Wilmington, Essex County
Sport Fishermen’s Gathering Place & Shop

“Where are they biting today, Fran?” A question asked hundreds of times each fishing season at this modest red-and-white building, comfortably tucked between Route 86 and the Ausable River, a nationally revered trout stream.

Part of its legend is the late Fran Betters, widely known as a fly-fishing guide, teacher, storyteller, and champion creator of flies. Fran and his wife, Jan, sold top-quality fishing supplies, including his own custom fly rods, and dispensed information and opinions about local fishing free of charge. In this shop, Fran produced over 20,000 flies each year, among them his own inventions with intriguing names like AuSable Wulff, Haystack, and The Usual, each of which he shipped all over the world.

The store is now closed.

  • Award Very Special Place
  • Award Year 2000
  • Location Wilmington, NY (Essex County, Adirondacks)
  • Categories Cultural Landmark, Traditional Skill