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Our first in-person meeting: August BBQ!

by By Vice President Kevin murdock

In the pre-COVID days, our July meetings were typically the lightest attended of the year. Our membership clearly wanted to be on the road over the 4th of July holiday. Accordingly, we would hang a ‘gone fishing’ sign on our monthly general meeting. That’s what we’re doing this July. Enjoy the holiday, go fishing. We’ll reconvene with a special meeting in August.  For our August meeting, we’ll get together at a new location for our annual summer  B-B-Q. This year, we’ll meet at 6:30 pm at the Sheriff’s Posse House on the Ocean St extension in Santa Cruz. It’s located about a half mile beyond the cemetery. Ample parking and outdoor seating come with the venue.  The club will host a burger and hot-dog cookout with all the fixings.    We’ll also hold a fishing swap-meet/flea market. Bring your gently or un-used gear to the meeting for cash or trade.   There is also a perfect field for casting demonstrations and competitions. Bring your favorite rod and cast for prizes.

This will be our first opportunity in what seems like forever to meet and greet in person. Please, if you are un-vaxed, wear a mask for your own protection.

Date:  8/11/21

Time:  6:30

Place:  Zoom

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Balanced Leech – August fly tying class

by Jerry McKeon

At first glance this fly looks like your typical wooly bugger but it’s not.  It’s tied in a way that allows it to hang in the water column in a horizontal plane or balanced.  Hung under an indicator in choppy water the fly pulses and swims  the way a baitfish or leech does.  Professional fly anglers like Phil Rowley and Brian Chan are big advocates for this pattern on still waters for trout and I’ll vouch for it as a great bass pond fly.

The body of this fly is created using a dubbing loop so some kind of dubbing whirl tool is needed.  Dubbing looped bodies are also very effective for nymphs and other streamers so this is a good technique to know.  If you need more info, check out this video with options for dubbing whirls:

Class is 8/11/21 @6:30PM on Zoom.

Please email metropolitantrout@gmail.com by 7/29 and include your address so I can mail you the materials.  The days leading up to the class I will be out of town and unavailable to reach which is why I’m asking for the early RSVP.

Hope to see you there, Jerry

 

 

 

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Great choices for the June Raffle

June is the time of year, this year for sure, that we fly fishers get serious about spending some serious time on the water. It is time to get out of the house and visit our favorite lakes and streams.  How about we do that with some new gear?

WINNER’S PICK ROD/REEL COMBO
Who among us can’t use a new rod and reel? Something to fill in a blank spot in our quiver, something as a back up to stash away in the back of the truck, or maybe a gift for someone new to the sport.   The lucky winner with the lucky raffle ticket will have their choice of a four piece, 9 foot high carbon rod with matching reel in either 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, or 8wt. The winner picks!
All the rods include a cloth case inside a zippered cordura hard case and a protective cloth reel sack. The 8wt has a nice little fighting butt, perfect for Pyramid Lake or San Luis reservoir.

SUMMERTIME TROUT FLIES – 5 DOZEN!!
Unbelievable! Need to to give your heart a jump start? Just open this box of flies donated by Matt Maurin. 60 beautiful flies; Elk hair Cadis, midges, Pheasant Tails, and more. Wow, got to be $150 worth of flies in a really cool Santa Cruz Fly Club box. Don’t miss out on this one.

THINK SAFE PFD   Life Preserver
If you spend any time on the water, be it float tube, kayak, or pontoon boat, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and WEAR A PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE! Don’t have one? Buy a raffle ticket and win one! This USCG approved Type III vest also has top flap and side entry gear pockets along with a D ring for accessory attachment. Constructed of durable nylon with large armholes and open neck for great range of movement.

THE FINE PRINT:
Raffle tickets are a dollar each sold in blocks of five, twenty bucks gets you 25 tickets. Click on this link to purchase tickets:

https://santacruzflyfishing.org/raffle

Club membership not required to purchase tickets, need not be present at Zoom meeting to win. Ticket sales cutoff is noon June 2nd the day of the monthly meeting.

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As the World Begins to Turn Again

First of all I want to thank all of you who have participated in the Zoom meetings we’ve had over the last year.   You made the leap and helped all of us have fun at a time when the media wanted us to focus on doom and gloom.    I am grateful for all the new members we got to meet via Zoom, and some of the casting classes we were able to have together.

