By Anne Cantrell MSU NEWS SERVICE
BOZEMAN — A new collection of materials available to the public at Montana State University’s Library covers numerous aspects of the popular sport of fly fishing, from the motivations of why individuals fish, to casting and how to tie a fly.
The collection, acquired from Fly Fishers International, consists of books, periodicals, promotional materials and other items that relate to the study and practice of fly fishing. It includes an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 volumes dating from the 19th century to today. Fly Fishers International is a nonprofit based in Livingston that focuses on conservation, education and community.
“The material is a wonderful addition to our Trout and Salmonid Library Collection, which is the largest on the species in the world,” said James Thull, MSU Special Collections librarian. “The [Fly Fishers International collection] is one of the most comprehensive collections on fly fishing in existence, and its addition to our library makes our collections wider in scope and more useful to researchers and anglers alike.
“While we focus on the fish themselves, [and] collect everything from scientific reports on fish diseases to children’s literature, the [Fly Fishers International] library is focused on a particular fishing style that is, of course, very popular in Montana and the Western states,” Thull added, referencing the act of fly fishing.
Thull said the collection is valuable because it adds to the library’s materials on fly fishing, fills gaps in its subject areas and will offer “a bounty of information for anyone looking to get a line wet in Montana’s trout waters.”
The MSU Library acquired the collection after informal discussions throughout the years. Thull noted that many individuals at Fly Fishers International contributed to the efforts and helped make the acquisition possible.
“Our collection represents an extensive repository of publications and materials authored by many of the most important luminaries in the sport of fly fishing, some of whom were founding members of our organization,” said Patrick Berry, president and CEO of Fly Fishers International. “The collaboration between Fly Fishers International and Montana State University’s Special Collections and Archives represents a truly synergistic partnership as we merge part of our respective strengths.”
“This is a win-win for both institutions in that Fly Fishers International can focus on [its] museum collections and free up valuable space, and MSU gets to add an amazing collection to our library where it will be cataloged, stored in archival conditions and available to the public,” Thull said.
The MSU Library’s Special Collections and Archives has more than 800 active collections. It specializes in collections related to Montana agriculture and ranching, Montana engineering and architecture, Montana history, MSU history, Native Americans in Montana, the author Ivan Doig, prominent Montanans, trout and salmonids, U.S. Sen. Burton K. Wheeler, and Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone ecosystem.
Visit lib.montana.edu/archives for more information.