Meet our Board Members:
Xavier Carbonnet - President:
I have never belonged to any kind of club in my life, not even as a kid, yet it is with great honor and privilege that I feel compelled to contribute my time and resources to help ensure the GGACC thrives as the most unique and relevant institution in the sport of casting and fly fishing.
The diversity, experiences and background of our membership are what make our Club unique. Here are a few things you might want to know about me: I grew up living in the South of France but my family is from the Loire Valley where I spent my youth fishing and hunting. For 200 years all of the men on both sides of my family have been officers in the Royal and merchant navy. My father was a merchant sea captain and I was born during a trip to North Africa on a naval base in Tunisia. I have been self-employed since I was 23, as an art dealer and artist agent for 30 years as well as the owner of a fly shop for eight. I do all the cooking at home and would rather prepare and cook something wild than something purchased from a store. Until now I have never confessed that I shot the swan than attacked me when I was 13 with the 410 my father gave me at Christmas. Our family property had a river that would flow through the village and a pair of swans would migrate back and forth. The male would charge and attack anyone standing next to the water and one day he jumped on me and tore open my fishing boot. To this day I do not like swans. I have a visceral fear of spiders too after getting bit in Africa. I have logged a million miles traveling the world with a fly rod. The more exotic and wild the destination, the happier I am. I do not consider fly fishing a hobby or a past time. It is a philosophy - a way of life. My girls are growing up with a great love for fishing and traveling - they want to go with me on every trip.
Libby Wolfensperger - Vice President:
Spey O Rama, Conservation, Womens Group, and BAYFF
I became a member of GGACC about 8 years ago, when I had decided to take the LTFF classes. I got the fly fishing bug after I had fished off an on with my brother. I wanted to learn more about trout fishing and be more independent, so I signed up for LTFF at GGACC and here I am years later volunteering, doing Board and committee work and enjoying fishing more than ever.
The club is a wonderful place to meet interesting new people and spend time with old friends. The diversity of the members and fishing interests is amazing and being a part of the club has added to the fun of living in San Francisco.
I have spent most of my life in the Bay Area thought I did spend seven years in Japan. I really enjoy traveling and now blend it with my love of fishing. I am really proud to be an active member of GGACC and look forward to continuing to contribute to the club.
Richard Yerian - Secretary:
Growing up in upstate New York, my boating and fishing experience was pretty much limited to the Finger Lakes. Although my father had some exposure to fly fishing in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, where he grew up, spinning rods and plugs were the norm on the lakes for bass, perch, crappies, and the occasional lake trout.
I left the Syracuse area for college in New York City at N.Y. Maritime College. I graduated with a B.S. in Marine Transportation, a license as a deck officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine, and a commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve as a line officer. I sailed on cargo ships and tankers for a few years before taking shore side employment as a marine insurance underwriter, where I spent the next 37 years insuring cargo and ships of all types, working in Philadelphia, New Orleans and finally moving to San Francisco in 1978.
Twenty-one years ago I joined the GGACC after one of my wife's co-workers introduced me to fly fishing and fly casting at the ponds. I've loved it ever since and have fished mainly in northern California for trout, as well as Montana and the occasional GGACC fish out. My wife and I travel a lot and I'm always trying to take advantage of fishing opportunities elsewhere during those travels - even back to streams and lakes in NY and Pennsylvania.
The past few years of serving on the Board of the GGACC has given me the opportunity to meet many more members and to give back to the Club and the people who have taught me so much. It's an honor to part of the Board as it moves forward with new ideas and finds more ways to respond to the needs and interests of Club members.
Karen Mondon Scarpulla - Treasurer:
I became a member of GGACC about 3 ½ years ago when I expressed interest in learning how to tie flies to my college roommate. She told me that she always wanted to learn how to fly fish so we took a private lesson together - I fell in love with the sport, she did not. I began to appear regularly at the ponds during the week and was fortunate enough to meet the week day cast of characters led by Armando, who all encouraged and patiently guided me in learning the art of fly fishing. As I only live 10 minutes from the club, it has become a regular haunt for come and socialize, as well, as focus on perfecting my skills. There is no end to all there is to learn. I now feel confident enough to enjoy fishing in the delta and Mexico and am always looking forward to the next trip.
I am a native San Franciscan who grew up in the Richmond district with Golden Gate Park as my backyard. My father would frequently take my brother and I to the ponds as well as the archery range as kids, but I hadn’t been back since that time period. I have been a tax accountant in San Francisco for the past 40 years and when not working and fly fishing, my passion is to dance tango. I have been on several boards, always in the treasurer position. I have two sons, two daughters and two new grandchildren; hopefully I can entice one of them to try fly fishing.
Steve Stark - Conservation and the Spey O Rama
I grew up watching the San Francisco Bay fade away out the back window of the Vista Cruiser station wagon while the family headed off to Yosemite, Banff, Yellowstone or some other glorious wild place. My Grandfather, a legendary fishing enthusiast, lived on a TVA lake in Tennessee where we would sit with a can of corn and catch carp and blue gill. I enjoyed watching my father tie flies in his den.
