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National Forest Campground Reservations (simplified)

by Elaine Cook

Reservations can be made for national forest campgrounds and for other national recreational lands through However, a much simpler way is to call on the phone ( 877-444-6777 ). You will actually get a live person. The website is extremely confusing as far as I’m concerned and many others I have talked to as well. The phone line is open from 9 AM till midnight (eastern time), every day including weekends. Give it a try, you’ll love it. Just a word to the wise, since Covid began there are way more people out there recreating, so make your reservations well ahead.       

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GLOW BUG (Salmon egg pattern)

by Elaine Cook — Fly tying chairman

Steelhead and trout follow salmon as they spawn and readily eat their eggs. This pattern simulates them. The fly doesn’t sink well so use a sinking line, put weight on your leader, or trail the fly behind a fly that sinks well, or add a gold bead to the hook before tying on the yarn.

HOOK: Mustad 9174 or TMC 105 or Targus 105.  Size 6 or 8

THREAD: STRONG: white, peach, salmon or other light color. Such As: flat waxed nylon, Danville 2/0, monochord, Gudbrod Gx2 or Ultra 149 denier.

EGG: Glow Bug Yarn: comes in both thick and thin strands. bright salmon, pale salmon, orange, peach, pale yellow, and pink

1. Crimp Barb. NOTE: a hook with upturned eye also works, but material is harder to trim.
2. Attach thread 1/3 back on shank. Cover center 1/3 of shake with touching wraps. Leave thread mid shank.

  • Cut 3 one inch or longer pieces.
  • (optional)to simulate a developing embryo, cut a 1 inch piece of contrasting color of thin yarn.
    (See diagrams for upcoming steps.)
  • position thick yarn pieces side-by-side. If using contrasting piece, place it on top.
  • pinching center of material, place on top of shank so that they are not stacked but the three thick pieces are side-by-side and thin piece on top.
  • make three snug wraps, one on top of the other, keeping yarn on top of shank.
  • pull all material firmly upward to be sure it is all on top of shank.
  • tilt yarn to rear, make three wraps in front as close to yarn as possible.
  • pulling firmly up on yarn, make three snug wraps around base of yarn.
  • Advanced thread to eye.
  • whip finish, cut thread, apply super glue or equivalent to thread wraps ONLY behind hook eye.
  • Holding and pulling yarn upward, cut all at once in a single arc with a sharp heavy duty scissor, so that the cut corresponds to radius of egg.
  • stroke yarn downward and fluff to cover bottom of shank. Finger nail or Velcro can help.
  •  trim yarn if needed to form a round contour.


  • Cut 5 inch or slightly longer pieces.
  • (optional) to simulate a developing embryo, cut one 1 inch piece of contrasting color of yarn or separate one piece of thick yarn into 2 pieces, and use one.
  • position all five pieces of one color side-by-side. If using a contrasting piece, position four pieces of primary color side by side and contrasting color on top of them.
  • Proceed as above with the step that starts with “pinching”.

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Annual Slideshow!!!

Annual Slideshow!!!

Update January 4th:

Due to the contagiousness of the Omicron variant, the SCFF board has decided to reduce exposure risk by postponing the BBQ and not open the gates until 6:00 pm. You are welcome to attend in-person or watch via Zoom.

In January, we’re going to be back at the Sherriff’s Posse Hall our annual Club Members Photo Slide Show. The club will supply burgers, dogs, sides, and soft drinks. You can bring your family & friends, but please RSVP in form below or email to so we know how much food to provide. You may responsibly bring adult beverages. Please, no pets.

We will also have plenty of shopping opportunities: Club merchandise will be for sale. And items from Doug Severin’s estate will be offered to donating club members.

6:00  pm: Gates Open
7:00 pm: Slideshow


Future Speakers. Dates and speakers may change, please go to URL to see the current information.

Monthly Speaker Date Excerpt
Steelhead research and the impact of the CZU fire with Katie KobayashiFeb 02 Steelhead research and the impact of the CZU fire with Katie Kobayashi
Fisheries of the Central Coast & Iceland with Dagur GuðmundssonMar 02 Fisheries of the Central Coast & Iceland with Dagur Guðmundsson

Date:  Jan. 5th

Time:  3:30

Place:  Sheriff Posse Lodge

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Donations from the Doug Severin Estate

by Elaine Cook — fly tying chairman

The estate of our dear friend Doug Severin and club member of many years,  has donated his fly fishing belongings to our club. As Doug desired, his belongings will be made available at raffles and club events. The first opportunity to acquire something will be at our Jan. meeting and BBQ. The picture shows some of the items that will be available which will include fly tying materials. Beat the crowds, come early !  (Editor’s note:  There is a lot more stuff than this and will be available at the next three meetings.)

