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Old Age and Your Collection

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#1 Zaic Freeman

Zaic Freeman


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Posted 05 September 2019 - 07:56 PM

The time when my hands are too shaky and my memory is fading slowly approaches. I have not been blessed with grandchildren. There is no flytyers group where I live.
What to do with decades worth of materials aquired with effort and passion has me concerned lately. Selling it off piece by piece is not the path. Selling it for money is not even a concern. Being able to keep it together and knowing that where it ends up will be appreciated with a true passion would be ideal.

Where is your collection going when the time comes?

#2 JustWondering


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Posted 06 September 2019 - 12:29 PM


I am probably one of the younger members still active here, but I have a few ideas:

There are national charities with tying activities that could use the tools and materials. Casting for Recovery and Project Healing Waters come to mind. There may be an after school youth group or Scout troop which could put them to use.

My fly collection, which is mostly antiques and other peoples' flies given to me by friends, will likely go to a museum, if my (hypothetical) children aren't interested.



#3 Ephemerella


    Peter Simonson, Greenville, NH, USA

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 02:23 PM

Springboarding off Brad's post, there are a couple of smaller fly fishing museums that do accept material collections and historical flies. The materials will likely be used for their outreach programs, or sold by them to raise funds to enhance collections, etc.  Unusual or historical flies or materials might end up in their collection or be exchanged with other museums to acquire pieces more in line with their collection objectives.


Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oquossoc, ME specializes in fly fishing and tying/tyer artifacts from Western Maine, as well as Maine hunting, Warden Service, sport-tourism, and local historical authors, generally from the late 1800s to mid 20th century. The museum is just starting various charitable outreach programs. Bill Pierce is the museum director. www.rangeleyhistoricalsociety.org/contact-us.html


Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor, NY specializes in Catskill fly fishing and fly tying artifacts, as well as other related items from around the world. The CFFCM has a broad charitable outreach program for veterans, Scouts, and other youth groups. Rob Ceccarini is the Development Director.  www.cffcm.com


And there is always, in the US, your local chapter of Trout Unlimited that can use the items for fundraising, tying instruction, or youth outreach.


I have not heard whether the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, VT accepts fly tying materials, but they do accept historical items relating to freshwater and saltwater fly fishing from around the world. The AMFF has perhaps the largest collection of flies, rods, reels, and sporting art and media; publishes a peer-reviewed journal; and the AMFF has a charitable and education outreach program. This museum is considerably larger than the two others above with a proportionally larger scale of financial support from rather wealthy donors.  www.amff.com



#4 jgogg


    Jim Goggans

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Posted 14 September 2019 - 02:23 PM

I am doing my best to interest my youngest son in the hobby.  But if not, I would say the best thing is to gift or sell it back into the active tying community.  There is will enable future generations of tiers to also enjoy the hobby.  Hiding it away in museums will just stifle our grand tying addiction in future.

Darwin award winner of flytying

#5 Marc LeBlanc

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:29 PM

Thats a great question Zaic and one we must all answer at some time.

The absolute worst thing is for the collection to end up in the garbage.

My wife knows that should I kick the can, she is to contact one of my close fly tying friends and let them sell it off or give it away as they feel fit. She doesnt have any knowledge of the subject. My two children currently express no interest in fly tying.

Should I be the person to dispose of my collection when that time comes, my plan is to sell some of it off (the few rare bits in my collection) while the remainder shall be donated to a local fly tying club for use by members.

Whatever you decide to do with your collection is fine as far as I am concerned except for throwing it out!


#6 permitcapt



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Posted 12 January 2020 - 10:49 PM

My wife and will have been instructed to give it all to whomever was engaging me and/or fishing with me most during my last days on the water and fondling my treasures.