The American Museum of Fly Fishing and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife aquarium and museum in Springfield, Mo., will give curious anglers the chance to walk under a carefully crafted trout stream and see how trout move about the water column thanks to a new partnership between two entities.
In addition, a large portion of the AMFF’s fly-fishing collection will go on display at the Wonders of Wildlife exhibit.
“We are elated to share the sport of fly fishing with future generations at Wonders of Wildlife,” said Karen Kaplan, president of the American Museum of Fly Fishing. “There is no better place to showcase the heritage and convey the excitement and proud history of the outdoor sport we love. We are grateful to Johnny Morris for his vision to establish a national destination of this magnitude and partnership to help expose more people to fly fishing and the outdoors.”
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The potential to reach a significantly wider audience and inspire new generations to discover the sport was a key motivation in the AMFF’s decision to form a partnership with Wonders of Wildlife. Located in the heartland of America within a day’s drive for half the population, Wonders of Wildlife welcomed 1.6 million visitors in its first year alone (2017) and has been voted as “America’s Best Aquarium” and “America’s Best New Attraciton” by USA TODAY readers. The on-site trout stream will be just one of several features.
“We are deeply honored to welcome The American Museum of Fly Fishing to help us expand our mission to celebrate people who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water,” said noted conservationist Johnny Morris, who also the founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops. “Fly-fishing is a beautiful American tradition that plays an important role in conservation, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this with our guests.”
The American Museum of Fly Fishing will continue to operate out of its Manchester, Vermont, location, offering onsite and traveling exhibitions, educational programming, access to the Gardner L. Grant fly fishing library, and production of the American Fly Fisher journal (one of the greatest benefits of AMFF membership). AMFF will also continue to present the annual Heritage and Izaak Walton Awards, and remain stewards of the sport through collecting, preserving, exhibiting, studying, and interpreting its artifacts, art, and literature.