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In 1951, a brief history of the Cincinnati Casting Club was written down by Carl Ducharm, Frank Hanaford and Ken Lobitz. We will quote from them at times.

“In 1905, a small group of sportsmen became interested in tournament casting and repaired to the lake at the Cincinnati Zoo; there they organized the Cincinnati Casting Club”, one of the first three casting clubs in the United States (Chicago, San Francisco and Cincinnati); New York and Racine, Wisconsin followed quickly. “The names of all charter members are not known by us, but these we can give you: Mr Moon, Harry Walter Hutchins, Will C James, Mr Latham and Telford Grosbeck.”

“At that time casting of ¼ and ½ ounce plugs was in order. They were cast at distances of 60’ to 75’ inclusive, with intervals of five feet for ¼ ounce events, and 60’ to 100’, with intervals of ten feet for ½ ounce.

The target was a single round disc; at first this disc had a can placed in its center; later a gong displaced the can; still later a series of concentric brass rings marked off the distances from the disc (1’, 2’, 3’ etc.). This eliminated, to a great degree at least, errors in judgment.

The scoring was different than what we are used to. The demerits were divided by ten (number of targets) and that number was subtracted from 100 and expressed as a percentage. For example, our score of 93 would have had 7 demerits which would have been divided by 10 and the quotient (.7) subtracted from 100 to produce a 99.3% score. Another example: Our score of 89 would have had 11 demerits, which divided by 10 would be 1.1 which when subtracted from 100 would have been expressed as a 98.9% score, back then. So what we express as an “89” was called 98.9%.

“A blue ribbon with gold lettering was the trophy of the club.  It was contested for weekly, usually on Saturday. The holder of it wore it with great pride, but upon being beaten in tournament, he had to relinquish it to his conqueror, and so on and so on.”

“All things did not happen at the Zoo. The early days found the club traveling from one water hole to another. The second site was the Cincinnati Gym grounds in the East End (Cincinnati Athletic Club) and then to a pool on the lawn of Telford Grosbeck on Madison Road.”

“It was at this time that the club disbanded (c1910) only to come back in greater strength at a later date.” 

Of note: is that H.W. Hutchins won his events in the 1910, 11 & 12 Nationals. He appears to have been Cincinnati’s first national champion.

In 1912 the Fish and Game Protective Association of Southwestern Ohio was organized with a membership of 2400. Scientific bait and fly casting was one of the activities of the Association. “Most of the members of the old Cincinnati Casting Club, joined: W H Hutchins, Billy Green, Ernie Furneaux, Telford Grosbeck, Ed Murphy, Charles Jones & son Junior Jones, George T Welsch and Edgar Hannaford.”

“In 1914, Bob Burch’s father, kindly gave the association the use of his 28 acre picnic grounds on Madison Road at the B&O Railroad. The members could practice on the good sized lake and level lawn all during the season. There after the tournaments were held for two days with the first day for the shooters and the second for the casters.

In 1916, the most enthusiastic casters of the Association thought it advisable to have their own organization and officers. The “New” Cincinnati Casting Club was formed; the prime movers being: Billy Green, Ernie Furneaux, Jim Klimper, Vernon “Reddy” Grosson, Bob Ward and Frank Hannaford (the six old reliables at the targets every weekend) with John Daniel, Harry Elmer and others.”

Things went well for six years but then Mr Burch Sr died, the park was sold, the lake drained and most of the property converted into a residential subdivision. What remains of that property today is Madison Park, across from Withrow High School.

“And so, no home, no place to cast, and the enthusiasm now limited to the lonely six or so, the Cincinnati Casting Club just faded away.”

“In the spring of 1932, John Daniel Sr, Ed Brendamour, Frank Hannaford and Jim Klimper urged a revival of interest in tournament casting, and gathered fisherman and sportsmen together for a Field Day at Coney Island. They invited “Chief” Collier and Carl Kinear, prominent tackle men and experts at the game, to attend the meet and introduce techniques and new equipment. At the end of the day, a meeting of those enthusiasts present resulted in the reorganization of the Cincinnati Casting Club.”

“The first meeting of a newly elected Board of Directors was held at Milt Kennedy’s home. Bob Isphording became President; H Brand, Vise President; Ed Brendamour, Secretary; Bert Milner, Treasurer and Jim Klimper, Chairman of the Tournament and Property Committee.”

“The club met at Coney Island pool throughout the 1932 season, but in 1933 sought out a more favorable location in Mariemont. There a park lake was used for accuracy and distance events. Ted Cravens was the distance casting champion of the club."


Further searching for a suitable location, led “Larry Fisk to discover Berger Lake (Woods Lake) in Mt Healthy, in 1933; abandoned and over grown, the next few years saw a transformation as club members drained the lake, built platforms and retaining walls, repaired the dam, erected light poles  and improved roads.”

In 1938 the “Objects” of the casting club were: 1) To cultivate and practice scientific fly and bait casting; 2) To increase efficiency in angling; 3) To enjoy the good fellowship of congenial sportsmen on the week-ends and oftener; 4) To keep in good physical trim by regular practice out-of-doors, in a fascinating game.

The club then came on even stronger after the war.

It is believed that due to restrictions imposed by the Woods property (no open lawn area), that distance casting was dropped from the agenda of the club at this time.

At about 1955 the membership of the CCC was dwindling because of the advanced age of the members. The sons of John B Daniel Sr (Paul and John Jr) and their wives and children became a younger “bridge to the future” but that wasn’t enough. The Board of Directors decided to open the membership up to and invite the local families that lived around Woods Lake, to be members.

This idea turned out to be the salvation of the Cincinnati Casting Club. Four local families and their children became the extension for the club to survive for another sixty plus years.

Eventually, Woods Lake was sold, the lake drained and the property was turned into a huge apartment complex. The club was able to partner with the Central Turners Club of Cincinnati, a social club located just three miles north of Woods Lake, that had a fine lake on its property, for the Casting Club to use. As members of the Central Turners, the CCC was able to build a casting platform, scoring decks and their own dedicated club house.

The Cincinnati Casting Club is currently one of fifteen members of the American Casting Association, ACA, and has hosted the National Tournament six times: in 1969, 77, 85, 91, 2007 and 2012.

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