He was mentored by Charles Barfield a member of the GGACC. I still have a bamboo EC Powell rod that Charles gave him.
From a springboard of high mountain lakes and streams, spinning rods and bobbers I dove into UC Berkeleys Forestry Department in the College of Natural Resources. I still enjoy advocating for the environment in any way that I can. I took to Fly Fishing more seriously after college. Exploring the Sierra , Whitefish Mt, Utah and Oregon with a 9’ 4wt rod. I married and went on family camping vacations every summer at Burney Falls fishing the Pit, Hat Creek, the Fall and the Upper Sac. I have enjoyed countless days not the McCloud at Bollibokk and have followed my fly rod from to the tip of South America to Eastern Russia to the Aleutian islands and Bristol Bay. Spey fishing has become my preferred method and the steelhead of the Pacific have stolen my heart. I dream of explosive tight-line grabs and screeching runs. I love how the craft and fellowship of fly fishing brings a common bond to like minded spirits all over the world.
I joined the GGACC 4 years ago and got involved by remodeling the kitchen and cooking for the Spey-o-rama and other events. I designed and had built the Smoker/BBQ that will grace the outdoor kitchen in the coming year and am co-chairing Spey O Rama next year. I also continue to be Talent Scout, Marketing Director, Host and Chief Bottle Washer for the Fireside Environmental Speaker Series. I have grown to love the club and the kindred membership that makes up our merry band. Being on the board is an exciting way so help out and I hope to get involved in more and more aspects of all the at the club does.
Lisa Pardini - Membership and Womens Program
I've always been drawn to rivers, oceans, and the outdoors. My "Zen" is wading in coastal rivers, throwing my spey rod, in hopes of catching a wild, chrome, steel head. Becoming a member of the GGACC 8 years ago was the catalyst for me learning how to fly fish and spey cast. Thanks to all of the great programs offered here, I have honed my skills as a fisherman and caster and have built lasting relationships with like-minded people.
I am a native San Franciscan, and live and work in this dynamic city. My other passions include my meditation practice and conservation work focused on keeping Northern California rivers and the wild fish populations that use them healthy and strong.
Ryan Stahl - Historian
I’ve fished my whole life, or at least since before I can remember. I grew up in Tennessee and Indiana and used to explore the ponds in our suburban neighborhood in elementary and middle school with a spinning rod my dad made for me. In the summer, we would travel up to Ludington, Michigan, and catch pike, salmon, and perch in Pere Marquette Lake and along the coast of Lake Michigan.
I bought my first fly rod in the late nineties at the Boat, Sport, and Travel show in Indianapolis. It got used mostly for panfish and bass early on, and I didn’t catch a Rainbow until a buddy of mine took me to the McCloud after I moved to the Bay Area in 2009. Since then, I’ve tried to explore wherever I can with a fly rod and especially love the Pit and Klamath Rivers and the Eastern Sierra. I’m a lawyer by profession, but have always been drawn to craft and am a self-taught rod builder and fly tier. I’ve lived in a lot of places - including two years in Ukraine where my wife and I met as Peace Corps Volunteers - but I’ve called California home since 2006 and have lived in Alameda since 2012. I discovered the World Series striper bite a few years ago, and now look forward to fall evenings each year casting in the Bay with a view of the nighttime San Francisco skyline. My wife and I have a son, and we both hope he'll grow to love the outdoors as much as we do.
The richness of the history of fly fishing in San Francisco amazes me. I’m excited to be a small part of stewarding that through involvement with GGACC.
Bruce Greenwood - Learning to Fly Fish:
Growing up in central Illinois—the Land of Lincoln, corn, and soybean fields—my fishing experience as a kid was a cane pole, a bobber, and a coffee can with worms we dug up behind my grandfather’s barn. I really had little interest in fishing of any sort until my wife and I were exploring the Sierra foothills near Grass Valley, California. After viewing anglers on the Lower Yuba and other lakes and streams in the area, she suggested I give it a try…I might like it.
That was about 10 years ago…I subsequently discovered the gem in Golden Gate Park called “the casting ponds” and have never looked back! After attending a bunch of second Saturday casting lessons and then joining as a member, I joined the GGACC Learn To Fly Fish program which was the perfect way for me “wade into” fly fishing for real. A goal I set for myself for retirement was to become more involved in GGACC club activities, and here I am leading the program that did so much for me.
I have found that I really enjoy everything about fly fishing, from simply getting out on the water, to the camaraderie, to making a decent cast on the ponds, to enjoying the many aspects of the club, and maybe catching a fish or two. I look forward to meeting and seeing you at the next club event!
Robbins Peek - Communications:
I decided to learn to fly fish about four years ago as an adjunct to the backpacking and hiking I have been doing in the mountains for decades. To that end, I started practicing at the casting ponds after many years of stopping and watching folks as I biked through Golden Gate Park.
I joined the GGACC and the LTFF program about three years ago. I have found the LTFF so useful both as a source of practical knowledge and as well as for making friends with a similarly experienced “cohort”. Weekly visits to the casting ponds have been rewarding to me, both for the knowledge and skills I’ve been casually gathering, but also for the camaraderie and support of the community.