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March 2023 Table of Contents

General Meeting……………………
  Alvin Dedeuax ~ Bass on the Fly
March Raffle
President’s Line……………………
Fly Tying……………………
  Popper’s Class
  March Fly-tying Get-togethers
  Golden Stoneflies
Conservation Concerns……………
  CA Chinkook Salmon Facing New Threat
Membership Notes…………………
  Club Activities – March
  183 Paid Memberships 2023
Fishy Tales……………………
  No Tacomas in Argentina
Fishout Schedule…………………

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March Raffle – Get Back on the Water!

March is here, winter is just about over, and it time to get back out on the  water. We have some great raffle prizes to help you get back in the swing of things.

Planning a trip to Pyramid? Maybe some Delta bass or stripers? Taking a run at our local surf spots, How about some North coast rivers for Steelhead? Any of these plans would be enhanced by adding this nice 8wt rod and reel to your quiver. This is a 9 foot 4 piece 8 wt V-access rod with a large arbor VII reel.
Comes with a cordura covered hard tube and a neoprene stretch reel pouch.
If you spent the winter tying flies or need to organize your existing inventory this fly box case from Adamsbuilt  with 4 fly boxes is a perfect  way to get ready for the upcoming season. The padded storage case has belt loops that will allow you to have hundreds of stored flies at your fingertips.
When you look at that big pile of gear that needs to somehow get packed away for your next outdoor adventure, think about this great wet/dry gear bag from Adamsbuilt. It’s got bunches of storage room, a removable waterproof liner, and a molded hard bottom to keep your gear clean and dry. Waders, boots, vest, and more; there is room for just about everything including external Velcro straps to secure both wading staff and rod tube.
Online ticket sales are available by clicking on the following link:
Tickets are a dollar each, 20 bucks gets you 25. The raffle drawing will take place at the March 1st meeting. Club membership is not required, need not be present to win.

Support your club, buy a raffle ticket!

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Return of the Annual Fund Raiser

I am still amped up by the success of our Santa Cruz Fly Fishing’s Annual Fund Raiser on Saturday, February 18th. This is the first fund raiser we have had since Covid shutdown and we wanted to get our members back together. Last winter, the SCFF Board was worried that we were not going to be able to have an event since the rental cost for the church had gone up, all of the expenses for an evening sit down meal had gone up, and we didn’t have the donated wild salmon that is traditionally served. Instead of giving up, we decided to try something different: daytime event, catered lunch, utilize the Aptos Grange and give it a go. Blessed with the first sunny, warm Saturday in 2023 everyone had a great time.

We sold 105 admission / meal tickets and club members as well as guests enjoyed the meal both indoors and outside.

Annual awards were presented to club members who have volunteered their time to help the club and fellow members. Our most significant annual award has been renamed, the “John and Pat Steele Award” to recognize Pat’s decades of contribution to the club for the producing the club newsletter 30 years and hosting the Board of Directors meeting at their home.


The winner of the 2022 John Steele award was Mike White for leading the Pyramid Lake fishout and helping new members learn how to catch these great cutthroats. Mike was awarded a $400 gift certificate to The Fly Shop in Redding, CA.


Tom Hogye received a 13′ Beulah Spey rod and Echo reel as a thank you for his unprecedented 5 years as club president. And three long time club members, Kathy Powers, Barry Burt, and Tom Hogye were granted lifetime membership for their years of contribution to the club.

And finally to cap off the day, we had the annual raffle. A rapid fire reading of ticket numbers as winners went to the stage to select their prizes. Prizes this year included a FishCat 4 float tube, 10+ rods, 10+ reels, lots of tying material, apparel, accessories and on and on.

Fellowship is my focus for the club and the annual fund raiser happening during my first month as president was absolutely perfect. The entire Board of Directors volunteered, however I want to highlight those directly responsible for its success: David South (fund raiser lead), Elaine Cook (facility planning and volunteer coordinator), Emily Marriott (catering coordinator / swag seller), Kevin Murdock (raffle and silent auction coordinator), Bob Peterson (ticket sales), Kathy Powers (Program MC), and Jeff Goyert (Pyramid Kit Raffle).