Now that the world is beginning to turn again – I’m singing the song – “Crimson and Clover, Covid is over…”.

At this writing, Mona and I are preparing to take off for almost a week of Eastern Sierra bliss – no cell, no work,.   Just fly-fishing and exploring that beautiful part of our country along the 395.   We will be hitting Mammoth, Crowley, Bishop, Lone Pine and Cerro Gordo (look it up and follow Brent on YouTube).   I hope to have some photos for our Instagram and Facebook pages to share with all of you – pretty much – instantly – when cell or wifi is available.    .

Our June meeting will be via Zoom – but don’t miss it.   We’re bringing back a special presentation we use to do years ago – Teach you how to take awesome photos of the fish you catch.    Brian O’Keefe, has some of the most common sense, but often overlooked, tips on how to get great photos of your fly-fishing experiences – including those of fish you would like to show off.   Then you can share them with us so we can post to our Instagram page!!!

July we should be starting to experiencing some sense of normalcy, but we don’t have a club meeting historically, for obvious reasons.  You’re all out fishing!!

August – Mark  your calendars – we are going to have an in person Club BBQ.   We historically call this our slop and swap – which means we grill up the food and you bring something to swap with other members.    This will be our first physical gathering since March of 2020.   More to follow, but we’re planning to have this at the Sherriff’s Posse’ hall on Ocean Street Extension, a beautiful rustic club atmosphere.   Could be a sign of things to come.

Haven’t figured out who will be our speaker in September yet, but we’re hoping this will then be our first club gathering together.   If any of you want to hear yours truly, speak on our own San Lorenzo River, with some recent updates, let me know.  Otherwise send me some suggestions of what you’d like to hear.

Our raffle this month is going to be as good, and relevant, as ever.  Thank you, Jeff Goyert for pulling in some of the best prizes our membership has had the pleasure of winning.   You guys are barely spending twenty bucks on average, winning prizes that are worth hundreds.   Keep it up.   Even when we get together permanently, we’re going to continue the raffle as it is, so everyone has a chance to win something whether you’re at the meeting or now.   Although, I’m thinking maybe I better have Jeff pull something really awesome just for those who pull their keesters out of the easy chair and make it to the meeting!

I’m really looking forward to “normal” again.   I’ve met so many of you who have yet to experience the fun we have when we are together, aside from fishing together.  Speaking of – lots of fishing to do together.  If you’re not on the club email – get on it.   There are lots of outings people are planning – surf, San Luis, Sierra, and more.

Our scholarships went out again this year and while we didn’t get as much participation due to covid, nine of the 14 available scholarships went out to students at San Lorenzo, Soquel, Aptos, Pajaro and Watsonville High Schools.   We’re hoping Santa Cruz and Harbor have pulled it together after this writing to make it 13 out of 14.     Thank you to everyone who contributed to the “Donation” button.   That is where these dollars are going and we’re planning to continue and grow this in the future.

Some of you may be following me on Instagram, and you should also be following “Santacruzflyfishing” on Instagram also.    If you’re following me, you’re probably wondering why you see more horses than fish.   I moved here in 1982 as a 20-year-old kid, competing in horse sports.   After Tommy and Emily were born I stopped riding and focused on family, building a house, career.   Some of you know Emily turned out to be quite the accomplished vaulter, rider, trainer and started asking me to ride again.   I knew what that meant if I was to do it right.   And, since you only have so much time to spend with your kids, when they ask – you do.

Someone once asked me about fly-fishing and if I was getting to do all the fly-fishing I was able to do.   At the time I answered, not completely, but I’m really happy with all the opportunities I do get to spend that time fly-fishing.   They seemed disappointed when I said it was probably maybe 50 days a year.  But they are the most precious days of the year with really awesome people – most of them from this club and my family.

Who could ask for anything better!   Tread lightly people.  We are all sensitive, even the fish.

