Before he left his home in the Italian Swiss Alps more than 50 years ago, Armando Bernasconi had never been fly-fishing. But once he moved to San Francisco and found his way to the fly-casting pools hidden within the west end of Golden Gate Park, Bernasconi became hooked. Now almost 96, the devoted fly fisherman is the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club’s oldest and most popular member.
On Saturday, May 12, the club celebrated both its 85th anniversary and the 80th anniversary of the construction of the three azure-blue casting pools that still draw Bernasconi as often as he can make the trek from his nearby home on 33rd Avenue.
For the occasion, the club’s lodge, a rustic and well-loved wooden structure perched adjacent to the pools, was packed with club members, young and old. Blue and gold helium balloons battled the wind along the property’s immaculate walkways. Both an American flag and a California state flag whipped in the wind above the doorway that leads from the cozy lodge out onto a stone deck. That deck, in turn, overlooks a small grassy hill and those wind-kissed pools — and on that hill, dozens basked in the weekend sun while they watched fly-fishing fans, some waist-deep in the water, cast their rods.
The whole scene would’ve made a great painting — and it was a scene that was almost impossible to believe existed in Golden Gate Park.
LINK (via: San Francisco Chronicle)