WALLY ALLEN

Fishing - 1999

Wally Allen began his legendary fishing career in 1929 when he and a couple of friends who went to school with him at Corning Free Academy would ride their bikes to Caton Creek after school. Wally started fly fishing in 1935 when he and friends would drive to Goodhue Lake in Addison to fish for blue gills. He was married in 1939 and he and his wife Helen settled into Corning and he would become the authority on fishing in this area. In 1945 Wally opened a small tackle and bait shop in his home of First Street and began making his own flies and jigs. In 1975 Wally invented and made a double hooked fly, called a Woodchuck fly, to catch small mouth bass. The huge success of this fly encouraged Wally to design a lead head jig similar to the Woodchuck fly that could be used with spinning gear. He came up with the Sawbelly jig and it too became an astounding success. Perhaps his most famous invention was the Marabou Streamer that was used especially for Spring-run rainbow trout. During the 1980s Wally was a licensed fishing guide on Seneca Lake with his Thompson boat he christened as 'Big Bess'. In 1976 Wally and nine other sportsmen in the area founded the Crystal City Bassmasters Club. That club is still very active today thanks to the efforts of Wally Allen and his fishing friends.