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Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Year

by Tom Hogye

Wow!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone and all you hold dear.    I hope you got all those fly fishing, fly-tying, casting, wading and outdoorsy things you wanted for the holiday.

I first want to thank each and every one of you for your extraordinary support and participation in Santa Cruz Fly Fishing.  I’m sure our founders, way back in 1977, would never have envisioned the fullness of our mission – “To Promote, Educate and Enjoy the sport of Fly-Fishing”.     It might surprise you that many of our original founders are still members of this club.   Yes, over 45 years.  So if you’re new – think of the possibilities!!

As I begin my 5th year as President, this is unprecedented to say the least.  But we’ve been dealing a lot with that word these last couple of years.    When I first joined the club in 1992, I was a young enthusiastic, infected person.   I had the bug badly.   I’d take my fly-rod to work with me and practice casting in the park near my work more than a few days a week.   I was tying the ugliest most unproportioned flies, but they were catching some fish, and I was getting better.   All of this long before the internet, YouTube, cell phones, …    Crazy to think of that.    When I was Conservation Chair from 93-96, I typed letters and faxed them to hundreds of people, as I began my stead to change the mindset of in our anadromous fisheries because, even as fly-anglers, we were all still hurting too many fish and we needed to show the world that the anglers were going to be the people who saved the Coho and Steelhead.    (Side note: – Keep your fish wet! In the water.   With today’s cameras and our insatiable desire to get good photos of fish, it is clear that we are all keeping fish out of the water way too long – for that photo or video clip of a lifetime which is likely the next reason fish mortality could be on the rise.   True!   Keep the fish in the water.)

In ’96 I accepted my first run at being President and loved it.   I suppose this is because, like today, I wasn’t alone.  I had the most awesome support from the membership and most importantly, the board, who today, also do more to support these efforts than I could ever imagine.

When I was President the first time, I took on the mantra that every idea was a good idea.  While we might not take on everyone of them, considering every idea gave birth to even more ideas that we put to work.    It let you share your own thoughts and wishes and enabled us to take that which you felt as a good thing, mold it, refine it, give you ownership and make it happen.   Like recently when Steve and Kevin did that pre-Christmas camping trip at New Brighton.   Turns out that was a blast and will be something we do again – and might be something we can do in combination with a surfperch fish-out in the Spring or Summer!   Or some of us who are looking for someone to resurrect the Pack Fish-out – where you get on a horse for a few hours, ride to remote mountain lakes and/or streams, stay a few days and pack out later.

I wasn’t always a member.   After those first 12 years, my children, my job and building my home took over.  Emily was competing all over the world and Tommy liked bikes, so we started riding together and I started racing.  Yep – went from fly-fishing president to mountain bike racer.   Then Tommy started racing and I was helping coach the team – which in mountain bike racing, means you ride as hard, or harder than these teenagers.   Some of you remember when Tommy and Emily were tiny little tots running around the Grange during club meetings!!

All too soon, Emily was on her own and Tommy was now focusing on cars.    Mona would always ask me if I’d heard from anyone at the “fly club”, or if I was going to a meeting.   I’d always say that was a good idea, or that I was bummed because I just missed the meeting.    I would still get Christmas cards from John and Elaine, John and Pat, and Kathy Powers – every year.   Those tugged at my heart strings.  Oh – I was still fly fishing every year – still going to Kennedy Meadows, but my mountain bike took me on the San Lorenzo trails more than my fly-rod did.

Finally, that September 2017 meeting came around and all the stars aligned.   I was back.

I could not be more grateful for all of you.   Many of you know exactly who you are and how we pulled together so much fun around fly-fishing, teaching, conservation, and more.   Some of you have just joined and haven’t yet experienced the activities we do in the community and with other agencies such as the Coastal Watershed Council, Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project, the Kids Day at the Fair Grounds, our Public Day at Quail Hollow Ranch; Confab, fun with the Patagonia Store…  Hang in there.  We’ll be back to doing all of this and you’re not going to believe how much fun and how rewarding it is to share what you love with someone else.

As things get back to normal, and they will, our club meetings will be even more special, and we’ll still be able to engage those around the world – yes – really?   Yes, Santa Cruz Fly Fishing club members who live in other places in our world, but support the work we do to – what?   “Promote, Educate and Enjoy the Sport of Fly-Fishing”.

Our January meeting will be taking place at the Santa Cruz Sherriff’s Posse Hall on Ocean Street Extension the 5th of this month.   It is our annual club slide show, where your photos are the show for this month.   We will be having a Barbeque, with snacks and beverages, a super nice raffle, AND a swap meet.    Many of us will be there early, so if you want to help in any way, please reach out to Kevin Murdock or myself between now and the end of this week!!   Please RSVP through the form in the meeting article or email to

Happy New Year Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club!!