I can’t wait to see you.   Tom

Date:  June 9, 2021

Time:  6:30 pm

Place:  Zoom - Find in website menu

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MD Hammer Dragonfly Nymph

by Michael Sherwood - instructor

This is a great stillwater pattern, as dragonfly nymphs are found in most western lakes. There is no pupal stage, and they stay as nymphs for 3-5 years. So even when hatching there are still nymphs present. Dragonfly nymphs breath using gills in their abdomen. The difference is they do this through the anus. Yes, they breath through their butts. This is also how they swim, short 4-5 inch bursts along or near the bottom as they head toward shore to emerge. There they wait till nightfall to emerge to avoid predation by birds. Fish this fly on a weighted leader or sinking line, near the bottom and weed beds. Use short 4-6 inch retrieves using a slow hand twist technique. We will be using furry foam for this fly that has many other applications. This pattern can be easily adapted to become a damselfly nymph. We will be using 6-0 or 8-0 olive thread. If you give me enough time I can mail you a packet or you can pick one up at my house. Text me at (831) 234-2244.

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Adult Damsel

by Elaine Cook ---- fly tying chairman

In late spring and eairly summer, damsels migrate from the debths of ponds and lakes becoming very vulnerable to trout and bass. As adults they flutter around vegetation that sticks out of the water. They end up in the water from mating rituals and the wind. Fish will sometimes come out of the water to take them from the air or off vegetation. Do check out http://Vimeo.com/85147880.

Hook: TMC 5262 size 12

Thread: 6/0 royal blue   Damsels often come in tan. Just change all the materials to tan to imitate them.

Abdomen: “Adult Damsel Body” or “Braided Butt Damsel” in blue. These are braided monofilament. And a black Sharpie pen.

Eyes: Pre-made black monofilament eyes OR make your own from plastic hairbrush bristle. Holding a 5/8″ piece in the center with hemostats, melt each end with a flame, forming a barbell shape.

Thorax: blue 2mm closed cell foam

Hackle: dun saddle or neck

Thorax: blue superfine dubbing

Head: blue foam as above

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind eye. Touching wraps to rear of  shank.

3. Prepare abdomen. Cut 1 1/8″ long. With hemostats, hold 1/16″ from tip. Melt end with flame. Mark with Sharpie 6 times starting at tip. Note: some of this will be covered, leaving 4-5 exposed marks. Lay on top of shank, melted end to rear,other end to mid shank. Tie in place. Advance thread to 3 hook eye lengths behind eye.

4. Position barbell eyes 2 1/2 hook eye lengths behind hook eye. Attach to top of shank with figure 8 wraps so it’s at right angle to shank. Apply drop of Super Glue” or the like.

5. Cut 3/16″ of foam. With one end behind eyes, attach snugly to top of shank back to mid shank or a touch more.

6. Cut wing strip 2″ X 3/8″, round ends. Twist center and attach to top of shank infront of  extending foam with figure 8 wraps so that wings extend outward.

7. Select hackle with barbs 2 times hook gap. Cut off fuzzy end. Cut 5-6 barbs short on each side of stem forming a “crew cut”. Lay crew cut on top of shank infront of extending foam with tip to rear. Tie in place.

8. Dub thorax up to and a little around barbell eyes ending infront of extending foam.

9. Holding hackle, foam and wings upright, wrap thread all the way around base of all 3 over shank leaving thread hang on your side. Holding wings downward, make 3-5 hackle wraps around base of foam then leave hanging infront of hanging thread. Bring thread upward, make 3-4 wraps around base of foam. Cut excess hackle. Cut hackle barbs short in front of foam. Apply small amount of dubbing to thread and wrap to behind barbell eyes.

10. Pull foam forward. Tie snugly in place with several wraps. Advance thread to infront of barbells, pull foam forward. Tie in place with several wraps. Pulling on foam, cut foam short.

11. Snugly wrap down foam stub. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue.

 

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13 Day Fly Fishing trip through Montana

by 'Conservation Slim'

I really enjoyed this video and it was a wonderful escape to the days of  late 20’s early 30’s where dragging an inflatable raft down trails and rock to the river. The boys purchase a short size school bus and turn it into the camp out king on a small budget.  They drive north to Montana and fish the Madison and Missouri and another feeder stream. The guys are full of adventure, humor and the cooking will convince you that hungry fishermen will eat anything and say ‘yum’.  I hope you will sit back and enjoy the 13 day fishing trip.

Locally, good news for salmon fishermen on the bay, the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project have contracted Fish and Wildlife hatchery trucks to deliver a full load of 60K chinook salmon smolt’s. Again the truck will just drop the fish from the roadway level into the bay. (May 25).

Lakes all over the state are down to levels that have launching boats impossible. The only 2 lakes (Eastern Sierra) that have launch ramps in operation is at Lake Davis and Frenchman’s. Some have the docks alongside the ramp and others do not so check ahead if you are pulling a boat. Float tubers never have to worry about that.

