Published Jan 1. 2001

Dave Lewis, USA

Late Dave Lewis was a master rod builder. We still host a few of his online articles,

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Dave and Mary Lu Lewis of (and with) Performance Fly Rods

Dave Lewis passed away spring 2009 and will be missed in the fly fishing community. We're thankful to have published some of his writings and be able to show some of his beautiful rods.

Dave and Mary Lu Lewis and their two Maine Coon cats live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where he operates his rod shop and sells his Performance Fly Rods. During the four summer months they reside in their summer home near West Yellowstone, Montana. Dave has been building fly rods since he was a kid back in the 50's. After beginning to sell a few rods in the 80's he finally decided to give up his teaching job and go into full time rod building in 1987. They market their fly rods through the several fly shows they attend and through mail order and the Internet. As you can tell fly fishing and rod building have become a life style for the Lewis's.

Performance Fly Rods web site

A master's advice on rod building



Kasper Muhlbach's picture


I have been corresponding with his wife earlier this year. She sold everything possible through the website in January and February and I don't think there is any rod left. He sure made extraordinary stuff.


I am very saddened by Dave Lewis's passing. He was a unique person and a master rod builder. I never met him, but bought a couple of his wonderful fly rods and emailed him several times. I've visited his site numerous times and read all his writings. From his writings, he painted a picture of a person who cared immensely about his family and childhood memories (with his brother), his wife Mary Lou, nature, the trout he fished for in Virginia and Montana, and of course, his coon cats! Though he appeared somewhat gruff in his photos, I have no doubt he was a kind soul.

Not knowing he had passed, I had recently contacted him by email to purchase another fly rod (Aug 2010). When I didn't get a response, I tried again, but again no answer. I started searching on-line for info and found out Dave had died of pancreas cancer (2009). He was 66 years old. This is the same monster disease that killed my own mother at an even younger age than Dave (55), so not only was I hurt by his passing, but it also brought back some very tough to think about memories of my dear mother's battle with the disease and her death at a too young age. May both their souls rest in peace.

It will be a long time until someone else like Dave comes along. His website is still there, and I would still like to purchase one of his rods, but not sure how.

Don Zerbst
Avondale AZ

Sadly, I have just learned that Dave passed away... 08.05.09. He is already missed by so many.

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