Famous Fly Fisherman Del Brown Dies


(May 29, 2003) Watsonville, California

Delmar E. Brown who was born in San Francisco December 5, 1918 died suddenly of a heart attack in his home in Watsonville, California on May 28 at the age of 84. 

Raised in San Francisco, Del graduated from the Lick-Wilmerding High School and College. 

During WWII, he was a foreman at the Bethlehem Steel Yards in San Francisco, building Liberty ships for the United States Navy.

In 1943, he married Doris Martinelli of Watsonville, California and joined her family's business, S. Martinelli & Company.  He served as plant manager at the apple juice and cider company many years before retiring. 

Del Brown's passion was fly fishing.  He holds numerous records and is renowned for the Salt Water Fly Fishing World Records for Permit and Tarpon.  Del is a legend in fly fishing circles and is distinguished as having caught more permit on a fly than any other angler, having caught his 500th permit last year.  Del's fishing exploits have been chronicled in countless publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Saltwater Fly Fishing. The third annual Del Brown Invitational Permit Tournament was held in Key West, Florida in March, 2003.

While proud of his accomplishments, Del was known as being extremely generous with his information and was happy to tutor fly fisherman. 

The famous Del Brown Crab Fly on which he caught so many permit, was made  commercially available through Umpqua Feather Merchants.

A gifted amateur photographer, Del also won numerous awards in amateur photography contests throughout the state of California. He was an avid skier as well.

Del is survived by his wife, Doris Martinelli Brown of Watsonville, California; his daughter Sylvia Brown of San Francisco; his sons Peter Carsley Brown of Los Altos, California and Douglas Martinelli Brown of Princeton, New Jersey; his granddaughters, Alexandra Nuttbrown and Isabel Brown; his sister Anita Carney of Millbrae, California; and his brother Bert Brown of Walnut Creek, California.

There will be no funeral services according to his wishes.


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Information:    Susan Collins

            Brown & Collins

            233 Sansome Street

            San Francisco, CA 94104

            415 421-7137 - phone

            415 421-7274 - fax