I guess we all know the drought has hit us again this winter. I measure 12.60″ only from this rainy season.  I cannot find a year except in 06/07 where we had 11.40″ locally in Santa Cruz/Soquel. We can expect this fire season will be constant till the rain returns in Nov/Dec. We can all do our part by saving water and shower with a friend.

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A Dam Close to Home

by Conservation Contributor Bob Garbarino

OK, this may not be big news like the dams being removed on the Klamath river, but it is in our own backyard. The Sempervirens Fund has received a $550,000 grant to remove an abandoned 110 year old dam on Mill Creek. The creek feeds the San Vicente watershed between Bonny Doon and Davenport. By removing the dam, both Coho salmon and the water customers of Davenport are expected to benefit. The fish are expected to have improved spawning habitat and access to more of the creek. The water quality for the 950 customers downstream will be improved by allowing more erosion of granite.

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MBSTP (Monterey Bay Salmon & Trout Project) update

by Sam Bishop

Since the big fire last year, things are moving along with the hatchery rebuild. Fundraising efforts to rebuild are underway from many sources. They include the need to replace the upper bridge for full access to the hatchery.

A few orders for the first phases of the rebuild have been placed to re-plumb the intakes and drains for tanks which survived last year’s fire more or less undamaged. Once we get the tanks re-plumbed and recirculation running, we will be able to receive this year’s production of our fish (Coho) back at the hatchery. It is not likely we will be able to actually spawn fish this year, as there are contamination and potential blockage issues from fire debris. The post-fire effects on the environment around the hatchery are not attractive for now.

Our Chinook releases (smolt hatched elsewhere) from the Santa Cruz and Monterey wharfs will have happened by the time this is published. We make a direct release into the Bay, well after dark. This has been quite successful from the Santa Cruz Wharf, as the birds, seals and sea lions are pretty much asleep and don’t seem to realize the giant feast being dumped in a few feet away! Sorry, but we could not publicize this in advance for the public to watch due to concerns about crowds and Covid restrictions.

For those not acquainted with our history of the Chinook releases; for years they were put into a big pen in the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor (also sometimes Moss Landing and Monterey), then released from there. Problem was that they acclimated to the Harbor and came back later when they grew up. That created problems with too many people coming in to fish, trespassing on boats, fishing where prohibited, and of course even more sea lions came in to feast.

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Reminder to submit photos

by Jerry Mckeon, Social Media Manager

Hello fellow anglers. I hope you are doing well and have some fishing trips on the calendar. I hope your lines are tight, and your net is heavy. Hopefully you will be inspired by our speaker, Bill OKeefe, and want to show the world your much-improved fish picture. Let us help you share it with the world by emailing it to me at Metropolitantrout@gmail.com or text it to 831-588-4759,

If you have lots of pictures, give me a call and I can explain how to easily upload a lot of pictures.

Thanks! Jerry McKeon

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A great time surf fishing!

by Sam Bishop

Wow, what a great turnout for our surf fly fishing today, May 8, 2021! I think everyone but me (!) caught fish on this glorious spring day. It was a mid-flood tide, which is arguably the best time to fish the surf and the waves were breaking perfectly for us.
Attendees were Elaine Cook, Scott Kitayama, John Davis, Jerry McKeon, Doug Hessel, Jeff Slaboden, Kirk Mathew, Judy Johnson, Aaron Reismer, Jeff Gose Robert Eberle, Kevin McClish and Sam Bishop.
Next club surf outing is June 5 at Manresa. More info elsewhere under Gearing Up.

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Fishout Schedule – July update

by John Cook -- Fishout Chairman

DateLocationTarget SpeciesFishmaster
July 3, 5:45amManresa BeachSurf Perch (DATE CHANGE)Mark Traugott, 831-338-6056
July 13-17Loreto, Baja SurSaltwater FishingRich Hughett (831) 595-0288
Aug. 7, 6amRio Del Mar BeachSurf Perch and other speciesJeff Gose (831) 227-0722
Sept. 4, 6:30amManresa BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
Sept 4-12AlaskaRainbow, Salmon and Dolly VardenRoy Gunter (831) 809-0316
Sept 18-25Mammoth LakesTrout (2 SPOTS OPEN)John & Elaine (831) 688-1561
Sept 26- Oct 2Mammoth LakesTrout (CONDO FULL)John & Elaine (831) 688-1561
Oct. 9, 7amPalm BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
Oct. – Nov. TBAO’Neill ForebayStripersSteve Rudzinski (831) 462-4532
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Fishout Schedule – June update

