JBAC fishing forum

Panelists and audience during the 2016 Fly Fishing Forum Series.

News & Events

Joan Wulff: “First Lady of Fly Fishing”

October 27, 2018

Joan Wulff demonstrates casting

Joan Wulff demonstrates casting with her signature teaching tool.

Once again, the house was packed, as “First Lady” Joan Wulff and her associate Jen Grossman took the floor to tell the story of her remarkable life and career in the angling world. Hooked on fishing at a very early age, she rose to prominence as a National Casting Champion, winning competitions for both distance (161 feet!) and accuracy from 1943-1960. In the late 1970s, she and her husband, Lee Wulff, opened the Wulff School of Fly Fishing in Lew Beach on the Upper Beaverkill.Joan is widely known for her pioneering set of fly casting mechanics, presented in her book “Fly Casting Techniques” and instructional video, “Dynamics of Fly Casting.” She has authored two other books on casting and one on fishing from a woman’s perspective, and she penned a column for Fly Rod & Reel Magazine about casting for 22 years. In 2007, she was elected to the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame. As an author, mentor, teacher and legend, Joan's contribution to fly fishing is truly awe-inspiring, and we were thrilled to help celebrate her many accomplishments. 

 

Sporting Clubs: Saviors of our Catskill Rivers

April 28, 2018

Sporting Clubs presentation

We had a full house on April 28, as author Austin 'Mac' Francis and Bethia Waterman discussed the history and origins of sporting clubs and preserves, both public and private, in the Catskills. By the late nineteenth century, overfishing, pollution and deforestation had devastated Catskill streams. In response, groups of sportsmen founded organizations like Phoenicia Fish and Game to protect streams and forest lands. Some became advocates and activists for environmental conservation, achieving landmark reforms and protections. Stay tuned as we post photos and a link to the event podcast in the coming weeks.

 

Austin McK. Francis is owner and publisher of The Beaverkill Press, a small literary press specializing in sporting and outdoors books. He is the author of Land of Little Rivers and Catskill Rivers, Birthplace of American Flyfishing. Bethia Waterman is one of the founders of the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection and a resident of the Town of Shandaken.

  • Speakers at the Sporting Clubs event
  • Map from Land of Little Rivers”
  • Sporting Clubs talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Catskill Rivers book
  • Sporting Clubs talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Sporting Clubs promotional brochure
  • Sporting Clubs reception after the talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Sporting Clubs reception at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Sporting Clubs memorabilia at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Hunting and fishing licenses
  • Save the Esopus bumber sticker

Get the Sporting Clubs transcript




Nick Lyons: A Life Well Fished

December 2, 2017

Nick Lyons, a titan in the field of books about fishing, joined us on December 2 for a memorable talk about his life and work. Before a full house, Nick reminisced about a lifetime of fishing, told some of his favorite stories, and answered questions. His generous donation of many of his books, which he signed for attendees, helped raise funds for the collection. Thank you, Nick! Listen to the podcast of the event or download the transcript, below.

  • A full house at the Nick Lyons talk
  • Nick Lyons talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Nick Lyons talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Nick Lyons talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Nick Lyons talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Nick Lyons talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library
  • Nick Lyons talk at the Jerry Bartlett Angling Collection at the Phoencia Library

Get the Nick Lyons transcript




Catching of Old Bess and the History of Rainbow Lodge

October 14, 2017

The family of Larry Decker entertained a full house with the epic story of the 1955 capture of the elusive and wily trout, "Old Bess," and Ed Kahil shared his scrapbook and memories from his family's legendary lodge for fishermen. Enjoy Larry Decker memorabilia and rare historic photos of the Rainbow Lodge in its heyday,listen to the podcasts of the event or download the transcripts, below.

  • The Decker family
  • Automatic reel
  • Photo of Larry Decker
  • Outdoor Life magazine
  • Larry Decker's fly box
  • Ed Kahil
  • Ed Kahil
  • Ed Kahil
  • Starlight Lodge
  • Business Card
  • The Mt. Tremper lodge
  • The cottage
  • The Lodge in winter
  • Dick Kahil and the artist John Pike
  • The bar
  • Cooking steaks
  • Dick Kahil and Mickey Mantle
  • Opening day in Mt. Tremper
  • Deer hunters
  • Baking fruitcakes
  • Preston Jennings
  • Fly tying
  • Pappy
  • Pappy
  • Floyd Smith
  • Larry Decker
  • Larry Decker and Old Bess
  • Measuring Old Bess
  • news clipping
  • Outdoor Life
  • Larry Decker
  • Kahil siblings
  • Dick Kahil fishing
  • trout limit
  • Larry Decker fishing gear
  • Guest with large fish
  • Rainbow Lodge sign
  • Angling still life
  • Young Ed Kahil
  • Ed Kahil as teenager
  • Jake with fish




Events from the 20th Anniversary Celebration: Catskill Fishing Fever Forums showcase local fishing history, tradition and celebrities

In commemoration of our 20th Anniversary, the Jerry Bartlett Collection hosted a four-part series of lively discussions about the history of fishing in the Catskills. All the events were held in the community meeting room in the Phoenicia Library, on Main Street, Phoenicia.

