Fly fishing Museum of The Southern Appalachians, Bryson City

#8 of 8 in Museums in Bryson City
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Sections of the physical museum:

Gamefish and Streams:

Brook, rainbow and brown trout, smallmouth bass, sunfish and other Southern Appalachian native gamefish species in a cases, species info, stocking and management history – federal, state, EBCI, private, habitat, etc. Maps and photos provide an understanding of prominent streams for each species and their unique habits.

Forage Foods and Habitats:

Aquatic Insects, Terrestrials, Crustacea and small bait fish all contribute to the nutrition of our mountain gamefish. Actual samples, life cycle pictorials, photos provide an understanding of the variety of foods in their own habitats.


Original Southern Appalachian fly patterns highlighted in display cases. Additional fly patterns found successful in the region for any and all gamefish also displayed. An open process to supporting and visiting fly tyers allows for submission of additional and new fly patters for continued expansion of the vast array of flies available to the fly fisherman. The actual fly, the recipe, the tier’s name and the back story about the fly is collected for each fly pattern submitted to the museum.


Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and local fly tyers provide the creativity and beauty of the art and production of both local original fly patterns as well as fly patterns from other places in the world that have been adopted for use in Southern Appalachia.

Fly Fishermen (Anglers):

Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and local anglers provide the rich heritage past down to our generation and beyond. Featured Southern Appalachian streams on panels with maps and photos highlight some of the most noteworthy fly fisherman and where they are generally know to fish or have fished.

Rods, Reels and Fly Fishing Equipment:

Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and local rod builders provide the foundation of the art and craft of rod building including both from scratch wood, metal and bamboo rod makers to skilled custom rod builders utilizing more modern bamboo, fiberglass and graphite blanks. Rods and reels, associated gear and gadgets, documents, photos, etc. in display cases provide a vision of past to modern fly fishing equipment.

Rod Builders:

Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and local rod builders display the complexity that draws craftsmen to the both the recreation and the hobby of fly fishing with your own custom made rod. Featured rods of fiberglass, metal, graphite and bamboo in various stages of development and the tools involved.

Conservation Leaders:

Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and conservation organization leaders, instructors and agency administrators provide a social, political and scientific view of how our streams have endured for many, many decades of both care and abuse. The history from foraging fish for food to regulations for sport tells the full story of the evolution of the sport of fly fishing.

Mountain Region Scientists:

Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and conservation organization amateur scientists, institutional scientists and agency scientists provide a social, political and scientific view of how the aquatic food chain and gamefish species have endured for many, many decades of both care and abuse. The full history from documenting fish for taxonomic identity to the use of DNA for genetic studies of fish populations gives a perspective of the evolution of our scientific methods.


Stories and photos of regional and local hatcheries both agency operated and private. The history of supplementing our streams by stocking, etc. with maps and photos highlighting the machinery behind fishing licenses and keeping up with the demand for fishing.

Fly Fishing Clubs and Entrepreneurial Endeavors:

Stories and photos of local clubs and entrepreneurial endeavors that offer alternative approaches to the sport of fly fishing.


Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and local guides provide the experiences of fellow fly fishermen that teach others streamside, often as part of making a living in Southern Appalachia. The history of sporting stores, mail-order suppliers, lock tackle shops, local fly shops, etc. with maps and photos highlighting the diversity of opportunities for beginners, visitors and those expanding their experiences.

Library, Photography and Art:

A small library of fly fishing related books provides a managed access for research. Fly fishing related photography and art by regional artists placed throughout the museum.

Authors and Writers:

Biographies, stories and photos of legendary regional and local article writers, book authors, editors and publishers are indexed with their books available for sitting area research.

It is assumed that either a donation will be encouraged from each visitor or a low-price ticket will be issued for general operating expenses. Museum merchandise, fly pins, museum pins, patches, etc. provide marketing, promotion and membership to the museum.

Each display case would have: donor or loanee, description and use of item, historical timeframe, interesting or humor related story, etc.

A future expansion might include a community room available for fly tying classes, conservation organization meetings and museum workshops. Learning stations, feature movie(s), timeline trail, etc. may be a future consideration.


To create a dynamic capability of capturing history as it occurs, a database within a kiosk (possible with website access for museum members) will be updated quarterly with new who’s who in fly fishing bios (search data plus a narrative or video), stories and photos. In this manner all fly fishers may participate and me a part of the museum.

The kiosks will provide electronic access to all museum information that has been digitized. This can be an opportune place to partner and promote both the museum as well as the business sponsors and museum agents involved.
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Fly fishing Museum of The Southern Appalachians reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 3.5
11 reviews
  • As with other reviews, I will preface this one with the fact that I am a fly fisherman, and therefore, quite interested in the contents of a place like this. The beauty of the location is that there.....  more »
  • This is a rather small, free museum in the main part of Bryson City. As someone that knows nothing about fly fishing, I figured this would give me the essentials. The museum, however, doesn't really....  more »
  • It's not to fair for me to rate the museum because I volunteer with the programs there. But if you love the sport of Fly Fishing the museums that hold the beginnings of this sport are just so rare...  more »
  • Great place to just brouse and learn about flyfishing. Such a large selection of fly's and surprising other things.
  • very cool. if you're in town, stopping here is a must!
  • Great displays and information. Can’t wait to see the aquarium which is scheduled to be open around the first of April!!!
  • Let’s start off with the bad. Your small kids are going to be bored to death. They have a kids corner with crayons. The good. If you love all things history and you love fishing this place is a great walkthrough. Nothing super flashy. Just straight up fly fishing. Old reels, rods, poppers, jigs, and flys. Demonstrations on how they are made and what they are made of.
  • A great place to visit for all things fly fishing! I am glad to have such a historical place in our little mountain town of Bryson City! There have been many significant contributions to the sport of fly fishing on a global scale from passionate fly anglers from the Appalachians! A must visit for visiting fly fishers!

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