Press Release ***Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians*** January 28, 2019

by Jan 30, 2019


Bryson City, North Carolina – The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians Hall of Fame announces the fourth class of inductees to be recognized at our annual museum luncheon event. The fourth annual Museum Hall of Fame inductions will be conducted on March 30, 2019 at the Nantahala Brewery Restaurant located in downtown Bryson City, North Carolina. 

Our 2019 Museum Hall of Fame Inductees are Alen Baker, Bob Nanney, Joe Brooks, Michael R. “Squeak” Smith, James Douglas “Jim” Estes, George Gaines and Dave Whitlock.

Alen Baker – Inducted in the Ambassador category for his leadership and commitment as the creator of the Fly Fishing Museum of Southern Appalachians and the Appalachian Rivers Aquariums in Bryson City, as a fly fishing author, as an avid fly fisher and for his service and commitment to public service with NC Wildlife Federation and Trout Unlimited. Alen is a member of the NC State Computer Science Hall of Fame and Southern Trout Magazine Legends of the Fly Hall of Fame. 

Bob Nanney – Inducted in the Ambassador category for his leadership and commitment to fly fishing and the museum. Bob was recognized in 2018 for his many hours of dedication to promoting the museum at Fly Fishing Shows, museum fundraising, museum activities, and extensive exhibit work. He has been declared the first recipient in this category. 

Joe Brooks – Inducted posthumously in the Communications category as the author of numerous fly fishing publications, for trailblazing saltwater fly fishing and for the Blonde series of fly patterns.

Michael R. “Squeak” Smith – Inducted in the Conservation category for his years of dedication to stream restoration and being an “addicted” life-long fly fisher, a “full-time volunteer”, a highly recognized and outstanding conservation leader and a “hands-on” environmentalist.

James Douglas “Jim” Estes – Inducted in the Crafts category as an amateur fly tier who is widely recognized for the creativity and wisdom in designing the mop fly. Orvis, Umpqua, and many other fly pattern suppliers have all developed version of the Estes Mop Fly.

George Gaines – Inducted in the Humanity category for his many contributions to fly fishing as a dedicated fly fishing volunteer, program developer, sponsor, and leader of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing.

Dave Whitlock – Inducted in the Recreation category for his many contributions to fly fishing as a conservationist, innovator, fly fisher, fly tier, writer and artist. Dave is a member of the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, the Trout Hall of Fame, the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Game & Fish Hall of Fame.

*** Fourth Annual Museum Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon at the Nantahala Brewery Restaurant *** 

*** March 30th, 11:30 AM Meet and Greet, Lunch at Noon, Inductions at 1PM ***

*** Soft Opening of the Museum’s Appalachian Rivers Aquarium at 4PM ***

The inductions will be held in Bryson City with Museum supporters as well as the family and friends of our inductees in attendance. Fly anglers from across the southeast will celebrate the Fourth Annual Museum Hall of Fame Inductions. With limited space, advanced reservations are essential and are currently being taken. The ticket price of $35 per person includes admission to the induction ceremony, lunch, admission to the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians and the aquariums. Access the museum website: to register and pay via PayPal or E-mail or call 828-488-3681 to reserve your place.

*** “Lagers with Legends” Pre-Event Party at Nantahala Brewery *** March 29th, 7 PM ***

Casting Carolinas and the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians invite all Museum Hall of Fame attendees to drop in at the Nantahala Brewery in downtown Bryson City on March 29th at 7 pm for a Pre-Event Party and Fund Raiser. 

This is an opportunity to meet and greet the MHOF Inductee and past Legends, other members of the MHOF and help raise funds for Casting Carolinas, a non-profit organization that utilizes fly fishing as a means of helping women deal with and recover from various cancers. 

Each Inductee will have a selected beer renamed after them during the party. Nantahala Brewery is generously donating $1 per renamed beer sold at the party. Please come celebrate our fly fishing heritage together and meet each Museum Hall of Fame Inductee and friends while enjoying some time at Nantahala Brewery.

For 2020 nominations, the Museum Hall of Fame nomination forms may be obtained from the museum website at or picked up as hard copy at the museum. The Museum seeks to recognize those who have made outstanding and unique contributions to the art, science and sport of fly fishing. We encourage you to nominate those who meet the nomination criteria and are deserving of such recognition. Once nominated, the candidate remains in nomination for current and future consideration.

Patricia Pezza


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