Treasured Fly Rod Donated to NCTC Museum

Sam Koltinsky Presents Fly Rod to Steve Chase // Photo Credit: USFWS

Film Producer and Director Sam Koltinsky presented Education Outreach Chief Steve Chase with "Ding" Darling's bamboo 9-weight fly rod during the Tenth Annual American Conservation Film Festival at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The presentation occurred after the premiere of Koltinsky's film, “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. ‘Ding’ Darling.” Darling’s grandson, Kip Koss, donated the fishing rod to the NCTC Museum and Archives.

During the film festival, Koltinsky displayed a large selection of Darling's artwork, while the NCTC Museum exhibited an extensive collection of Darling’s art and other objects for the hundreds of filmgoers who visited.

Darling was an early pioneer for wildlife conservation. In 1906, Darling began a long award-wining career as a cartoonist with the Des Moines Register and Leader. Many of his cartoons influenced the nation about wildlife conservation. In July 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Darling to run the Bureau of Biological Survey, the forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. During Darling’s year-and- a-half tenure, he created the Federal Duck Stamp Program. Since Darling’s first stamp, over $700 million have been raised and more than 5.2 million acres of habitat have been purchased for wildlife. Darling died at the age of 87 in 1962.

This fly rod is a very welcome and important addition to the Museum’s collection. Darling did much to cement the connection between hunters, anglers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He was an avid hunter and angler and could speak their language. Darling liked fishing more than anything else as a recreational pursuit. He purchased the "Fish House" in Sanibel, Florida, so he could fish from his porch over the Gulf of Mexico waters. He never missed an opportunity while visiting Refuges to wet a line. This fly rod will remind researchers and visitors to the Museum of Darling's strong commitment to conservation and outdoor recreation.

 -- published --  November 6, 2012
 -- photo credit --  USFWS

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