The Club

The Club

In 1946, a small group of men, dressed in black tie and without their female counterparts, informally met at the Racquet Club. They dubbed themselves the Salmon Anglers' of Philadelphia. As a first step, they hatched a plan for ". . . an evening of conviviality and entertainment where you can talk Salmon with those who will understand." They invited Lee Wulff to bring some of his "color motion pictures." In 1947, over 100 folks donned in 'dinner coats' paid $10 for dinner and cocktails and were convivial and entertained. It was a success.

The informality of the group is best conveyed in the invitation for the following year. "Inasmuch as we had no complaints regarding the very successful party held in 1947, your new self-appointed Committee has decided to follow in broad outline the program we had last year." Lee Wulff came for an encore and was joined by William T. Griffin from New Brunswick to extol the virtues of Salmon fishing.

In 1950, the voice of the Pocono contingent was heard. "After all, for most Philadelphians salmon was a one-week-a-year tryst while trout was just a car ride away." By the end of the year, the Committee in solemn conclave decided to formally organize themselves with officers, governors, by-laws and call themselves "The Anglers' Club of Philadelphia."

Our first president, Joseph B. McCall, Jr., called "Junior", wrote to those prior invitees. "As a result of the successful Salmon Anglers' Dinners of the past years, and because of popular demand, your Committee has organized on a permanent basis "The Anglers' Club of Philadelphia' limited to one hundred members who are interested in both salmon and trout fishing." It did not take long to exceed 100 members or for females to cross the sill of the Racquet Club. Eleanor Winsor became president in 1987.

A quote from an early welcoming letter sets the tone, "In general, the club maintains a purely social stance, leaving issues of water quality, stream preservation and so on to the various chapters of Trout Unlimited and other organizations which are in a far better position to tackle same . . . The goal of the Club is to be as fun and involving as the members would like."

Through the years the luminaries of the fishing world have shared their knowledge and passion for the sport. Lee and Joan Wulff, Ernie Schweibert, Lefty Kreh, Gary La Fontaine, Barry and Cathy Beck, Joe Humphries, Paul Jorgenson, Dave Whitlock, Jim Bashline, Sarah Gardner and some of our own members from Curt Winsor to Curt Hill. And, Ed Jaworowski is always ready to instruct us to cast for fresh and salt-water quarries. One evening we had a true star, the .400 hitter Ted Williams who charmed us all, talking about fishing for an hour and never mentioning baseball.

Today with over 150 members; we celebrate a convivial past with nothing ahead of us but tight lines.