Federation of Fly Fishers

Federation of Fly Fishers
Motto All Fish, All Waters, Conserving, Restoring, Educating
Formation June 1965
Type 501(c)(3)
Headquarters Livingston, Montana, U.S.A.
Region served
Website http://www.fedflyfishers.org

The Federation of Fly Fishers is an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Livingston, Montana dedicated to the betterment of the sport of fly fishing through Conservation, Restoration and Education. The Federation of Fly Fishers and its Councils are the only organized advocate for fly fishers on a national and regional level.[1]


In May 1964, the McKenzie River Flyfishers was organized in Eugene, Oregon with the expressed goal of forming a national fly fishing organization. A gathering of prominent west coast fly fisherman and Gene Anderegg of the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers of New York, New York occurred in September 1964 in Aspen, Colorado. Gene Anderegg orchestrated a correspondence among many fly fishing clubs, aided by the support of angling notables Lee Wulff and Ed Zern that resulted in the first conclave being held in June 1965. All the original clubs were from California, Oregon and Washington except the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.[2]

It occurs to me that a loose federation of fly fishing groups could be of considerable value
letter from Lee Wulff to Bob Wethern of the Flyfishers Club of Oregon May 27, 1964

The Federation was first organized as the Federation of Fly Fishermen but the name changed to its current status in the early 1980s. By 1974 there were 120 clubs and over 7000 members across the U.S. in the Federation.[2]

Lew Bell and Lee Wulff drafted the original constitution for the Federation and its preamble read:

We, in conclave assembled, out of a firm and abiding conviction that fly fishing as a way of angling gives its follows the finest form of outdoor recreation and natural understanding, do hereby join in common effort in order to maintain and further fly fishing as a sport, and, through it, to promote and conserve angling resources, inspire angling literature, advance the brotherhood of angling and broaden the understanding of all anglers in the spirit of true sportsmanship
Preamble to the Constitution of the Federation of Fly Fishermen, 1965[2]

A great many notable anglers and sportsmen have been members and participants in the Federation of Fly Fishers--Ted Trueblood, Ed Zern, Pete Hidy, Polly Rosborough, Dan Bailey, Bud Lilly, Arnold Gingrich, Joan Wulff, Lee Wulff, Roderick Haig-Brown, Tom Brayshaw, Lefty Kreh, Enos Bradner, Nick Lyons, Paul Schullery, John Gierach, Steve Raymond, Thomas McGuane, Gary LaFontaine, George Grant, Curt Gowdy, Dave Whitlock, Gary Borger, Dave Hughes, Ernest Schwiebert, Charles Brooks, Eric Leiser, Charles Fox, Bob Clouser, Bob Jacklin, Art Flick, Mel Krieger, Mike Swederska, Tim Rajeff.


The Federation of Fly Fishers exists to:[3]

Clubs and Councils

The Federation is composed of 15 regional councils to which belong over 300 fly fishing clubs as well as individual members. The goal is to support fisheries conservation and educational programs for all fish and all waters. Anywhere fly fishers have an interest, the Federation plays a role in furthering its goals through its councils, clubs and members.


Annual Awards

The Federation of Fly Fishers Awards Program was established to recognize those individuals, clubs and other organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the environment, fishery resources, angling literature, the fly tackle industry and the Federation. (Date established)

Annual Conclave

The Federation has held an Annual Fly Fishing Fair and Conclave since 1965.[4] The Fly Fishing Fair and Conclave is the Federation's annual education and fundraising event. The Fair offers workshops, programs, demonstrations on fly tying, fly casting, fly fishing tactics, aquatic entomology, fly rod building, angling ethics, water safety and many related topics. Anglers and fly fishing experts from around the world attend to support Youth and Women’s programs, conservation and education forums, photo contests, and author book signings.

The show includes an exhibit hall where fishing tackle companies, retailers, artists, travel services and other companies that cater to the fly fishing lifestyle offer exhibits and sales of their products. The 2012 International Fly Fishing Fair and Conclave will be held in Spokane, Washington in July 2012.

Certified Casting Instructor Program

In 1992, the Federation established the Certified Casting Instructor program with the goal to enhance the sport of flyfishing in three important areas:

Noted fly caster, Mel Krieger led the effort to establish The Casting Board of Governors (BOG) at the Calgary, Alberta conclave in July 1992. Its founding members are iconic figures in American fly casting or fly fishing. They were: Gary Borger, Leon Chandler, Chico Fernandez, Jim Green, Lefty Kreh, Mel Krieger, Al Kyte, Steve Rajeff, Bruce Richards, Allan Rohrer, Barbara Rohrer, Doug Swisher, Lou Tabory, Dave Whitlock and Joan Wulff. The first BOG meeting was held at Park High School in Livingston, Montana, during the 1993 conclave.

The program trains and certifies casting instructors in two tiers—Certified Casting Instructor and Master Casting Instructor. Certification requires candidates to pass a written and performance test.

Fly Fishing Discovery Center

The Federation runs the Fly Fishing Discovery Center, a museum and education center in Livingston, Montana. The museum's Tackle Room chronicles the history of fly fishing with displays of rods, reels, lines, float tubes and art. The Fly Room features thousands of flies tied by masters from around the world. The museum houses the Lewis A. Bell Memorial Fly Fishing Library, a large collection of fly fishing books and journals available for public viewing and research.

The Federation of Flyfishers, the sport's leading national organization has long made the Yellowstone area its center of operations. Its Fly Fishing Discovery Center in Livingston, Montana interprets ecology, angling and conservation and is the Federation's foremost public presence.
Paul Schullery, Cowboy Trout, 2006[5]

Fly tying Group

Fly tying demonstration

The Fly Tying Group was established during the 2007 Conclave in Livingston, Montana as a group of fly tiers whose goal is to develop the art of fly tying at the local, regional, council, national, and international levels. The group hosts workshops that teach demonstration fly tying and run fly tying classes at annual conclaves.

Guides Association

The Guides Association is administered by the Federation as a service to its member guides and to the fly-fishing public. The association aims to connect professional guides with potential clients as well as provide guides some marketing support via the Federation's publications.

National Conservation Committee

Conservation is one of the founding principles of the Federation of Fly Fishers.

We have been slow to realize the role of political pressures in conservation and are of the opinion now that a united desire for the things that are necessary to perpetuate our sport of fly fishing is the only way to keep from losing many of the things we hold so dear.
William Nelson, President of the McKenzie Flyfishers Club, 1964

Participating in over 40 years of conservation work, the Federation of Fly Fishers contributes to the protection of fisheries and angling opportunities for the future. The National Conservation Committee is composed of representatives from each Federation of Fly Fishers Council. The Conservation Committee advises and supports conservation efforts with perspective from each Council.


See also

Further reading


  1. "National Institute for Charitable Organizations-Federation of Fly Fishers". Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  2. 1 2 3 Schullery, Paul (1996). "The Organized Angler". American Fly Fishing-A History. Norwalk, CT: The Easton Press. pp. 235–245.
  3. "Federation of Fly Fisher's History and Mission". Retrieved 2010-03-25.
  4. Jordan, John T. (Fall–Winter 1966-67). "Fly-Fishers Flock to Federation" (PDF). Random Casts-The life and times of the Theodore Gordon Flyfishers. Theodore Gordon Fly Fishers. 1 (2). Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. Schullery, Paul (2006). Cowboy Trout-Western Fishing as if it matters. Helena, MT: Montana Historical Press. p. 10. ISBN 0-9721522-7-X.
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