by John Cook -- Fishout Chairman

DateLocationTarget SpeciesFishmaster
June 5, 5:35amPalm BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
July 10, 5:45amManresa BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
July 13-17Loreto, Baja SurSaltwater FishingRich Hughett (831) 595-0288
Aug. 7, 6amRio Del Mar BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
Sept. 4, 6:30amManresa BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
Sept 4-12AlaskaRainbow, Salmon and Dolly VardenRoy Gunter (831) 809-0316
Sept 18-25Mammoth LakesTrout (2 SPOTS OPEN)John & Elaine (831) 688-1561
Sept 26- Oct 2Mammoth LakesTrout (CONDO FULL)John & Elaine (831) 688-1561
Oct. 9, 7amPalm BeachSurf Perch and other speciesSam Bishop (831) 476-6451
Oct. – Nov. TBAO’Neill ForebayStripersSteve Rudzinski (831) 462-4532
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Surf Fish PALM Beach!

by Sam Bishop"

“PALM Beach” (but not in Florida) is our next destination for surf fishing. If you know Pajaro Dunes, that is it. We meet on Saturday, June 5, starting at 05:35 am. The tide will be mid-flood. This is a long stretch of beach that has produced lots of fish, including my largest Striper. Kirk caught 10 Stripers in a row on this beach on one of our outings.

You may want to use 2 hooks, one smaller for perch and a larger one for Stripers, but it will likely be harder to cast with two (or especially with three) flies. When I add flies I often need to use lighter weight ones than I might with one fly. For example, dumbbell eyes are heavy, so I tie most Clousers and jig flies using bead-chain or even plastic eyes, knowing I will very likely be using 2 or 3, so need them to be light enough to cast.

A reminder that the surf is not a place to learn to cast, but it will force you to improve your line control! Stosh has hosted a few casting clinics and that is a great place to learn to cast.

DIRECTIONS: Take Highway One to Watsonville, Riverside Exit towards the ocean. Turn right and follow Lee Road. Turn left on West Beach and go to the end, park just outside the State park parking lot, which will be closed at that hour.

Date:  July 13-17, 2021

Place:  Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

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Loreto Fly Fishing Trip – 2021

Fishmaster: Rich Hughett

Sign Up Now! Experience a new HIGH! Fish for Dorado, and many other salt-water fish, including Bonito, Roosters, Yellowtail and Sailfish on a fly! Join the group going to Loreto in Baja from Tuesday, July 13th through Saturday, July 17th. This trip includes:

  • Four nights at the beautiful Hotel La Mision, on the water-front next to Loreto Harbor.
  • Three days of fishing on 24-foot Super Pangas, with fly fish-ing guides.
  • Ground transfers and fishing licenses.

It does not include meals, because there are some nice restaurants (A lot of fresh seafood!) in town or if you prefer, eat at the hotel, where they will cook your catch.

The fishing day starts around 6:00 a.m. and we usually get back to the harbor between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. Spend the rest of the afternoon fishing from the beach, having a cool drink in the pool, exploring Loreto, or just sitting around telling some tall fish stories. And, you will have many exciting moments on the Sea of Cortez to talk about.

The approximate cost for everything but meals and airfare is: $950.00 per person (double occupancy). Interested? Please contact Rich Hughett, 831-757-5709, for all the details. You will need to book airline flights* as soon as possible. No advance payment needed.

*Southwest Airlines from San Jose and Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles to Loreto. Rich will help with your airline reservations

