Sylvester Nemes Papers, 1973-2010  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Nemes, Sylvester
Title
Sylvester Nemes Papers
Dates
1973-2010
Quantity
15 linear feet
Collection Number
Collection 2576, MtBC, us (collection)
Summary
The Sylvester Nemes Papers consists of research, notes, drafts and manuscripts of Nemes' books, both his published works on fly fishing, as well as two unpublished works of historical fiction. Also included in the collection are correspondence, a brief biography, miscellaneous personal records, his obituary, business and professional records, photographs, negatives, memorabilia, and slides.
Repository
Montana State University Library, Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections
Montana State University-Bozeman Library
Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections
P.O. Box 173320
Bozeman, MT
59717-3320
Telephone: 406-994-4242
Fax: 406-994-2851
spcoll@www.lib.montana.edu
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Languages
English


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

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 DescriptionReturn to Top

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.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

This collection is currently unavailable for user access. If you have questions, please contact us directly.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Biographical materialReturn to Top

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.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Nemes Portrait
1996
1/2
Biography
1980s-2011
1/3
Correspondence
undated; 1995; 1997
1/4
Miscellaneous Personal Records
1992-2001

Series 2:  Business and Professional RecordsReturn to Top

This series contains all records pertaining to Nemes' professional life (excluding any book manuscript material, artwork or research, which is contained in Series 4). 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.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
Awards/Certificates
1990-2007
2/2
Organizations
1981-2009
2/3
Articles by Nemes
1975; undated
2/4
Articles about Nemes
1982-2011
2/5
Book Reviews/Press
1986-1996
2/6
Book Publicity
1988-1989; 1995
2/7
Book Publicity Mailings
1990-1991
2/8
Book/Fly Orders
1981-2002
2/9-10
The Soft Hackled Fly Orders from Magazine Ad
2/11
Fly Fishing Heritage
1987
2/12
Fly Fisherman's Library
1982; undated
2/13
Fly Fisherman Magazine
1975-1983
3/1
Fly Fisherman Japan Edition
1983; undated
3/2
English Correspondence/Research
1974-1982; undated
3/3
Trip to England/Fishing in England
1972-1986; undated
3/4
Trip to Scotland
1996-1997; undated
3/5-6
Stackpole Books - Correspondence
1984-2006
3/7
Stackpole Books - Royalty Statements, Invoices
1986-2007
3/8
General Publisher Correspondence
1973-2005
3/9
Publishing Agreements
1985-2010; undated
3/10
Title Page Proofs
undated
3/11
Submission to Barnes and Noble
1998
3/12
English Publisher Correspondence
1995-1996
3/13
Chatham Press
1975-1981
3/14
Chatham Press
1975-1980
3/15
Goodbye Crown Point - Publisher Search
1992-2007
3/16
Publisher Price Quotes
1982-1995
4/1
Miscellaneous Invoices/Receipts (Incoming)
1983-1996
4/2
Nemes-Branded Japanese Rod
1997-2000
4/3
Modern Imaging Dispute
1988
4/4
Copyright Registration
1988
4/5
Color World Printers
1988-1998
4/6
Umpqua Feather Merchants
1990-2002
4/7
Transcribed Tapes
1975; 1977
4/8
Brochures and Catalogs
1990-2002
4/9
Fly Fishing Dictionary
2005
4/10
Business Correspondence
1980-1989; undated
4/11
General Articles and Newspaper Clippings
1993-2006; undated
4/12
Miscellaneous Business Records
4/13
Spinners - Trademark

Series 3:  CorrespondenceReturn to Top

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 2, 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 6.

Container(s) Description Dates
Incoming
Box/Folder
5/1-2
A
5/3
B
5/4-6
B
6/1-2
B
6/3-6
C
6/7
D
7/1
D
7/2
E
7/3-4
F
7/5-6
G
7/7-8
H
8/1-3
H
8/4
I
8/5
J
8/6-8
K
8/9
L
9/1-2
L
9/3-6
M
10/1
N
10/2
O
10/3-5
P
10/6
Q
10/7
R
11/1-2
R
11/3-6
S
11/7
T
12/1
T
12/2
U
12/3
V
12/4-5
W
12/6
Y
12/7
Z
12/8-9
No Last Name
12/10
Letter Fragments
Outgoing
Box/Folder
13/1
1973-1975
13/2
1976
13/3
1977
13/4
1980-1989
13/5
1990-1994
13/6
1995-1999
13/7
2000-2008
13/8
undated

Series 4:  Book Manuscripts, Drafts, and Book-Specific ResearchReturn to Top

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 (circa 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 5.