Hope to see you at our next general meeting on March 1st with speaker Alvin Dedeaux! – Scott Kitayama, President SCFF

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No Tacomas in Argentina

by Scott Councilman - SCFF member

In October, 2021, I spent a few days in Mammoth Lakes, on a trout fishing trip. I got there Sunday afternoon. That night and all day Monday it snowed heavily. I was indoors with limited stations on cable TV. On Tuesday afternoon I did a little river fishing. Wednesday, I went to Crowley Lake with my float tube. I just get out onto the lake, and one of my force fins slips off of my foot. Back to town. Due to all this, I caught no trout.

I left Thursday morning to go back on Highway 120. After leaving the west side of Yosemite Park, I spotted an RV on the other side of the road with hazard lights flashing, and a family waving people down. There was a couple and two girls. I went to a turnaround point and came back to see what was wrong. Their rented RV had engine trouble, and there was no cell reception there. They asked if I could let someone know of their plight when I reached a place with a signal, and I assured them that I would.

Before I got a signal on my phone, I saw Yosemite General Store on the left. I stopped in and got the clerk to call a tow truck company. They said that they would need a lot of information from the people and a credit card number before they would dispatch anyone.

I drove back to the RV (about 5 minutes) and let the man know the story. He and his wife were chattering in French. I offered to take him down to the store to arrange a rescue. He got his CruiseAmerica contract and credit card and came with me. On the way, I learned that his name was Juan, his wife was Coco, and they were visiting from Argentina.

At the store, things were going slowly on the phone because he was ESL. I browsed the store, and walked around the parking lot a bit and came back in a couple of times. When I returned the second time he was talking briskly in French. It still took a long time. He said later that they asked him about 100 questions, but in the end, he was successful in getting CruiseAmerica to agree to have a tow truck sent.

He had been examining my Tacoma 4×4, and was looking around the interior. He then said: “So this is a Tacoma?” Yes. He said that they knew of them in Argentina and lots of folks wanted one, but Toyota doesn’t sell them down there. He seemed impressed.

I got him back to his family and he shook my hand and said: “You saved me”. At least they were in an RV so they had food, bathroom, etc.

I must say that after catching no fish and watching Gunsmoke reruns, helping these folks turned out to be the highlight of my trip. Plus, I picked up a cool T-shirt at the store as a souvenir.

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February 2023 Table of Contents

General Meeting……………………
  Capt. Andrew Harris of Confluence Outfitters ~ Trinity River Watershed
  February Raffle
President’s Line…………………….
Fly Tying……………………
  Trout Nugget Class
  PVC Caddis
  Upcoming Fly-Tying Get-Togethers in March
  SCFF Monthly Fly Swap
Conservation Concerns……………
  Salmon & Trout Project Volunteer Opportunities
  2 Conservation Organizations Helping CA Rivers
Membership Notes…………………
  Club Activities – February
  175 Paid Memberships 2023
  Annual Fundraiser and Installation Dinner
Gearing Up……………………
  Leader Formulas for the Mono Rig: Tight Line Nymphing & Beyond
Fishout Schedule…………………

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February Raffle – something different

Something a little different for our February Fly Club raffle since we have so many prizes and later in the month at the Fundraiser.

We have a great prize to kick off the winter/spring season at Pyramid Lake.
Working with the Reno Fly shop we put together a complete kit of everything needed to be successful at the ‘Lake of the Giants’.
The kit includes:

  • 32 custom flies; woolly buggers, nymphs, midges, beetles, and balanced leaches.
  • A 25 yard spool of 12 pound Blue Label Seaguar fluorocarbon.
  • 3 Jaydacator balsa indicators.
  • 2 weighted depth finder clips.
  • A 12 pound 2 pack of Pyramid Lake dropper leaders.
  • A Rob Anderson deep water break away indicator system.
  • Plus a copy of Terry Barron’s classic:
    “Guide to Fly Fishing Pyramid Lake” along with the the Trout Creek Outfitters four part guide and Rob Anderson’s beach descriptions.

This is a great prize for both the beginner and veteran of Pyramid Lake along with those who have never gone but always wanted to take a run at the ‘Giants’.

The ticket sales are open and close on Friday before the Fundraiswer (2/17/23).