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Alaska Trip – 2021 UPDATE

Roy Gunter writes:   I am offering to sponsor a fishout to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska leaving on September 4, 2021 and returning on September 12, 2021. Limited to 4 participants including Roy. We will stay in the Riverside Cabin at the Eagle Landing Resort in Cooper Landing, AK (go to eaglelandingresort.com to check out Resort and Cabin). Trip will be fishing the Kenai River, Russian River and nearby creeks, targeting rainbows and dolly varden, but catching many salmon along the way. Trip includes 2 guided trips on the Kenai River, including at least one boat trip down the Kenai River Canyon to the delta of Skilak Lake. You will have to provide your own airfare to Anchorage and return, which can be arrange for virtually no charge if you obtain an Alaska Airlines Credit Card.  Alaska Airlines now flies out of Monterey. However, a rental car is included in the trip. Food and beverages are included and obtained from Costco and Carrs Supermarket for preparation at the cabin. Since I am cooking for the most part, meals are gourmet including wine and/or other beverages. Since I am an Alaska Air card holder, over the last 20 years I have never exceeded $2,000 for the entire trip, including the cost of a motel before flying out, and once paid only $770. Couples are welcome, but there is only one queen bed in a separate bedroom. Other Club Members who have accompanied me include: Bob Monaco, Steve Rawson, Milana Rawson, Daneen Gunter, Don Foskett, Gary Hazelton, Harry Petrakis, Mark Traugott and Gil Santos. Requirements: $1,000 deposit subject to forfeit unless you find a substitute fisherman to accept your spot and you must have recieved all of your covid vaccinations at least 14 days prior to departure. Prior participants have priority. If interested please contact Roy Gunter at 831-809-0316 or email at rgunteriii@yahoo.com.

Sam Bishops adds some insight on the Alaska Airlines Credit Card opportunity:  “Buy a new Alaska Airline card and get 50,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in 2 or 3 months. $75 for the card, but you get a free bag. Without it the first bag is $40. I just got a new card for about the fourth time. I let the old one expire and get a new one for the mileage. I paid the house insurance on the new one and bingo I am covered.”

Contact: Roy Gunter 831 809 0316 rgunteriii@yahoo.com email is best.

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Mammoth Fishout – 2021

by 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  18 – 25.     Week 2:  Sept 26 – Oct 2.

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:  Covers 7 night’s lodging and 3 meals per day. $320/week, $640/two weeks. $535/week for a private room. $ is not refundable unless someone takes your place. Any unused funds will be used for prizes at the annual fund raiser.

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. ASAP or up to May 1st. We will be leaving town mid May, so need to put things together and confirm reservation by then. Receiving your $ will reserve your spot. I will maintain a waiting list and, if space becomes available you will be notified by phone, even while we are on summer vacation. Deliver your $ by mail ( PO Box 2822, Aptos, Ca. 95001 ) or deliver in person. (215 Treasure Island Ave., Aptos , Ca. )

Covid Issues: All participants must have completed the vaccine regiment at least one month prior. Must be free of symptoms.  If negative public health issues arrive, the fishout will be canceled and $ returned.

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What’s in a Name?

by Thomas Hogye

Long before “A River Run’s Through It”, there were six guys in Santa Cruz who fished together, likely since they were kids.    One of them, Ernie Kinzli, had recently opened a Fly Shop in Soquel, at the bridge on Soquel Drive over Soquel Creek.    At this time there were several fishing shops in Santa Cruz as many of our creeks and rivers were chock full of trout, Steelhead, Coho and Lamprey Eel, all year.

Jim Hall, Ernie, Manny Gutierrez, the Morelli brothers and Rick McCary knew about the San Jose Fly Casters and the Salinas Fly Fishers.   In Santa Cruz there was another group who called themselves the San Lorenzo Steelheaders.  Jim teases that they were known as the hardware, bait guys, and were in fact the guys who founded Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project.

Since Ernie’s store would become the nucleus of fly-fishing in Santa Cruz in the early 70’s, these six guys came up with an idea of a club.  I bet it was over dinner with their wives, because I know Mona is always the one coming up with the best ideas for the club.   Ironically, they wanted to be “different” than the San Jose and Salinas clubs, and didn’t like the word “fisher” or “caster”, so in 1977 they named their club, The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen.

The guy’s wives became members, performing duties such as Vice President, Conservation Chair, Membership, Finance and Secretary.   Ernie Kinzli and Jim Hall, who are still members today (I fished with Jim at Pyramid last month!), acted as the clubs first presidents and fishing trip coordinators.   Soon thereafter, people you know even today, joined the club and participated in some capacity as board member, fishing trip organizer (Fish-Outs), Spaghetti dinners, Conservation…    They teamed up with the fledgling MBSTP and began more organized efforts to save the fisheries.   They had meetings and parties at nearly every Elks Lodge, Portuguese Hall, German Hall, and Grange in Santa Cruz.