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Surf Percher – Feb2022

Feb 09 6:30 PM : Surf Percher

Surf Percher

As the surf is just outside our back doors and Sam will be having club Fishouts in the surf before too long, we will be tying a fly to use for that endeavor. For you beginners this will be an easy fly. We will be using 6/0 red thread. The club has tools, vises and thread to borrow if you need them. There is no charge for the class and materials are provided. Give me a call to sign up and I’ll prepare a bag of materials and instructions for you, and put them at my front door. (831)688-1561

Mar 12 12:00 PM : Sign up for Poppers Class!

Sign up for Poppers  Class!

In March we will be making poppers so that we can go for those big mouthed bass. In the past the class has spanned over 2 days and involved lots of paints, epoxies, glues, solutions, along with various other supplies. It is not reasonable to assume that everyone would have everything that would be needed to craft these beauties, and not practical via Zoom. In order to not miss out this year, a simplified method has been devised which will give everyone reasonable and useful poppers. The only thing you will need to complete your popper fly is clear nail polish and Supper Glue or equivalent. If you have 30 min epoxi, a variety of acrylic paints and rubbing alcohol, your finished fly will be more like the ones we usually craft. Some lead time for prepping and putting supplies together will be needed. So please sign up soon but no latter than Mar. 5th. It will still be a 2 day class, but fewer hours than usual. We’ll start at noon. Allow 2-3 hours each day. You beginners to fly tying should feel comfortable doing this class. As always, the class is free and materials provided. Very strong thread, any color, such as flat waxed nylon or monocord will be needed. If you need thread, or tools and vise if you are a beginner, the club can loan them to you. Materials , directions and tips for bass fishing will bagged for you to be picked up at my door. Call me to sign up @ (831)688-1561

Future tying classes. Dates and subject may change, please go to URL to see the current information.

Image Date Fly Name
Sign up for Poppers  Class!Mar 12 Sign up for Poppers Class!
Green DrakeApr 13 Green Drake
CricketMay 11 Cricket
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Red bead conehead – Jan2022

Jan 12 6:30 PM : Red Bead Cone Head

Red Bead Cone Head

Here is a great one for you beginners. So get out that new vise and tools that you got at Christmas and join in. You can also borrow those as well as thread if needed. The thread this month is black 6/0. You may ask, after looking at the photo, “Where is the red bead?” When the fly gets wet it glows through the dubbing. You may have noticed a couple bass club Fishouts pop up on the fishout schedule for spring. Dan Eaton will be fishmastering them and he highly recommends this fly and the Fly Of The Month to target these fish subsurface. Give me a call to sign up and I’ll prepare a bag of materials for you and put it by my door. NO CHARGE FOR THE CLASS as usual. (831)688-1561

Future tying classes. Dates and subject may change, please go to URL to see the current information.

Image Date Fly Name
Surf PercherFeb 09 Surf Percher
Sign up for Poppers  Class!Mar 12 Sign up for Poppers Class!
Green DrakeApr 13 Green Drake
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Klamath River Salmon Release

by Conservation Director Bob Garbarino

As of last month, the California Department of Fish and Game has released 1.1 million juvenile fall run Chinook salmon into the Klamath River. The goal is to release 2 million fish. These fish were hatched at the Iron Gate Hatchery on the Klamath River and were originally scheduled to be released last spring. However, due to drought conditions and a disease outbreak, the fish were relocated to three other locations over the summer. This is good news for a river that has seen its once-storied Chinook salmon runs decimated for a variety of reasons—including low flows and dams. The other positive news is the planned removal of four dams on the Klamath that will allow fish more access to spawning waters.

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Updated 2022 Dues Membership

by Bob


We are on schedule to meet our membership dues budget and are hoping for additional donations in order to offset the loss from our annual fundraiser dinner. At the end of December 150 members have renewed their 2022 dues membership.  In addition donations of $2,000 have exceeded the prior year by 50% and continues to grow with members support.

In February, we will have final 2021 revenue and expense figures and update our 2022 Budget.  We still have 25 members who have not renewed and we will accept renewals at the January BBQ and for the balance of January.  Email reminders will be sent in early January.

For those that have already renewed and donated online, THANK YOU


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Help Lead a Fishout in 2022

by John cook — fishmaster chairman

The club has had a great variety of Fishouts over the years. It’s planning time for 2022 and I’m encouraging you to think about planning one. It can be very simple or involved. And as fishmaster chairman, I’m here to help you with the decision to do one, choosing a plan, and guide you on how to organize the outing.
If you are hesitant, I would encourage something very simple. For example: making an announcement in the newsletter that includes, place, date and time, your name and contact info as fishmaster, type of fishing and equipment needed. Make it so sign ups are not needed, everyone is on their own for food and any fees required.
There is no need for you to be an expert in fishing that area and it is understood that you are not guaranteeing how good the fishing will be. It’s important to acquire basic information ahead of time, such as, how to get there, approximate driving time, any entrance fees, equipment inspections, PDF requirements, etc.

