Museum Pieces: Anglers-in-Chief

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing


President Eisenhower launches a cast on a mountain pond.
Photo courtesy AMFF

In honor of Presidents Day, we are featuring some of our most important fly-fishing Presidents. Because the Presidents took longer time off, sometimes up to three months, the opportunity. . .

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Museum Pieces: The Sun and Planet Reel


P.D. Malloch's innovation was in creating a reel whose knob could be used as a brake.
Photo courtesy AMFF
Peter Duncan Malloch (1853-1921) was born in Almondbank in Methven Parish, Perthshire, on July 15, 1852. He followed in his father's footsteps as a bleach worker until 1872, when he. . .

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Museum Pieces: A Fly-Fishing Icon’s First Reel


Lefty Kreh improved his line drag by cutting a thumb insert in his first fly reel, this Pflueger Medalist.
Photo by Sara Wilcox

In the photo above, you can see Lefty Kreh's very first fly reel, purchased in 1947, the year Lefty discovered fly fishing while guiding legendary angler Joe Brooks. Here's the story as he told it in. . .

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Museum Pieces: Flies So Good They’re Scary

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing


The Ghost, one of the beautifully dressed flies in Mary Orvis Marbury’s display from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
Photos courtesy AMFF

In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, we have come up with a few historic fly patterns from our collection with some spooky monikers. . . .

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Museum Pieces: Five Go-To Streamers for Fall

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing


One of the first saltwater bucktails, the Gibbs Special is forefather of many modern striper flies.
Photo courtesy AMFF

One for the Salt: Harold Gibbs Striper Bucktail
Harold Gibbs is considered the father of modern striper fishing in the Northeast. Originated in the 1940s, the Gibbs Bucktail (above) was one of the first attempts at suggesting a specific forage. . .

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Museum Pieces: Edward Ringwood Hewitt, Fly-Fishing Renaissance Man

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing

Hewitt was an inventor, author, scientist, and angler, and he changed the way we think about the sport. All photos courtesy AMFF
Geoffrey Hellman of The New Yorker once described Edward Ringwood Hewitt (1866-1957) as “America’s outstanding example of the inability of man, however much inclined, to turn himself. . .

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Museum Pieces: Thaddeus Norris, the “Father of American Fly Fishing”

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing


Thaddeus Norris was known as "Uncle Thad" to his legion of angling fans.
Photo courtesy AMFF

Once described by Arnold Gingrich as “the American Walton,” Thaddeus Norris (1811-1877) is considered one of the founding fathers of American fly fishing. He was among the first to. . .

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Museum Pieces: Oh, The Horror!

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing

The Horror was the precursor to many of today's most famous and productive bonefish flies. Photos courtesy AMFF
The Director of the Bermuda Fishing Information Bureau, Pete Perinchief, designed The Horror pattern in the 1950s after a frustrating trip to the Florida Keys with Joe and Mary. . .

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Museum Pieces: An H.L. Leonard Reel to Covet

Written by: Peter Nardini, American Museum of Fly Fishing

This reel would still look great on the water today. Photos by Sara Wilcox
Editor's note: The American Museum of Fly Fishing is located right next to the Orvis Flagship store in Manchester, Vermont. The folks from the museum will be sharing many of the cool items from their collection in an ongoing series called "Museum Pieces." You can take a little virtual walk through part of the museum at the bottom of this post. Many older trout reels are surprisingly small, built to hold thin diameter silk lines. Trout lines were often shorter than they are today because shooting the line for distance was not a common. . .

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