By the year 2004, when narrative fly fishing films first appeared, director Warren Miller had been making ski movies for more than five decades. His films were shown annually to theater crowds around the world, not only inspiring generations to participate in the sport and culture of skiing, but also influencing filmmakers in other sports, like surfing and skateboarding, to start doing for their sport what Miller had done for skiing. The collection of films found here is the result of that idea finding its way to fly fishing in the mid-2000s. 

We’ve selected films that highlight the wide diversity of fish, anglers, locations, and storytelling, often with an emphasis on the vital importance of conservation in our sport. These movies are both inspirational and aspirational, at times transporting viewers to remote locations that many may never experience firsthand.  

With the exception of Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It, released in 1992, the vast majority of fly fishing media through the 1990s was still instructional in nature. The twenty films we’ve chosen to highlight in the AMFF gallery at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium are influential in a variety of ways, with their biggest impact likely being the shift in perception from how a person fly fishes to why a person fly fishes. We extend a huge thanks to Paul Nicoletti and Tom Bie who, through years of experience and perspective, provided unmatched guidance as we developed this exhibit. We also extend a massive thank you to all the filmmakers for sharing these stories and allowing them to be a part of the AMFF. We are committed to documenting and sharing the evolution of fly fishing films and the stories they tell.