Please consider stepping up this year and help provide the opportunity for us to get together, have fun, find out about a new place to fish and the fishery, and learn from others. I’m waiting for your phone call. Please do call.
John Cook — fishmaster chairman.  (831)688-1561.                 (831)234-6515

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Fishout Schedule

mobile scrollable table 

Poppers ClassMarch 13, 2022
Lake BerryessaMarch 21, 2022 - March 23, 2022Primarily  Bass. Dan Eaton. (831) 336-2933
Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 3rd-9th 2022April 03, 2022 - April 09, 2022Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Mike White - (831) 706-5556
Los Banos Creek Reservoir Fishout – 2022April 18, 2022 - April 20, 2022Primarily  Bass. Dan Eaton. (831) 336-2933.
Manresa BeachMay 07, 2022
Palm BeachJune 04, 2022
Rio Del Mar BeachJuly 02, 2022
Manresa BeachAugust 06, 2022
Palm BeachSeptember 03, 2022
Mammoth Fishout – 2022 (Updated)September 24, 2022 - October 08, 2022Trout John Cook fishmaster-- (831)688-1561 or (831)234-6515

Mar 13 : Poppers Class

Poppers Class
(Click for address and map)

Mar 21 : Lake Berryessa

(Click for address and map)
Fishmaster: Dan Eaton. (831) 336-2933

Dan Eaton will lead a fishout at Lake Berryessa. The date will be either Mar 21-23 or Mar 28-30 based on weather conditions. Camping will be a the Putah Canyon Campground.

Apr 03 : Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 3rd-9th 2022

Pyramid Lake (Click for address and map)
Fishmaster: Mike White - (831) 706-5556

The Pyramid Lake trip is one of the best-attended fishouts the club has, and for a good reason. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout cruise parallel to the shore in easy casting distance from shore. Cost for the week including meals and lodging and is around $300+ per person depending on the number in attendance. You need not fish all six days as there may be openings (usually later in the week.) Contact Mike for more details (831) 706-5556, to check on openings, or be put on a waiting list. First come first served.

You can also make your own arrangements either by bringing your own RV (Pyramid Lake Lodge has hook-ups and sells permits to park on the any of the beaches along the lake) or staying in Reno. Reno is 45 minutes away. Call Pyramid Lake Lodge to inquire about last minute cancellations in their cabins as well (775) 476-0400 and check out their website to see what the cabins look like at The General Store in Sutcliff offers meals on selected nights only to those who call in before 2:00 PM. Check at the General Store for details.

Equipment: 6-9 weight rods with hi-speed, hi-D shooting heads or fast sink integrated lines to fish the bottom in 6 to 9 feet of water, and a floating line for indicator fishing. You should bring a stripping basket and a ladder that will accommodate it. A ladder helps to get you up out of the cold water and enable you to cast out to where the fish are. You can still catch fish without one but not with near as much consistency.

Flies: Woolly buggers in black, white, purple, olive, midge, caddis and mayfly nymphs to name a few. If as in years past the Confab in February is offering the opportunity to see how some of the best Pyramid patterns are made plan to attend and bring a vise and tie some yourself. Flies may also available from club member Jim Hall who ties some very good flies specific to Pyramid cutthroat as well as other species at reasonable cost. His number is (831) 713-6835. There is a general store with provisions as well as tackle and an assortment of flies.

How to get there: Take US 80 to Reno-Sparks, take the Pyramid Blvd. off ramp and go north about 35 miles. Crosby Lodge is at Sutcliff, near the Ranger Station.

 If you have any questions about equipment or how to get there, check the “Gearing up” columns in the March 2007-2009 archives on our great club website, or call Mike White at (831) 706-5556. 

If you are considering going to Pyramid again this year with the club and you have not already done so, please contact the person who is booking the trailer you stayed in last year. Trailer-masters, if your trailer has gaps or cancellations, you can call Mike so he can pass the names of members who don’t have lodging to fill the empty spots. 

Fishing, Camping, and New Ladder Regulation:

Fishing and camping permits can be purchased online prior to the fish-out. We would highly recommend doing this. Go to to obtain your licenses. There is also an RV Park available at (775) 476-1155.

