Segment 2, May 13th, 2023
There is a fly-fishing hall of fame that opened in the Catskills, NY, back in 1985. It was opened there because of the rich history that the area had within the sport.
However, the southern Appalachians also have a rich history of fly fishing. For that reason, in 2013 the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians (FFMSA) opened. The first location was in Cherokee, NC. It soon moved to Bryson City, NC, & recently has relocated beside the Appalachian Rivers Aquarium on Island Street.
Alen Baker was the driving force in the opening of the museum & continues on the Board. After growing up in the Lenoir-area & working for Duke Energy, he became a leading advocate for fly fishing & conservation. His work for Trout Unlimited & the NC Wildlife Federation, along with authoring several books have made him a mainstay in the community.
Baker joins the Carolina Outdoors to share the Museum’s place as a center point for education, history, & the arts, as well as the crafts & science of the sport. Baker describes the goal of capturing the history of fly fishing as “old-timers” pass away & technology changes.
Technology has helped add to the sport & bring new people into it but the Museum’s intent is helping them know the techniques, styles, & people that came before them.
Bill Bartee spoke to Alen Baker with a Winston fly rod in Charlotte just to keep the spirit of the conversation in-style.