WFS 442 – Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians with Alen Baker
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/442
Presented By: Togens Fly Shop, Daiichi, Stonefly Nets, Angler’s Coffee
Alen Baker is here to take us to the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians. We discover who some of the most famous people are in this region and why they have a drift boat in the museum.
We also learn how they are different and similar to some of the museums around the country. Tune in and get ready to reel in some new knowledge!
Fly Fishing Museum Show Notes with Alen Baker
03:00 – Alen shares how he got into fly fishing in 1981, noting that he grew up fishing with worm bait.
04:18 – Alen’s idea for the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians came to fruition after a trip to Nova Scotia, where he visited the Salmon Museum and was inspired to create something similar for the South.
08:12 – The museum primarily focuses on the people and methods of fly fishing in the mountains, with a special exhibit on Ray Bergman’s rod and book called Trout.
10:03 – Alen noted some individuals that have contributed significantly to the history of fly fishing in the Southern Appalachian region, like Fred and Allaine Hall, who were well-known fly pattern creators.
13:05 – The Hall of Fame has expanded to include the Ozarks and is now known as the Southern Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. It includes people like Bernard “Lefty” Kreh, Davy Wotton, Dave Whitlock, and others who have significantly contributed to the fly fishing industry, including conservationists and craftsmen.
14:08 – Other notable museums include the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum, the Fly Fishers International in Livingston, and the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
16:15 – Alen walks us through the museum’s Hall of Fame selection process. The museum holds a meet and greet and induction luncheon for their Hall of Fame, followed by a museum tour. They also host a fundraiser to raise money for groups like Casting Carolinas.
19:08 – Bryson City is well known for whitewater rafting on the Nantahala Outdoor Center and the Smoky Mountain Railroad.
20:54 – The new building for the museum will feature aquariums and a cabin-style museum with a vaulted ceiling to house exhibits such as Gary and Wanda Taylor’s McKenzie-style drift boat built and run in the southeast. We had Wanda Taylor on the show before.
26:15 – We had a whole mini-season on drift boats before. In one episode, we also had John Bond talk about moving his drift boat to Norway. We also had Jack Dennis in Episode 217.
28:12 – The museum has also established satellite exhibits in various locations to promote the museum and make it more accessible to people who cannot visit the primary site in Bryson City. They currently have seven satellite exhibit locations.
35:14 – Alen wrote My Fly Fishing Playbook and also a book about the museum. He will also write a follow-up book to Fly Fishermen of Caldwell County: North Carolina Life Stories.
38:46 – Alen recommends the Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing and Tuckaseegee Fly Shop for people who want to fly fish in Bryson City.
42:00 – Jim Casada, Don Kirk, and Jim Dean were some of the individuals that influenced Alen in his fly fishing. Don started his own Hall of Fame called Legends of the Fly.
46:18 – If you build it, they will come. — Alen Baker
Show Notes: wetflyswing.com/442