As with any great fishery there are always a long list of rules and regulations. We would recommend you review them on the website above. Suffice to say those of us who have been going to Pyramid Lake for many years are a good source of information as well. We will help inform and guide all newcomers.  15.6 USE OF LADDERS, ETC. Any ladders, milk crates, boxes or other objects used in the water as a fishing aid must be occupied or closely attended (i.e. remain in the area) by fishermen at all times. Any person who leaves such objects unoccupied in the water for more than one hour will be deemed guilty of littering. 15.6.1 Fishing aids described above must have a permanent tag affixed that has the name, address, and phone number of the owner of the fishing aid. If the permitted angler using the fishing aid is not the owner, the owner will be the responsible party for any infractions by the permitted angler. 

This year we have five trailers reserved. (6,7,8,9, and 10) As of September 1st 2021 we have 5 openings available. These openings will fill up quickly, so contact Mike immediately at (831) 706-5556. Last year was an incredible experience with many fish over 15 lbs brought to the net. If you cannot commit early and make it into one of our reserved trailers you can always make your own arrangements by contacting the Pyramid Lake Lodge at (775) 476-0400.

Mike White (831) 706-5556,

NOTE: Due to insurance regulations, all attendees must be paid up members of Santa Cruz Fly fishermen, so get your membership paid up if you haven’t done so yet.


Apr 18 : Los Banos Creek Reservoir Fishout – 2022

Los Banos Creek Reservoir Fishout - 2022
(Click for address and map)
Fishmaster: Dan Eaton. (831) 336-2933.

Fishmaster: Dan Eaton

Los Banos Creek Reservoir has Bass and Bluegill and the option of fishing Stripers and Bass in the O’Neill Forebay 20 miles away. As of early February, the campground ARE OPEN along with the choices to get a nearby motel or go for day trips. This Fishout is limited to the first 10 members who contact – Dan Eaton (831) 336-2933

Gear: Float tube and fins. Fly line include floating, intermediate, and fast sinking. For fly suggestions contact Dan.

May 07 : Manresa Beach

Manresa State Beach (Click for address and map)

Target Species: Surf Perch and Stripers

Fishmaster: Sam Bishop

Jun 04 : Palm Beach

Palm State Beach (Click for address and map)

Meet at 5:30 am

Target Species:  Surf Perch and Stripers

Fishmaster: Sam Bishop  831-274-4024

Jul 02 : Rio Del Mar Beach

Rio Del Mar Beach (Click for address and map)

Meet at 5:30 am

Target Species:  Surf Perch and Stripers

Fishmaster: Sam Bishop

Aug 06 : Manresa Beach

Manresa State Beach (Click for address and map)

Target Species: Surf Perch and Stripers

Fishmaster: Sam Bishop

Sep 03 : Palm Beach

Palm State Beach (Click for address and map)

Meet at 6:20 am

Target Species:  Surf Perch and Stripers

Fishmaster: Sam Bishop  831-274-4024

Sep 24 : Mammoth Fishout – 2022 (Updated)

Mammoth Fishout - 2022 (Updated)
Mammoth Lakes (Click for address and map)
Fishmaster: John Cook fishmaster-- (831)688-1561 or (831)234-6515

Dates:  This fishout will take place over two consecutive one-week periods. You may sign up for one or both weeks. Week 1: Sept  24 – Oct 1.       Week 2: Oct 1 – Oct 8.

Location: The town of Mammoth Lakes is located on the eastern side of the Sierra, 6 or 7 hours drive from Santa Cruz. There are many lakes and streams in the area to fish.

General: We will be staying in condominiums in the town of Mammoth Lakes. Condo has a lovely hot tub, so bring your suit. Two people per bedroom. Most people bring a sleeping bag to share king size bed or a pad and sleeping bag to sleep on floor. A private room option is possible at an increased fee.

Cost:  Shared single:  $375/wk, $750/2 wks,   Private room:  $750/wk,  $1,290/2 wks.   Dinner guests:  $15/meal

Food Preparation: Breakfast and lunch items will be purchased by the fishmaster ahead of time. Each person will be assigned a Kitchen Day. On that day, tasks will include setting out breakfast and lunch items, store unused food, and preparing the evening meal and clean up afterwards.

SignUps: Call John Cook letting him know which week or both or private room up to May 1st.

Covid Issues: TBD

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by Author of riddle will be reviled next month .


  1. There are 5 houses in five different colors.
  2. In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
  3. These five owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a curtain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
  4. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same beverage.

The question is:



  1.   the Brit lives in the red house
  2.   the Swede keeps dogs as pets
  3.   the Dane drinks tea
  4.   the green house is on the left of the white house
  5.   the green house’s owner drinks coffee
  6.   the person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds
  7.   the owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill
  8.   the man living in the center house drinks milk
  9.   the Norwegian lives in the first house
  10.  the man who smokes blends lives next to the one who keeps cats
  11.  the man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill
  12.  the owner who smokes BlueMaster drinks beer
  13.  the German smokes Prince
  14.  the Norwegian lives next to the blue house
  15.  the man who smokes blend has a neighbor who drinks water

If you can solve this riddle,
The solution and author will appear in next month’s newsletter.

