The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians opened last week in Cherokee, giving visitors a chance to learn about the history of fly-fishing in the Southeast.

Exhibits and videos are available that deal with past fly-fishing legends, the evolution of rods and reels, basic knots, fly-tying gear, gamefish and regional waters.

The museum is the recipient of start-up grants from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and tremendous support from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Two other large donations include a grant for the Tailrace Exhibit from Tennessee Valley Authority, and a $20,000 donation by Southern Trout Magazine.

“We’re pleased that Southern Trout has been so generous in its support of the museum,” says curator Alen Baker. “The donation is largely in the form of advertising, which is great for the museum as the magazine is well-read by fly fishermen."

The museum is in Cherokee next door to the Visitor Center, and across from the Fairgrounds and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The back deck of the museum building overlooks the Oconaluftee River; the museum is within walking distance of Oconaluftee Islands Park.

The museum is open daily. Its website, www.FlyFishingMuseum.org, has hours of operation, directions, and exhibit information, as well as membership and donation opportunities.