Click on this link to purchase tickets:

Tickets are a dollar each, $20 bucks get you 25. The drawing of tickets will take place at the monthly meeting. Club membership is not required to participate, need not be present to win.

Support your club, buy a raffle ticket!

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Leader Formulas for the Mono Rig: Tight-Line Nymphing & Beyond

by Dar Naghshineh

Editor’s Note: Dar will be showing examples of these leaders and the materials used before the February General meeting February 1st at Aptos Grange.

A few members of Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club recently asked me about how to make mono rig leaders for tight-line and euro nymphing, as well as other mono rig fly fishing techniques.  I was excited to share with my fellow club members some of the leader formulas I use, because fly fishing with a mono rig is one of my favorite ways to catch trout on small to medium size streams.  I decided to write this article to share some of this information with other club members who might be interested in these topics.  To start out I will give a brief summary of what a mono rig is, and why and how we use it—so folks who aren’t familiar with these techniques have a point of reference.  Then I will delve into the focus of this article:  Five mono rig leader formulas and their different applications in fly fishing.  

A mono rig is a long monofilament leader that is used in place of a fly line.  The leader is used for a wide variety of different fly fishing techniques for targeting trout in rivers.  Most of the leader is made up of a long level butt section usually between twenty and fifty feet long, followed by a short taper section ranging from two to five feet long.  At the end of the taper section of the leader is a short piece of brightly colored supple monofilament called a sighter, which the tippet section gets attached to. When fishing subsurface flies the sighter is used to detect strikes, as well as give the angler feedback about what their flies are doing beneath the water.  

The benefit of fly fishing with a mono rig is that it allows an angler to execute most of the same tactics they would use with a fly-line on small to medium streams, in addition to a variety of tactics that are not possible with a standard floating or sinking line.  One of the greatest advantages of using a long leader in place of fly line is that it allows an angler to have direct contact with their nymphs or streamers during tight-line nymphing and streamer presentations. More contact with the flies means more strike detection, and for most of us that means more fish in the net.

A mono rig can be used for streamer fishing, indicator nymphing, swinging wet flies, dry dropper, and even casting dry flies at a range of up to thirty or forty feet.  These tactics on a mono rig are similar to fishing with a floating line, with a few minor differences in the mechanics of casting and presentation in certain cases. In addition to the tactics that are similar to standard fly-line presentations, there are a number of other unique and highly effective tactics that a mono rig enables us to employ.  These tactics are tightline/euro nymphing, tight-line streamer tactics, and tight-line dry dropper.  

The first time I attached a mono rig to my reel and tried fishing with it, the thin diameter of the leader felt strange in my hands.  I remember thinking to myself, ‘how the hell am I supposed to cast nothing but a leader?’  But I soon learned that the fundamental principles for casting loops with a floating line are the same principles used to cast a mono rig:  Swift acceleration with the rod into an abrupt stop, executed back and forth between two points.  Whether you use a fly-line or a mono rig, the mechanics of casting a fly rod for the most part are universal, though you cannot roll cast a mono rig—sorry spey anglers.  It is important to note that when casting a mono rig with multiple weighted flies, split shot and/or bobbers, it is often necessary to open up your loops during the casting stroke to avoid tangles.  Two of the most useful casts for fishing a mono rig are an oval cast, and a tuck cast.  

I will cover five different leader formulas in this article, but having all five of these leaders in your arsenal is not necessary for success on the river.  Most of the time, it’s best to use one mono rig that is suitable for everything you need to do with your leader in a day of fishing.  So, if you’re new to fly fishing with a mono rig, a good place to start is learning to fish with the Leader for Versatility that is detailed further along in the article.  I acknowledge that some folks may feel overwhelmed by all of the materials they would need to acquire to make a few of the leaders featured in this article.  I’d like to point out that if you buy the materials to make one of these leaders that best suits your needs, the cost will be a fraction of the price tag on a euro nymphing fly-line sold at a fly shop.  

