Wilmington, Essex County
Fishing Guide & Fly Tier
(1931-2009)

Francis Betters was born in Wilmington, at the foot of Whiteface Mountain. The son of an Adirondack fishing guide who taught him how to fish with a fly rod at the age of 8, Fran studied and practiced the arts related to fishing. Living by the Ausable River, he guided and taught hundreds of people how to fish for trout. He was particularly known for making custom fly rods and for tying flies used in fishing under all kinds of conditions. He personally tied over 25,000 flies a year to sell in his popular Adirondack Sport Shop. He created a number of original patterns, including the Haystack series and the Ausable Wulff. The Wulff pattern is widely acclaimed as the most productive dry fly you can use for trout and salmon. Fran wrote frequently about fly fishing and published 12 books featuring various subjects related to fishing or its adventures, including his favorite tall tales and humorous poems.

Click here to listen to the TAUNY/NCPR “Meet the Masters” story about Fran’s fly-tying

  • Award Year 1999
  • Categories Woods & Water
  • Region Wilmington, Adirondacks, Essex County