Spent Wing Parachute Adams  LbNA # 40513

Placed DateMay 27 2008
LocationSlate Run, PA
Planted ByJ G Froggy    
Found By True Indigo
Last Found Oct 18 2008
Hike Distance?

“Spent Wing Parachute Adams”

In Memory of Russ Mowry

Safety Needs: leather gloves because this is Rattlesnake country and a walking stick, if needed.
Hike Distance: ca .5 miles Difficulty: easy to moderate

This letterbox resides at one of Russ Mowry’s favorite trout fishing holes. The flow of the run seems to ring a special ode to this noted, fabled, renowned and avid fisherman, conservationist and outdoorsman. His passion for fly fishing led him to dedicate his life to the art of tying flies. According to his brother-in-law, Fred Bridge, he frequently tied 6-800 dozen flies a year. His all-time favorite was the Spent Wing Parachute Adams; hence, the name of this commemorative letterbox.

Russ supplied many of the ties sold at Tom Finkbiner’s Wolfe’s General Store and Slate Run Tackle Shop along Route 414. His ties have been used and worn world-wide. In retirement, he owned and operated “Mowry’s Fly Box” in Latrobe, PA selling flies, fly tying material and fishing equipment.

Slate Run was one of Russ’ favorite hot spots. He was a founding member of the Slate Run Sportsman. Also, he was a founding member of the Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited which honored him with the Silver Trout Award in recognition of his service to that club and to the restoration of the Loyalhanna Watershed.


Your quarry (his favorite fly) is found along the Black Forest Trail near its access intersection with Slate Run Road, about a half mile from the village with the same name. After parking carefully along the road near the BFT sign, follow the orange blazes downhill to the main trail. Sensing the flow direction of the stream, follow the blazes down-stream. As you near the run, the trail make a right turn. Just past the blaze where the trail turns, find the graffiti tree with “love notes,” Barry + Deven and BV + RD.

Find the Russ Mowry commemorative plaque about 8’ high on the trunk. After noting the years of Russ’ life, return to follow the orange blazes. When you come to the “tired” tree with the double blaze, do not cross the run. Leaving the trail, follow the worn footpath straight ahead. Add the total of the years in Russ lifespan, excluding the 8th digit. Take that number of steps until you are just past the peeling bark tree with the broken stump neighbor on your right. Find the compass direction for the next action using Russ’ birth year, as follows:
__A___ The decade number

__B___ The millennium number (thousands) + the year (ones) number

__C___ The millennium + the decade (tens)

Using ___ ___ ___ degrees, find the root loop about 5’ up
the slate wall and walk to it. Notice the niche to the left of the loop. Step up on the ledge (if necessary). Your quarry is under a SPOR just inside. NOTICE: In rattlesnake season it will be wise to probe the cavity with a stick and to put on leather gloves before reaching in. Remember to press hard in the center of the stamp backing to make a complete impression of the carving of the Spent Wing Parachute Adams fly. After stamping in, please return the box, locking all four tabs and hiding it securely under the rocks.

Enjoy a leisure exploration of Russ’ favorite trout hole and the slate deposit upstream. The log back at the plaque and the bend in the trail is an invitation for eating a snack or contemplating Russ’ legacy.