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Collection 2576 - Sylvester Nemes Papers, 1973-2010

Creator: Nemes, Sylvester

Provenance Note: Research papers, publication documents, correspondence, and photographs created or collected by Sylvester Nemes were purchased by Montana State Unviersity from Hazel Nemes, Bozeman, Montana, on October 3, 2011.

Historical Note: Sylvester Nemes was born on April 2, 1922 in Erie, Pennsylvania. His parents, Dominic Nemes and Pauline Angel, were Romanian. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was introduced to fly tying by a friend and mentor, and traveled frequently to Pennsylvania with his homemade flies to fish the rivers and streams there. Nemes enlisted in the Army at age 19 as the U.S. was entering World War II. He was stationed at the Ibsley Air Field in Hampshire, England as a member of the Fighter Control Squadron with the Eighth Air Force. While stationed, he was set up on a blind date with Hazel Mary Barclay, an English nursing student. Nemes landed at Omaha Beach on D-Day, staying there for nine months as part of a team directing fighter aircraft. When he returned to England, he married Hazel on March 17, 1945 in Southampton, Hampshire. After the war, Hazel and Sylvester's first child, Diana, was born in England. The family moved to the U.S. where their second and third children, Eric and Gregory, were born. While the couple raised their family, Nemes earned a bachelor's degree in English from Kent State University. He went on to work as a copy writer and a photographer in Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago. Nemes, Hazel, and their children moved to Crown Point, Indiana in 1961, where Nemes worked as a photojournalist and continued to cultivate his love of fly fishing.

Nemes published his first book in 1975 through Chatham Press. The Soft-Hackled Fly championed wet fly fishing and the beauty and utility of flies tied with bird feathers in an era when dry fly fishing was the dominant trend. In the book he details the history of the soft-hackled fly and gives instruction on tying them and using them in fishing. Nemes went on to become a prolific author on the subject of fly fishing, writing Learn How to Fly Fish in One Day (1986), Soft-Hackled Imitations (1991), The Soft-Hackled Fly: A Trout Fisherman's Guide (1993), The Soft-Hackled Fly Addict (1993), Spinners (1995), Six Months in Scotland: an American View of its Salmon Fishing (1998), Two Centuries of Soft-Hackled Flies: a Survey of the Literature With Original Patterns, 1747-Present (2004), and The Soft-Hackled Fly and Tiny Soft Hackles: a Trout Fisherman's Guide (2006). He wrote two unpublished novels: "Goodbye, Crown Point," about John Dillinger, the Depression-era bank robber, and an unnamed manuscript about World War II-era P38 fighter aircraft pilots. Hazel and Sylvester moved to San Francisco in the early eighties before settling in Bozeman, Montana, at the base of the Bridger Mountains, in 1984. Nemes continued to fish, create his own fly patterns, and write books. He had admirers as far-flung as Japan, where fans of his started a fly fishing club devoted to the use of the soft hackle, and a Nemes-branded fly fishing rod was produced and sold. He was honored by Trout Unlimited in Bozeman in 2008 with their Legends of the Headwaters award. Nemes died at home on February 3, 2011 outside of Bozeman.

Content Description Note: The bulk of this collection is made up of the research, notes, drafts and manuscripts of Nemes' books, both his published works on fly fishing, as well as two unpublished works of historical fiction. This portion of the collection is largely typed pages and handwritten notes in spiral-bound notebooks, but also some galleys and artwork. There is also a large amount of correspondence, mainly from readers and fans of his work expressing their admiration for Nemes, and ordering books and hand-tied flies from him. Biographical material is limited to a few folders which include family correspondence, a brief biography, miscellaneous personal records, and his obituary. Nemes' business and professional records are mainly comprised of correspondence with publishers, book and fly orders and invoices, and other records related to the writing and publishing of his books. In the final series there are photographs, negatives, memorabilia, and several binders of slides taken by Nemes of flies, landscapes in the West and in England and Scotland, fish and rivers, and friends and family.