Women joined the club and got their boyfriends and husbands involved.  Kathy Powers, Elaine Cook, Betty Rentz, the Steele’s and more.   Family memberships were created so people could get the whole families involved.  Singles started mingling and fishing together, then were a couple.  The Annual Dinner was created simply as a means of getting together to celebrate friendship, fishing and food.  Ernie had some things from the store and came up with an idea for a raffle, which then became something he contributed every single month his store was in business for over 30 years.    The Pyramid Lake and Mammoth Fish-outs were born.   People joined who often fished at other places – like the Delta and San Luis Reservoir, Ed Marcillac and Gil Santos, which then became fish-outs.   Kathy Powers jumped into Conservation.   Pat (Patricia) Steele and Elaine mastered what became our award-winning news-letter – seriously.  Lois and Walt Robinson started casting classes, George and Pat Peterson – fly-tying and rod building.  Programs started to involve anglers from afar who came over, had dinner with us, then spent the night talking to us about new places to fish, photography, hiking and horse-packing – which then lead to the creation of the “Pack Trip Fish-Out” which went on for years.    Fly-tying classes came about as a way of just getting together to hang out with the friends you were making.   The Con-Fab was created because we were all competitive by nature so it was a fun way to enjoy casting, exchanging gear and hoping to claim the “Big Dog” trophy, for being the proclaimed best caster for that time, that day!

I joined the club in ‘91/92, after I got married and one of my wife’s friends was telling her about fly-fishing and the club.   I just realized at this moment, that if it were not for my wife, I would not be a fly-fisherman.   Hmm.   I met Kathy Powers, Manny Gutierrez, Elaine, and Henry.   Never forget that.   Kathy got me hooked and that was it.

Some of you know, I became the Conservation Chair (where, in my exuberant youth, I proceeded to piss off a great deal of anglers as I worked to change regs on Steelhead and Coho fishing in California – who ended up liking me because it was weird- I was a fly fisherman), then President, and then Program coordinator.   We had a lot of fun teaching so many people of all kinds who had seen the movie, and were interested in fly-fishing.  We were in all the schools teaching the kids, and the teachers and the parents!  We were in parades, in the newspaper, in other places all over the world.

Fly fishing is fun, it’s about being, as Hank Patterson would say – “in nature, all peaceful and quiet, alone with yourself, screaming at a bait-fishermen who just plunked into yer hole with a two pound chunk o’ lead, a night crawler and a bobber – that thing fly anglers call an indicator.  It’s a bobber!”

In my business, these last 20 years, if we didn’t change when technology changed, we would never have lasted a month.  Covid.  Covid taught us all how to change very quickly.  We were, all of us, shoved off a cliff and made to fly or land with a splat.    We all did things we never, and I mean never, thought we would do.   Some of us said the word “never”, but within a month we were doing exactly that thing we said we’d never do.

Our club is now a part of Santa Cruz history.  We have a very real purpose here and are looked upon with a good bit of respect.   This community leans on us soundly whenever there is a question or concern about the creeks and rivers here that so desperately need our help.   Whenever fish are stranded, or the runs of steelhead are coming in, or a clean-up is needed, we participate in so many ways.  We did the work, laughed, joked, and then had coffee or a beer together later, thankful we did something good.   When Covid is over, if you’re new, you’ll see and have a chance to participate.  If the club ever went away, it would leave an enormous hole in the stewardship and accountability role we play here in Santa Cruz, and thanks to our Conservation Chairs, around the world.   Our Scholarship fund, which came from an idea my wife had to honor Gary Hazelton, John Fong, Ric Von Carnap and others who left us too soon, started as simply as adding the word “Donation” to the bottom of our membership form, and is now a maturing high-school scholarship fund for students entering environmental studies and science.

Change is the only constant in life, and while no one can ever please everyone, we are always considering things we need to do, or should do to improve, to meet the spirit of our mission, which is “To Promote, Educate and Enjoy the Sport of Fly Fishing”.   I didn’t create this.  Our founders did.  Forty-four years ago.

More than a few times, the word “Fishermen” had been brought to our attention.  When firemen became firefighters, stewardess became flight attendant and horseman became rider, or when nurse became – uh, well, wait, it’s still nurse – you know what I mean.  Men were starting to become nurses and flight attendants; women were becoming firefighters, law-enforcement, and now today, Vice President of the USA.  Changing “fishermen” was at times contentious.  And you should know, that resistance did not always come from the ‘men’.

