Ed Shenk is best known for his many contributions to fly fishing centered on the LeTort Creek in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In the course of his life-long love affair with the LeTort, Ed originated and tested a number of flies, including the LeTort Cricket, the Flat Wing LeTort Hopper, the Shenk Cress Bug and the Shenk Sculpin.
Ed popularized the dubbing loop or fur chenille method. He was the first to trim these fur loop tied flies to specific shapes such, as the flat oval of the Shenk Cress Bug. He also originated the Shenk Minnow and the “double trico.”
Ed also brings his talents to bear on cold-water conservation issues. With Jim Bashline, Ed shared the first presidency of the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. For his efforts to save and preserve our fisheries, he has received recognition, including the Limestoner Award, the Charles Fox “Rising Trout” Award, the George Harvey Award and the Order of the Hat (Harrisburg Fly Fishers).
He is a dedicated writer on fly fishing. With his book, Fly Rod Trouting (1989) Ed shares the secrets of his techniques and tactics, fly patterns and the saga of “Old George,” a gargantuan trout of the LeTort. He has also published numerous articles in fly fishing and other sporting magazines. In addition, he has created a video, Ed Shenk, Master of the Le Tort (2000) describing tying and fishing five of his fly patterns.
Teaching has also been a forte of Ed’s. He has served as fly fishing instructor over the years for a variety of organizations, including Allenberry Inn, Orvis and Penn. State University.