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Ronan's report

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

"Catskill Style"... sounds like the name of a magazine, which makes sense seeing as I'm writing about the area. Most fly fishers in my neck of the woods would assume by the title I would be discussing 'tying Catskill style flies' , but I'm not.

Today's FP is about Catskills' resident Joan Wulff. I considered calling it "Catskill Royalty" but Joan would more than likely disapprove saying, ''Just too much"... but at least I got the thought in.

I have had the pleasure to learn from, teach with, and cast with Joan, even relax and hang out with her at her home - by far the coolest of, is getting to cast with. She is gracious, generous, interesting, interested and wonderfully approachable. As a matter of fact, she will more than likely approach you if you are casting.


Years ago, back when I knew pretty much nothing (1985?), I was casting at the indoor pond of a large fishing + hunting show. From behind, in the waiting line of like minded rod testers, I heard a woman's voice excusing herself, that she just wanted to get up front for a moment and speak to the young man casting, aka me. She was pleasant and complimentary, yet straight forward -quick to the point and then receded. I had no idea who she was. Turns out I needed to learn to Drift. As I walked away from the pond people came up to me asking what I had been taught. That's when I found out who she was. In his college days my father guided Lee Wulff on a local creek, so I knew about Lee but had no idea about this Joan lady.

Fast forward: I took a class at The Wulff School. This is where the FP gets topical. I was working on my Hauls + Distance when from the other side of the field I heard Joan yelling to me, "Craig, you're not stopping the rod! You're not stopping on your back cast!". In moments she was next to me. If I knew then what I know now, I could have had a discussion with her - me responding with something like, "If so then why do I produce a loop?".

Another fast forward: We started The Catskill Mountains Casting Club. It's not large, but it's a casting club! We meet at the CFFM&C. Our first meeting was in winter - Joan was there, keenly interested. See photo. A summer later at a club gathering there were just the three of us: Joan, John Field and myself. So what did we do? We do a taste tasting of 5 weights - gear I had in the car for guiding the next day. See photo.

Last fast forward: At the museum we held a Casting Rendezvous where twenty (plus) certified instructors donated their day to teach at the museum. Joan stopped in to see how it was going, walked down the driveway, gave me a big hug, but then espied a kid casting so chit-chat was over - within seconds she was teaching.


Pic of Day

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