• Posted on 03/04 at 12:30 AM

Frank Bertaina 1944-2010

Palmer and I met Frank late in his angling career at a period when time spent in reflection and memories carried nearly as much weight as days spent on the water. Our meetings were brief, humorous, expletive-filled and always memorable. We first met Frank in person in the winter of 2005 at a commemoration dinner for his long-time friend and business partner, Bob Nauheim. But like most people we’d heard about the charismatic man long before we ever shook hands.

Frank Bertaina was born on April 14, 1944 in San Francisco, California. Roughly twenty years later, on April 1, 1964 Frank made his professional debut as a major league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. In 1966 he was a member of the World Championship Orioles squad; an accomplishment that would often proceed his introduction by friends and admirers.

As a teenager, Frank befriended Charlie Napoli who introduced him to Bill Schaadt, which quickly led to close relationships with Russell Chatham, Bob Nauheim, Grant King, Ben Miller and a small collection of other notable early California steelheaders. Frank quickly became part of the growing lore that surrounded and elevated the Russian River during the 1950s and 60s. Along with many of his counterparts he was commemorated in Russell Chatham’s collection of short stories found in The Angler’s Coast.

His greatest adventures would come years after he left the baseball diamond and the rivers of California. In the early 1970s Frank was approached by close confidant Bob Nauheim with the novel idea of creating Fishing International, one of the first world-wide fishing travel agencies. As the wild, energetic, quick tempered and passionate fishing guide, Frank traveled the world creating a library of memories and stories for his hundreds of clients. His name was known from the spring streams of New Zealand, to the flats of the Florida Keys, from the glacier fed rivers of British Columbia to the tidal waters of his home waters in northern California.

For our Rivers of a Lost Coast interview, we sat down with Frank at his residence in Santa Rosa during a sunny morning in the spring of 2006. He spoke passionately, jumping through the years recalling memories of old friends and infamous stories all the while drawing from a life of adventure spent chasing exotic fish in exotic lands.

He will be missed.

Frank Bertaina and Bob Nauheim

Posted by Justin on 03/04 at 12:30 AM in Permalink


• Posted on 03/02 at 08:55 AM

Our best wishes for a full recovery of Frank Bertaina

The Rivers of a Lost Coast production team sends their wishes and cares to Frank Bertaina, who is currently recovering from serious health complications in Santa Rosa. Frank Bertaina was one of the founding members of fishing international has been a staple member of Northern California’s fly community scene for over 45 years. We hope to see Frank back out on the California Delta with his fishing partner and good friend Tooch Colombo in the near future. Best wishes and a full recovery Frank!

Posted by Justin on 03/02 at 08:55 AM in Permalink


• Posted on 02/12 at 09:05 AM

Rivers of a Lost Coast mentioned at the Assembly oversight on California Department of Fish and Game

On this past Tuesday, 02/09/2010 Peter Moyle at the Assembly oversight sub-committee hearing on the California Department of Fish and Game made a strong case for the lack of resources and attention given to the state’s anadromous fisheries that has led to the current salmon and steelhead crisis. During his strong presentation, professor Moyle pointed to the film Rivers of a Lost Coast to help provide a historical context to the once incredible Eel River salmon and steelhead runs.

The hearing lasted over 3 hours and covered a variety of important issues. Professor Moyle begins speaking around 2 hours and 15 minutes and can be scanned directly to on the following link: Assembly oversight hearing.

Posted by Justin on 02/12 at 09:05 AM in Permalink


• Posted on 02/08 at 10:34 AM

Rivers of a Lost Coast in Truckee, CA this Thursday. Enjoy the snow, catch the movie!

The Squaw Valley Institute is presenting a showing of “Rivers of the Lost Coast”, co-sponsored by California Fly Fisher magazine and the Truckee River Watershed Council at the Cedar House in Truckee on Thursday, Feb. 11. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The film starts at 7 p.m. A $10 donation is suggested. Hope to see you there.

Posted by Justin on 02/08 at 10:34 AM in Permalink


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