The ideal rod length for the techniques discussed in this article is between 10’ and 11’ long.  A 9’ rod or even an 8 ½” rod will work as well, but longer rods have more reach which is beneficial when tight-line nymphing.  If you are just starting out, use whatever rod you have at first if you like.  Then maybe get yourself a specialized rod later down the line if you stick with it.  The leader you are using and your ability as an angler are more important than rod type for these tactics, though a specialized rod will have better performance.  

To some, all of the information in this article may seem overly technical, but it doesn’t have to be.  Think of it like a cookbook—just pick a leader recipe, build it, then go out and fish!  To me the greatest quality of the mono rig is the versatility it offers me on almost every trout stream that I fish.  I can go from fishing nymphs to fishing streamers or dry flies, all while making very few changes my rig.  My favorite part of it all, is tight-line and euro nymphing—tactics that can’t be achieved with a standard fly-line.  I hope this article will be useful to folks in the Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club who are interested in tight-line nymphing and mono rig tactics.  At the end of the article I have included a list of educational resources for folks who would like to learn more about these topics and techniques.  Fly fishing with a mono rig is an incredible way of expanding your horizons in the world of trout fishing, so go out and give it a try!  

* * *

Five Mono Rig Leader Formulas and Their Applications

Use blood knots for all line to line connections. Tippet rings should be attached using an eye-crosser knot or trilene knot.  To connect the leader to a welded loop on a fly line, use a four or five turn clinch knot *except when attaching a micro leader.  To attach a micro leader, attach a heavier mono rig leader to your fly line first, and wind it on the reel. Then clinch knot the micro leader to the tippet ring on the spooled heavier leader.  Alternatively, you can connect any of these leaders straight to dacron backing with a double uni knot (aka uni-to-uni knot), though I prefer to have fly line on my reel.  The reason I prefer attaching the leader to fly line is because I can quickly wrap my mono rig around a foam spool and clip it off my fly-line, making a fast switch over to casting my floating line when the dry fly fishing is spectacular.     

The leader materials in the following formulas are chosen for their specific qualities that include:  Stiffness, durability, and visibility for the butt section and taper section, and suppleness and visibility for the sighter.  

Leader for Versatility, great for beginners 

This is a good leader for a beginner to learn to cast and fish with a mono rig.  It’s also an excellent leader for a variety of techniques including streamers, indicator nymphing, tight-line/euro nymphing, jigging, dry dropper, and dry fly fishing.  The thicker diameter 20 lb butt section of this leader gives it enough mass to cast a wider variety of flies and tackle, making it a more versatile option.  This is my favorite mono rig for days when I’m mostly fishing streamers or heavier nymphs, but I also might have the opportunity to fish dry flies at a range of up to about 35—40 ft.  Pairs nicely with a 4 or 5 weight rod.  

  • 40’—50’  20 lb (0.017”) Maxima Chameleon
  • 2’  12 lb (0.013”) Maxima Clear or Maxima hi-viz
  • 1’  12 lb (0.013”) Suffix Superior monofilament neon fire (neon red)
  • 1’  10 lb (0.012”) Sunset Amnesia monofilament neon green
  • Small tippet ring (1.5mm-2mm)

optional (use when tight-line/euro nymphing)

  • 12”—18” 0.010” (1x) or 0.009” (2x) Cortland tri-color indicator mono (sighter) tied to the first tippet ring
  • small tippet ring (1mm-2mm)

Tight-Line Nymphing Leader

If I had to choose one, this would probably be my favorite mono rig leader for trout.  It is just light enough, and sensitive enough for excellent performance as a tight-line/euro nymphing leader, while still offering decent performance for a variety of other techniques.  The slightly thinner diameter 12 lb butt section reduces sag in the leader when tight-line nymphing, while still having enough mass to send a tuck cast out 35 feet with a pair of small nymphs.  Small to medium trout streamers, dry dropper, and nymphing with a yarn indicator are other useful applications.  Casting small dry flies with this leader is also possible with a decent casting stroke, but the effective range is limited to about 25 ft or so.  Pairs nicely with a 2 or 3 weight rod.  

