In November, 2006, a group of two dozen committed individuals representing flyfishing interests along the northern and western Gulf Coast met on the shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir at the North Toledo Bend Rendezvous to consider the creation of a new council of the Federation of Fly Fishers. Upon voting unanimously to form the Gulf Coast Council FFF, the group then stepped forward, and met the challenge from Marc Pinsel, to pledge donations to meet the Council's startup expenses. Later, a few other Federators would join in and add to the fund to establish this new Council. Thanks to these individuals and clubs - the "GCC Founders Club" - the Gulf Coast Council was financially sound and able to grow without taking any funding from the treasuries of either the Southern or South Eastern Councils.
Ron Allen Thomas
Acadian Fly Rodders
The Gulf Coast Council consisted of FFF clubs and individual FFF members from central and south Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, coastal Alabama, and the Florida Emerald Coast. Some had been members of the Southern Council, others of the Southeastern Council. With the help and guidance of the original councils, the GCC soon met the guidelines required by the Federation and was approved as a full council.
To help raise funds for conservation and education, the Gulf Coast Council soon made plans for its first "Conclave/EXPO". In May 2007, the first-ever FFF Gulf Coast Council Expo was held at the Lake Charles Civic Center on the lakefront in Lake Charles, Louisiana. An array of speakers, headlined by Lefty Kreh and Nick Curcione, joined with dozens of outstanding fly tiers from across the region and across the nation. There were programs, tying demos, kayak demos, exhibitors, youth activities, and much more, including great fishing for reds and specks, and great food (boiled crawfish Friday evening and a Saturday night Cajun Feast). The event was a success and greatly enjoyed by all.
Two more GCC Expos would be held at the Lake Charles Civic Center before it was decided to venture west to New Braunfels, TX. The New Braunfels Gulf Coast Council Expo proved to be the best ever, both in attendance and approval. This prompted a return to central Texas the following year, in downtown San Antonio, where our most financially successful show of all was held. These two Texas Expos proved to be the catalyst that would eventually result in the division of the Gulf Coast Council.
In 2012, in assocaition with members of Texas clubs affiliated with Gulf Coast Council, the GCC began discussions with five (5) northern Texas clubs affiliated with Southern Council. In November 2012, all formalities for a new Texas Council had been established, and the two "new" councils were approved by the IFFF's Board of Directors. The GCC then evenly split our treasury between the two councils, thus insuring that both "new" councils were financially stable.
Less than a year later, the geographically more concise, Gulf Coast Council consists of ten (10) IFFF Charter and Affiliated clubs, as well as individual members, from Louisiana, Mississippi and coastal Alabama. By greatly reducing the distances across this "revised" Gulf Coast Council and reducing down to a core of clubs and members with a long history of fly fishing, "conclaving", "rendezvousing", conserving, and working together, the Gulf Coast Council is steadily growing in clubs and members and looks forward to many more years of "conserving, restoring, educating - through fly fishing".