Says Ledlie, "It's fascinating to see what was done in the past, and to appreciate it. But after a day of cataloging historical flies, I'm ready to hit the stream. Mostly this paper work is something to do when the ice is on the river."
Back in the museum, a few young boys wander among the exhibits. Out in the Orvis showroom, men flex the new graphite rods, check out the latest reels and waders. There is no ice on the Battenkill, and there are trout out there waiting to be part of someone's history, waiting to rise to the immediate and living thing that is the experience of fishing. But the past stays with us, preserved in the museum, a necessary link between what we are and what we were.