By Bob Eichler
Last Wednesday, September 19th, was a sad day for me when I was notified Charles “Charlie” R. Meck, age 86, had passed away peacefully in the afternoon surrounded by family. Born in Cressona, PA. Charlie was a life-long resident of PA until the past five years when he resided in Macedon, NY near family. Charlie was predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Shirley, whom he married in 1956.
Charlie served in the Army during the Korean War. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Penn State University, and received his Masters in Administration from the University of Scranton. Charlie worked at Penn State in Continuing Education for over 25 years. His life-long love was enjoying the outdoors, especially fly-fishing. Charlie was a noted author and fly fishing expert. He wrote 15 books on fly fishing, as well as numerous magazine articles. He wrote for “PA Angler & Boat” Magazine for over 40 years.
In the mid 1980’s he developed the Patriot Dry Fly. He loved teaching others the sport of fly fishing and the appreciation of the beauty of the natural world. Charlie is honored with a display at the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum. He was also a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and PA Outdoor Writers Association. Charlie was a lifelong supporter of the Little Juniata River Association and Project Healing Waters.
I first met him in 1986 at the Fly Fishing Show held at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in the Laurel Highlands of PA. Charlie was signing books along with George Harvey. As Charlie was signing a book for me we struck up a conversation and before I knew it, was invited to fish with him that Spring. Over the many years of knowing Charlie I was fortunate to be able to fish with him on numerous occasions and during those trips Charlie was always more interested in seeing that I caught fish over his own fishing. Charlie was very giving of his time and talents and I will always be indebted to him for his friendship. Charlie was a true fly fishing icon.