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Door Prizes in December!

by Jeff Goyert

Everyone who attends the December Fly Club zoom meeting get a free ticket to the monthly door prize drawing.
We have some neat stuff, keep it yourself or use it for fly buddy stocking stuffers.

  1. The FirstAid kit is not intended for major surgery but will come in handy for cuts, bruises, and other minor medical mishaps that might be encountered during a fly fishing adventure.
  2. The four function Coghlan’s has a compass, magnifier, thermometer, and whistle. Great on the the back trails or on your float tube on the water.
  3. How about a National Geographic trail topographic map for the Merced and the Tuolumne river? Great for planning and executing a fly fishing back pack trip.

These prizes are all from the new REI store that has opened up in Santa Cruz across from Dominican Hospital. Great place, check it out .  Gift receipts are included if you would like to swap out the prize for some other treat.

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Wabbit Season. Duck Season. Steelhead Season! Bang!

Happy Holidays everyone.   I hope you are all doing well looking forward to time with family and friends this year.

For those of you who made it to April Vokey’s presentation and tutorial on two-handed rods and gear for big rivers, you might be asking Santa for a Skagit head, some Rio MOW tips, and a variety of Hobo-Spey flies in yer stockings!

As April mentioned in her presentation, “spey” casting techniques are not only effective for two-handed rods, but also very effective for single hand fly rods.   Most of you know the “roll cast”.   Spey casting is associated with the roll-cast, or is in fact a roll-cast (I dare say), but with certain movements with the rod, that put your line and leader in different places on the water in front of you or to the side of you.

I encourage all of you to explore “spey” casting techniques by searching the inter-web, YouTube…   You’ll come across some new casting names and begin to understand what they are; single-spey, double-spey, snap-T, Circle-C, and more.   All very effective when there is no room to cast behind you, or just another set of great casting techniques to add to your repertoire.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel home to Ohio to see my mom and family.   I’m always timing these trips as a means to kick off the holiday season, and have a chance to fish for Lake run Steelhead on the Chagrin River, where I grew up fishing as a child.    This year I took my 13’ 6”, 8 weight two-handed rod, a box of steelhead flies and my waders.   Not much else you need.

When I arrived in Ohio it was a beautiful 70 degrees, but the water was low.  But weather changes quickly in these parts of the country and it’s common to get rain that will move the river from 150cfs to 400 or more, overnight.   Thursday was that day.    It has rained just enough to bring the river up.  Puffy clouds brought cover and contrast to the stunning fall colors still hanging on the maple, pin oak, buckeye and more.

It’s not always possible to time trips perfectly, but each time is an opportunity to get on the water with my brother Pat.   The river was beautiful and the flows made this place look about as close to a big British Columbia watershed as I could imagine.   We were on the water at 7:30 and immediately rolled two fish across the river, getting our hopes up quickly.    We fished hard till 10:00 then headed off to the Chagrin River dinner for a couple egg sandwiches and a hot cup of coffee before traveling about 30 seconds to the next place on the river.    Almost like it was here on the San Lorenzo in the old days.   If you don’t know this already, the San Lorenzo River was once noted as “The Most Famous” steelhead river on the Central Coast.   Mostly because guys brought their friends, and wives spent the weekend, went shopping, found easy access along the 11+ miles of fishable water, and found they could pull off the river and grab coffee, food, beer and whiskey in just minutes, no matter where they were on the river.   It was fun to do just that with my brother on the Chagrin, still in our waders and no one looking at us as differently.

The flow of the river enabled me to get a very good grasp on my spey casting techniques, delivery and swing.   It was soooooooo much fun.    When you can throw 80 feet of line almost effortlessly clear across the water and feel the line tug on your reel because it still wants to go farther – you’ll know what I mean.   As the wind picked up in the afternoon, I got to try a few other of the methods necessary- like the Perry Poke (coined after a fella named Carl Perry kept “blowing his anchor” – wait, what?…! – recovering his cast effectively.  Something that’s been done for 100 years, but never really called anything until spey casting anglers began naming it after Carl – at least that’s what I researched thus far), and casting with my right hand.    Yes – spey casting also teaches you to be ambidextrous.

Part of my timing in the coming years will be that time when the steelhead are in but the leaves have either not fallen off the trees yet, or are already completely fallen off.  As the day wore on, the wind gusts befuddled our success choking the water with leaves, and despite nice off-color water, I imagined hundreds of leaves bouncing off the noses of fish, causing them to hunker down no matter how colorful my flies tried to compete with the leaves.