  • 40’—50’  12 lb (0.013”) Maxima Chameleon
  • 2’  8 lb (0.010”) Maxima Clear or Maxima hi-viz
  • 1’  8 lb (0.010”) Suffix Superior monofilament neon fire (neon red)
  • 1’  8 lb (0.010”) Sunset Amnesia monofilament neon green
  • 16”—18”  0.009” (2x) Cortland tri-color indicator mono (sighter)
  • small tippet ring (1mm-2mm)

Hi-Viz Tight-Line Nymphing leader

Some of my favorite trout streams flow through landscapes where the background makes it difficult to see where the leader and sighter are at times. This can make it challenging to lead or track the flies through a drift, and detect strikes from the sighter.  When visibility is an issue, I like to tie on some variation of hi viz leader.  When I go fishing before dawn or around dusk when light levels are low, I also opt for a hi-viz leader.   The enhanced visual aid provided by this leader helps me stay focused on the sighter, and execute quality drifts when visibility is low.  The taper section of this leader is made from clear monofilament to create a break between the hi-viz butt section and the sighter.  This is done to make it easier for the angler to focus on the sighter at the terminal end of the leader, which is where strike detection occurs.   Pairs nicely with a 2 or 3 weight rod.  

  • 40’—50’  12 lb (0.013”) Sunset Amnesia monofilament neon green
  • 3’  8 lb (0.010”) Maxima Clear
  • 16”—18”  0.009” (2x) Cortland tri-color indicator mono (sighter)
  • small tippet ring (1mm-2mm)

Micro Leader

This is the thinnest diameter leader on the list, and I use it exclusively for tight-line/euro nymphing techniques.  The extremely thin diameter of this leader gives an angler more sensitivity and feel when dead drifting light nymphs. Since a thinner leader has less mass, it also reduces the need to add weight to your rig to counteract sag when tight-lining with light nymphs or at distance.  This keeps both the angler’s line-hand and the sighter in the leader more in touch with the flies that are at the end of the tippet.  A micro leader also makes it easier to achieve dead drifts when casting across seams to make a drift, rather than casting upstream along a single seam to make a drift.    

The disadvantage of a very thin micro leader is that it is not as cast-able as the thicker leader formulas I have listed.  This is because a micro leader lacks the mass needed to push the rig to turn over in the air the same way a fly line or a thicker leader would. When casting a micro leader you will have less control, and less options of how you can cast your rig.  Though it’s possible to cast loops with a micro leader by casting the weight of your flies, it often times is necessary to water load cast for more distance or when casting into tight quarters.  Despite the downsides, I often fish this leader when I’m tight-line nymphing with small lightweight nymphs or streamers.  Pairs nicely with a 0—2 weight rod.  

  • 40’   6 lb (0.009”) Maxima Chameleon
  • 2’   0.009” (2x) Cortland white indicator mono 
  • 18”—24”  0.008” (3x) Cortland tri-color indicator mono (sighter)
  • small tippet ring (1mm-1.5mm), or use blood knot to connect tippet to sighter for less of a hinge point at the connection. 

Steelhead and Streamer leader

This leader is made from monofilament that is stiffer and thicker than the other leaders that are detailed in this article.  The heavier materials give the leader more mass for pushing heavier flies and rigs to turn over to their target.  The downside of a thicker and heavier leader is that it is less sensitive to strike detection in both the sighter and by feel when fishing smaller flies.  The heavier leader will also sag much more when tight-lining with lighter flies.  Too much sag in the leader during tight-line/euro presentations will reduce both contact with your flies and strike detection.  For those reasons, I only use this leader for fishing heavier flies or rigs that weigh enough to counteract excessive sag in the leader.  I like to use this leader for steelhead fishing, and for a variety of streamer techniques for trout when bigger flies are necessary. It also performs well with heavier indicator rigs.  Pairs nicely with a 4 or 5 weight rod for trout and a 6 or 7 weight rod for steelhead.  

Learning to cast a mono rig with a heavier rod like a 6 or 7 weight can be more challenging than learning with a lighter rod that flexes more in the tip.  This is because a heavier rod will not load as much as a lighter rod when casting only a leader plus the weight of the flies.  Heavier weight rods also have much less feel when casting a mono rig compared to the lighter weight rods, making timing during the casting stroke and casting fundamentals more crucial. 