July 23, 2016: “On the River with Authors, Guides and Catskill Characters.” Moderated by local historian Bill Birns, local authors and fishing guides shared their stories about fishing legends Ralph Hoffman, Paul O'Neil and Ray Smith, and their own experiences from a lifetime of fishing on the river. You can listen to the podcast of the event or download the transcript, below.



May 14, 2016: “Fishy Tales.” Active and retired DEC folks took us along on a wide ranging discussion of topics like their major battles, Catskill Bill Kelly, fishery management crises and public fishing rights. Moderated by Outdoor Writer Judy Van Put, the panel featured Jack Isaacs, Walt Keller, Mike Gann and Ed Van Put. You can listen to the podcast or download the transcript, below.


  • Beth Waterman
  • Wayne Elliot
  • Beth Waterman
  • Outdoor writer Judy Van Put
  • Walt Keller
  • Walt Keller
  • Walt Keller
  • Walt Keller
  • Mike Gann
  • Mike Gann
  • Mike Gann
  • Mike Gann
  • Mike Gann
  • Mike Gann
  • Jack Isaacs
  • Jack Isaacs
  • Jack Isaacs
  • Ed Van Put
  • Ed Van Put
  • Ed Van Put
  • Judy Van Put
  • Beth Waterman
  • Beth Waterman
  • Judy Van Put
  • Fishing Forum Panel
  • Fishing Forum Panel
  • Fishing Forum Panel




April 16, 2016: “Art Flick, Author, Fly Tyer and Conservationist.” Panelists Judd Weisberg, Wendy Neefus, Tony Bonavist, John Hoeko, Dave Brandt and Bert Darrow shared personal anecdotes and reminiscences about Art Flick, and discussed the impact of his essential Streamside Guide to Naturals and Their Imitations, as well as his important conservation efforts on the Schoharie. You can listen to the podcast or download the transcript, below.

  • Beth Waterman opens the Forum with a film
  • A Day of Fishing with Art Flick by Wendy Neefus
  • Art fished his beloved Schoharie Creek
  • A favorite fly for the Schoharie
  • Bill Birns moderates the panel
  • Fishing guide Judd Weisberg met Art as a teenager
  • Fishing instructor and author Bert Darrow
  • Bert and fishing guide Dave Brandt
  • Environmentalist and fly shop owner John Hoeko
  • Retired DEC biologist and author Tony Bonavist
  • Photographer Wendy Neefus
  • Discussion begins with the video
  • Dave remembers Art's conservation efforts
  • John and Art worked on Catskill Waters together
  • Bert talked about the Art Flick Memorial on Route 23
  • Showing the biography of Art
  • A photo of the monument to Art
  • Little Green Book
  • The Streamside Guide
  • The full panel
  • A collection of flies tied by Art Flick
  • A page from the Streamside Guide
  • Moderator Bill Birns
  • Bert and Dave
  • A box of Art Flick originals
  • John examines the Art Flick fly box
  • A later edition of the Streamside Guide
  • The full panel
  • Dave Brandt and John Hoeko
  • A highly entertaining event!
  • After the Forum, Judd Weisberg
  • Hank Rope and Dave Brandt
  • Roger Menard and Beth Waterman
  • Bert Darrow and Forum attendee
  • Dave Brandt and Lisa Menard
  • A number of artifacts were on view





March 19, 2016: “Frank Mele, the Fisherman, Author and Activist.” Moderated by local historian Bill Birns, the panel discussed Frank's life and writings, and his contribution to the organization Catskill Waters and its campaign for increased water releases into the Catskill system in the 1970s. The panel included Frank's son, Andy Mele, as well as John Hoeko, Roger Menard and Tony Bonavist. You can listen to the podcast or download the transcript, below.


  • Setting up the mikes
  • Doris Bartlett & Beth Waterman
  • The panelists
  • Moderator Bill Birns
  • Andy Mele, Frank's son
  • Tony Bonavist
  • John Hoeko & Andy Mele
  • John Hoeko
  • John Hoeko
  • Roger Menard & Bill Birns
  • Mele's book
  • A later edition
  • Mele's book
  • Mele's famous tobacco
  • The Aberdeen Can
  • His pipe
  • Tony Bonavist
  • Roger's remembrances
  • John Hoeko & Andy Mele
  • Comments from Judd Weisberg
  • Judd Weisberg
  • Reading a passage from Mele's book
  • Questions
  • 24_Comments from the audience
  • In the audience
  • Q&A
  • And comments
  • Roger Menard
  • wowslider.com
  • After the Forum