Tom Morgan, a revered fly-rod builder known for favoring softer-action fly rods and rejecting the sport’s fascination with distance casting, passed away in Montana yesterday. In a message posted on the Tom Morgan Rodsmiths website, current company owners Joel Doub and Matt Barber made the announcement:
It is with great sadness that we share the news of Tom’s passing with our community. Tom died peacefully on Monday, 6/12 surrounded by friends and family. Our thoughts are with Tom’s wife Gerri, his children and grandchildren.
This would be a good week to go fishing with someone you love, tie on a Royal Wulff and think of Tom.
Morgan, who owned and ran the R. L. Winston Rod Company from 1973 to 1991, had suffered from multiple sclerosis since the early 90s. In 1996, he relaunched his rod-building career with a boutique company called Tom Morgan Rodsmiths. He and his wife, Gerri Carlson, made the rods together, with Gerri often acting as Tom’s hands. Earlier this year, Tom and Gerri sold the company to Doub and Barber. Click here for a wonderful, moving ESPN feature on Tom from 2013 and watch the CBS Sunday Morning profile below.
Our condolences go out to Tom’s family and his many friends and partners in the fly-fishing world.