum collection of the International Fly Fishing Center, the Montana Ambassadors, the Montana Trout Foundation, and Montana Trout Unlimited. The records of the Western Rivers Club, founded by Lilly, have been placed with his business records in Series 6.

Box 4
1. American Museum of Fly Fishing
2. American Wildlands
3. Bozeman Public Library
4. Casting for Recovery
5. Cress Spring Creek Restoration
6. Federation of Fly Fishers
7. Fishing and Floating Outfitters of Montana
8. Headwaters Fly Fishers
9. Headwaters Heritage Museum
10. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1985-86
11. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1987
12. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1988
13. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1989
14. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1990
15. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1991
16. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1992
17. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1993
18. International Fly Fishing Center, Accessions 1994
19. Montana Ambassadors, 1985-87
20. Montana Ambassadors, 1988
21. Montana Ambassadors, 1989
Box 5
1. Montana Ambassadors, 1990
2. Montana Ambassadors, 1991
3. Montana Ambassadors, 1993
4. Montana Ambassadors, 1994
5. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
6. Montana Land Reliance
7. Montana Land Reliance
8. Montana State University
9. Montana State University Library
10. Montana Trout Foundation
11. Montana Trout Foundation
12. Montana Trout Foundation - Bylaws and Incorporation
13. Montana Trout Foundation - Grant applications
14. Montana Trout Foundation - Grant applications
15. Montana Trout Foundation - Grant applications
Box 6
1. Montana Trout Unlimited
2. Montana Trout Unlimited
3. Montana Trout Unlimited
4. Montana Trout Unlimited - Russian visitors
5. Navy V-12 Reunion
6. Southwestern Montana Flyfishers
7. Three Dollar Bridge
8. Warriors and Quiet Waters
9. Whirling Disease Task Force
10. Wild Trout Symposiums
11. Yellowstone Historic Center
12. Yellowstone Historic Center
13. Yellowstone Historic Center
14. Yellowstone Historic Center

Series 4: Newspaper Clippings

Newspaper clippings and magazine articles pertaining to Bud Lilly, the Lilly family, or topics in which Lilly was interested. Topics include publicity for Lilly's business ventures, the film Three Men, Three Rivers, and trout habitat conservation. The clippings have been arranged chronologically. Clippings and magazine articles written by Lilly have been placed in Series 5.

Box 6 (cont.)
15. 1946-1958
16. 1961-1967
17. 1969-1976
18. 1982-1987
19. 1991-1993
20. 1996-1998
21. 1999-2001
22. 2002-2004
23. 2006-2008
24. no date

Series 5: Literary productions

Published articles, manuscript drafts, and related materials of books, stories and essays written by Lilly himself, or in partnership with Paul Schullery. The materials have been sorted into three groups consisting of materials dealing with Lilly's books, a physical bibliography of his published articles, and his manuscript drafts, some of which may have been subsequently published. All have been chronologically arranged.