Despite not landing any fish, it was the best day on the water with my brother on a river I never really appreciated as much as a kid.  Except, perhaps, on those warm summer days when Mike and I would quit fishing and go swimming!

The Great Lakes rivers are abundant with fish these days.   Not just lake run steelhead, but also Chinook, Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye (mostly in the lake), Perch, Catfish, Carp, Pike, and some Brown Trout.    None of the fish are small.   The Grand, Chagrin, Rocky and even the Cuyahoga, that river that once caught fire in the 60’s when it was so polluted with industrial waste, are all now healthy fisheries year-round.    There is a Facebook page for the area called Ohio Steelhead.   Look it up.

Well – a lot of fun in store for us in the coming months.   December is Gordon Tharrett who is going to present to us on the Green River in Utah – and fly-fishing Utah/Idaho areas.  He’s been a guide for a few of our members for years.   Don’t miss this one.

January 5th will be a time for us to extend the holidays with a BBQ, Big Raffle, installation of Board and Directors AND our annual Club slide show which will be a collection of all the member photos from all the fishing you did this past year.     We will be meeting at the Sherriff’s Posse Hall on Ocean Street Extension.   Mark your calendars.

It’s been a great year and its fun seeing all the new members participate in fishing, fly-tying, and jumping on the Board to be a driving force for the future of the club.    Super happy to see how this is coming together.   If you’re interested, let us know.    We still have a couple of positions we would love help with.

Happy Holidays.  Jump in – we’ll land a few together.    Tom Hogye – 831-214-7578

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Whip Finish

by Elaine Cook — fly tying chairman

Instead of featuring a specific fly this month, using the “whip finish” method to tie your favorite fly will be discussed.  Having the skill of tying the knot to complete your fly using a “whip finish” is very important for certain flies. Some folks use the method more often, for they just find it easier when they get the hang of it. There are 3 methods to accomplish this:

  1.  Whip finish tool that’s referred to as a Matarelli (there are other similar brands but this is the most commonly used)
  2. Standard whipper (a very old style tool and trickier to use)
  3. Hand method (the only method available before there were tools and uses 2 fingers)

Specific flies that require this method are any that must be tied off behind the material on the hook, ie: beaded flies, poppers. You can use this method on the fly being tied at the fly tying class this month but won’t be required. This is a great time to learn how, refresh your skill, or learn a new technique. There are numerous demonstrations on YouTube for all 3 methods. Just ask for  “whip finish demonstration for tying flies”.

I found the one done by Copper Landing Fly Fishing was well done for a Matarelli. Check them out and do some practicing on a bare hook.

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Zayante Creek Habitat Improvement Project

by Conservation Bob Garbarino

The Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, the City of Santa Cruz, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District and the County of Santa Cruz have partnered to complete an instream improvement project on Zayante Creek. The work took place on a one mile stretch of the upper creek. Large trees were anchored in the creek to improve the natural habitat for steelhead and coho salmon. Historically, some of the higher juvenile steelhead population densities in the San Lorenzo River watershed been found in Zayante Creek. Check out the web link below:

Make sure you view this brief Youtube video that describes the project.

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Thank you for the 90 members who have paid dues online

by Bob Peterson

90 members have renewed 2021 dues for a total of $4,500 including $1,200 in donations averaging $50/member.

100 membership renewal letters have been mailed out to those members who have not yet responded. Deadline to be included in the 2022 roster is Dec 31st. Member names who have not responded will be deleted from the roster and Googlegroups.

We are on schedule to meet our membership dues budget and are hoping for additional donations in order to offset the $4,500 loss from our annual fundraiser dinner not being held for 2 years. With additional member contributions we could double our High School scholarships from $200 to $400/student, maintain our conservation project funding, and pay to restore the County Steelhead plaque on the San Lorenzo River damaged by vandalism with matching funds.

For those that have already renewed and donated online, THANK YOU

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IN MEMORIAM: Douglas Severin

by Elaine Cook

Douglas Severin
November 8, 1927– October 26,2021
Doug joined our club clear back in 1998. He had been a real outdoor person, but all his companions were no longer able to participate with him. So his wife Diane encouraged him to check out the SCFF club. As he put it , after doing just that, “ I’ve found a new home”. He jumped right in joining the fly tying classes and was soon helping beginners , as he was extremely skilled at tying. His specialty was small dry flies which over the years served him well at the Mammoth and Green River fishouts as well as throughout Montana and Wyoming. He was not a fan of flying so trips to the Green River were on Amtrak and to other Rocky Mountain destinations he would accomplish by driving almost non-stop to his destination. He loved the back country in the Sierra and a couple of his favorites were McGee and Convict Canyons. His participation and help with club functions were remarkable. In his quiet gentlemanly manner, you’d find him demonstrating fly tying to the public, donating and preparing, along with Diane, salads for the Club Fund Raiser, and then showing up at functions ahead of time to help set up then stay to pick up at the end. So now we say goodbye to our dear friend Doug. His company will be missed but the fond memories will live on.

