The American Museum of Fly Fishing hosted an evening to celebrate the vision of artist and writer Russell Chatham at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco Thursday, September 30th, 2010. Nearly one hundred people attended the event and were welcomed by the Museum’s Executive Director, Catherine Comar.
Chatham flew from his home in Livingston, Montana to San Francisco for the evening and generously donated signed copies of some of his books, a number of personally tied flies, and four different lithographs that were auctioned during the evening.
Chatham was born in San Francisco in 1939 and raised in the city and in Marin County. He lived in the Bay Area until 1972, when he moved to Livingston. This dinner was purposely held in his “home town,” where he still has many friends. In fact, his first book, The Angler’s Coast, includes stories he wrote, starting in 1968, about fishing in the Bay Area and his love of fishing for stripers.
Chatham is also a gourmet chef, has been a celebrated restaurateur (Russell Chatham’s Livingston Bar and Grill) and has written numerous articles about food and wine.
Other items in the live and silent auctions included rods and reels from Orvis and Temple Fork, two separate reels made by Stan Bogdan, a limited edition reel from Hardy, a framed photograph from acclaimed photographer Val Atkinson, fishing trips to Fiver Rivers Lodge and a Smith River Canyon Float (both in Montana), enough magnificent wine and crystal glassware to start a wine cellar donated by E.J. Gallo Family Vineyards, the Louis M. Martini Winery and the Women Fly FIshers of California, as well as books and posters from Tom Pero of Wild River Press. There was also clothing, restaurant gift certificates, fishing and hunting accessories, casting equipment and DVDs.
This was the second annual dinner hosted by the Museum in San Francisco; in 2009 a dinner was held that honored the life of Mel Krieger.