In the 1980s, Orvis expanded past waders and shotguns to supply ladies’s attire and life-style objects. The catalog additionally included etched whiskey tumblers, telephones formed like duck decoys and even fatwood kindling, impressed by the bushes on Mr. Perkins’s Florida property.
Dog beds had been notably widespread, as had been weatherproof jackets from the English attire maker Barbour, which grew to become de rigueur foul-weather put on for white-collar staff in Midtown Manhattan. Some die-hard sporting clients complained, however the enterprise continued to develop.
Mr. Perkins insisted on conservationism as a firm worth, donating to wildlife organizations earlier than such practices had been widespread.
“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s also good business,” Simon Perkins mentioned. “If people don’t have places to fish or hunt, you don’t have much of a future in the world of trying to sell fly fishing stuff.”
Mr. Perkins is survived by his third spouse, Anne (Ireland) Perkins; three kids from his first marriage, Leigh Jr., who goes by Perk, David and Molly Perkins; a daughter, Melissa McAvoy, from his second marriage, to Romi Myers; three stepchildren, Penny Mesic, Annie Ireland and Jamie Ireland; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. A son from his first marriage, Ralph, died in 1969.
According to his son Perk, for Mr. Perkins fishing was not a aggressive, however relatively a restorative pursuit. Even into his 90s, Mr. Perkins nonetheless trundled right down to the Battenkill on summer season evenings — with a rod and a cocktail — to forged for trout because the solar went down.
“There is only one reason in the world to go fishing: to enjoy yourself,” Mr. Perkins told The New York Times in 1992. “Anything that detracts from enjoying yourself is to be avoided.”