Lee and Joan Wulff stand on either side of the Wulff Fishing School sign.

In the best stories about fly fishing … big fish are caught or lost; people say wild and spontaneous words; event becomes memory and sometimes, in the hands of a master, bleeds into art.
Nick Lyons, Confessions of a Fly Fishing Addict, 1989

Today, enthralling narratives can be told in more ways than ever—through film tours, social media posts, photographs, digitized vintage video footage, or in traditional printed articles and books. Sharing fly fishing’s greatest stories has always been at the heart of the American Museum of Fly Fishing, and it is you who make this possible. Our exhibitions, onsite programming, online content, events, and quarterly journal, the American Fly Fisher, would not exist without your stories, love of our sport, and financial support.

Sometimes stories find us in the most unexpected ways. A recent email to the museum simply stated, “Appreciate any info on this bamboo rod. There are no markings except at the bottom. It reads from Lody Smith to AE Hendrickson.” Through a little research in our archives, we were able to reply, “Albert Everett Hendrickson was a client of the famed fly tier Theodore Gordon. One of the few people directly tutored by Gordon was Roy Steenrod, whose friendship with A.E. led to the creation of the game-changing Hendrickson Fly in 1918. Lody Smith was a prominent member of the Brooklyn Fly Fishers Club (est. 1895) and was also a well-respected rod maker. It is most likely that Hendrickson commissioned the rod from Smith around 100 years ago.”

As we move into 2022, fresh stories will emerge:

  • An exhibition will debut in Manchester, Vermont, chronicling the unprecedented contributions of Joan and Lee Wulff to the sport of fly fishing. The redesigned gallery will be named in their honor.
  • Within a day’s driving distance for more than half of the country, we will open a brand-new, multimedia exhibit exploring the history of the sport at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. Kicking off the celebrations on April 7 will be the recognition of Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris as our 2021 Heritage Award recipient.
  • One of our sport’s most influential films turns thirty this year. In the fall, we will honor A River Runs Through It with producer Patrick Markey accepting our 2022 Heritage Award in New York City. Our summer journal will be dedicated to Norman Maclean’s novella and Robert Redford’s film adaptation.

Your gift to our 2021 Annual Appeal will ensure that the stories of our sport continue to be discovered, interpreted, and shared for the education and enjoyment of fly fishing now and for future generations. Please consider including the American Museum of Fly Fishing in your charitable giving this year. We truly appreciate it.