The Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club (GGACC) was organized in June 1933 as an offshoot of the San Francisco Fly Casting Club (SFFC), which itself was formed in 1894. GGACC is one of the oldest, largest, and most storied angling and casting clubs in the world. GGACC occupies the Angler’s Lodge in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, which - along with the casting pools directly adjacent to the Lodge - were built in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration.
Since its inception, the Club has served as a hub of innovation related to all aspects of angling and casting. The major features of the once-ubiquitous Pfleuger Medalist fly reel were designed by a Club member. The hollow fluted bamboo rods of R.L. Winston Rod Co. and the cedar center hollow construction of E.C. Powell Rod Co. - also designed by Club members - produced astounding lightness and power. Club member Jim Green introduced the first glass-to-glass ferrule and created innumerable refinements in rod taper, both for Fenwick and earlier rod manufacturers. Green designed and built the first graphite fly rods and was a pioneer in using boron for fly rods. Jon Tarantino worked with R.L. Winston, Scientific Anglers, and Hardy Brothers of England to develop new rod tapers. John S. Benn - a founding member of SFFC - was for decades San Francisco’s most prominent fly tyer and created many of the patterns that were first used to catch steelhead on swung flies in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest.
GGACC members were in the forefront of creating new fly lines for distance casting using new tapers and materials such as nylon, dacron, and bonded plastic. The prototype high density fly lines of today were created by members working closely with Sunset Line Company of Petaluma and other major line manufacturers. Members Phil Miravalle and Jim Green introduced monofilament as a running line for distance fly casting and revolutionized fly casting. The use of shooting heads as a fishing technique was pioneered by Club members.
The video below was taken in 1938 and is a gift to the Club by member Alice Gillibert by way of the GGACC Foundation and Tripp Diedrichs. The still you see below is group shot of Club members watching Jimmy Green cast a wet fly. As this video is very old, there is no sound.
GGACC has held and regularly holds national and international casting competitions. The Club hosted national casting tournaments in 1939, 1950, 1956, 1981, 1993, and 1998, and currently hosts the annual world championship in Spey casting - Spey-o-rama - each April. In tournament casting, GGACC has held an unparalleled dominance since the 1950s. Jon Tarantino, from the early 1950s and Steve Rajeff, from the mid-1970s, were All-Around Champions both in the national and international arenas. In 2016, current member Maxine McCormick became the youngest world casting champion at age twelve by winning the women’s World Casting Championship in Estonia.