A Brief History of Friends Creek Fly Fishing Club
With the assistance of Bill and Nancy English, Jenks Middleton, Charlie Gregg, and Judge Tom Hogan, the following is a reconstruction of sorts of the origin and evolution of the Friends Creek fly fishing Club.
As best as we can determine, our club started around 1966, shortly after Craig and Barbie Colgate bought the current property, now owned by Myron and Nancy Randall, who thankfully have continued the club. Nancy English’s reminiscences below, September 17/18, 2012 are probably the most useful living history of FC. Others are invited to add their recollections.
“Actually, I was thinking about this this morning, and remembering that (our son) Stephen was around three when we started going there, which would have been l966 – the Colgates had already been there a while and the Shaeffers had rented the Farm House – then Davis and Anne Jencks were supposed to take it over, but, instead, went to Belgium, and we took it. The Frosts were renting the Log Cabin across from the swinging bridge, which went down in a storm later on, and we visited them one Fourth of July – before having the Farm House. We had met the Colgates one night at the Frosts’ house here (they had know each other in Germany when both were with CIA, along with Davis and Ann Jenks). I just looked at a photo collage I made for the Colgates covering the years l967 to l970 which shows the back hoe, a gabion (type of cylinder filled with stones and sunk in water as a foundation for dams - and a great Scrabble word), and various other pictures of the stream – including a picnic we had with them in which Stephen looks about 3 – also a picture of the front gate listing the Colgates name AND Friends Creek Anglers Association, with a slightly older than three (5?) Stephen standing in front of it. So—Davis Jencks was presumably not involved with the creation of the FCAA. Basically all past and present members, from l974 on at least, are known from these Met Club lunch minutes that I have.”
“I have just been through our FC files – the earliest record I could find was the report of the lunch meeting at the Met Club of April 1974 – At which Tommy Hogan wrote the minutes – so he may know the date of the origin of the Association. There was all this stuff in the beginning, but no written record , when Davis Jenks, Craig (who died in l989) and Bill and maybe Ed Day, cooked up the idea in the first place, and Sen. Frank Church was a member – they installed gabions ordered from somewhere far away (!) which we filled with stones – and lasted not long! Until some major storm destroyed them, at which point they resorted to the rock dams – By the time of these minutes, there was an “annual stream cleanup and dam rehabilitation outing”, with lunch arranged by Barbie Colgate and Nancy English – so what else is new!! Elliot Richardson and Ted Crolius were guests (and became subsequent members along with Anne Richardson) at this lunch, and of course, the membership is listed.”
Past long time president of the FC Club Judge Tom Hogan added “There are wonderful remembrances of fishing with Justice Potter Stewart (who was most delightful but not very skilled); walking the stream with Senator Church discussing foreign affairs, and listening over a late evening libation to stories of adventures or misadventures of Ben Fuller and Ken Hull in their younger days in rather "hot" parts of the world that remain with me.”
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became a member in the nineteen eighties, and proved herself a very competent angler - with the exciting recorded use in the Club’s logbook of a ‘terrestrial’ (not a plaintiff) she bounced off the facing rock in the Swimming Hole to a rising fish coincident with the 17th year (1996) of the cicada!
The English’s daughter Susie took the photo of a collage made for the Colgates showing, amongst other items the placement of an infamous gabion.
The Club has approximately 40 resident members, and holds its annual luncheon in March, followed by its customary rites of spring “Dam Day” in early May.