After careful consideration, the Board has decided to change the name of the club to fit more appropriately our unwavering dedication always to being a welcoming place for anyone interested in the sport of fly fishing.   We are now “Santa Cruz Fly Fishing” or you will see The Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club where appropriate.  SCFF will still be our acronym, if you will, because we are an active organization.    New logos, patches, stickers and some really cool art is to follow.

We are not a name.  We want everyone to feel they are an important part of who we are.  We are more concerned about the future of how we can best represent fly-fishing, conservation, preservation and restoration.  Your background, our experience level, how you identify – none of this matters to us.  If you are interested in fly fishing, you are our type of people, and we’d love to meet you.

While there were a multitude of different sentiments on the naming decision, this does not change who we are as a club, or our commitment to our mission.   It was hard.  There is a lot of history in “The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen”.   The name was never meant to exclude anyone.  Our founders will tell you they chose that name because it was different than the other two; they didn’t like “fishers” and they weren’t just “casters”.   So, this name still holds a lot of respect and historical significance to us.   Our founders, board and membership are the most caring and supportive people I’ve ever met.   Considerate, embracing, engaging and fun to be around.   I personally have the fondest, best memories, and love for those we’ve been involved with for forty-four years.

The foundation, mission, spirit and fun this club is, remains.  It is growing stronger and younger.   Our members (I like to think of you as family) are the most important part.  Our perception and respect in the fly-fishing world is important.  We want to be a role model, good stewards, set good examples, do good, work hard, give back and have fun.

If you are not a member, and you are reading this, I challenge you to join, now.  Yes, right now.   Go to the “Join” button and join.  ALL are welcome.  Step in, be part of the next forty-four years.  You will see what I mean and you will find friends you never thought you’d ever have.  Do not hesitate.  Time is too short.

Thank you, Tom

Santa Cruz Fly Fishing   ?  SCFF

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A short history of the John Steele Award

by V/P Kevin Murdock

V/P’s Line

A short history of the John Steele Award:

Back in the 1980s, there was a Fly Shop in Los Gatos named ‘The Upstream Flyfishing company’. The proprietor contacted the Santa Cruz Fly fishermen, (at that time we were a fairly new organization). He offered to sponsor an annual award that he named ‘The Dame Julianna award’.

Dame Julianna was purportedly a 15th century woman of means. She greatly enjoyed the field sports of the day. She has been generally credited with writing some of the earliest treatises on Hawking, Hunting, and Fishing.

The ’Book of St Albans’ was a sporting tome written in about 1486, with an addendum in 1496 called: ‘A Treatise on Fysshynge with an Angle’. This book is generally considered one of the first writings about fly fishing. She also wrote of the virtues of environmental conservation and field etiquette.

In honor of Dame Juliana, we were asked to name the one club member that assisted our other members the most in their flyfishing journey. Upstream Flyfishing then donated a gift to the luckily chosen member.

While Upstream Flyfishing ultimately went out of business, the Santa Cruz Fly fishermen’s club continued the award tradition for the next several years, giving each years chosen member a cash award to purchase their own fishing tackle.

A few years back, we recognized that we had a club member that personified Dame Juliana, in that he strove to constantly give back to our flyfishing community. In addition to being a founding member of our club, he has at one time or another filled just about every position on our board of directors. He has donated incalculable hours of time, material, monies, artwork, fishing knowledge, and general good spirits. For decades he gathered and stored all of our annual club dinner raffle prizes and silent auction items, (many of the items he hand made himself). To this day he and his lovely wife continue host our monthly board meetings.

I am speaking of course of our own John Steele. We decided to rebrand the Dame Julianna award as the John Steele award. It is our attempt to honor both Dame Juliana, and our own John.

Each month, we ask our membership to nominate any and all who have helped them. Whether it be teaching a skill, showing a hot fishing spot, giving a fly, volunteering as a board member or fish master, encouraging or just humoring a member on their own flyfishing journey.

Members may nominate as many members as they like, as often as they feel they have been assisted. Nominations can be made by Emailing me at:  troutdock89@gmail.com. A sentence or two about how you were helped makes the actual presentation more fun. We make the presentation each year at our annual club installation dinner. Last years winner was Scott Kitayama. Who knows who next years winner will be?

Thanks for your time,

K. Murdock