Alfred Carl Troth, 82, of Dillon passed away Aug. 3, 2012, at Parkview Acres Care and Rehabilitation Center after a lengthy battle with Parkin-son’s disease and dementia.
Al was born May 30, 1930, in Monessen, Pa., to Anna (Grusva) and Alfred J. Troth. He graduated from Monessen High School and worked at the Pittsburgh Steel Co., before joining the Navy. He was stationed in San Diego for four years. After discharge, he resumed working as a metallurgist for Pittsburgh Steel while attending California State Teachers College (California, Pa).
During college, Al met and married Martha Manandise of Charleroi, Pa. The couple moved to the Williamsport area of north-central Pennsylvania where Al taught Industrial Arts for 15 years at the Montgomery Area High School. He was a mechanical genius and instructed everything from foundry and leather-craft to wood-working, drafting, small engines and machine shop. He was a strong positive influence on the lives of many of his students.
After years of summer fishing trips to Montana, Al and Martha, along with their son, Eric, moved to Dillon permanently in 1973. Al went into business as a guide and fly tier while also manufacturing a portable tree stand for hunters.
Al Troth was probably best known as the innovator of many popular trout fishing flies. His Elk Hair Caddis, developed in 1957, has become an international standard. Al has been featured in numerous books and was three times on the cover of Fly Fisherman magazine. Known for the creativity and excellence of his work, he produced beautiful fly displays in the latter part of his career. He also attracted many loyal clients in his parallel profession as fly fishing outfitter on the rivers of southwestern Montana. Al retired from guiding in 1996 with the onset of Parkinson’s while his son, Eric, continued with the family business.
He was an accomplished photographer with dozens of his images appearing in prominent fishing magazines and books along with a varied mix of wildlife photos in Montana Outdoors. He wrote and illustrated instructional materials on fly tying and produced articles and book chapters for a number of fishing publications.
Al spent many years in the Montana National Guard where he distinguished himself as a marksman, medaling all the way up to the All-Army Championships.
Al coached the junior shooting team in Dillon for a number of years along with the late Doc Seidensticker. He was also a longtime instructor in the Montana Hunter Safety Program
He had a lifelong love of jazz music. In his younger years, Al played the saxophone in a dance band. His music brought great comfort in the later years of his illness.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years, Martha; son, Eric, also of Dillon; aunts, Mary Ann Simkamich and Mildred Gibson, and cousins, Tom Yonek and Harold Kearns, all of Pennsylvania; along with numerous other cousins.
Services are pending. Al’s ashes will be spread among his favorite hunting and fishing locations.
Memorials may be made to the Southwestern Montana Family YMCA, 75 Swenson Way, Dillon, 59725.
Express condolences at www.brundagefuneralhome.com or go to www.mtstandard.com/obits.