Remembering Beloved New Hampshire Angler and Fly Shop Owner Jon Zukowski

Photo by: Justin Hardesty

Late last week, we received news about the tragic loss of the passionate angler, fly shop owner, and conservationist, Jonathan Zukowski. Jonny Z (as he was known to friends), was the owner of Mountain High Fly Shop and On Z Fly, a custom fly tying business in Lincoln, NH. Additionally, Jon is remembered for his impactful work for the Native Fish Coalition, where he supported their mission to conserve and protect native fish species.

Jon leaves behind an indelible impact on his home waters and the fisheries that his shop supported and loved. All across social media, folks who knew Jonny and his contagious spirit have been sharing messages of support for Jon’s family and his businesses.

A GoFundMe was set up in Jon’s name to help his family and the campaign has already reached over $27,000 in donations. You can learn more about Jon’s accident, and support his family via the GoFundMe below:

From the GoFundMe:

“As many of you know we lost Jonny Z recently to a tragic accident on the river. The tragedy has inspired us to carry on Jon’s business and legacy in the biggest ways we possibly can. Help us keep his memory alive. Funds raised from this will help with memorial service, donations in his honor to organizations that were important to him, and making sure that his business, Mountain High Fly, where we love to believe his soul resides will carry on to be as successful as it can be.

Below is a synopsis of what happened:

Midafternoon on April 6, tragedy struck the NFC family and the New Hampshire fly fishing community. Three NFC board members from New Hampshire took a raft out for some early spring fishing. Sadly, one didn’t come home.

While fishing from an island, their anchored and unoccupied raft kicked loose and started to drift away, likely due to rising water. One of the anglers, Jonathan Zukowski, guide and owner of Mountain High Fly in Lincoln, New Hampshire, entered the water to try to retrieve it.

Jonathan lost his footing and got caught in the current and pushed downriver. The others tried to throw him a lifejacket, but he was not able to reach it. Forty-eight hours after he was last seen, Jonathan has still not been found.


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A post shared by Justin Hardesty (@justinhardesty.cr2)

One life was lost, two were forever changed, and countless friends and family must now deal with the unspeakable tragedy of a young man lost in the prime of his life. Our hearts go out to everyone involved, especially the Zukowski family, his girlfriend Laura, and Jon’s closest friends.

If there is any consolation in this horrific loss, it is that Jonathan passed away doing what he loved most, and where he most loved to do it…

We appreciate the unbelievable outpouring of support and condolences from people far and wide. It’s amazing to see just how big this community is, and how many people from all walks of life Jonny left his mark on. We know we have big shoes to fill, but the time to start is now. You can donate to the GoFundMe campaign supporting Jon’s family as they go through this exceedingly difficult time.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Zukowski family and to Jon’s many friends who are mourning his tragic passing.

Featured Image courtesy of Justin Hardesty.


  1. Such a tragedy…Mountain High Fly is a great shop. I bought my some of my first flies there (Parachute hopper and EHC) I came in there looking for reels, they didn’t have what I was looking for, but I decided to pick up a couple flies. It was august and the hoppers were going crazy and picking up one of those is basic hatch matching, and the EHC is a mandatory classic. I still have the parachute hopper and I’ve caught some good fish on it. Lots of love to Jonny’s family and friends, I’ll definitely pop in to MHF and pick up some more flies next time I’m in the Whites.

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