Box 7
1. Bud Lilly's Guide to Western Fly Fishing (New York: Nick Lyon Books, 1987) - Outline
2. Bud Lilly's Guide to Western Fly Fishing - Publishing correspondence
3. Bud Lilly's Guide to Western Fly Fishing - Publicity and reviews
4. A Trout's Best Friend. (Boulder, Colo: Pruett Publishing, 1988) - Publishing correspondence
5. A Trout's Best Friend - Publicity and reviews
6. A Trout's Best Friend - Publicity and reviews
7. Bud Lilly's Guide to Fly Fishing the New West (Portland, Ore.: Frank Amato Publications, 2000)
8. "Montana [Fishing Report]" The Angler's Journal 1, 1 (August 1954): 17-18.
9. "We Measure Them Between the Eyes, and Other Western Myths," Fly Fishing Heritage 1, 4 (Winter 1987):19-21.
10. "Guidance and Guides," Fly Fisherman 19,3 (May 1988):72-75, 93-95.
11. "Currents to Action," Fishing '88 2, 2 (1988):14-18, 67-68.
12. "Why Western Fishing Keeps Getting Better," The Flyfisher 21,2 (Summer 1988):26-27.
13. "The Value of Trout in Montana," Flyfishing News 3, 1 (June/July 1988): 8-9.
14. "The Last Trout," Flyfishing News 6, 6 (April/May 1992):16.
15. "Montana Beginnings," The Yellowstone Gateway Post (May 1992):12, 27.
16. "Five Dollars & A Clean Shirt," The Yellowstone Gateway Post (June 1992): 12.
17. "A Fly Fishing Family," The Yellowstone Gateway Post (July 1992):12, 27.
18. "Guiding Celebrities," The Yellowstone Gateway Post (August 1992):12, 27.
19. "On Experts and Western Hats," The Yellowstone Gateway Post (September 1992):13, 14.
20. "Madison River Memories," The Yellowstone Gateway Post (May 1994): 1, 28.
21. "Madison Memories," Trout Line (Summer 1994): 1, 4.
22. "Open Letter to All Montana Anglers," Trout Line (Spring 1995): 8.
23. "Salmonflies," Flyfishing and Tying Journal 23, 3 (Fall 2000):46-49.
24. "Selling Access Sites Would be a Big Step Backwards," Bozeman Daily Chronicle (December 3, 2002): A 4.
25. "Fight Efforts to Undermine the Endangered Species Act," Bozeman Daily Chronicle (April 9, 2006): A 4.
26. "100 Days on the Madison"
27. "Where the Guides Fish"
28. "Where, When, and How to Fish Famed Stonefly Hatches on Western Rivers"
29. Untitled

Series 6: Business records

Financial records, letters, vendor materials, inventories, and other papers pertaining to Lilly's business ventures. Included are: outfitter's registration books listing the names, fishing license numbers, and dates of clients Lilly guided; financial reports prepared by Lilly's accountants for the operation of his West Yellowstone Trout Shop; corporate income tax reports for the Trout Shop; payroll, inventories, and vendors material for the Trout Shop; documents pertaining to the Angler's Retreat guest house; membership records, ledgers, and newsletters for Lilly's Western Rivers Club; legal documents pertaining to the Lilly vs. Bonnett lawsuit; advertising materials for all businesses including original artwork, brochures, fishing reports, and catalogs. To maintain privacy, files 15-18 are restricted until 2082 and have been indicated with (R).

Box 7 (cont.)
30. Outfitter client itineraries and related letters
31. Outfitter's report book, June 9-September 22, 1969
32. Outfitter's report book, July 30, 1974-September 22, 1975
33. Outfitter's report book, June 23-August 8, 1976
34. Outfitter's report book, June 2-July 19, 1979
35. Outfitter's report book, June 18-July 7, 1980; October 5-23, 1980
36. Outfitter's report book, July 14-August 8, 1980
37. Outfitter's report book, August 8-September 8, 1980
Box 8
1. Outfitter's report book, September 8-October 3, 1980
2. Outfitter's report book, October 7-20, 1980; May 16-July 4, 1981
3. Outfitter's report book, July 3, 1981-July 30, 1981
4. Outfitter's report book, August 6-August 25, 1981
5. Outfitter's report book, August 25-September 21, 1981
6. Outfitter's report book, September 22-October 17, 1981
7. Outfitter's report book, July 28, 1988-September 20, 1988
8. Outfitter's report book, no year, May 30-July 14
9. Trout Shop financial statement, 1973-1974
10. Trout Shop financial statement, 1975
11. Trout Shop financial statement, 1978
12. Trout Shop financial statement, 1979
13. Trout Shop financial statement, 1980
14. Trout Shop financial statement, 1981
15. Trout Shop corporate income tax, 1979 (R)
16. Trout Shop corporate income tax, 1981 (R)
17. Trout Shop corporate income tax, 1982 (R)
18. Trout Shop payroll, 1979 (R)
19. Trout Shop inventories, no date
20. Trout Shop inventories, no date
21. Trout Shop inventories, no date
22. Trout Shop inventories, no date
23. Trout Shop inventories, 1969
24. Purchase orders/vendors material
Box 9
1. Angler's Retreat
2. Guest register, 1974-1975
3. Western Rivers Club
4. Western Rivers Club
5. Western Rivers Club
6. Western Rivers Club, membership
7. Western Rivers Club, membership
8. Western Rivers Club ledger, 1987
9. Western Rivers Club ledger, 1988
10. Western Rivers Club, newsletters
11. Baker Springs
12. Baker Springs
13. Baker Springs, Tie the Knot program
14. Lilly vs. Bonnett
15. Lilly vs. Bonnett
16. Lilly vs. Bonnett
17. Lilly vs. Bonnett
18. Lilly vs. Bonnett
19. Lilly vs. Bonnett
20. Fishing reports
21. Backpacking school
22. Advertising correspondence, David Bascom
23. Brochures, printed itineraries, etc.
24. Lunker Club
Box 10 Advertising artwork, catalogs, oversize materials

