About the Honoree

Rachel truly embodies Walton’s ideal of the “compleat” angler. Not only is she one of the country’s most sought-after guides for her wealth of fly fishing knowledge and skill as a teacher, people also just love spending time enjoying her laid-back style, warmth, and humor. Rachel is also a highly accomplished artist with an MFA from Yale. Her artwork reflects her passion and exuberance for the natural world. She is known as one of the most wonderful and colorful characters in the fly fishing industry.

Highlights of the Night

For those who know fly-fishing guide Rachel Finn, an event in her honor is sure to be a great party. That is exactly what happened on November 1 when her friends, family, colleagues, and AMFF supporters gathered at the Boston College Club to celebrate the presentation of the 2018 Izaak Walton Award.

The museum established the Izaak Walton Award in 2014 to honor and celebrate individuals who live by the Compleat Angler philosophy. Their passion for the sport of fly fishing and involvement in their angling community provides inspiration for others and promotes the legacy of leadership for future generations.

The evening began with a reception overlooking the city, and then guests converged for the evening program. Nick Dawes of Heritage Auctions was kind enough to make the trip from New York to preside over the live auction, which included a Scott Radian fly rod, an overnight stay at Saint Hubert’s Lodge, a Reel Women Fly Fishing Adventures trip, a day of art immersion donated by the auctioneer, and a piece of Rachel Finn’s own original art: a beautiful fish collage. Rachel—who lives in New York’s Adirondack Mountains and is head guide at the Hungry Trout in Wilmington—is not only a wonderful guide, but also an accomplished artist with an MFA from Yale.

As part of the program, guests were invited to share stories about Rachel, which ranged from heartwarming to hilarious. In her acceptance speech, Rachel impressed and amused the crowd by admitting to have diligently read The Compleat Angler multiple times and concluding that Walton may well have been the first trout bum!

We would like to thank everyone who made journeys from near and far for the evening’s festivities. We greatly appreciate the following sponsors and auction donors: Lindsay Agness, Drew Chicone, Eugene Conroy, Costa, Deerfield Fly Rods, Douglas Outdoors, E & J Gallo, Rachel Finn, Gringo Jack’s, Jim Heckman, Mud Dog Saltwater Flies, Orvis, Patagonia, Reel Women Fly Fishing Adventures, Saint Hubert’s Lodge & Club, Scott Fly Rods, the Silver Trout, Brett Smith, and George Van Hook.


Our favorite shots from the night. Photos by Jack McCoy.

Event Committee

  • Lindsay Agness
  • Diane Bristol
  • Alan Guarino
  • Karen Kaplan
  • Lori-Ann Murphy
  • Pat Watson