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Notes from site 29:

by K. Murdock, V/P

Notes of Fish Master, Kevin Murdock (Dock), from mysterious site #29 (O’Neill Forebay):

Fish Master Log Date Nov 3: Our beloved Stosh, bowing to the frailties of mortal life, was unable to host our November fish out to San Lois Reservoir. I agreed to stand in for him, as long as no organizing was to be involved.

When I arrived Wednesday afternoon, Elaine & John Cook had already been camping since Tuesday. They’d had some success amongst the weed patches around the islands. They also had thoughtfully placed a tablecloth and wood box at site 29, assuring it would be available for my arrival. I sat up camp (1) and returned to Aptos to pick up the mighty pokey-mon. (My 12ft. tin boat). (2)

FM Log Date Nov 4: Early Thursday morning Cooper and I launched the boat. Thank goodness I’d had the boat tagged the last time I’d fished on the lake. It had rained Wednesday evening, and my boat was full of water. No way would they have allowed me to launch.

We fished for naught for a couple of hours. That’s when I determined to find Elaine, for she is quite frequently in the close company of fish. I was right. I found her between the first and second Islands, firmly stuck to a Striper. With her in my sight, I quickly hooked and landed a couple of schoolies. I would offer this to all of our newbies on fish outs: keep Elaine in sight and you’ll probably find fish. It’s worked for John for ages. Indeed, he’d caught a couple that morning.

I moored the Pokey-man near our camp and had lunch with Pete, a new returning club member. He towed a gorgeous Air Stream in (3) and asked where to park so as not to impinge on any view-shed. I opined that the air-stream enhanced any view I might have.

After lunch, I motored to the north-west side of the fore bay where I found a dozen tubers and Kayakers from a neighboring fishing club. The name escapes me for the moment. (Don’t be alarmed, that happens on a regular basis). They were scratching out a fish here and there when Cooper decided he could catch a pelican. (4) That was the first of his three jumps into the drink.

The laughter of the other club’s members were still ringing in my ears when I decided to explore the great wall area. Near the south east corner, I finally located some fish on my 30 year old garage sale hummingbird. They were in 25’ water depth, holding at nearly 20’. There was a current pushing my boat from east to west, so I posted up current, about 40’from the wall and cast directly towards the wall. I counted down quite a while as I drifted over the fish, & then began a slow strip. I got a strong grab and had the fish on long enough to try to get it on the reel, with devastating consequences. Over the next hour I repeated this process several times. Eventually, after omitting the part where I tried to put the fish on the reel. I landed two smaller fish. (5)

Thursday evening the wind died enough to have a lovely campfire, and the four of us enjoyed a lively conversation as we took turns fussing over Cooper. Elaine shared her vast San Lois Intel with us. (Greatly appreciated!)

FM Log Date Nov 5: Friday Morning I woke early to find Yogi launching his u-boat. Still dark-thirty. A couple of cups of coffee later I launched and hustled to meet Jerry at the Rock Wall (6) by the old boat launch.  I arrived in the vicinity just as the sun rose, and promptly caught a small striper. I found Jerry shortly after he had released one of his own. Jerry caught a couple more over the next hour. Ospreys and bald eagles were my entertainment.

I returned to camp for brunch and was helped to shore by another new club member, Jeff. Pete treated us to a spread of bacon & eggs, whilst I whipped up a batch of Bloody Mary’s. Tim Loomis and a friend I haven’t met yet launched at about that time. Good Luck to ya!

Yogi returned after having caught a few. Probably just getting warmed up for his upcoming tuna trip.

Thought I’d take a quick nap. Two hours later, Elaine & John pulled out of the water. Elaine had landed 8 or 10 fish that morning, & John a few more, including one he described as a nice 20 plus inches, with a huge head. I envisioned Bruce Bocce’s head on a striped bass.

Tim Loomis returned with tales of the biggest striper he had ever landed in this body of water. He estimated 6+ lbs., or about twice the size of the biggest fish I had caught that day. Tim caught his on the Delta smelt pattern. In fact, that’s the only fly I used on the trip, and others echoed that sentiment.

Jeff and Pete had also each caught fish that day.

FM Log Date Nov 6: Saturday found Pete and myself on our own. We fished separately, scratching up a fish here and there. The wind chased me off the water early. Too windy for a fire, Pete and I retired to our respective campers to stay warm. A book for me, a movie for Pete. Early to sleep.

That pretty well sums it up. Fair fishing for many, great for a few. A pretty good fish out.

Enjoy the resource while you can, future dam construction will make this place much more difficult to get to, for quite some time.