Jean Brenchley and the Women Anglers


Jean Brenchley was a key figure in keeping the Women Anglers group together since 2007. She saw the value in providing a learning environment for women that was educational as well as social.

Her introduction to fly fishing came from Al Phillips, a close friend and biochemist colleague. After Jean retired from PSU, Al suggested that he teach her how to fly fish. Her description of those first lessons involve a lot of untangling of fly lines and retrieval of hooks from trees. Jean persisted under Al’s tutelage and she was “hooked.” Al was also an active Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited board member for at least 10 years.

When Jean heard about the Central Pennsylvania Women Anglers, she joined the group in its early stages, and became a leader in keeping them together during the “growing pains” stage of the organization. In April, 2016, the Central Pennsylvania Women Anglers joined the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited (SCCTU) and became known as the SCCTU Women Anglers. We continue to have monthly get togethers to fish or learn new fishing skills.

In the summer of 2018, Jean was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has taken its toll. When faced with the inevitable, she thought not only of her family but of her very enjoyable years with the Women Anglers as well as the value of Al Phillips taking the time and patience to introduce her to fly fishing.

Jean has set up an Endowment Fund with the Centre Foundation called the Jean Brenchley Women Anglers Support Fund. This fund is specifically to promote the sport of fly fishing for women and help the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited develop a strong female presence. This fund will provide yearly monies that the SCCTU Women Anglers will use to teach fly fishing skills to the women who join us.

The TU chapter will also be giving a yearly recognition award to a deserving person who has shown a commitment to mentoring women in the sport of fly fishing, in honor of Jean Brenchley who was mentored by Al Phillips. This award will be known as The Jean Brenchley and Al Phillips Mentorship Award.