Rendezvous at Mt. Shasta – Fifth Year Anniversary
Mary Nishioka; Peninsula Fly Fishers, Shasta Mayflies, San Jose Fly
Casters, Golden West Women FlyFishers, Golden Gate Angling Club,
International Women Fly Fishers, Federation of Fly Fishers
The Mt. Shasta Rendezvous participants celebrated the fifth year
at the Mt Shasta Ranch B&B in glorious fashion! It came complete with
multiple fish for nearly all 21 participants, a trout plant (who new?)
for everyone, a fabulous double haul casting clinic for those wanting to
perfect this skill, and “Sangria by Susan” at the Saturday evening party
— always a popular event. This year’s organizers, Rebecca Blair and
Susan Baer, were applauded and lauded and deserve all accolades for a
The first Mt. Shasta Rendezvous was organized by Fanny Krieger, Pat
Magnuson, and Joyce Silva with the assistance of a local club, the
Shasta Mayflies. Since then, subsequent organizers have expanded upon
the original Rendezvous concept, adding their own expertise and creative
ideas. The group is obviously doing something right as there are
multiple repeat participants and the event is virtually sold out each
year. This learning from experience and diversity is what makes each
Rendezvous distinctly different from the prior one.
One of the first things that you notice on arrival at the Rendezvous is
the diverse mix of women. For this event women typically come from three
different states and represent more than a half a dozen local clubs.
Some are beginners, and have never been to a fishing event, and some are
veteran anglers. You see old friends and start meeting new friends right
away. This focus on fishing and fun opens us up and we all get very
social, very quickly. Add food, wine, chocolate and several friendly
dogs and we're off to a great weekend. As a new participant, I asked
several women what they most enjoyed about the Mt Shasta Rendezvous. The
common thread over the past five years is the wonderful camaraderie they
night – The Welcoming Party
The weekend commenced Thursday night with a potluck
organized by Susan and held at Judith Brown's unique house in the woods
near Shasta City, only five minutes from our B&B. The house is a cottage
designed and built by a Buddhist monk/architect which is half built back
into the hillside and looks down on a creek. We're talking total charm.
Following the dinner, we went back to the Shasta Ranch for a
presentation by Bob Grace of the Ted Fay Fly Shop located in nearby
Dunsmuir. He shared information on where to fish and the best ways to
fish all of the available water. Then Vince Cloward, Executive Directors
of the Upper Sacramento River Exchange shared his experiences with the
Upper Sac clean up after the toxic spill in 1991. During the
presentation, two of the attendees questioned him on where to find and
catch the McCloud River redband trout which they needed to complete the
California Heritage Trout Challenge. He told, they went, they caught.
Congratulations to both Glenda Smith and Tina Viera who are another step
closer to completing the Challenge.
evening ended with distribution of clever name badges compliments of
Pamela Anderson and gift bags complete with fishing “goodies” thanks to
the efforts of Rachael Andras, as well as a commemorative potted trout
plant from Tina and Glenda. What a unique gift! Who knew trout were
both aquatic and herbautic?
Friday – A Fishing Day!
Friday was a fishing day and we made the most of it with people fishing
the Upper Sacramento, the famous McCloud, Hat Creek, Squaw Creek, etc.
etc. etc. We covered the water.
My story: I told my guide, Chuck Volckhausen, I wanted to fish like a
guide, not a client, and he took me at my word. We covered a long
section of the Upper Sac starting at noon and ending at about 8:30pm.
We fished hopper, dropper, dropper and two dries hitting each (and I
mean every each and every one of them) pockets, 3 - 5 casts and catching
fish in almost all of them, including an 18" beauty out of a deep pool.
Chuck had me climbing up and down cliffs and wading upstream through
high, fast water. I can categorically and emphatically say that we
fished our beat thoroughly. He really knows the river and took wonderful
care of me - I had a fantastic time.
But things happen. We were hiking the three miles on railroad tracks
back to my car when we heard a train coming and had to run a short
distance to get to a wide spot so there was room for the train to pass.
The train went by and by and by… for a long time. Then it stopped and
started up and stopped again. We commenced hiking alongside it - which
wasn’t always easy as there wasn’t much room – until we got close to my
car which was parked on the other side of the train tracks. I told Chuck
to go ahead as I wanted to make a pit stop and would catch up. Just as
I was buckling up again, the train engineer walked past. One, that
could have been embarrassing but two, he should have been on the train.
I caught up with Chuck who said that the power was out on the train and
we were stuck for several hours or until rescued. He called a few
friends but they either weren't home or weren't in condition to drive.
(Did I mention that Chuck is in his 20's which means his friends are as
well?) We climbed over the train to gather the stuff (rods, reels,
clothes) that we didn't want to leave all night, climbed back over the
train and then hiked up the hill to the freeway off-ramp where Rebecca
was kind enough to come and rescue us. It’s not typically a co-organizer
responsibility, but she came through for us.
