The Lewis A. Bell Memorial Library, housed at the Fly Fishers International Headquarters, was established in 1983 through the generous donation of members of the Evergreen Fly Fishing Club, Everett, Washington and the McKenzie Fly Fishers, Eugene, Oregon.
The Lewis A. Bell Memorial Library aims to become an important research and learning center, open to FFI members, the public, scholars, and researchers. We are in the processing stage of cataloguing the library. If you would like to donate a monetary value to assist the goals of the Lewis A. Bell Library, please click on the “Donate Now” button below.
Lewis A. Bell was born March 23, 1917 in Everett, Washington, a lumber town on the Snohomish River at Puget Sound. Lew developed an early love for rivers and their magnificent salmon and steelhead while in the company of his father, a judge in Everett. Lew followed his father in the law, graduated from the University of Arizona, and became a Member of the Bar in 1941. During World War II he served as a naval officer in the Pacific, and then returned home to enter private practice. Lew was active in community affairs, was a two term President of the Evergreen Fly Fishing Club and helped found several fly fishing clubs in the Pacific Northwest. He was a dedicated conservationist, influencing others to develop ethical angling attitudes. He was an early advocate of Catch-and-Release and worked to preserve our cold water fisheries. Lew was also a founding Director of Washington Environmental Council, the Washington State Sports Council and headed the State Inter-agency Committee for Outdoor Recreation.
In 1962, Lew and Bill Nelson, a fellow club member and friend, discussed starting a national or international fly fishing organization. At the same time the concept was being considered in California and on the East Coast. The formation of the Federation of Fly Fishers gained wider acceptance at a meeting in Aspen, Colorado in 1964. Lew Bell was the Master of Ceremonies for the first FFF Conclave held in Eugene, Oregon in June 1965 and served on the FFF planning committee. That week, eleven clubs approved the initial committee report and the Federation was formally launched. Lew became the third FFF President in 1970 and contributed much of the basic organizational structure such as the establishment of Regional Councils, an Executive Committee, and a regularly published Flyfisher Magazine. The FFF was always close to Lew’s thoughts. Shortly before his sudden heart attack, he began organizing a Northwest fundraising campaign for the Federation’s International Fly Fishing Center. Lewis A. Bell passed away on June 10, 1982 before he could carry out his plans. He was a friend to many and an active advocate for salmon and steelhead.
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