Fly fishing

Pasadena Casting Club President Becky Rakisits with her casting baby Zoe pose for a portrait at the casting club’s pond in Pasadena. (Chris Mortenson/Staff)

For Becky Rakisits, fly fishing is a way to hit “reset” and relax from her busy lifestyle. 

“For me, it’s about getting out of the concrete jungle, getting into wildlife and nature and enjoying the art of fly fishing,” Rakisits said.

“I enjoy the peace of being in nature. There are times when I’m fishing, and I just stop and listen to the water trickling because it’s just so beautiful.”

Rakisits is spreading this message as the two-year president of the Pasadena Casting Club, which meets 7 p.m. the second Thursday of the month. Check the website for details. She has been in the club for six years and on the board for five.

On Saturday, March 4, the nonprofit Pasadena Casting Club will host its luau fundraiser at San Marino Masonic Lodge. The event will feature silent and live auctions, a raffle and games. Each 21-and-older guest will receive a custom-made, filled shot glass with the Pasadena Casting Club logo. On the bottom will be a number, which indicates how many tickets they can enter into the grand prize drawing. 

The grand prize is a fly-tying vise worth $300 that was donated to the club.

Auction items include photography prints of fly-fishing scenes; a set of wheels and tires; a two-night stay at the Pasadena Hotel and Pool; fly-fishing gear; guided trips to Texas, Oregon, Mexico and California; Santa Anita Racetrack tickets; and casting lessons.

The club is hosting an intro to fly fishing class at its clubhouse and pool on Saturdays March 4, March 11 and March 18. The spots are filled, but it’s hoping to hold them again in May. 

“We do fly tying classes which we just finished,” she said. “We take a lot of local trips to the eastern Sierras for club camaraderie.”

Not only does the Pasadena Casting Club teach people to fly fish, it stresses the conservation of local waters.

“When you become a member, you do take a conservation pledge,” she said. “We really focus on maintaining our waterways and fish habitats. When we teach fly fishing, we don’t just teach you how to catch a fish. We teach you about the conservation of waters and lands and keeping everything nice.”

 Guest speakers tackle this subject as well. 

“The guest speakers come from all over the United States and the world to share expertise on fly fishing,” Rakisits said. “Sometimes it’s about a specific location or sometimes it’s about a technique. They talk about their organizations or the nonprofits they run to help conservation. There are a lot of things that tie into fly fishing.”

Rakistis started fly fishing when she met her husband, Zackary, 11 years ago. She said the Pasadena Casting Club volunteers are a “great group of people.”

“I absolutely love it,” said Rakistis, a Pasadena native and current resident. “The club is very supportive. When we joined the Pasadena Casting Club, there was a woman president. Her name is Linda Payan. She was just such a happy and sweet person who drew us into the club and made us want to join.

“We’ve created such a great community within the club of fly fishing and everything outside of fly fishing. We’ve formed great relationships and met some truly amazing people.”

Pasadena Casting Club was founded in 1947 by Herbert Shefflin. Before it built its clubhouse on a pool, it casted in front of Pasadena City College’s reflecting pool. Within the Pasadena Casting Club are committees that cater to youth, veterans, women and conservation.

Its casting pool is one of three in California, with the other two in Long Beach and San Francisco. 

Rakistis is the club’s fifth female president and a new mother to 7-month-old Zoe. She has already introduced Zoe to fly fishing. 

“She’s been fly fishing on my hip,” she said with a laugh. “There are no limitations to fly fishing. Anybody can do it. Just getting out there is the best feeling.”

Pasadena Casting Club Luau Fundraiser

WHEN: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 4

WHERE: San Marino Masonic Lodge, 3130 Huntington Drive, San Marino

COST: $27 active members; $32 nonmembers