JBAC fishing forum

Panelists and audience during the 2016 Fly Fishing Forum Series.

News & Events

Nick Lyons: A Life Well Fished

December 2, 2017, 1pm–2:30pm (RESCHEDULED!)

Nick Lyons is a titan in the field of books about fishing. Is there more written about angling than any other sport? Join us as Nick reads some of his favorite passages, tells stories, and answers questions. There will be a book signing, as well. (Portrait of Nick by Mari Lyons) Download the event flyer.

Catching of Old Bess and the History of Rainbow Lodge

October 14, 2017 1pm–2:30pm

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. Coming soon...the transcript of both talks and historic photos of the Rainbow Lodge in its heyday. Listen to the podcast of the event below.


History of Fish and Game Clubs in Shandaken

Spring 2018

Fish and Game clubs play an important role throughout our region's history and into the present – preserving traditions, conserving natural resources and creating camaraderie. A panel discussion about three fish and game clubs — Stony Clove Rod and Gun, Phoenicia Fish and Game, and Upper Esopus Fish and Game.

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 below or download the transcript:



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 below or download the transcript:


  • 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
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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, below or download the transcript.

  • 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
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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 below or download the transcript:


  • 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
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Jerry Bartlett Collection featured in TU's Trout Magazine

The angling collection website was featured in the "Stream Champion" section of Trout Unlimited's Trout Magazine, July issue. You can read the article here.