|Michael and Christine attended and met at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. A visiting professor named Byron Burford from the University of Iowa offered Michael a position as his teaching assistant and the Fongs moved to Iowa for two years. During this time, Michael earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in painting and drawing from the University of Iowa and Corinna, their daughter was born.
After returning to the San Francisco Bay Area and working in the graphic arts trade in 1967, Michael wrote and sold his first angling article to "Outdoor Life" with photographs taken by Christine. Since that time, Michaels articles illustrated by Christines photographs have been published in every national outdoor magazine that reports on fishing and their writings and photographs have also appeared in many books. They have fished extensively throughout North America, in Central America, South America, New Zealand, Cuba, the Bahamas and in Norway catching most of the popular gamefish from trout to sailfish on the fly.
Michael received the Arnold Gringrich Memorial Award in 1996 from the Federation of Fly Fishers. Also in 1996, Michael and Christine received the Ross Allen Merigold Complete Angler Memorial Award bestowed by the Pasadena Casting Club. Michael and Christine were the second recipients of this prestigious award.
Michael was on the original staff of "Angler Magazine" first published in the early 70s, was the Editor of the Federation of Fly Fishers magazine, "The Flyfisher" from 1977-1982 and was a Contributing Editor to "Fly Fisherman" magazine.
Michael and Christine were featured speakers with the International Sportmans Exposition since the shows inception in the late 70s. In addition to public appearances, Michael and Christine gave numerous and acclaimed angling lectures, technical seminars and slide presentations to fishing clubs throughout the United States and Canada over a twenty-five year period.
From 1992-2002, Michael and Christine produced The Inside Angler (TIA), a flyfishing newsletter that reports on the most productive public and private flyfishing destinations in western North America. Published six times per year, this periodical recommends guides, outfitters and lodges catering specifically to anglers. In addition, campgrounds, RV parks and dining establishments are reported upon. Each destination is accompanied by a detailed map of the area.
Fenwick and Umpqua Feather Merchants were Michael and Christines sponsors. Fenwick has long been a manufacturer of quality fly rods and fishing equipment. Umpqua Feather Merchants produces the very best tied commercial flies designed by the most innovative fly tiers in the world and also offers fine flyfishing accessories. Abel Automatics and G. Loomis made generous raffle donations to the TIA parties over a period of several years. Recently, Redington and Patagonia had also made donations to TIA parties. During their career, the Fongs worked in collaboration with Fishing International, Club Pacific and Orvis.
Michael passed away in June 2002. He is greatly missed by his family, friends and the fly fishing community.
A book will be published by Frank Amato Publications in Spring 2003, entitled, The Ten Best Western Fly Fishing Destinations from "The Inside Angler" by Michael Fong with photography by Michael and Christine.
To contact: Christine Fong
Mail: PO Box 31282, San Francisco, CA 94131-0282
Phone/fax: (415) 586-7668