About the Project :

Black Ant
Black Ant Favorite Fly of President Jimmy Carter

America’s Favorite Flies is a nationwide collaborative project coordinated by John Bryan and Rob Carter, with David Watterworth as Chief Instigator, John Henley as Chief Photographer, and Impak Technical as Chief Web Developer. The centerpiece of the project is a landmark book scheduled for publication in 2017. Financial proceeds from America’s Favorite Flies are gifted to the James River Association and the Native Fish Society.

America’s Favorite Flies is a gathering of 224 persons from across North America, each of whom has provided a “favorite fly” along with comments, stories, and other materials. There are writers and artists and magazine publishers and television personalities and wounded warriors and all sorts of others. America’s Favorite Flies also includes various ancillary products as well as an exhibition.

About the Coordinators :

John Bryan (Chief Editor) has written about fishing for Sports Illustrated, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Fly Fisherman, and other publications. Among his books is Take Me Fishing (2007) for which he gathered 50 living writers who provided their writings pro bono and from which 100% of the proceeds were dedicated to healthier fisheries. Participants ranged from Howell Raines to John McPhee to Joan Wulff to President Jimmy Carter – several of whom are participating in America’s Favorite Flies.

Rob Carter (Editor and Chief Designer) is author of 14 internationally published books on the subjects of typography, book design, and graphic design. Among them is Typographic Design: Form and Communication, which after more than 35 years remains one of the most influential textbooks on the subject of typography. Rob, an avid fly fisher and tyer, is designing America’s Favorite Flies.

David Watterworth (Chief Instigator) has shared his fly fishing knowledge, passion, enthusiasm, and tireless grassroots efforts on behalf of America’s Favorite Flies. His boundless energy and devotion have energized this project enormously.

John Henley, (Chief Photographer) for America’s Favorite Flies, was introduced to photography as a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. John has earned deep respect for his personal work as well as for his work for clients ranging from Geico to Santa Fe Tourism to Yamaha to Pinehurst Resort.

John Bryan and Rob Carter
John Bryan and Rob Carter (selfie taken on the Battenkill River)
David Watterworth and Birdie
David Watterworth and Birdie
John Henley
John Henley

All proceeds gifted to these important organizations:

The James River Association (JRA) the 348-mile James River that begins with mountain trout waters, continues through free-flowing smallmouth and musky waters, slows into tidal largemouth and catfish waters that welcome annual migrations of stripers, shad, and sturgeon, and concludes amid bluefish and flounder at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The JRA embodies model best practices including Riverkeepers, an Ecology School, expert policy work, community restoration projects, as well as a grade sheet that regularly assesses fisheries, pollutants, protection, and water quality. As a result of four decades of work, Outside Magazine’s September 2012 cover featured the James River in Richmond as their surprise choice for “Best River Town in America.”

James River Association - jrava.org

The Native Fish Society (NFS) fills a vital role in the conservation and recovery of wild, native fish in the Pacific Northwest. NFS’s work includes its on-the-ground River Steward Program, which empowers passionate local advocates to safeguard over 80 waterways ranging from the Skagit River in North Puget Sound to the Deschutes and Rogue rivers in Oregon and as far south as Northern California’s Russian River. NFS is a repository for research papers and scientific studies, an educational liaison with the media, public and local communities and an active advocate both regionally and nationally for science-based policy reform.

Native Fish Society

“AFF is indebted to Jeff Wimer who originated and tied the Grave Digger, a steelhead fly of pure genius used in the America’s Favorite Flies logo and products.”