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Gadabout Gaddis  "The Flying Fisherman"

To hear Gadabout's Theme song

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   All modern day fishing TV hosts like Jimmy Houston, Bill Dance, Hank Parker, Roland Martin, etc. have 1 person to thank for being on the airwaves…..Gadabout Gaddis. He was the first fishing TV host, in fact he even started before TV on WGY radio in Schenectady, NY in 1938. A year after his radio show started, WGY parent company General Electric asked Gaddis to do an experimental TV show for a new medium called television on W2XD. Gaddis had a 15 minute show on Friday night in which he would do some demonstrations and narrate his fishing films, which were used to create TV’s first fishing show. This fishing show was one of the earliest TV shows of any kind.

   In 1952, “The Flying Fisherman” was created when he bought his first airplane which he used to “gad about” to various fishing spots. In 1963, the “Flying Fisherman” went on New York airwaves and was sponsored by Liberty Mutual. He was given a 5 year contract after the show became a hit. Gadabout Gaddis had a special place for ordinary folks and never acted like an “expert/know it all”. Gadabout loved kids too. He would use ordinary fishing equipment that all common people could afford and would persue the most popular species like Bluegills, Trout and Bass. Many people could relate to him as he was a kind old gent. His show was on Saturday afternoon all around the country and he often did personal appearances at stores as well.

   Gadabout Gaddis passed away in 1986 from Pneumonia at the age of 90. He lived in central Florida in his later years but always had a special place in his heart for Maine. There is an airport in Bingham, Maine that is called the “Gadabout Gaddis Airport” which is where he landed his plane many a time. They still have annual fly-ins there every year. He had a great show and he was a great TV pioneer as well.



                       Harnell fishing rods endorsed by Gadabout







                                                                                            A deck of playing cards


This was the TV offer of lures Gadabout sold on his show.      


This display was setup at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame containing Gadabout Gaddis's personal  fishing items.


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