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Albert A. Himmel, chemistry professor, fisherman

Aug. 20, 1924 – April 8, 2014

Albert A. Himmel, a chemistry professor and avid fisherman who also wrote for many publications about both of his interests, died April 8 at his home in West Seneca. He was 89.

Mr. Himmel was born in the Town of West New York, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan. He served with the U.S. Army’s 279th Engineer Combat Battalion during World War II in the European Theater.

A graduate of Syracuse University, Mr. Himmel moved to Western New York in 1962 and took a position teaching chemistry at Buffalo State College. He retired 25 years later as a full professor.

But it was fishing that was his passion. Mr. Himmel was a lifelong member of Trout Unlimited and was the author of seven fly-fishing booklets on such topics as identifying insects and salmon fishing in New York State.

His work appeared in Fly Fisherman magazine and the Catskills Fly Tyers Guild Gazette, along with other newsletters and publications, including The Buffalo News, and his reputation in the regional fly fishing community has been described as “legendary.”

Michael Levy, the late News outdoors writer, once quoted Mr. Himmel’s monograph “What Every Trout Should Know” in a story for the paper. Mr. Himmel wrote that there were three types of fisherman:

“Type As, who are aggressive, compulsive and willing to go to any extreme to locate wild fish.

“Type Bs, who fish with flies for wild fish, but are willing to use attractors if insect imitations don’t work.

“And Type Cs, who are just out for a pleasant day on the stream, but likely to be dry-fly enthusiasts.”

Mr. Himmel described himself as a Type B, a purist who would use any kind of fly that produces fish.

Mr. Himmel’s wife, Anne, died in 2003.

He is survived by a son, Brad; two daughters, Karen Himmel and Lynne Seawright; and four grandchildren.

Services were private.

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