The purpose of The Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club (GGACC) is to promote the sport of fly fishing and fly and plug casting. Angling and casting clubs have an illustrious history in nearly every improvement in fishing rods, reels and lines that are used by fishermen today. A fisherman who actively participates in a club like the GGACC will become a better fisherman.
The GGACC was organized in June 1933 as an offshoot of the San Francisco Fly Casting Club. The San Francisco Fly Casting Club, the second oldest casting club in the U.S., was founded in 1894, when the first tournament was held as Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. The world's single-handed fly casting record of 133 ft. was established by club president Walter Mansfield in 1899, and held for 35 years to 1934. He also cast a 5 oz. fly rod 129 1/2 feet at a 1902 tournament.
The San Francisco Fly Casting Club had a lodge on Stow Lake and a lodge on the Truckee River. The membership was limited to 100 who were responsible for the upkeep of both lodges, plus 50 associate members who had access only to the Stow Lake lodge. During the Great Depression in 1933, the GGACC was formed from the San Francisco Fly Casting Club and took over the former San Francisco Fly Casting Club's facilities at Stow Lake. The parting was both amiable and generous.
The Stow Lake clubhouse was only a modified shed and Stow Lake itself could only accommodate a few casters at a time. The GGACC discovered that the Portland, Oregon, Casting Club had persuaded the Work Project Administration (WPA) to build casting ponds in Portland. The GGACC encouraged the Golden Gate Park directors and the WPA to construct the present Anglers' lodge and casting ponds in 1938. These may be the finest casting facilities in the world. The first national tournament was held in 1939 at the newly dedicated facilities. Other national tournaments were held at the clubhouse in 1950, 1956, 1981, 1993 and 1998.
Members of the club have been responsible for many innovations in fishing equipment. The major features of the popular Pfleuger "Medalist" fly reel was 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. produced fly rods of astounding lightness and power. Later Jim Green introduced the first glass-to-glass ferrule and created innumerable refinements in rod taper, both for Fenwick and earlier rod manufacturers. Jim 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 tapers.
GGACC Club 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, which superseded the old silk lines. 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 in 1946 and revolutionized fly casting. The use of shooting heads as a fishing technique was pioneered by club members.
The standardization of fly lines by weight rather than diameter and the adoption of a line classification scheme used by both rod and line manufacturers has greatly simplified fly fishing. Myron Gregory and Art Agnew of Sunset Lines led this standardization both nationally and worldwide.
GGACC members have been responsible of many innovations in fly patterns and fly materials as well. Gene Burns introduced Day-Glo flourescents with John Gardner in 1947 as fly body material. The Horner Deer Hair, Horner Shrimp and Halvorsen's Barley Sack (or Burlap) and many other fly patterns came from the GGACC.
In tournament casting, the GGACC has held an unparalleled dominance for the past 30 years. Jon Tarantino, from the early 1950's and Steve Rajeff, from the mid-1970's were All-Around Champions both in the national and international arenas.