Since the founding of the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club (GGACC) in 1933 and the construction of the world famous casting ponds in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in 1938, GGACC has always had a tradition of providing quality casting instruction to its members and the general public. Recently, one of the most celebrated casting instructors of our time, Mel Krieger, routinely conducted casting lessons at the GG ponds. Since Mel's passing in 2008, several of the instructors that he personally trained, have continued teaching in his tradition.
GGACC's current Head Casting Instructor is Willy George, an FFI Certified Master Casting Instructor (MCI) who trained under Mel Krieger. The MCI is the highest level of instructor certification bestowed by Fly Fishers International (FFI). Willy also sits on the FFI Casting Board of Governors (which was founded my Mel) and its Executive Committee and trains and certifies future casting instructors as an authorized FFI Test Examiner. Willy is the Director of Casting Instruction for the Northern California Council of the FFI and is on faculty at Stanford University where he teaches their first ever credited, introduction to fly fishing course. The volunteer casting instructors at GGACC are all personally trained by Willy to provide quality casting instruction using the methodology developed by the FFI and in the tradition and inspirational spirit of Mel Krieger.
The Casting Instruction Program at GGACC includes:
On the second Saturday of each month year-round, GGACC hosts its popular Free Monthly Casting Lessons for Members and the General Public. All classes are held at the Golden Gate casting ponds in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Classes begin at 9:30 AM and conclude at 12 Noon. A free lunch is then provided by GGACC. After lunch, a free Skills Building session is held in the Angler's Lodge clubhouse to further assist with the students' fly fishing education (see description elsewhere on this website).
All casting instruction is provided by specially trained, qualified teachers using standardized, proven teaching methodologies and carefully crafted lesson plans designed for group instruction. The casting instructors at GGACC are recognized by the global casting community as some of the finest fly casters and instructors in the world. They participate on an entirely volunteer basis and are committed to taking our student casting abilities to the highest levels possible.
Four different levels, listed below, are taught concurrently in separate cohorts, each run by a Lead Instructor. Students are welcome to choose their own training level or can ask any of the instructors for advice on a best fit for their interests and abilities.
Periodically we also offer students an opportunity to participate in the popular FFI Casting Skills Challenge as a low key, fun way to assess your current level of casting competency. Participants discover which casting skills they should be practicing. This is done on a completely voluntary basis. Ask your casting instructor for more information.
The free casting lessons described above are the number one way that GGACC attracts new members but you do not need to be a member to join us. No prior casting or fly fishing experience is necessary and free loaner equipment is provided on a first come, first served basis.
Interested students should check the GGACC Events Calendar on this website for specific dates and more detailed information. Participants should be sure to Register on the Events Calendar.
The Casting Instructor Development Program at GGACC was developed by Willy George to build a cadre of specially trained, qualified casting instructors to fill the numerous casting instructor needs of GGACC, including the Free Monthly Casting Lessons. To enter the Program, candidates must first exhibit casting skills at the highest possible level. Then they must demonstrate a commitment to further skill improvement including becoming a teacher of fly casting. Many of our current casting instructors are "home grown" having started as GGACC students.
These instructors learn to teach casting using standardized, proven teaching methodologies and carefully crafted lesson plans designed for group instruction. Our expert instructors also help new candidates become better casters by understanding casting mechanics and loop dynamics. Before we ask new instructors to teach students or lead a casting lesson, we allow them to "shadow" an experienced instructor. We also help candidates to diagnose and solve casting problems at all skill levels.
The Casting Instructor Development Program meets monthly on the second Saturday of each month. Their morning is spent teaching students in the free casting lessons. In the afternoon, the instructors become "students" once again to learn the art and science of casting instruction. The time commitment is significant but very rewarding. Several of these casting instructors have progressed to the level where they are prepared to take the rigorous, multi-hour FFI Casting Instructor certification test. For those who are interested and able, this journey takes on an additional commitment of time and effort. Certification candidates sometimes train for several years before being truly ready for the test. The GGACC Casting Instructor Development Program is recognized as one of the premier programs in the world to train for the FFI certification exams.
If you are interested in joining the Casting Instructor Development Program to become a casting instructor at GGACC and to possibly train for the FFI Casting Instructor certification test, please contact Willy George.
GGACC Head Casting Instructor