Container(s) Description
Box/Folder
14/1-9
Soft Hackled Fly Manuscript
14/10
Soft Hackled Fly - Title Page
14/11
Soft Hackled Fly - Intro to New Edition
14/12
Soft Hackled Fly - Folder Notes
14/13-14
Learn How to Fly Fish - Drafts
14/15
Learn How to Fly Fish - Artwork
14/16
Learn How to Fly Fish - Artwork
[see box 32]
15/1
Learn How to Fly Fish: Drafts
15/2
Learn How to Fly Fish: Artwork
15/3
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Handwritten Notes
15/4
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Notes
15/5-11
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Drafts
15/12
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Artwork
[see box 32]
16/1-3
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Manuscript
16/4
D. Hughes Soft Hackled Fly Imitations Introduction
16/5
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Artwork
16/6-8
Soft Hackled Fly Imitations - Galleys
16/9
Spinners - Book Proposal
16/10
Spinners - Notes
17/1-7
Spinners - Drafts
18/1-7
Spinners - Drafts
18/8
Spinners - Artwork
19/1
Scotland Travel
19/2
Scotland Travel
19/3
Scotland Travel
19/4-7
Scotland Articles and Research
20/1
United Kingdom Articles and Newspaper Clippings
20/2
Six Months in Scotland - Chapter Ideas
20/3-9
Six Months in Scotland - Drafts
20/10
Six Months in Scotland (?) - Drafts
20/11
Six Months in Scotland - Artwork
21/1
Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Handwritten Notes
21/2-7
Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Articles
21/8-10
Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
22/1-5
Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Manuscript
22/6-8
Two Centuries of Soft Hackled Flies - Galleys
23/1
Tiny Soft Hackles - Notebooks
23/2
Tiny Soft Hackles - Research
23/3-4
Tiny Soft Hackles - Manuscript
23/5-6
P38 Novel - Notes
23/7-9
P38 Novel - Articles and Research
23/10
P38 Novel - Articles and Research
[see box 32]
24/1
P38 Novel - Drafts
24/2
P38 Novel - Manuscript
24/3-10
Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
25/1-3
Goodbye, Crown Point - Dillinger Articles
25/4-5
Goodbye, Crown Point - Notes
25/6-8
Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
26/1-8
Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
27/1-9
Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
28/1
Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript
28/2
Goodbye, Crown Point - Manuscript Sample
28/3
Unidentified Manuscript - Soft Hackled Fly Origins/Tarpon Story
28/4
Unidentified Manuscript - Fishing the Soft Hackled Fly
28/5
Unidentified Manuscript - Fishing the Soft Hackled Fly in Big Rivers
28/6
Unidentified Manuscript - Fishing Soft Hackles
28/7
Unidentified Manuscript - Soft Hackled Fly Writing
28/8
Unidentified Manuscript - Fiction Manuscript

Series 5:  General Research and NotesReturn to Top

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

Container(s) Description
Box/Folder
28/9
Entomological Society of London Articles
28/10
Entomology Articles
28/11-16
Handwritten Notes
29/1-6
Handwritten Notes
30/1-6
Handwritten Notes
31/1-4
Handwritten Notes
32/1-5
Handwritten Notes
32/6
History of Elementary Schools - Articles

Series 6:  Photographs, Slides, and MemorabiliaReturn to Top

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.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
32/7
Photos: S. Nemes, #1-7
32/8
Photos: S. Nemes and Others, #8-13
32/9
Photos: Unidentified people, #14-17
32/10
Photos: Miscellaneous fishing-related, #18-20
32/11
Photos: Normandy map, #21-24
32/12
Photos: Fly tying, #25-37
(Tying leader to fly, #25-27, Blood knot, #28-37)
32/13
Negatives: Flies, #38-46
32/14
Negatives: Fly tying, #47-69
32/15
Negatives: Fishing/casting, #70-83
32/16
Negatives: Horses, #84-85
32/17
Photo: Federation of Fly Fishers Conclave, #86
August 1988
33/1
Flies
33/2
Legend of the Headwaters plaque
2008
33/3
Framed photograph of Soft Hackles, a Japanese fishing club, along with flies
2006
Slide binders
box-item
34/1
Spinners
1990-1995
34/2
Spinners
1993-1994
34/3
Spinners
1991-1995
34/4
Spinners
1987-1999
34/5
Two Centuries
1998-2000
34/6
Scotland
undated
34/7
Scotland
1990-1998; undated
35/8
[Various]
1984-1995
35/9
[Various]
1987-1996
35/10
[Various]
1982-1998
35/11
[Various]
1989-1995
35/12
[Various]
1982-2000
35/13
[Various]
1986-1995
35/14
Mixed
1987-2000
35/15
[Various]
1976-2005

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Americans
  • Americans -- England
  • Fishers
  • Fishers -- Montana
  • Fly fishing
  • Fly fishing
  • Fly tyers
  • Fly tyers -- Montana
  • Fly tying
  • Fly tying
  • Military operations, Aerial -- American
  • Publishers and publishing
  • Publishers and publishing -- United States
  • Travel
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American -- Fiction
  • Personal Names :
  • Nemes, Sylvester -- Archives
  • Nemes, Sylvester
  • Corporate Names :
  • World War (1939-1945)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bozeman (Mont.)
  • England
  • England -- Description and travel
  • Montana
  • Montana -- Bozeman
  • Scotland
  • Scotland -- Description and travel
  • United States
  • United States, West
  • West (U.S.) -- Description and travel
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Archives
  • Fiction
  • Personal papers -- Montana -- Bozeman
  • Photographs