2017 Board of Directors
President Vanessa Downs,
Chief Financial Officer Susan Baer,
Secretary Vicki Green,
Vanessa Cummings, President
Vanessa Cummings is a California native who grew up fishing the spring fed waters of Hat Creek in Northeastern California. Her love of fishing in general began at a very young age and morphed into a passion for fly fishing over many summers spent with her grandparents who happened to live on Hat Creek and directly behind Dick Galland’s famous Clearwater House. By the time she was in her early 20’s, she knew she wanted to become a fly fishing guide, and attended guide school at Clearwater. Many seasons guiding and traveling later, and a two year stint managing Clearwater Lodge, she is now enjoying “fishing for fun” and raising a precocious little fisher-girl. A professional portrait and wedding photographer in the picturesque Sonoma wine country, Vanessa intends to spend her life passionately pursuing art and nature.
Susan Baer, Chief Financial Officer
I am an avid recreational fly fisher! I have enjoyed the outdoors my whole life. I currently live in beautiful Sonoma, CA. I have been fly fishing for about 15 years and have greatly enjoyed the opportunities be in nature and visit beautiful rivers, lakes and oceans. The unexpected bonus is I have made some wonderful friends! In addition, it has allowed me develop my skills and travel the globe fishing places I never dreamed of. I have been active in IWFF since 2006. I have attended many of the Festivals and Rendezvous. As a past board president and current member of the board, I have watched the mission of this wonderful organization develop and change from focusing on getting more attention and acknowledgement for women in the sport, to looking for more ways to connect them and create fun and challenging fishing opportunities. I look forward to many more adventures on the water.
Vicki Green, Secretary
Vicki Green has been a member of IWFF since 2011. She found out about IWFF when the American Fly Fishing Museum sponsored “A Gentle Rise: Women in Fly Fishing.” Vicki attended the opening and met exciting and talented IWFF members and wanted to participate. She has fished with members in Bozeman, Montana and the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. As one of our Goodwill Ambassadors she has introduced IWFF to women she’s met while fly-fishing worldwide.
Vicki recently retired from the University of British Columbia, whose Woodward Library houses one of the largest collections of fly-fishing books in North America. While at UBC, Vicki founded the UBC Fly Fishers for faculty and staff at the Okanagan campus. She is the Secretary of her local club, The Kalamalka Fly Fishers in Vernon, B.C. where she lives with her husband Richard.
Vicki’s passion for fly-fishing began as a young girl in Kamloops, B.C., home of the famous Kamloops trout. She fly-fishes because it offers a great sense of anticipation, surprise and fun. Have you noticed how fly-fishing causes laughter and stories of awe and wonder, shock and disbelief?
My introduction to fly fishing came on the upper Trinity River and Coffee Creek where as a six year old, my grandfather assigned me the task of turning over rocks looking for hellgrammites, caddis and other larva. He would use whatever he had to try to match the bugs I found or just put the bug on the hook and we fished for steelhead and salmon longer than I was tall. This was in the forties and pre-dam. Some of my biggest lessons included to not cast my shadow on the river and to jump from one large rock to another to get to the best spots.
Sixty some years later I returned to my roots and am now a fly-fishing junkie. Along the way I raised a daughter and spent 55 years in the financial service industry. I was born and raised in Redding and have not strayed far from home. My husband and I and our dog Sadie Louise like to camp, fish, and forage for wild mushrooms in remote areas of the American West.
Obsessed with fly fishing, Cheryl’s main camp is in downtown Anchorage. From there it is an easy adventure to all over Alaska starting with fishing a mile down the street. Supporting the aging processes of parents in San Diego she recently focused on fishing her birth waters in Southern California.
The San Diego IWFF festival in 2002 motivated Cheryl to meet and catch other women anglers. Her eyes were opened there to the possibility of friendship spicing her passion. While our brothers are great and supportive anglers, their interests and goals can be exclusive. Fishing is not for every woman, but those that are anglers often share other qualities. What rich discoveries IWFF affords us all to connect, discover and grow.
She is a member of IFFF and active in both casting and fly tying sections, the Alaska Flyfishers, the Golden State Flycasters, The San Diego Flyfishers, and IWFF. Retirement now affords her the time to play a more active role in these fishing organizations. She is proud to be involved with Becoming and Outdoors Woman and Casting for Recovery.
Fanny was born and raised in France. After losing her parents and her sister during the Nazi occupation of her home country, Krieger immigrated to the United States to begin anew. While in Houston, Texas, she met her future husband, Mel Krieger (1928–2008), and began her fly-fishing career. In 1964, the family moved to San Francisco, where Krieger started a successful business arranging travel visas. As her husband began tournament casting, fly fishing became a regular and important part of Krieger’s life.
Along with friend Susan Williams, and with strong support from many male anglers in the area, Krieger founded the Golden West Women Flyfishers in 1983. A total of twenty-one invitations were mailed to known women anglers, and Krieger and Williams were hoping to hear back from six of the group. All twenty-one invitees responded, becoming the first members of the club. The club now has more than 150 members, has monthly meetings, and coordinates important conservation, education, and fishing programs in the San Francisco area.
Next on Krieger’s agenda was a gathering of women anglers from around the world. In 1996, she convinced the president of the Golden West Women Flyfishers to sponsor a festival in San Francisco. More than 200 invitations were mailed to women in the fly-fishing industry, artists, writers, guides, and instructors; Rosalynn Carter was the honorary chair of the event. The first International Festival of Women Fly Fishers took place 6–8 December 1996. It was the following year, during the 1997 festival, that Krieger recommended the creation of the International Women Fly Fishers. Her work has inspired several other women’s fly-fishing clubs to be created, including Montana’s Gallatin River Gals and Bozeman Anglers.
Krieger was inducted into the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers Hall of Fame in 1994. She is a Federation of Fly Fishers fly-casting certified instructor and continues to coordinate and host fishing trips around the world for eager anglers. Krieger recently directed and produced an educational DVD, Tomorrow’s Fly Fishers, to encourage the newest generation of anglers. She remains active in both the Golden West Women Flyfishers and the International Women Fly Fishers.
Joan Piesinger (aka “Pie”) was introduced to fly fishing on the Utah Green River by husband Patrick and fellow IWFF member/Nebraskanite Rebecca . Until then, Pie’s fishing experience was under the age of 12 at Lake Ericson, in the Sands Hills of Nebraska. “Catfish and smelly carp were the extent of my spinning rod fishing experience. Who knew there was an alternative deemed fly-fishing!”
Pie’s first IWFF experience was attending their 2011 Shasta Rendezvous and she was hooked! “What a great group of engaging, smart, and helpful women fishing aficionados.”
Although living in the San Francisco bay, Pie particularly enjoys fishing the Deschutes river in Bend, OR and Colorado River in Summit County, CO. She has particularly fond memories lake fishing in the Cariboo Wilderness in British Columbia.
Being in charge of membership, Pie loves the fact IWFF is an international club. It offers both a platform and opportunity, to promote and drive camaraderie among a group of fabulous and diverse women; who just happen to love fly fishing, the great outdoors, and good times. IWFF also provides opportunities to participate in such activities as conservation, education, outreach (Casting for Recovery), and much more. IWFF welcomes all women regardless of your level of fly fishing.
Rachel Andras, Rebecca Blair, Peggy Brenner