On August 13 the Fly-Fishing Festival returned to the museum grounds in Manchester, Vermont, with a lineup befitting a two-year hiatus. Nearly 600 visitors stopped by over the course of the day to enjoy the unique representation of vendors, artists, craftspeople, industry professionals, and other angling-related nonprofits.

The ribbon cutting for the Joan and Lee Wulff Gallery and Tied Together: The Extraordinary Lives of Joan and Lee Wulff, its inaugural exhibition, was a highlight. Although Joan couldn’t make it to the event, she joined via Facetime and was delighted to see the space buzzing with visitors.

The day included fly tying with Paul Sinicki, Kelly Bedford, Bill Newcomb, George Butts, Brian Price, Scott Biron, and Greg Brown. Bob Romano gave a presentation on the Rangeley Lakes, and Steven Sandford held a duck-carving session. Bob Selb, Fred Kretchman, and Carmine Lisella were on hand for complimentary appraisals all day, and AMFF ambassadors Pete Kutzer and Rachel Finn shared their fly-casting expertise with attendees.

The casting competition, hosted by Orvis, brought fifteen competitors to the course. Randy Wilson was the first-place winner of a Helios 3F 905-4 fly rod, and second place went to Greg Brown, who secured a Hydros II fly reel. The third-place winner, young Matt Wilson (after a dramatic shoot-out to break a three-way tie), generously gave his prize of a Wader Mud Room Bag to an even younger runner-up! The day concluded with a throwback film event, featuring some of our favorites: Running Down the Man, Metalhead, Connected, Doc of the Drakes, Gangsters of the Flats 2, Reel Adventures of Hank Patterson, 120 Days, Nex Gen, Common Thread, Time, and Mighty Waters.

Special appreciation goes to our sponsors and raffle donors: Berkshire Bank, Scott Biron, Costa, Express Copy, Mud Dog Saltwater Flies, Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts, Mulligans of Man­chester, Northshire Bookstore, Orvis, R. K. Miles, Scott Biron, Stonecutter Spirits, Taconic, TD Bank, Vermont Country Store, Wagathas, the Works, and Yeti. Many thanks also to our volunteers: Lauren Barrows, Bill Cosgrove, Lea Gregory, Carmella Livingston, Clay Livingston, Nikki Mackson, Merritt Perkins, Sandy Schot­ten­ham, Ron and Cheryl Wilcox, Alexa Witkin, and Kristen Zens.

It was a great day and a great turnout. Thank you to all who supported the event and made this year’s festival such a success. See you on Saturday, August 12, 2023!

Looking out from the museum's front steps at people wandering through an array of tents both large and small.

Vendors and visitors alike enjoyed the balmy summer day, including this delighted youngster learning to make a clown fly courtesy of Curator Jim Schottenham (left) and volunteer Bill Cosgrove.

Thanks to the magic of technology and an assist from Executive Director Sarah Foster (right), Joan Wulff not only experienced the opening of the Joan and Lee Wulff Gallery via Facetime, but also received well wishes from Brian Price and Rachel Finn during the festivities.