  • 50’  20 lb (0.018”) Sunset Amnesia monofilament neon green or clear
  • 18”  15 lb (0.015”) Maxima Clear
  • 18”  12 lb (0.013”) Maxima Clear
  • medium tippet ring (2mm-3mm)
  • 12’’—14” 0.013” or 0.012” Cortland tri-color indicator mono (sighter)
  • small or medium tippet ring

Rigging of Tippet and Flies for Mono Rig Tactics

Nymph & Streamer rig 

– Attach 3’—6’ long section of tippet to the tippet ring.  I recommend using a double Davy knot or Pitzen knot.

  5”—6” up from the terminal end of the tippet that was just tied to the tippet ring, attach a second section of tippet that is 16”—25” long using an Orvis tippet knot or double surgeon’s knot to create a dropper tag:  When tying the knot, create a 5”—6” long tag (dropper tag) with the knot’s downward pointing tag-end.  Keep the upward pointing tag short while seating the knot then clip it close while leaving the dropper tag intact.  The lighter nymph or streamer (dropper fly) is attached to the dropper tag.

-Tie your heavier nymph or streamer (point fly) to the terminal end of the second section tippet, or create a second dropper tag with another 16”—25” piece of tippet that leads to the point fly for a three-fly rig

Dry Dropper

-To convert the nymph/streamer rig into a dry dropper rig, shorten the upper section of tippet from the end that is attached to the tippet ring.  Leave about 3’ of tippet between the tippet ring and you uppermost dropper tag.  Then clip off your nymph from the uppermost dropper tag and replace it with a greased dry fly that is buoyant enough to suspend the nymphs below it. 

Dry Flies

To fish dry flies, most of the time I just shorten my entire tippet section to around 4 or 5 feet, clip off the nymphs, and add a small dry fly or tandem dry flies to the end of the tippet.  To avoid having to switch out to nylon tippet, I grease the fluorocarbon tippet to prevent it from sinking—though nylon does perform better for this task.  Building a short taper into the tippet section is another option and will cast better with 6x or 7x tip sections.  To build a taper in the tippet section for dry fly fishing with a mono rig, connect the following sections of tippet:

  • 12” 3x tippet
  • 12” 4x tippet
  • 24”—36” 5x—7x tippet


  • -12” 2x tippet
  • -12” 3x tippet
  • -24”—36” 3x—5x tippet

Large Articulated Streamers

When you wanna chuck some meat, tie on 4’—6’ of 2x—0x to the tippet ring of the Leader for Versatility, or the steelhead and streamer leader.  Attach a streamer to the tippet with a small non-slip loop knot.  You can also add a dropper tag 20” above the streamer at the end of the tippet and tie a wet fly or small streamer to the dropper tag. The large streamer behind the smaller fly can simulate a larger baitfish pursuing a smaller baitfish or invertebrate.  

Learning Resources for Tight-Line Nymphing and Mono Rig Fly Fishing Techniques

  • The blog featured on Devin Olsen’s website contains excellent instructional videos on euro nymphing techniques, casting light leaders, as well as a variety of other interesting topics.  I also highly recommend his book Tactical Fly Fishing:  Lessons Learned from Competition for All Anglers.  
  • If you want to learn how to use a mono rig for techniques other than euro nymphing check out Domenick Swentosky’s blog Troutbitten ( blog is probably the largest collection of information about fly fishing with a mono rig and tight-line nymphing on the internet.  Swentosky has authored thousands of articles about fly fishing for trout that can be accessed for free at  Troutbitten also features a variety of educational videos and an accompanying podcast series that I highly recommend. 
  • George Daniels is one of the foremost nymphing experts in the world.  He has authored two books on nymphing that contain excellent information: 

Dynamic Nymphing:  Tactics, Techniques, and Flies from Around the World

Nymph Fishing: New Angles, and Techniques

  •  features a twenty-part series of short videos on Euro Nymphing with George Daniels.  To Access the video-series click the main menu.  Next click the tab for ‘Video Lessons’ in the main menu.  Then the ‘Video Lessons’ menu will open.  Select ‘Advanced/Intermediate Fly Fishing Lessons’, and another menu will open.  Click tab ‘1. Euro Nymphing’ to access the lesson series.  

