All modern day fishing TV hosts like Jimmy
Houston, Bill Dance, Hank Parker, Roland Martin, etc. have 1 person to
for being on the airwaves…..Gadabout Gaddis. He was the first fishing
in fact he even started before
TV on WGY radio in Schenectady,
in 1938. A year after his radio show started, WGY parent company
Electric asked Gaddis to do an experimental TV show for a new medium
television on W2XD. Gaddis had a 15 minute show on Friday night in
would do some demonstrations and narrate his fishing films, which were
create TV’s first fishing show. This fishing show was one of the
shows of any kind.
In 1952, “The Flying Fisherman” was created
when he bought his first airplane which he used to “gad about” to
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
Gadabout Gaddis had a special place for ordinary folks and never acted
“expert/know it all”. Gadabout loved kids too. He would use ordinary
that all common people could afford and would persue the most popular
like Bluegills, Trout and Bass. Many people could relate to him as he
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 “GadaboutGaddisAirport”
which is where he landed his plane many a time. They still have annual
there every year. He had a great show and he was a great TV pioneer as
Harnell fishing rods
endorsed by Gadabout
A deck of playing cards
was the TV offer of
lures Gadabout sold on his show.
display was setup at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame
containing Gadabout Gaddis's personal fishing items.