Series 7: Photographs and motion pictures

Color and black and white photographs, 35mm slides, and 8mm motion picture film created or collected by Bud Lilly. These images represent Lilly's personal and family life, along with his professional interests as a fishing guide and store owner. Originally sorted into broad subject headings, the images have been retained in topically labeled folders that reflect the categories originally assigned by Lilly, although any individual image could have more than one appropriate placement. All images have been sequentially numbered, with the inclusive numbers assigned indicated on each folder heading. 35mm slides have been included in this sequential numbering system, but their assignment into topically labeled folders necessarily repeats some of the headings assigned to the prints. The motion picture film has been placed in a separate container, with each reel given its own unique identification number. The film on these reels has been described from brief notes on the original paper cartons.

Box 11
1. Bud Lilly ancestors and parents, #1-12
2. Bud Lilly childhood, #13-21
3. Bud Lilly young adult and Naval service, #22-36
4. Bud Lilly formal portraits, #37-42
5. Bud Lilly informal solo poses, #43-50
6.  Bud Lilly informal fishing poses, #51-58
7. Bud Lilly informal fishing poses, #59-71
8. Bud Lilly with family, #72-74
9. Patricia B. Lilly, #75-91
10. Michael Lilly, #92-98
11. Greg Lilly, #99-114
12. Annette Lilly, #115-125
13. Esther, Chris, and Alicia Lilly, #126-129
14. Bonnie Lilly, #130-135
15. Trout Shop, #136-154
16. Trout Shop, #155-165
17. Trout Shop, #166-182
18. Trout Shop, #183-199
19. Angler's Rest, #200-224
20. Bud Lilly poses with others, #225-253
21. Bud Lilly poses with others fishing, #254-265
22. Individual fishing scenes, #266-292
23. Individual fishing scenes, #293-316
24. Group fishing scenes, #317-329
25. Scenery and wildlife, #330-348
26. Bugs, #349-360
27. Flies, #361-373
28. Artwork, #374-387
29. Brochure, #388-399
30. Events, #400
31. Products, #401-421
32. 1959 Earthquake, #422-437
Box 12
1. Sculpture, #438
2. Dan Abrams, #439
3. Dan Bailey, #440-441
4. Brokaws, #442-453
5. Charles Brooks, #454-463
6. Dan Callaghan, #464
7. Cal Dunbar, #465-466
8. Rex Gerlach, #467
9. Arnold Gingrich, #468-469
10. Will Godfrey, #470
11. Curt Gowdy, #471
12. Jim Green, #472-475
13. Rene Harrop, #476-477
14. Bob Jacklin, #478-480
15. Ed Koch, #481-484
16. Lefty Kreh, #485-486
17. Don Martinez, #487-488
18. Sir Peter Ramsbotham, #489-490
19. Barry Schaplon, #491-493
20. Ernest Schwiebert, #494
21. Ed Schenk, #495-497
22. Doug Swisher and Carl Richards, #498-501
23. Dave Whitlock, #502-507
24. Lee and Jan Wulff, #508-509
Box 13 35mm slides
1. Bud Lilly ancestors and parents, #510-511
2. Bud Lilly informal solo poses, #512-514
3. Bud Lilly informal fishing poses, #515-525
4. Bud Lilly with family, #536-529
5. Michael Lilly, #530-535
6. Greg Lilly, #536-543
7. Annette Lilly, #544-559
8. Bonnie Lilly, #560-566
9. Lilly family informal poses, #567-607
10. Trout Shop, #608-614
11. Angler's Rest, #615-620
12. Bud Lilly poses with others, #621
13. Individual fishing scenes, #622-670
14. Group fishing scenes, #671-686
15. Scenery and wildlife, #687-786
16. Bugs, #787-791
17. Flies, #792-801
18. Artwork, #802-821
19. Brochure, #822-826
20. Events, #827-846
21. Products, #847-850
22. Sculpture, #851-852
23. Charles Brooks, #853
24. Barry Schaplon, #854-856
25. Dave Whitlock, #857
Box 14 8mm motion picture reels
Reel 1. 1956-1957.
Children, Spring 1957; Yellowstone, 1956; Selling worms, Hebgen Lake, August 1956; Picnic, LeRoy and Jean Sager; Trip to Ennis, Pictures of Clippy; Elk hunt, November 1956.
Reel 2. 1957-1960.
Skating, 1957-58; Swimming in Firehold, 1958; Annette's party, 1958; Folk, Whitehall, Canyon Village, 1959; Arizona, 1959; Kik, 1959-1960; Hebgen Quake, 1960; Slide, 1960, Sam and Connie, fishing, 1960.
Reel 3. 1961-1962, undated
Parade Scottsdale, 1961; Winter, 1962.
Reel 4. undated
Scottsdale, Finishing, Red Rock, Gallatin
Reel 5. undated, unidentified
Reel 6. undated, unidentified
Reel 7. 1985, unidentified

