GWWF has had the opportunity to give back, to a very important group of women: disabled veterans. Fanny Krieger arranged for five of us GWWF’ers to meet at the Casting Ponds on July 1 to assist with her casting instruction of seven disabled women veterans, part of the Veterans First Fly Fishing program. Ken Brunskill, president of the Northern California Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers, set this program in motion, along with the help of Maureen Brown, a volunteer coordinator who is a retired Lt. Colonel. Ken spent some time with Healing Waters in the past, but decided to start his own project in Menlo Park, which is now known as Veterans First Fly Fishing, putting an emphasis on the “veterans FIRST.” Maureen Brown and another woman veteran had the opportunity to go to the Big Horn River in 2009 with a group of male veterans, where she hooked her first German brown. In fact, she tells us that the two women out-fished the guys! In turn, she got hooked into the sport itself. “If more veterans could experience this, it would change their lives," she says, and so she became the program lead for VFFF to help other men and women veterans have this same experience. “If I could give back even half of what I experienced, that would be so great.” So far, the group of woman she recruited have been spending their time learning to tie flies. This was their first casting lesson. Oh, and there is one guy too!
All of the veterans took to the casting with great enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. One of the women said that her fly fishing lessons are “bringing back life into me as they are like art therapy.” Another said it was motivation for her to be able to leave her house. One of the women, a clinician and recreational therapist volunteer, said that they have been trying to do a women’s group for many years, and her goal is to extend the program. She says, “It is wonderful to see the therapeutic value.” The GWWF volunteers were Fanny Krieger, Lelia Lanctot, Christine Main, and Lyn Little and me, Barbara Klutinis. We found the women veterans to be very eager to learn, quick to pick up basic casting skills, and all ready to do more sessions. In fact, one of them did not want to quit when we said we were finished for the day! Also, Fanny promised them that once they attained their fly fishing proficiency, she would arrange to take them fishing. A second casting lesson was given on July 15, at which time Fanny, Lelia Lanctot and Christine Main helped the group with their roll casts and improving their false casts.
Needless to say, we all came away from these workshops feeling really privileged to be able to connect with these special women veterans and to share with them what we know about fly fishing. We look forward to even more opportunities in the future. In fact, this program could become yet another one of Fanny’s good ideas that will blossom and flourish.
GWWF’s July 2014 Outing: Revisiting the Fall River. Join Us in September to Fish This Amazing Locale!
By Barbara Klutinis
There is something wonderfully poetic about the Fall River: its serpentine meanderings through bird-tipped bushes, its gesticulating green grasses just under its surface, its glassy reflective clouds and its ever-changing perspectives of Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen. It had been some time since I had been on this river, and it was good to come back, to remember my early days of fly fishing and the wonderful outing memories I have from those times. Some things had changed, though. It seems that some of the green grasses had collected wads of cow dung! There were not as many fish rising, and much of our fishing consisted of nymphing, as opposed to the old dry fly days. Our guide told us that that was becoming more common, as the bug population had dwindled over the years.
But the hexagenia mayfly hatch was still underway in the evening, not as dramatic as 14 years ago, but the slurping and rising still came right on schedule at 9:15 p.m., and lasted for about 15 minutes. To say nothing of the boat ride there: the sun setting to the west over Mt. Shasta, and the full moon rising in the pale blue eastern sky. This was our Clearwater Outing, the week of July 9-12. Fanny Krieger had organized a stay at the Clearwater Lodge at the Pit River for GWWF, where we stayed for 3-4 nights and fished for 2-3 days. Four of us, Jennifer Bowles, Amy Pilkington, myself, and Fanny concentrated on the Fall River for two days, while Kate Riley, Bonnie Daley, and Lorna Turner, in addition to fishing the Fall River, spent some time exploring the notorious Pit River. They all survived “The Pit” and returned with stories of catching lots of fish on their own and new places to fish that aren’t totally intimidating. The Clearwater Lodge has been under the new ownership of Michelle Titus for 14 months, and she has shaped it into a very comfortable place with excellent food and a reliable and friendly guide staff. We stayed in the Annex, which had single beds and two remodeled toilet-shower combinations, which we shared. Bonnie, Kate and Lorna stayed in a cabin across the way, which they said was very comfortable. Other rooms in the lodge itself have larger beds and in-room showers. The dining room has a regimen of breakfast at 7:30 a.m., lunch provided on the river, and dinner at 6:30 p.m., with cocktail hour at 5:30 p.m. It’s a very reasonable 5-6 hour drive from the Bay Area. Having rediscovered the Fall River and having explored some other places to house a larger GWWF group, we are re-inspired to have another outing this fall on this wonderful spring creek, Visit the Outings Page for all of the details.
