The American Museum of Fly Fishing and its “Exhibition Profiles” are the profiles of important women fly anglers, fly tyers, artists, conservationists and guides of yesterday, today and tomorrow
“Exhibition Profiles” are from the book, “A Graceful Rise,” written by Catherine Comar, executive director of the museum. Promotional narrative for National Endowment for the Arts is provided by Fly Life Magazine.com. Copyright the American Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF) – 2014. Many more images are viewable in the book.
Meet Nancy Zakon
When Nancy Zakon was eleven years old, her father taught her how to fly fish on a small pond near their home in Alabama. Though a pleasant pastime, it certainly was not a career calling for Zakon—at least not yet.
By the early 1990s, Zakon had established herself as a successful professional. She married, and her husband Alan asked, “Why not do something you truly enjoy? You’ve always enjoyed fishing.” She resigned from her job and decided to expand her knowledge of fly fishing.
Zakon joined the Orvis store in Manhattan as a clerk and bookkeeper. She observed that there was a need for casting instruction and encouragement geared toward women, and she collected the names of women who fished and women who would like to learn. This led her to establishing casting instruction for women in Central Park and promoting women’s enjoyment of fly fishing through demonstrations at trade shows. Before leaving Orvis, Zakon worked with fly-fishing guides Lori-Ann Murphy and Christy Ball to teach the first women-only Orvis casting classes and designing Orvis’s first line of women’s fly-fishing gear and clothing; the line was released in the spring of 1995.
Both clubs promote the sport among women through regular meetings, outings, casting instruction, and newsletters. Whether the focus is fresh or salt water, these clubs encourage women to make fly fishing a part of their lives. Zakon has served on the board and became president of the International Women Fly Fishers, is a member of the Woman Flyfishers Club, and is currently on the board of trustees of the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
Nancy Zakon and her husband Alan live in Key Largo and enjoy the challenges of saltwater fly fishing much of the year. She is still a member of the Juliana’s Club and continues to coordinate the regular activities of the Bonefish Bonnies®. During the summer months, Zakon can be found on the freshwater streams and rivers of New England.
American Museum of Fly Fishing, 4104 Main Street Manchester, VT 05254 802-362-3300.
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Stay in touch with the Museum and its On Fly in the Salt initiative . . .
Online exhibition of “A Graceful Rise” is now live, click here . . .
Regular updates on the exhibition and the Indiegogo campaign will also be posted on the Museum’s website