Exhibits


Charmed Circle

Exhibits in the museum are changed regularly.  They include historical moments in fly fishing, the people who have contributed to fly fishing, equipment, art, and current affairs. 

Permanent exhibits on display are: the Darbees, Dettes, Poul Jorgensen, Lee Wulff, Art Flick, and the Charmed Circle of the Catskills containing vignettes of those that made the Catskills famous: Gordon, Hewitt, LaBranche, Steenrod, Christian, Cross, and Flick. 

The museum also contains a  safe  and climate controlled acquisition room, library for archive and research, and the first and only working bamboo rod making museum and workshop containing some of the finest functional historical machinery and equipment, a testimony to the historical Hudson Valley rod makers and their techniques.

2015 Exhibits

Discover South Africa
Take a close look at South African fly fishing. They have freshwater and saltwater fly fishing techniques and flies very similar to what we use here. It is amazing how similar fly fishers are internationally. For reference, the total area of South Africa is 471,455 square miles, that is 3.5 times the areas of NY, NJ, CT, MA, RI, NH, VT and ME combined. However, they would have to drive many times longer to get to as many trout streams we have in those eight states. Our South African Foreign Correspondent, Peter Brigg, has been familiarizing us with different areas and rivers of South Africa these past few months. He will certainly continue laying a foundation for this new International Exhibit. You will be able to see first hand the areas, flies and fishing information when you come to visit and a nice video to view to boot.

The Tree of American Fly Fishing
The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum will celebrate this historic year by connecting the dots on the Tree of American Fly Fishing, a genealogy of 100 years of true American Fly Fishing. The Exhibit will feature a living genealogical tree, with Gordon on the top and the branches below representing those who followed. On one side the first branch will the direct descendants of Gordon; Steenrod, Herman Christian and a step off Reuben Cross. On the opposite will be George M. LaBranche and Edward Hewitt, who were also involved in the life of American fly fishing. This exhibit can only be complete with the participation of every American fly fisher. Where did they learn, did they have a mentor and where did that person learn, who was a more experienced fly fisher they knew and when and where did they learn? Eventually, the Center believes that all American flyfishers’ roots are planted firmly in the Catskills, birthplace of American Fly fishing.This tree will continue to grow until May 2016, ending the Year of the Hendrickson and remain up for the following year. YOU need to be included in this exhibit. Just where do you fit in? Think about it. We have made it easy by adding branches by decades. When did you start fishing with flies? Who was your first teacher or someone who influenced you either personally or through a book or magazine? Do you know who mentored that teacher or influencer? What side of the tree would you belong on, Steenrod/Dette/Darbee or LaBranche/Hewitt/Chandler? Send us an email with this information; you are a part in this history of American Fly fishing. flyfish@catskill.net

TC Cairns, A One Armed Outdoors Sportsman
“Cairns moved to Reno with his wife in 1924. Besides looking after his investments back East, his principal preoccupation was hunting, fly fishing, exploring the extensive Nevada outdoors and collecting Native American artifacts. He also owned an extensive collection of custom guns for his personal use. There was something different, something special about TC in comparison to his shot gunning, fly fishing buddies. They were all enthusiastic and determined in their outdoor passions. But TC, a right hander, had to be a bit more determined… he was born without a left arm.” (by Daryl Drake) . We are excited to present a display of TC Carins fly collection. at the time of his death.

Dorothy ‘Dot’ Vogel: Another Casting Champion
Dot was only 8 years old when she started taking casting lessons from her father in 1937. In 1939 the Paterson Casting Club held a tournament for casters under the age of 18 with three outstanding casters to compete: Regina Bokar, 13 years; Joan Salvato, 12 years and Dot Vogel, 10 years old. The 5/8 ounce accuracy bait event was won by Dot and she took second in the wet fly accuracy event. In 1940 Dot Vogel made her first appearance at the National Casting Association tournaments, than just a little girl of eleven years. During tournaments up to 1950 she captured all women’s titles and a few world records. Having won every championship event during these ten years, she retired from National Amateur fly casting. Dot had been asked to enter the professional field. Although strong efforts were made, Dot did not turn Pro. During those ten years, Dot practiced Casting at least 4 hours a day ultimately consuming her childhood and personal life. On display will be many of the trophies Dot Vogel won over those years.

The Hendrickson: A Roy Steenrod Creation
From the original pattern invented in Ferdon’s (River View Inn) on that fateful day in 1916, it has been a constant winner and has been: modified, enhanced, romanced, sub surfaced, spent and purchased more than any other fly pattern in the world. We will explore and share some of Steenrod’s history, flies and imitations that have risen over the past 99 years. We welcome your Hendrickson Fly Pattern to be included in this display; Roy Steenrod would have encouraged you to do so.

Livingston Stone: Fish Culturist
One of the most important men in the building of an American fishery. This exhibition will share much of this man’s personal and professional contributions to a healthy environment for our fish. We will also include some information on his home life and his wife’s beautiful watercolors.

The Land of Little Rivers, Through the Eyes of Enrico Ferorelli
If you have a copy of Austin ‘Mac’ Francis book, Land of Little Rivers, you are swept away with the beauty of the photos by Enrico. In the Wulff Gallery you will be able to see the originals in addition to many others of the streams in the area. They were from Enrico’s personal collection and have been blown up to 26 x 30-inch artist prints. These photos were acquired from the Ferorelli family after Enrico’s death in October 2014. In addition to Enrico’s works, we will sprinkle this exhibit with photos and paintings of local rivers by some of our members. If you have a photo of your local stream/river, please send it to the Center in 8 x 10 print. This exhibit will be in the Wulff Gallery with an introduction by Mac, who has donated a number of his first edition Land of Little Rivers for our Raffle 500 and other uses. We thank The Ferorelli family and Mac Francis for making this exhibition possible.

Lee Wulff: Father of Modern Catch and Release
( the term ‘Catch and Release’ was first used by Fly Rod Crosby in 1893) As planned, every year we will display the many innovations and influences that Lee Wulff developed in his life in the Wulff Gallery. This year we will feature Lee’s powerful influence on healthy fishing practices. There are many misconceptions of Lee’s intentions on Catch and Release fishing. He certainly did not want fishermen to stop taking fish home to eat, but to practice common sense fishing. Do not take more than you are going to use. Do not waste one of nature’s most treasured and valuable resources. Lee was a champion of conservation and wise outdoors practices.
It was a new level of consciousness that Lee presented at the end of his first fishing book, Lee Wulff’s Handbook of Freshwater Fishing, 1939. “The fish you release is your gift to another angler and , remember, it may have been someone’s similar gift to you.”

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