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2021 John Steele Award winner

by K Murdock; SCFF V/P

2021 John Steele Award Winner

In 2021, 12 club Members were nominated to receive the coveted John Steele Award. The reasons were as varied as they could be.

Sam Bishop was nominated for hosting the Beach Fish outs, described by one member as “The most important SCFF activity during Covid”.

Dan Eaton was nominated for hosting the Los Banos Creek fish out and giving largemouth bass fishing advice, and for hosting a fly tying class.

Robert Eberly apparently adopted a novice surf fisherman and schooled him throughout the day, eventually convincing our neophyte angler to join the SCFF club!

Jeff Goyert (Yog) helped a member get acquainted with the O-Neil Fore bay striper fishing techniques.

Scott Kitayama (Last year’s Steele award recipient) was nominated for helping a member while perch fishing, and again for just being friendly and helpful.

Phil Kowal has been helpful in e-mail and text for equipment questions and has also introduced club members to San Lois reservoir.

Jerry McKeon was nominated for his prodigious work on our Instagram account, which has grown both our membership, and our club’s reputation in the Fly Fishing hierarchy. He also received a nod for pitching in and helping set up Zoom Fly-tying.

Lord knows why Kevin Murdock was nominated; I suspect graft…

Steve Rudzinski (Stosh) was remembered for his work on the Jade St Park casting classes, and helping members with Pyramid and San Louis fishing techniques.

Bill Seamoa was able to facilitate transportation for one of our favorite couples to San Lois Reservoir when they were having difficulty driving in the dark.

Cecilia Stipes effervescent personality, and her willingness to share knowledge, as well as her efforts as one of our fish masters has made her a nominee again this year.

And finally, Mark Tragout was nominated for his casting classes in boulder creek, and for towing a tuber out of the weeds, and finally, for gifting the book “Home Waters” by John Mclean, to a member, which indirectly led to the marriage of a pair of our club members.

As you can see, Steele Award nominations can be for literally anything. We have numerous fish outs through the year where 20 or 30 of our members are present for up to a week. You can’t tell me that you can fish for a week without a club member sharing a tip, a fly, a spot, netting a monster, an incredible meal, emotional support or just plain good fellowship.

I should be getting 20 or 30 nominations after each fish out. The easiest way to make a nomination in this time of zoom and distance is to just e-mail me at That way I can just move the e-mail into my John Steele folder and count em up at the beginning of next year.

This year’s winner of the 2021 John Steele award is Mark Tragout.

Congratulations Mark. We are grateful to you and all our nominees.

Respectfully submitted 01/10/22

K Murdock