Another old fishing friend moved on to be with the Lord this weekend. Cliff Shelby, famed throughout the outdoors industry for his talents as an illustrator and PR whiz, passed away this weekend with his wife, Karen, at his side. The Arkansas native was one of the true greats in the fishing industry, beloved by all who knew him. From a personal standpoint, I vividly remember the trip where he introduced me to the Little Red River, giving me an introduction to the art of nymphing with sowbugs. I recall he was a patient teacher, and I was quite slow to catch on
Cliff Shelby looked at the outdoors differently. Some folks might even say from the bottom up. Perhaps it's from the bottom of a cold river with his waders full of water, or looking up from a creek bottom at his overturned canoe. Maybe from a stuck and high centered 4WD in a swampy river bottom or while doing a "one-legger" down to the deep bottom of a moose track in a swampy lake in Canada. He saw things with a humorous flair and liked to draw cartoons about outdoor people and things.
Shelby was a resident of Flippin, Arkansas, for over 20 years, and he spent his professional life working in advertising and public relations. Most anglers knew him as the artist who beginning in 1971 created the "Harry 'N' Charlie" cartoons for Bassmater Magazine since 1971. An extremely knowledgeable fly fishermen, Shelby was a true sage in the angling world.