Foundation Stories

Meet JCLF Donor Bert Berkley

Meet Bert Berkley!

Bert and his wife Joan started the Johnson County Library Foundation’s Joan Berkley Writers Fund. Bert and Joan were married for 62 years, until her passing in 2012. Their service to the KC community is immeasurable – and we thank them for their generosity!

Excerpt from Anglers Journal

“From the forward seat of a drift boat, Bert Berkley floats a dry fly to a quiet eddy of aquamarine water near the willow-brushed banks of the Beaverhead River. His presentation is close to flawless, and as guide Jeff Lyon invokes the standard incantation to the fish gods in these parts — “Eat it!” — Berkley is handsomely rewarded. A hefty rainbow trout smashes the fly, leaps in a splash of technicolor and zips downstream in a sizzling run that gives Berkley’s 4-weight Sage fly rod a workout.

“Tip up,” Lyon says reflexively — advice that elicits a good-natured response from Berkley. “I believe I’m doing that,” Berkley says as his rod bends in a perfect arc against a pristine Montana morning sky.

After five decades of fly-fishing all over the world and landing everything from trophy bonefish to Atlantic salmon, Berkley knows a thing or two about fighting a trout, even one that’s running “hot” like this one. Or as Lyon, a guide on this river for 21 years, will later tell me: “Bert is probably better than 85 to 90 percent of the people I take.”

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