The Paul and Mary Ann Ford Fly Fishing Collection
The Fly Fishing Collections originated with a generous donation from Paul Ford, Ed.D., Western Washington University Professor Emeritus of Educational Administration and Foundations, and Mary Ann Ford, M.Ed. The Ford gift is ongoing and comprises books, realia, and art focused on American fly fishing.
Dr. Paul Ford joined Western as Professor of Education in 1970, served as his department's chair and later as the university's Vice President for Academic Affairs/Provost. He is a passionate fly fisher. Mary Ann Ford received her master's degree and principal's certificate from Western and has been a public school teacher of mathematics, curriculum director, and principal.
The Fly Fishing Collection
In addition to the Ford Collection, a general collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, artworks, oral histories, and artifacts supporting the study of fly fishing is available. It is the result of donations from numerous collectors including Paul and Mary Ann Ford, David Ishii, Walter and Jean Walkinshaw, Jack C. Hutchinson, Lory Watkins, Danny Beatty, Abe Lillard, and Patrick O'Hearn. The library has also purchased works specifically for the collection. Its scope includes fly fishing history and literature (starting with its European roots) as well as works on art, landscape, ecology, and technical aspects of the sport such as rod-building and fly-tying.
Fly Fishing Objects and Images - This collection features non-print treasures from the Fly Fishing Collection, including: rods, reels, flies, and more, showcasing the evolution of the sport, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Highlights include a Stimson & Lambuth dry fly fishing rod (#19), flies tied by George McLeod, Al Knudson, and Warren Erholm, and a creel (fish basket) made by the George Lawrence Company of Portland, Oregon.
Fly Fishing Oral Histories - This collection comprises transcripts of interviews with fly fishers in the Pacific Northwest. Persons interviewed discuss fly-tying, favorite locations, and memorable experiences.
Ralph E. Wahl Photographs and Papers - The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (another unit of Western Libraries Heritage Resources) houses a large collection of photographs and other materials by and about Ralph E. Wahl, a prominent Bellingham fly fisher, photographer, and author.
LIBR 320: Fly Fishing in American Literature (Spring 2015)
LIBR 320: Fly Fishing in American Literature and Culture (Spring 2016, 2017)
ESCI 315: Art, Science, & Ethics of Flyfishing. Award-winning course offered every summer through the Huxley College of the Environment. Contact Leo.Bodensteiner@wwu.edu for more information.