Morning - An Opportunity to Acquire and/or Enhance a Fishing Skill
In the morning Rachel Andras and Vanessa Downs taught a wonderful double
haul class on the lawns in front of the Ranch which for many
participants was the highlight of the event. Rachel and Vanessa, both
guides and casting instructors, did a team teaching/coaching session
that was tailored for all skill levels. As for me, I have no sense of
rhythm, but even I can now say that I can double haul.
Saturday Afternoon – Free Time to Fish, Shop or just Explore the area
Some women fished, some napped, some hit local fly shops, and as for
Rebecca and I? Well, after envying a necklace purchased by another
attendee in Shasta City, we did some serious damage to our pocketbooks
when we visited a local jewelry/gem shop. Ah well, it’s all about
supporting the local economy, right? We did our share!
Saturday night – Time to Celebrate
night was our last dinner and we celebrated the Mt. Shasta fifth year
anniversary as well as the 30 year anniversary of the Mt Shasta Ranch
B&B under the current ownership, Bill and Mary Larsen. We presented
Bill with a beautiful trout plaque made by IWFF member and artist, Mary
Kay Jenkins. We also capped off Saturday night with a slide show, which
was truly a group effort. Organized by Judith and Rebecca, with
equipment loaned by Reb’s husband Bill, and put together by Tina and
Glenda, we viewed everyone’s pictures for the event. (And a shout out to
the inventor of the digital camera!) Several women said that this
look-back opportunity was the best part of the weekend as they got to
see their own and everyone else's pictures and it allowed them to share
in everyone's adventures.
Sunday Morning – Wrap up and depart
Sunday morning was our final breakfast and wrap-up session. Participants
shared their favorite moments. Nancy Leavens most enjoyed scrambling
over rocks in tiny creeks and catching fish on Guide Vanessa's 00 wt
rod…Ruth Ann Tsukuda was thrilled with landing an 8" rainbow on her
third cast on the first day she fished. It was an omen of more good
things to come…Susan Bostwick most enjoyed catching fish in three
different venues; creek, river, lake. Judy Brandi liked float tubing in
the lake…Coral Ann Cory said she enjoyed the good times, the
conversation, the pool games (be afraid of Cheryl Bell, she comes with
her own custom pool cue), and all of the new friends. For me, it was a
special treat to be able to share and compare Argentina fishing
experiences with Diane Whitehouse.
When I asked the group “What one thing stands out that you are taking
away from the event?” the double haul class from Rachel and Vanessa was
the big winner. Those of us who took class came away with a genuine
sense of accomplishment and a confidence that we really improved our
fishing skills. Thank you again, ladies.
of us had unexpected challenges and accomplishments. Elaine Almquist
broke her 5 year Mt. Shasta Rendezvous skunk…While fishing, Tina and
Glenda met a teenage girl curious about fly fishing. Tina gave her a
quick lesson and then beamed maternally when she caught her first fish
on a fly. The rain shower on Saturday morning was unexpected for many of
us who knew the typically warm and dry weather for that area. Ever the
organizer, Rebecca had included “bring a rain jacket on the trip-list”
and many of us just tossed ours in, not thinking we would need it. (She
ended up being the only person without hers.) My motto: always bring the
rain jacket and rain pants - if nothing else, it prevents it from
raining. Wendy Parfrey, a new participant, said the most unexpected
moment was sharing so many varied life experiences with so many
interesting women, and Taylor Gehweiler, a repeat participant, felt
re-inspired by all of us and our shared adventures. And we were all in
awe of Pam Anderson and her basket of maintenance products. Well done,
Next Year, Same Time (of Year), Same Place!
This is an event where IWFF has had no challenges in getting organizers
– each year, new women step up during the closing recap session as
volunteers for next year's event. During the session, feedback (positive
and negative) from participants is given to assist next year's
organizers with their planning. This is also why the event has become so
popular and well-organized. In 2009, the co-organizers will be Chrissie
Clapp, Elaine Almquist, Susan Bostwick, and Judy Brandi. Everyone
agrees – The Mt. Shasta Rendezvous just gets better every year!
Note from Judith Brown – IWFF Rendezvous Coordinator
IWFF is looking for women interested in hosting a Rendezvous in your
part of the world, where ever that is. And IWFF will help you organize,
communicate, and facilitate. At this year's Mt. Shasta Rendezvous, award
winning documentarian and IWFF angler, Barbara Klutinis, filmed many of
the events to develop a “how to” DVD for future Rendezvous. Judith
hopes that this article and upcoming DVD will inspire you to host your
own rendezvous. If you hold it - we will come!
For more Mt. Shasta Rendevzous pictures please click