Ladies of Pasadena Casting Club
PCC's Lady of the Month!
Hello Everyone! Here at the Pasadena Casting Club, we are all about empowerment and community. That is why we are going to be featuring a female member every month and share about them and what they do for the community!
To start us off, Carolina Craven!
March was Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month!
Our very own member, Caroline Craven, has Multiple Sclerosis, and as a way to bring awareness to this disease and support her and all the good she does, we asked her to share her story. Multiple Sclerosis Awareness is represented by the color orange, so don't be afraid to show your support with wearing orange!
In 2001 I was hit with a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and could not walk or see unassisted. Through life changes, diet changes, and doctors help, I’ve come along way. Especially in making the most of things. I’m able to enjoy my life in a big part because of the members of PCC and what our local waters have to share with us.
Fishing With MS means community in many ways. I’ve always been a fisherman. As long as I can remember I’ve either bait fished or fly fished, for fun, survival, tournaments or just peace of mind.
In a former life not only did I enjoy fishing but I was a white water river guide on the Kern River, American River and several rivers in and around Eugene, Oregon. Then I became an avid white water kayaker. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time on the water and I loved it. Still do.
I had been in Los Angeles for about a year before the MS hit, and spent time many weekends up at the Kern. But after it hit and I couldn’t make the drive, I became so frustrated in trying to find places to fish that I could get to easily.
After the MS settled down and realized I couldn’t go on any longer without my fish connection, I learned about the Pasadena Casting Club and joined. After enjoying many clinics and fly tying events, I started fishing the LA River with Analiza Del Rosario. She came all the way from Azusa to pick me up in La Canada after she worked all day. We would go down to the river with her kids and fish and just had the time of our lives. I have since taken numerous friends, parents, nephews and cousins down to the river to enjoy the beauty and fun of fishing. Or to be more clear, they’ve taken me.
The PCC fishing community has shown me and my MS so much love over the years. MS is a disease that affects the nerves and each day varies. Sometimes I’m strong as an ox and other days I can barely walk. I have become unreliable. But this has not deterred the PCC members. Members from the club have come and taken me to a surf clinic or to one of the meetings out at the Masonic Hall. I don’t know what I would do without this group actually it has brought me so much joy and relief and peace in my life being allowed to be connected to so many people that appreciate water and fish in our natural surroundings.
With my work as an MS advocate, I have been able to travel the country and fish in some pretty fun areas. Although the time of the year might not of been the best or the locations may have been a little funky I was able to fish while I worked and I loved it. Some of the places I got to explore where the canals inside of Houston, Texas, where a bunch of big grass carp slurp up coffee bean flies. We were throwing out the funnest flies that my guide made. Coffee beans that he would saw a small ridge on the inside and glue a hook in there. And slurp they did.
One of my tours took me as a life coach to talk to newly diagnosed patients in Florida, which landed me in Lake Kissimmee. The fishing was off as it was cold and the guide said it probably wouldn’t be good and I could cancel. Cancel? A chance to ride in a boat all over a lake fishing? Who cares if they’re biting. I’m going! He gave me a wonderful historical tour of the area, explained how the fish lived and other natural history facts. I popped flies for a few hours there and I finally caught myself a nice little black bass. It was a perfect day.
One of my other fun fishing adventures to this community of Pasadena Casting Club has been able to participate in a couple of the current river fly fishing tournaments. While I never personally brought anything to the scale I was able to be part of a couple championship teams and that was just amazing.
In fact I remember one day, in order to make the tournament, Analiza drove from Azusa, after working all day, picked me up in La Canada around 8pm, drove to the Kern River set up camp by midnight, Got to Guy’s fly fishing store by 6 AM, fished all day, went to the awards ceremony that night, and then she drove us home all the way back to La Canada and Azusa. And yet another perfect fishing experience.
Another great fishing memory I have with this PCC community was when Paul Payan was able to pick me up and take me up to a surf clinic on the coast. Another time I took Amtrak down to San Diego and met Kesley and Analiza for a one-fly surf fishing tournament. One weekend took me with a bunch of ladies to Hot Creek Ranch for breathtaking views and dry fly fishing. A few years ago I found myself surfing the flats in Port Townsend, Texas, with my uncle where the sharks will grab your stringer if you let them. And just a couple months ago I met the ladies of So Cal Fly Fishing in Long Beach (Thank you Regina for the ride!) for a day of carp fishing and Mexican food. The memories and smiles keep coming.
I think what I’ve learned after almost 50 years of fishing is that I really enjoyed just being out there in the area of fish. It’s the whole process, from tying flies, building rods, watching the morning dew as the the lake wakes up, seeing the whale in the kelp bed while fishing the central California coast, to enjoying every person, memory and feeling of line that is fishing.
I’ve caught enough fish that it’s usually not my main goal when I go fishing. When I go fishing, my goal is to be in the present, to be in the moment, to do whatever I want and if the fish come along that’s great but it’s not the end all be all.
I really want to thank everyone PCC and my friends beyond that have just helped me keep up my love for fishing and water. I couldn’t do it without you!
As a final note:
I would like to thank Anna Lee, Michael Miller, Carl Crawford, Eric Callow (he’s my alternate on my senate appointed committee for the Upper LA River Tributaries working group), Susan Haigh, Wenda Payan, Leigh Ann Craven (long lost relative from American revolution times), Naomi, and so many others I’m flooded with names and no time. (I’m giving my Oscar acceptance. ).
If you would like more information on Multiple Sclerosis, you can visit and read all about Caroline and her adventures on her below: