Meet our Board Members:
President: Willy George
As a Master Casting Instructor certified by the International Federation of Fly Fishermen (IFFF), Willy teaches casting at the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, as well as at the Diablo Valley Fly Fishermen’s Club in Walnut Creek, CA. The Certified Master Casting Instructor is the highest level of accreditation from the IFFF. In 2015, Willy was selected to the Federation’s Casting Board of Governors and is the Co-Chair of the Casting Instructor Test Committee. He also directs casting instruction for the IFFF in Northern California.
Willy has been fly fishing for four decades and he enjoys sharing his passion for the sport with others. As a result, Willy has taught hundreds of fly fishing students from beginner to advanced over the years. He mentors future casting instructors though a CI Prep Program at GGACC which trains participants to be both skilled casters and competent instructors.
Willy is an accomplished fly fisherman in both fresh water and salt water, in the US and internationally. He has caught and released many trophy-sized game fish including multiple varieties of trout, bass, striped bass, steelhead, Atlantic & Pacific salmon, muskie, pike, walleye, shad, tarpon, permit, bonefish, redfish, snook, and trevally.
Willy is the co-founder of the San Francisco School of Fly Fishing and is on the Pro-Staff for CF Burkheimer Fly Rods, RIO, Simms, Hatch, Far Bank, and the California Fly Shop.
Vice President: Xav Carbonnet
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.
Secretary: Dick Yerian
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.
Events Calendar Coordinator: John Murphy
I joined the GGACC Board of Directors in 2015 and serve as the club’s Events Calendar Coordinator, responsible for the online posting of all club events and the resolution of conflicting activities that use the clubhouse and ponds. I joined the club in 2010 after first learning to fly cast that year in the club’s free casting lessons.
As one of the first to graduate from the club’s 3-year long Learn to Fly Fish Program and having later volunteered to manage the first two years of this program, I will be the program’s director next year, while still helping to teach its classes and mentor its many students on their fish-outs each year.
Having recently retired from an extremely time-consuming career as a mechanical construction estimator and project manager for large high-tech commercial and industrial projects throughout the state, I am very happy to have more time now to give back to the club for helping me find my great passion (fly fishing!) and all the joy it brings me.
I was raised in Montana as an avid hunter and spin fisherman (I just didn’t know any better then). I attended Stanford University where, after a stint in the Marine Corps, I finally graduated in 1975 with both BS and MS degrees in Civil Engineering. My wife Linda doesn’t fish, but (thankfully) is very understanding. We have one son, Kevin, who is married. He is a special education teacher in South Korea right now.
Treasurer: Adam Dwinells
Adam has been Treasurer of the GGACC since 2013 and has been a member of the Club since 2007. Adam lives in San Francisco with his wife and his two young sons. Adam is a Principal and Head of Portfolio Management at DCI, an institutional asset management firm in the city. When he is not trading corporate bonds or chasing after his boys, Adam is likely thinking about fishing for wild trout in the small streams of the Sierra.
Membership: Stephen Hegedus
Steve Hegedus is an architect who lives in San Francisco with his wife and son. In his professional life, Steve specializes in complex, urban infill housing and retail developments in the Bay Area. As an angler, he got his introduction to fly fishing on the Middle Fork San Joaquin River while vacationing in Mammoth Lakes. That first experience of catching a brown trout on a dry fly has set him on a path to pursue fly fishing with rigor and purpose.
While on that trip in Mammoth, a local fly fisher suggested he look into the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club. Since that time, for Steve the GGACC has become a place of respite where he can focus on continually evolving his skills while being immersed in the club’s rich history and contribution to fly fishing. It is his goal to give back to the club by promoting the benefits of club membership and involvement.
Rod Building Program & Anthology: Larry Kenney
I grew up in San Francisco's Marina District where as a boy I fished the local piers and beaches and tagged after my father in the Sierra for trout and the coast for steelhead. I attended public schools in the city, then UC Berkeley for undergraduate and graduate degrees. I¹ve fly fished for widely for over half a century, seduced first by small trout who didn¹t care how badly I cast, then by large steelhead and saltwater fish who cared a lot. After a stint as an adjunct composition and literature instructor at Berkeley and a local community college, I fled academia to join Harry Wilson and help start the Scott Fly Rod Company in San Francisco. I was with Scott for 21 years as apprentice, rod maker and designer, head of marketing and company president. I spent another decade as advertising director for a group of fly fishing magazines and have been a contributing editor at California Fly Fisher for almost 20 years. After ten years living on the Umpqua River in Oregon I moved back to San Francisco in 2003 and currently reside in Marin with my partner Susan and our dog Tippet. The GGACC ponds and the club¹s talented membership have been an important part of my angling life since the 1970s, though I only became a member in 2004. I¹m proud to serve as a club Director at a time when the GGACC is simultaneously modernizing and burnishing its unique heritage.
Communications: Gene Weber
My grandfather taught me to fish for bluegills in suburban NYC. I recall first casting a fly rod about age 10 - a close family friend taught me by cinching his belt around my chest and upper arm. I progressed to trout fishing in the Adirondacks, and when I moved to California in 1977 I discovered the Sierras, and then Alaska. Next it was on to saltwater flats fishing in the 80s; it was then that I realized my fly casting needed a lot of work. I found my way to the GGACC in the early 90s, and joined with my two young daughters. It was at the ponds where I had my first spey lesson in 2005. Now my fishing life revolves around the GGACC, the Trinity, Lower Sac, and annual trips all over the world with my buddies.
My day job is Managing Partner of Weber Capital Management, LLC in San Francisco, an investment management firm I founded in 1994. I received a MBA from Wharton and a BS from the School of Electrical Engineering at Cornell, where I am on the Advisory Board. My daughter Scotty is an MBA candidate at UCLA, and Paige is Creative Lead for The Week Publications in NYC.
I am honored and proud to serve my fellow members of the GGACC.
Board Member: Libby Wolfensperger
I became a member of GGACC about 5 years ago, when I first decided to take the fishing classes. I had fished off an on with my brother previously, and got the fly fishing bug. I wanted to learn more about trout fishing and be more independent, so I signed up for the class at GGACC and here I am five years later volunteering and enjoying fishing more than ever.
I live in San Francisco and spent most of my life here 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.