Fly rod building pioneer Tom Morgan dies

The fly fishing world lost one of its guiding lights this week when Tom Morgan, the former owner of the R.L. Winston Co., and, more recently, the founder and owner of Tom Morgan Rodsmiths, died peacefully at home with his family in Montana.

Morgan molded Winston, already a hallowed name in fly fishing when he bought it in 1973, into perhaps the most prestigious rod maker in the world. Winston fly rods, even to this day, are products of Morgans visionary gift. Not only was he a famous bamboo rod-maker, but he pioneered glass and graphite rod composition, crafted some of the finest fishing implements on earth and is respected across the globe for his craftsmanship.

In 1992, Morgan was diagnosed with debilitating multiple sclorisis, a disease that left him in a wheelchair for much of the latter part of his life. It didn’t slow his passion for fly fishing or rod-making—a blessing to those of us who have had the pleasure of casting a Winston rod of his handiwork.

Godspeed Tom. We miss you already.

By Chris Hunt.