Granite Bay Flycasters was founded in 1986 in Granite Bay, California. Many of our founding members are still active in the club today. An early project of GBF was the construction of the Activity Center in the woods of Folsom Lake Park near the Granite Bay boat ramps where we still meet on the second Thursday every month.
Over the years GBF has grown from a nucleus of less than 20 members to approximately 230 members today, counting both single and family memberships. Some members’ children are now grown up and continue to be active in GBF’s many activities, which include education, conservation, and recreational programs and projects such as casting classes, stream rehabilitation and fishouts to many local and remote streams, lakes, Delta, and ocean.
It has been a tradition at GBF for veteran members to help new members who are just learning about flyfishing and the wonderful outdoor Sierra environment at our doorstep. All levels of proficiency from uninitiated beginners to experienced flyfishers are among GBF’s membership.
GBF has contributed much to the local community and to many state-wide California wildlife and watershed resources for the purpose of preserving these precious assets for our future generations to enjoy. GBF annually contributes both hands-on volunteer labor and financial resources from our members and generous sponsors. Our contributions typically exceed $10,000 per year. Many local and national organizations are supported, including the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Nature Conservancy, Placer Legacy, CalTrout, Trout Unlimited, and the California Sport Fishing Alliance. In addition, GBF funds an annual scholarship of $2,000 for a deserving Humboldt State University graduate student involved in fishery research.
We invite you to explore our website and learn more about Granite Bay Flycasters’ mission. You are also welcome to visit at our monthly meetings, meet our members, and learn more about how you can participate and become a member.
Now, here’s an exerpt from a couple of old Leader newsletter issues from about eight years ago with a more detailed GBF history from someone who was there – GBF Historian and Charter Member, Warren Schoenemann.
Granite Bay Flycasters – The First Year
Well, here we are in our eighteenth year as the Finest Northern California fly fishing club. Many of the GBF membership have not been with the club FOREVER as I have, and may wonder how we came about, what happened during the formation of GBF, and what has transpired through the years. Through the next few issues of the “Leader” I will attempt to enlighten you and put into print the events of those formative years. And review all the happenings we went through to the present year as have been recorded in the annals of the club records, and from time to time some events as I recall them.
At present I have three huge boxes of club records and newspaper articles, three large 3-ring binders of Board minutes, and thousands of wonderful memories of fish outs, club events, and just plain old general knowledge to draw from so lets get started. Sometime in the late Summer/early Fall of 1985 a Park Ranger (Jeff Herman), a fly shop owner (Terry Hellekson and son Stan), and a few local Fly fishers gathered in the Multi-purpose room of the old Roseville High school to form a new club for the North Sacramento/South Placer fishers. We hashed around many topics and ideas of a club and decided to appoint (anyone who would volunteer) as part of the formation committee.
So on a cold December 5th, in ’85 we all met again in the MP room at Roseville High to put in motion the new Granite Bay Fly Fishers. First Official permanent Officers were: President Nicolai Laqualia, VP Peter Dibble, Secretary Warren Schoenmann, Treasurer Fred Zimmerman. Several Committee Chair-persons were also assigned to get the club off the ground and running, and yes we even had a Youth Member Chairman Tom Dibble (Pete’s son). We had to get a membership, create Rules and regulations for the club to operate under, plan outings, get volunteers for what was rapidly coming together. We even had a published newsletter for this, our first club meeting “Granite Bay Fly Fishers” Vol. 1 no. 1. You’ll find a copy of the first Leader here dated December 30, 1985.
Board meetings would be held at “Studio Nicloai” on Vernon street and Club meetings would be held in the MP room until we could get our next big project , the clubhouse, (already offered in previous discussion) underway.
During the December 10th, 1985 meeting, a name was proposed for the club: “The Granite Bay Fly Fishers”, (4 words) and the Editor Fred Zimmerman “took editorial license” as he stated, and proposed “The Leader” as the unofficial name of the club newsletter. The president requested that each of us think about a name for the club, sketch a logo and we would vote on it next meeting. Later we decided to change the name to “Granite Bay Fly Casters” (4 words). In January 1986 we officially became the Granite Bay Flycasters (3 words).
With Officers nominated, and committee Heads assigned we had a very short time to decide whether or not we wanted to tackle the job of building a clubhouse that had been offered by the Folsom Parks and Recreation District Ranger (Jeff Herman), and decide now before some other club accepted the option. The vote was unanimous, so we met with Park Officials to cement the agreement of the clubhouse building relocation and renovation project.
There were three small buildings scattered around Granite Bay lakeshore that were either to be destroyed or moved together somewhere and become one large “Activity Center”. The word went out and all the new club membership donated many, many weekends and evenings to set piers, move the buildings in place, and complete the task of creating the interior and exterior of the clubhouse. Though we were instrumental in completing the project, two other local clubs (Granite Bay Lions Club and Folsom Lake Trail Patrol) also donated their time and skills to bring this project together.
Through the years it has proven to be a very worthwhile first endeavor of a great bunch of diverse people. This in itself got the club off to a great start and provided the solid backbone of the club and its camaraderie that exists today. Actual work on the building project started January 6, 1986, and first Official club meeting was held there March 13, 1986. An excerpt from the March newsletter: “Please be there by 7:15 PM, bring mosquito repellent and a chair if you don’t want to sit on the floor”.
