The recent discussion regarding Art Lohman has proven very fruitful as I have found someone who knew Art personally and even fished with the man. Tom Dornack of the Hiawatha Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited in Minnesota had these things to say of Mr. Lohman.
“I knew Art Lohman very well,I fished with him quite often. Art was from Austin, MN and was employed as a supervisor at Hormel for years until he hurt his back and retired in the early 70’s.
I knew Art and a few of his friends had built a cabin just on the edge of Forestville State Park on North Branch Creek/Forestville Creek in the late 60’s. That is where his reputation as a conservationist/fly fisherman began to grow.
Then a few years later he built his own cabin on Trout Run Creek that is where I met him.
At the time I was just getting into fly fishing for trout and Trout Run Creek was only a few miles from my future wife’s parents home. Since I love to fish, I fished TR often, sometimes as much as three or four times a week. Being NEW to fly fishing for trout I had ALOT to learn.
It seemed I always ran into Art out fishing when I was out on the stream at the same time. Soon a friendship developed and he became my fly fishing mentor. Art was one for teaching his fly fishing pupils ( he taught MANY to fly fish) that it is best to learn everything for oneself and not have every bit of info handed to you on a platter. He would always suggest good instructional fly fishing books to read or give you some insight into what inverts were hatching that the trout were taking. He might even give you alittle casting instruction but if you wanted to become a good fly fisherman in his eyes, you had to pay your dues and put in the time to learn the ropes for yourself. I believe Art taught people to learn to find the answers for themselves because those who really wanted to become good fly fisherman would be sorted out quickly from those who just wanted some half hearted fishing experience just like some passing fad!
Art was successful in teaching a number of anglers to fly fish who eventually became leaders in Trout Unlimited and formed the Hiawatha Chapter of TU (the Rochester chapter), this included myself.
Regarding Art’s influence on stream restoration, he was always tinkering adding some little bit of extra trout cover/habitat to HIS stream. (that being Trout Run) He would always get permission from the DNR to install some trout cover structure and every once in awhile you would see some new trout structure he installed. Of course, when you fished the new cover it always held trout. Art basically is responsible for me becoming the Hiawatha & MNTU State Council Habitat Restoration Coordinator which is a position I have held since 1981. To date MNTU/HTU and our partners(including MN DNR) have completed over 8 miles of stream restoration work in SE MN alone. Without Art’s influence I doubt that would have ever happened.
Art, was also huge on C&Ring trout and let his students know he wouldn’t help them become better anglers if they were going to kill trout all the time! Art, very rarely ever kept trout unless they were hatchery fish. Indirectly he is responsible for all the trout regulation changes in SE MN too. The same anglers he taught how to fly fish and conservation ethics, later became the TU leaders who were able to work with the MN DNR to see new conservation minded trout regulations implemented.
I could go on forever talking about Art Lohman. In my life I have met few people who were more dedicated to being a true conservationist than Art. In my opinion Art is one of best fly fisherman/fly tyers I have had ever known and I have met some of the best believe me!
Regarding the fly tying box you received for XMAS, Art made at least 26 of them because I have #26.
I don’t even think Art Lohman knew before his death a few years ago how much he directly or indirectly contributed to all the wondeful changes that have benefited our SE MN trout resources over the last dozen years or so!
The guy was a “TOP NOTCH PERSON”, they don’t get any better than ART!!” – Tom Dornack
He might even give you alittle casting instruction but if you wanted to become a good fly fisherman in his eyes, you had to pay your dues and put in the time to learn the ropes for yourself. I believe Art taught people to learn to find the answers for themselves because those who really wanted to become good fly fisherman would be sorted out quickly from those who just wanted some half hearted fishing experience just like some passing fad!
This line struck me hard. I hope that if I met Art that he would find me worthy of his box and his time. I agree with having to put your dues in, thats half the fun. If trout hunting in S.E. Minnesota was easy I wouldn’t find it appealing or interesting. Thank you Tom for posting your information and allowing me to reproduce it here. I am still looking for a photograph of Art, anyone who may come across this that has one please let me know.