SAN FRANCISCO – In partnership with the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club (GGACC), the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (SF Rec & Parks) announced the celebration of the 80th anniversary of Anglers Lodge and Casting Pond in Golden Gate Park. A celebration is scheduled on Saturday, May 12th, that will include brief remarks from city leaders, free casting lessons and a barbecue social at Anglers Lodge.
“For more than 80 years, the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club and its robust membership, have innovated fly fishing techniques and equipment. They have also provided a place for people to gather, learn, and relax in the heart of Golden Gate Park,” said District 11 State Senator Scott Wiener. “Congratulations to them on the Anglers Lodge and Casting Pond’s 80th anniversary and thanks to them for providing a public space for all San Franciscans.”
“The Anglers Lodge is a hidden gem in Golden Gate Park surrounded by serene casting pools and lush green foliage. One only needs to visit the lodge to see the love of fishing in the memorabilia, the people who care for the lodge, and the resources available there,” said District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer whose district includes the Anglers Lodge. “So happy and proud that the lodge has served San Franciscans for 80 years and will continue to be an institutionalized resource for all who visit it. Happy 80th birthday to the Anglers Lodge!”
Established in 1933, and celebrating its 85th Anniversary, today the GGACC is the largest angling and casting club in the country with more than 1,000 members. The Club hosts free fly casting lessons at Anglers Lodge and Casting Pond in Golden Gate Park on the second Saturday of each month from 9:30AM to noon year-round. Each month casting instructors often teach more than 120 students, at four different skill levels ranging from Beginner through Advanced. Free gear rental is available and a free lunch is provided. More information is available at the GGACC website www.ggacc.org under the Calendar Events tab. Participants are encouraged but not required to register online to help with event planning.
And on May 12th, GGACC will also offer everyone free rod rentals and casting lessons starting at 9:30AM, then the Club will also offer SF Rec & Parks’ Greenagers free casting lessons starting at 3:000PM. Greeagers, is a Youth Leadership Program under the umbrella of the SF Rec & Parks’ Youth Stewardship Program (YSP). YSP offers teens, from underserved neighborhoods in San Francisco, a chance to play an important role in the community by improving our city’s green spaces and raising awareness.
“We are inspired by the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club’s dedication to refining the fishing sports and continuing the traditions, they have shown commitment to sharing their passion and welcoming everyone to join them by offering them free lessons,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec & Parks’ General Manager. “There are generations of stories of San Francisco family and community bonds to be told inside the Lodge and at the edge of the Casting Pond in Golden Gate Park. We are honored to be celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Anglers Lodge today.”
“The Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club, America’s largest fly fishing club, is truly blessed to have access to world class facilities in the Golden Gate Park’s Anglers Lodge and Casting Ponds, celebrating their 80th Anniversary this year” said Willy George, GGACC President. “But it is our strong working relationship with the fine folks at SF Rec & Parks that enables GGACC to provide such a breadth of fly fishing related, community outreach programs.”
Originally part of the San Francisco Fly-Casting Club began in 1894, built its first clubhouse on the edge of Stow Lake, where it also held practices and tournaments in 1928, the GGACC was formed in 1933. Then in 1938, the Club relocated the clubhouse to its current site by the Bison Paddock in Golden Gate Park. The Anglers Lodge, as well as the Casting Pond were erected with the help from Work Project Administration (WPA).
Today, the Lodge remains to be a charming rustic cottage of redwood and field stone with hand-hewn window frames, and wrought iron. The leaded glass panel depicting a fishing fly came from the front door of the original 1928 lodge. And the Casting Pond, comprised of three huge, shallow concrete-lined tanks, provides a variety of targets for casting practice with no live fish. The first national tournament was held in 1939 at the newly dedicated facilities.
Over the years, GGACC has continued its commitment to the sports as well as the protection of the ecosystem that supports the sports. Beginning in 2017, the GGACC proudly funded an annual scholarship at Humboldt State University in support of an advanced degree in the Fisheries Biology Department. The scholarship is a reflection of GGACC’s commitment to community and conservation with a specific focus on supporting the sustainability of Northern California steelhead, salmon, and trout fisheries. The GGACC’s conservation committee’s ongoing work will support the scholarship at Humboldt State as well as focus on outreach with other conservation institutions and volunteer organizations.