The clubhouse was far from complete: no electricity (we used a generator), and you had to step up to get inside ‘cuz the front deck and cover weren’t built either. Interior was a little short of lighting and walls were bare, but we had a good first club meeting.
April brought the completion of the interior and exterior of the building and ribbon cutting ceremony was held by the club on the afternoon of May 10th. The kitchen, storage rooms and many other amenities weren’t in yet including the heating/air conditioning but we had a clubhouse to use.
At the April ’86 meeting the logo committee met and selected the 3 final sketches for our club logo for vote by the membership. July meeting we voted on the club logo and it was printed on that month’s cover of the Leader for all to see. The call went out for membership to decide on badges, lapel pins, patches, etc. for the members to wear, and in August we sent our first order for club wear. Those of you who go way back will remember the square patch that was sewn on the original blue corduroy caps, sewn into the light blue polo shirts and tan club jackets.
Throughout the year many improvements were made to the clubhouse. Lots of major items were donated by members, like a refrigerator, stove, microwave, kitchen cabinets, coffee makers, pots and pans, projection screen, window mini blinds, etc. and by the end of the year we had a real functioning club and clubhouse. Found an item in the September ’86 Leader.. “The clubhouse is now 85% complete, and work will continue every Thursday night (after meetings) until complete”.
We even managed to get a committee together and manned the Registration table for the Federation conclave at Kings Beach in September, our first year. The conclave was a great and successful event, we even had snow the first day of the convention.
The First annual dinner was held on December 11. The event was catered by a local restaurant and was limited to the first 125 who purchased tickets, because it was held at the clubhouse, and the local fire dept. restricted us to 125 persons. In spite of the close proximity and restrictions in the clubhouse all enjoyed the dinner and had a great time with our guest speaker Mr. Mel Krieger.
Well that’s the way we all became the GBF bunch. Hope you enjoyed the history lesson and I’ll try to get the next year or so details in print for a near future newsletter.
GBF – The Second Year
Well the club made it through the first and most difficult year with flying colors. They say, if you make through the first year you’ll probably prosper forever. Well we did…and we are. Thanks to the many people who persevered during that first 12 months and gave it their all and more. I think a little later we’ll call them “Charter members”, and they can wear their name badges (logo inscribed) with pride.
Here we are going stronger than ever as we begin our second year. We have just elected an almost new slate of Officers, Directors, and Committee Chairpersons (I was too slow to say no, and here I am again – still Club Secretary). Elected were: Morry Schlesinger, President, Jim Victorine VP, and Dave Davy, Treasurer. NOTE: It was difficult to get volunteers then too, so some of us did double duty as Officers and Directors and Chairpersons. It was still a fun and rewarding time. I especially liked to participate in the club formation, and watch it grow and develop into the great club it has become. Sometimes we all were so busy we didn’t get a newsletter out for the month. We missed at least 3 this year that I know of. The February Leader had a “Centerfold” insert. Not very sexy though; it was a club survey from the President asking each member to put in writing what they wanted the club to be and what the club goals should be. WOW, did we get told what to do! There were many suggestions that have now become monthly and annual functions of the club.
Some new members to the club (and I know you’ll remember them): Morry Schlesinger, President, who later was instrumental in drafting the club bylaws, Jim Victorine, VP (a local Grand Master Fly Tyer, aka old handlebars – “remember his mustache”); it took a pound of wax to keep that puppy in form. You will remember Jim at all the ISE Expos in the tying theater. Dave Davy, was a retired accountant, and, believe me; he kept us and the financial books straight. Better have the receipts or cough up the money when you dealt with Dave. He saved our bacon many times in dealing with local, State & the Feds in accounting for our expenditures.
By now some of us were starting to tire of handling too many jobs at one time, and our raffle (which we all tried our hand at running) was starting to fail, so we called on an expert and not at all bashful lady of the club to bail us out. And what a job she did. Where was she hiding all this time anyway? Ticket sales for the raffle tripled the first night, and the raffle was self-supporting from that point on. Who was it??? Why none other than the demure Marie Stull, who also later became a President of the club.
Those are but a few of the people that helped form the club and jumped in with both feet to help the club when help was needed most. When the going gets tough, the tough get going, that was our motto way back then. And as a matter of fact I think it still is the mode of the club.
Well we, as a club, were doing great, but still had some very important business to complete immediately. Morry Schlesinger, Frank Stolten, and I were assigned the task of incorporation, non-profit status, and creating the by-laws. And who do you think was assigned the job of conducting an internal audit of the financial records? You guessed it, Mr. Davy. And a right smart job he did of putting us in order, and “realigned our spending and receipting” habits, I think is how he put it.
We still needed one more Director, a membership Chair, Newsletter editor, and Librarian. Some guy named Ken Winkleblack raised his hand to ask a question and is now a Club Director. No one dared to move for the rest of the club meeting, so I get the Librarian job, Morry gets to do double duty on the editor job with the help of a new member who I remember has helped us out on several other occasions; Marge Vingom. Oh yes, and we later talked her into accepting the job as Membership Chair. She later held several other club positions as well through the years, and we now know her as Marge Dey.
So now we continue on developing and honing all of the above and successfully complete our second year as the greatest new start flyfishing club around.