Contents

Series 1 Biographical material
Series 2 Business and Professional Records
Series 3 Correspondence
Series 4 Book Manuscripts, Drafts and Book-Specific Research
Series 5 General Research and Notes
Series 6 Photographs, Slides and Memorabilia

Series 1: Biographical material

This small series contains a print of a portrait of Sylvester Nemes, some family correspondence, a short biography written on Nemes in the mid 1980s, and Nemes' obituary from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Box 1
1. Nemes Portrait, 1996
2. Biography, 1980s-2011
3. Correspondence, undated, 1995, 1997
4. Misc. Personal Records, 1992-2001

Contents | Special Collections


Series 2: Business and Professional Records

This series contains all records pertaining to Nemes' professional life (excluding any book manuscript material, artwork or research, which is contained in Series IV). Included are wholesale book orders, royalty reports, receipts from travels to Europe, publisher correspondence with Stackpole Books and Chatham Press, book publicity materials, and articles written by and articles written about Nemes. Legal agreements, including an agreement to produce a Nemes-branded fishing rod in Japan, are also found in this series.

Box 2
1. Awards/Certificates, 1990-2007
2. Organizations, 1981-2009
3. Articles by Nemes, 1975, n.d.
4. Articles about Nemes, 1982-2011
5. Book Reviews/Press, 1986-1996
6. Book Publicity, 1988-89, 1995
7. Book Publicity Mailings, 1990-1991
8. Book/Fly Orders, 1981-2002
9. The Soft Hackled Fly Orders from Magazine Ad
10. The Soft Hackled Fly Orders from Magazine Ad
11. Fly Fishing Heritage, 1987
12. Fly Fisherman's Library, 1982, n.d.
13. Fly Fisherman Magazine, 1975-1983

Box 3
1. Fly Fisherman Japan Edition, 1983, n.d.
2. English Correspondence/Research, 1974-1982, n.d.
3. Trip to England/Fishing in England, 1972-1986, n.d.
4. Trip to Scotland, 1996-1997, n.d.
5. Stackpole Books - Correspondence, 1984-2006
6. Stackpole Books - Correspondence, 1984-2006
7. Stackpole Books - Royalty Statements, Invoices, 1986-2007
8. General Publisher Correspondence, 1973-2005
9. Publishing Agreements, 1985-2010, n.d.
10. Title Page Proofs, n.d.
11. Submission to Barnes and Noble, 1998
12. English Publisher Correspondence, 1995-1996
13. Chatham Press, 1975-1981
14. Chatham Press, 1975-1980
15. Goodbye Crown Point - Publisher Search, 1992-2007
16. Publisher Price Quotes, 1982-1995

Box 4
1. Misc. Invoices/Receipts (Incoming), 1983-1996
2. Nemes-Branded Japanese Rod, 1997-2000
3. Modern Imaging Dispute, 1988
4. Copyright Registration, 1988
5. Color World Printers, 1988-1998
6. Umpqua Feather Merchants, 1990-2002
7. Transcribed Tapes, 1975, 1977
8. Brochures and Catalogs, 1990-2002
9. Fly Fishing Dictionary, 2005
10. Business Correspondence, 1980-1989, n.d.
11. General Articles and Newspaper Clippings, 1993-2006, n.d.
12. Misc. Business Records
13. Spinners - Trademark

Contents | Special Collections


Series 3: Correspondence

The bulk of letters are fan mail from Nemes' readers, who wrote to order books and flies as well as to ask for fishing and fly tying advice. Some sent Nemes examples of their hand crafted flies along with their letters (all flies can be found in Series VI). Outgoing Correspondence contains copies of all correspondence written by Nemes that is not contained in Series II, folders 2 and 5-8. Incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically by last name, while outgoing correspondence is arranged by year. All photographic material has been placed in Series VI.

