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‘Gadabout’ Gaddis, TV’s ‘Flying Fisherman,’ Dead at 90

October 21, 1986

BINGHAM, Maine (AP) _ Roscoe Vernon ″Gadabout″ Gaddis, known to millions of television viewers as ″The Flying Fisherman,″ died Tuesday in a nursing home near his beloved Kennebec River. He was 90 years old.

″Gad,″ as he was often referred to by his fans, was the star of ″Outdoors with Liberty Mutual,″ a weekly half-hour show that made its debut during the early years of television and eventually was carried by 73 stations.

When first broadcast in 1939, it was only the second show ever to be sponsored on television, behind one by Lowell Thomas. Gaddis was nominated for an Emmy in 1968.

He began fishing at the age of 7 when his grandmother took him on the Okaw River in his native Mattoon, Ill.

″It opened a whole new world to me - something very special,″ he recalled.

He came to Maine in 1927 as a traveling salesman for a fishing tackle company and fell in love with the upper Kennebec Valley.

In the years that followed, he fished every state in the United States and much of Mexico and Canada.

″Fishing is more than just catching fish, it’s soaking up nature and all its marvelous wonders,″ he said.

He combined flying with fishing when he received his pilot’s license in 1952 and purchased his own airplane, using it to take him to fishing spots throughout the country.

Three years ago, when an interviewer asked him to pinpoint his favorite spot, he begged off, saying there was no way he could make such a choice.

″There are lots around everywhere. I went here, there and yonder. That’s how I got the name,″ he said.

Gaddis is survived by a sister, a stepdaughter and several nieces and nephews. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Friday at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Bingham.

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