Another California Fly-Fishing Icon Leaves Us

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Posted by Dan Blanton on 2013-10-14 11:12:52

Another fly-fishing Icon has left us. Atwin King, close and valued friend to so many; father to Cindy, Rhonda and Alan; husband to his late wife Bonnie, passed away quietly yesterday at 3:30 a.m. after losing his battle with lung cancer.

Atwin had countless friends from two circles: fellow employees from his long and successful career with PG&E; and from a huge cache of friends and associates from the world of fly-fishing. Most of his closest friends were and are a part of this latter group. Fly-fishing was what Atwin loved to do most and you could certainly tell it when you walked into his home office and study - everything in it depicted his passion for the sport.

I met Atwin more than 30 years ago. We both worked for PG&E. Atwin was the General Foreman of the Electric Construction Department at Santa Cruz. I was the Foreman's clerk at the Edenvale Service Center in San Jose. We didn't meet through company business; we met through mutual fly-fishing associates and we quickly developed a close and lasting friendship.

Atwin was probably best known as a travel group leader extraordinary, particularly for hosting two large groups to the Hotel Oasis in Loreto, Baja, which he did every year for 25 years before retiring. He was considered part of the Hotel Oasis family and was loved by the owners and staff. They treated Atwin like royalty and that meant his anglers were treated likewise.

Atwin enjoyed a great life - a wonderful wife and children who loved him dearly; and he fished world-wide enjoying fishing travel and adventure; but he also fished for just about anything that would eat a fly here in California from panfish to King salmon - he spent many seasons on California's Smith River for example.

Atwin Loved the California Delta and he spent many hours in his skiff, sharing it with friends chasing striped bass. Atwin was part of our "House-boating" group back in the early 90s and I have fond memories of those weeks we spent together learning the Delta around Franks Tract. He was part of our Sugar Barge "Angler's Row" for many seasons before he fell ill and had to stop coming down for two months at a time.

Atwin will be missed by so many. It was an honor and a privilege to be his friend and to have shared so many wonderful fly-fishing experiences with him. I've posted a few images of Atwin taken in recent years. I have a lot of photos of him taken many years ago but they are on slides and I'll have to find and scan them. In the meantime I encourage his friends to post their thoughts and photos of Atwin here.

God Bless you Atwin. It was an honor and a pleasure; and I'll miss your story-telling; sharing the water with you; having that drink together after fishing and our regular phone chats. You were indeed a fly-fishing Icon, one so many will not forget.


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