Box 5  Incoming Correspondence
1. A
2. A
3. B
4. B
5. B
6. B

Box 6  Incoming Correspondence
1. B
2. B
3. C
4. C
5. C
6. C
7. D

Box 7  Incoming Correspondence
1. D
2. E
3. F
4. F
5. G
6. G
7. H
8. H

Box 8  Incoming Correspondence
1. H
2. H
3. H
4. I
5. J
6. K
7. K
8. K
9. L

Box 9  Incoming Correspondence
1. L
2. L
3. M
4. M
5. M
6. M

Box 10  Incoming Correspondence
1. N
2. O
3. P
4. P
5. P
6. Q
7. R

Box 11  Incoming Correspondence
1. R
2. R
3. S
4. S
5. S
6. S
7. T

Box 12  Incoming Correspondence
1. T
2. U
3. V
4. W
5. W
6. Y
7. Z
8. No Last Name
9. No Last Name
10. Letter Fragments

Box 13  Outgoing Correspondence
1. 1973-1975
2. 1976
3. 1977
4. 1980-1989
5. 1990-1994
6. 1995-1999
7. 2000-2008
8. No Date

Contents | Special Collections


Series 4: Book Manuscripts, Drafts and Book-Specific Research

Contains drafts, manuscripts, galleys and artwork for Nemes' books, along with research (copies of articles and typed and handwritten notes) directly related to the writing of a book, arranged by book. Contains what appears to be a very early draft (ca. 1973) of The Soft-Hackled Fly. All articles and notes written by Nemes that could not be identified as part of one of his literary projects have been placed in Series V.

Box 14
1. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
2. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
3. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
4. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
5. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
6. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
7. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
8. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
9. Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
10. Soft Hackled Fly - Title Page
11. Soft Hackled Fly - Intro to New Edition
12. Soft Hackled Fly - Folder Notes
13. Learn How to Fly Fish - Drafts
14. Learn How to Fly Fish - Drafts
15. Learn How to Fly Fish - Artwork
16. Learn How to Fly Fish - Artwork [see box 32]

Box 15
1. Learn How to Fly Fish: Drafts
2. Learn How to Fly Fish: Artwork
3. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Handwritten Notes
4. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Notes
5. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
6. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
7. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
8. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
9. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
10. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
11. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
12. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Artwork [see box 32]

Box 16
1. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Manuscript
2. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Manuscript
3. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Manuscript
4. D. Hughes Soft Hackled Fly Imitations Introduction
5. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Artwork
6. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Galleys
7. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Galleys
8. Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Galleys
9. Spinners - Book Proposal
10. Spinners - Notes

Box 17
1. Spinners - Drafts
2. Spinners - Drafts
3. Spinners - Drafts
4. Spinners - Drafts
5. Spinners - Drafts
6. Spinners - Drafts
7. Spinners - Drafts

Box 18
1. Spinners - Drafts
2. Spinners - Drafts
3. Spinners - Drafts
4. Spinners - Drafts
5. Spinners - Drafts
6. Spinners - Drafts
7. Spinners - Drafts
8. Spinners - Artwork

Box 19
1. Scotland Travel
2. Scotland Travel
3. Scotland Travel
4. Scotland Articles and Research
5. Scotland Articles and Research
6. Scotland Articles and Research
7. Scotland Articles and Research

Box 20
1. UK Articles and Newspaper Clippings
2. Six Months in Scotland - Chapter Ideas
3. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
4. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
5. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
6. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
7. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
8. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
9. Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
10. Six Months in Scotland (?) - Drafts
11. Six Months in Scotland - Artwork

Box 21
1. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Handwritten Notes
2. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
3. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
4. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
5. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
6. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
7. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
8. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
9. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
10. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript

Box 22
1. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
2. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
3. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
4. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
5. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
6. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Galleys
7. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Galleys
8. Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Galleys

Box 23
1. Tiny Soft Hackles - Notebooks
2. Tiny Soft Hackles - Research
3. Tiny Soft Hackles - Manuscript
4. Tiny Soft Hackles - Manuscript
5. P38 Novel - Notes
6. P38 Novel - Notes
7. P38 Novel - Articles and Research
8. P38 Novel - Articles and Research
9. P38 Novel - Articles and Research
10. P38 Novel - Articles and Research [see box 32]

