The American Museum of Fly fishing is pleased to announce that it has received a gift of the angling book
collection of Charles Thacher. It is one of the finest and most complete private collections of antiquarian
angling books in the U.S. With the addition of this collection, the Museum enhances its position as being
America’s leading institution for the study of angling history and traditions.
Mr. Thacher’s collection of nearly 400 volumes was carefully curated, as he acquired primarily older
books, published in the 1800s and earlier, and everything is in fine condition. The earliest volume was
published in 1597, while 31 books were published in the 1600s, and another 51 in the 1700s. Some of
these books were believed to be the only copies existing in private hands.
The AMFF’s mission includes being the steward of the history, traditions, and practices of the sport of fly
fishing. The Thacher collection fits the mission perfectly, as it includes many books that will enhance our
knowledge of the evolution of fly-fishing techniques and traditions, and offers angling researchers and
writers a treasure trove of new materials to examine. For example, there are over a dozen books that
display tied flies, including four published between 1814 and 1842 that have nearly 200 flies that are
among the oldest that exist. Scholars and collectors interested in the advancement of rods, reels and other
equipment will find hundreds of illustrations and descriptions of what was in use from the earliest times.
We are extremely thankful to Mr. Thacher for his extraordinary gift, and look forward to sharing more
details of the collection in the future with our members and the angling public. In the meantime, please
browse the complete list of titles, and let us know when you’re ready to schedule time in the Gardner L.
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The American Museum of Fly Fishing was founded in 1968 by a group of passionate anglers who wanted
to ensure that the history of fly fishing was preserved as an important part of America’s culture, industry,
and history. The Museum continues to collect, study, preserve, and exhibit the sport’s greatest treasures,
including flies by countless historical and modern authorities ranging from Theodore Gordon and Mary
Orvis Marbury to Lefty Kreh and Ernest Schwiebert.
The American Museum of Fly Fishing is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday from
May through October, and Thursday through Saturday from November through June. For more
information about the museum, please visit amff.org or connect on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.