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The Passing of a Fly Fishing Legend

Frank Moore, legendary World War II veteran, fly fisherman and champion of the North Umpqua River, died Sunday, just a week before he would have had his 99th birthday.

Family members confirmed Moore’s death Monday, saying he died at home surrounded by family Sunday evening.

Moore is survived by his wife of 79 years Jeanne Moore and three of his four children.

Frank and Jeanne were married on New Year’s Day 1943, shortly before he left to serve in World War II. He was devoted to Jeanne, and quick to credit his many achievements and accolades to her.

Moore was a 21-year-old sergeant when he landed on Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion. He went on to fight in France, Luxembourg and Germany.

He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and helped liberate the small village of Savigne Sur Lathan in Central France.

He would later be presented with the French Legion d’Honneur.

“He was bigger than life,” said former Douglas County Veterans Forum President Jim Little. “He was just a giant in our community.”

He recalled that Moore had been loved by those in the veteran community as well as the schoolchildren who learned about his wartime experiences on Living History Days.

He was always gracious, always smiling and you had to prepare yourself for his big bear hugs, Little said.

“This is quite a blow to our community. You mention Frank Moore and everybody knows who you’re talking about,” he said.

Moore suffered from what would now be called post-traumatic stress disorder after the war, his sons and daughter said, and found solace in fly fishing.

He fell in love with the North Umpqua River and devoted much of his life to protecting it and the steelhead he fished for.

Karl Konecny of The Steamboaters said he first met Moore in the 1980s, fishing on the river.

“To watch him fish was just a gift. I mean literally, what he could do with a fly rod and a line was just amazing,” he said.

He said the work Moore did to save the river is an inspiration.

The Steamboaters formed 50 years ago as a group of fly anglers dedicated to preserving and protecting the river’s steelhead and promoting ethical fly angling.

“If it wasn’t for him, this would have been a very different place,” he said.

Moore was instrumental in the creation and passage of the Oregon Forest Practices Act and the protection of what’s now the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Management Area, a 100,000 acre stretch along the North Umpqua.

Continue reading at nrtoday.com.

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