Want to Catch One of These?
In a Gorgeous Setting Like This?
Please Join Us at the Awesome IWWF Baja Festival This Fall!
The Awesome IWFF Baja Adventure, October 30 – November 2, 2014 is fast approaching, Sign upnow! We really want to share this Adventure with you! Fishing will be the main focus with some morning classes and lots of other activities through the hotel. Room reservations: Call the hotel (877-777-8862) and mention you are with IWFF to have the special rate of $105. for room and meals per day. At the end of July our room rate will be on an "availability only" basis rate with no guarantees. Significant others are welcome to join you for the stay at the hotel and for fishing. The cost is $105. per person per day which covers room and meals only. Transportation to and from the airport is available at about $30. per person.(normally $175.). The hotel is approximately one hour north of the airport. This attached form must be completed.
Safety in Mexico may be an issue for some. Kate Taylor, one of our presenters and guides, says: "Los Barilles is a great town full of amazing people, both Mexican and gringo and probably one of the safest places." Casting abilitymay be another issue. "Kathy Snyder from Portland, Oregon was here last week on her honeymoon and had never fished...ever. She had a blast catching dorado she fought for over 30 minutes." Registration is $120. through the IWWF website: INTLWOMENFLYFISHERS.ORG Fishing: Pangas are $277. a day for 2 people. Cruisers are $555. a day for 3 people. The boats charge about $30. for bait used as teasers. Licenses available at the hotel are $30.; not needed if you fish from the shore. Guides: It is highly recommended that you hire one whether for shore or offshore fishing. The captain of a boat is not a guide nor an instructor. He will take you where the fish are. Guides are listed below. Their rate is around
$400. for 2 people. Extra: We will celebrate The Day of the Dead on Friday evening and Halloween on Saturday evening. Feel free to bring a costume or two. To get a good overview of fishing in Baja, click here. Your Turn! Do you need a fishing mate? By boat? On shore? Which classes would you be interested in? We will try to have the same classes on Friday and Saturday mornings. If not listed on the program, what else would interest you? Wanted: Need to clean our your closet? Part of the event will be for a fun raffle auction. So bring new or slightly new item(s) which do not need to be necessarily fishing related. Payments: Cash or checks are required for all IWFF events. Credit Cards can be used for hotel amenities. Be sure you have a current valid passport. What to expect (in addition to Fun): * Classes/Instruction by experienced local guides * Contests for the holiday * Camaraderie-meet other members * Friends * Fishing – shore and boat * Good food – YUM! * Cocktail parties * Adventures – the hotel offers some fun diversions: zip line, quads and more. * Beautiful scenery – enough said! List of guides to contact: Reserve your guide
early. Kate Taylor of Pursuit Anglers Merry Waugh of Baja Fly Fishing Company LLC Mike Reiser, www.bajaflyfish.com Gary Bulla, www.garybulla.com James Shaugnessy, www.flywatertravel.com Josh of Pursuit Anglers Festival Co-Chairs: Fanny Krieger: 415-752-0192 Pat Magnuson: 924-934-2461
Check the Outings Page for regular updates on enticing 2014 trips.
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A different approach to keep GWWF alive and prosperous has been made: No more monthly meetings. They have been replaced by Events several times a year on Saturday or Sunday mornings. We will continue everything we are well-known for that has established us as a viable club: the Newsletter, Outings, the Conservation contributions, the Scholarships for young women students, the Jo Clark Youth Scholarships, the Fishmas Party and our booth at the Fishing Shows. Hopefully this will energize GWWF and recapture the enthusiasm and interest that has been our guiding force for over 30 years.