Series 8: Additional materials deposited in 2013

Box 15
1. Biographical Material - Christopher Lilly
2. Biographical Material - Esther Lilly (nee Simon)
3. Biographical Material - Lilly Family Genealogy
4. Biographical Material - Roundup High Class of 1951 50-Year Reunion
5. Biographical Material - E. O'Donnell, November 2000
6. Biographical Material - Miscellaneous personal records
7. Biographical Material - Wagner House school report, May 1989
8. Correspondence - A-E
9. Correspondence - Barbara Foster, 1999
10. Correspondence - G-K
11. Correspondence - L-P
12. Correspondence - R
13. Correspondence - Paul Schullery
14. Correspondence - S-Z
15. Correspondence - No last name
16. Organizations - American Museum of Fly Fishing
17. Organizations - A-B
18. Organizations - Community Tourism Assessment Program - Three Forks application
19. Organizations - Field and Stream
20. Organizations - M

Box 16

1. Organizations - Montana Land Reliance
2. Organizations - Montana Trout Foundation
3. Organizations - Montana Trout Unlimited
4. Organizations - Museum of the Rockies - Anglers All Exhibit, 2000
5. Organizations - P-Z
6. Newspaper Clippings - 2000-2009; undated
7. Literary Productions - Bud Lilly's Guide to Fly Fishing the New West - manuscript
8. Literary Productions - Fishing Along the Lewis and Clark Trail - lecture notes
9. Business Records - Angler's Retreat
10. Business Records - Angler's Retreat financial

Box 17

1. Business Records - Angler's Retreat reservations/correspondence
2. Business Records - Angler's Retreat reservations/correspondence
3. Photographs and Motion Pictures - various loose photos
4. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Photo album, 1961-1972

Box 18

1. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Bud and Bob Show, May 1988 (VHS)
2. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Roasting the Old Fart (VHS)
3. Photographs and Motion Pictures - 30 Years Wild Trout, 5/12/04 MTFWP Bud, Dick & Mike (VHS)
4. Photographs and Motion Pictures - 2002 BHS Graduation, Chris Lilly (VHS)
5. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Whirling Disease (VHS)
6. Photographs and Motion Pictures - The Whirling Disease Disaster (VHS)
7. Photographs and Motion Pictures - MSU Library, FWP Report, June 2001
8. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Camera One Tapes 5-8
9. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Anglers All/Museum of the Rockies/Bud Lilly, June 2000
10. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Sierra Club Mt. Chapter Bud Lilly Radio Spots (audio cassette)
11. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Fly Fishing in Montana (audio cassette)
12. Photographs and Motion Pictures - The Worth of a Trout with Dan Abrams (audio cassette)
13. Photographs and Motion Pictures - Unidentified (audio cassette)

Updated: 9/18/2013