Box 24
1. P38 Novel - Drafts
2. P38 Novel - Manuscript
3. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
4. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
5. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
6. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
7. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
8. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
9. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
10. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles

Box 25
1. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
2. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
3. Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
4. Goodbye, Crown Point - Notes
5. Goodbye, Crown Point - Notes
6. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
7. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
8. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript

Box 26
1. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
2. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
3. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
4. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
5. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
6. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
7. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
8. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript

Box 27
1. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
2. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
3. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
4. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
5. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
6. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
7. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
8. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
9. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript

Box 28
1. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
2. Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript Sample
3. Unidentified Manuscript - Soft Hackled Fly Origins/Tarpon Story
4. Unidentified Manuscript - Fishing the Soft Hackled Fly
5. Unidentified Manuscript - Fishing the Soft Hackled Fly in Big Rivers
6. Unidentified Manuscript - Fishing Soft Hackles
7. Unidentified Manuscript - Soft Hackled Fly Writing
8. Unidentified Manuscript - Fiction Manuscript

Contents | Special Collections


Series 5: General Research and Notes

Spiral-bound notebooks, loose papers, and legal pads of handwritten notes and photocopies of articles kept by Nemes for various writing projects.

Box 28 (continued)
9. Entomological Society of London Articles
10. Entomology Articles
11. Handwritten Notes
12. Handwritten Notes
13. Handwritten Notes

Box 29
1. Handwritten Notes
2. Handwritten Notes
3. Handwritten Notes
4. Handwritten Notes
5. Handwritten Notes
6. Handwritten Notes

Box 30
1. Handwritten Notes
2. Handwritten Notes
3. Handwritten Notes
4. Handwritten Notes
5. Handwritten Notes
6. Handwritten Notes

Box 31
1. Handwritten Notes
2. Handwritten Notes
3. Handwritten Notes
4. Handwritten Notes

Box 32
1. Handwritten Notes
2. Handwritten Notes
3. Handwritten Notes
4. Handwritten Notes
5. Handwritten Notes
6. History of Elementary Schools - Articles

Contents | Special Collections


Series 6: Photographs, Slides and Memorabilia

Color photographs of Sylvester Nemes with family and friends, readers' photos sent to Nemes, 3x5 negatives of fly tying, and several binders of slides taken of various subjects. Some binders were labeled by Nemes, the rest are labeled in brackets, and are mainly comprised of images of flies, rivers, Nemes, the English and Scottish countryside, and western landscapes. This series also includes a small collections of flies (mostly those sent to Nemes by readers), his Legend of the Headwaters award, and a framed photo with mounted flies from a Japanese fishing club.

Box 32 (continued)
7. Photos: S. Nemes, #1-7
8. Photos: S. Nemes and Others, #8-13
9. Photos: Unidentified people, #14-17
10. Photos: Misc. fishing-related, #18-20
11. Photos: Normandy map, #21-24
12. Photos: Fly tying (Tying leader to fly, #25-27, Blood knot, #28-37), #25-37
13. Negatives: Flies, #38-46
14. Negatives: Fly tying, #47-69
15. Negatives: Fishing/casting, #70-83
16. Negatives: Horses, #84-85

Box 33
1. Flies
2. Legend of the Headwaters plaque, 2008
3. Framed photograph of Soft Hackles, a Japanese fishing club, along with flies, 2006

Box 34 Slide binders
1. Spinners, 1990-1995
2. Spinners, 1993-1994
3. Spinners, 1991-1995
4. Spinners, 1987-1999
5. Two Centuries, 1998-2000
6. Scotland, undated
7. Scotland, 1990-1998, undated

Box 35 Slide binders
8. [various], 1984-1995
9. [various], 1987-1996
10. [various], 1982-1998
11. [various], 1989-1995
12. [various], 1982-2000
13. [various], 1986-1995
14. Mixed, 1987-2000
15. [various], 1976-2005

Contents | Special Collections

Updated: 3/10/14