*Note the Orvis videos teach a different leader setup for tight-line nymphing because they want to sell you their brand manufactured euro nymphing fly-lines and leaders.  Euro nymphing fly-lines will not perform as well as mono rigs for tight-line tactics and offer less over all versatility.  Despite the differences in the leader setup, all of the euro nymphing techniques in the Orvis video-series are applicable to fishing the leaders that I have written about in this article.  

  • Members of Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club are welcome to contact me with questions.  
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January 2023 Table of Contents

General Meeting……………………
  Member stories from 2022
  January Raffle
President’s Line…………………….
Fly Tying……………………
  Goddard Caddis
  Thank you helpers
  Fly Tying Hang Out in March
  Pyramid Beetle
Conservation Concerns……………
  Chinook Salmon in the McCloud River
Membership Notes…………………
  Club Activities – January
  Annual Fundraising Event is back!
  Update of 2023 Dues Renewal and Annual Dinner
Fishout Schedule…………………
Stepping Down as Newsletter Editor

Date:  January 4, 2023

Time:  6:30 pm

Place:  Aptos Grange

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Member stories from 2022

Traditionally, the January meeting has been a slideshow that allows us to see where members have been fishing. Nowadays, we can see pictures of our friends posted while they are still in the water! So this year we are going to have 5 of our club members, Skip Montello, Jeff Slaboden, Kathy Power, Bill Seaman and Dar Naghshineh tell us about a special fishing moment from 2022. If this is popular, maybe we can have a member talk at our monthly meetings in 2023.

For those of you who miss the slideshow and want to see where people fished in 2022, please spend time looking at the pictures and captions on the club’s website: . Viewing is best done on a full screen computer and when you click on the picture, you get a larger image and the full description. Images are sorted chronologically and hitting the ‘Load More’ button at the bottom of the page will show pictures from earlier in the year. Also, please share your pictures with others by sending them to Jerry at

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Stepping down as SCFF Newsletter Editor

by Scott Kitayama

Just spent a few minutes looking at old emails when I became the SCFF Newsletter editor back in April 2020. Covid19 was closing the world down and the SCFF board was trying to figure out if we would have an April meeting. The club had recently started working with a tech consultant, Vicki Winters, who was creating a new website for SCFF and we were wondering if our club members would be able to read the newsletter online and use something new called Google Groups.

It is amazing where we have all come in less than three years. Our newsletter is only available online, Google Groups lets us share information with each other all year, and the website has beautiful pictures due to your submissions to Jerry McKeon for our Instagram account.

As of now, the Newsletter Editor position is unfilled and Vicki Winters is stepping in as a consultant to make sure that we do not miss a month. In February, I will become the new President for SCFF and am excited to see how we can work together to improve our fishing club no matter what the future brings.

Happy New Year to us all! – Scott Kitayama

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December 2022 Table of Contents

General Meeting……………………
  Devin Olsen – Tactical Fly fishing
  December Raffle
President’s Line…………………….
Fly Tying……………………
  Muddler Minnow – Fly Tying Class
  Fly Tying Tips
Conservation Concerns……………
  Klamath River Dam Removal Receives Federal Approval
  Delta Smelt….Where are you?
Membership Notes…………………
  Club Activities – December
  Annual Fundraising Event is back!
  In Memorial: John Steele
  107 members have renewed dues for 2023
  Leave something at Aptos Grange?
Fishout Schedule…………………

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In Memorial: John Steele

All of us have wonderful stories about John, the times we spent with him and the gifts he shared with us. I too have a rod that he built, Fly tying tools he crafted, works of art he created, flies that he tied. I will think of him warmly whenever I use or see something he’s created.

There is one gift, above all else, that I think John should be remembered by. John constantly exemplified, by thought, word, and deed what it truly means to be a gentleman. He was truly a gentle man.

There was no place in his world for the toxic masculinity that has become so pervasive in today’s world. John didn’t trade in gossip. He spoke ill of no one. He encouraged always. He offered advice when it was sought, not just to hear his own voice being brilliant.

John lived a life of service, from his younger days as a pharmacist, to his later years as a sportsman extraordinaire. John served on our board as a president. For years he and Pat opened up their home to us to use as a meeting place for our board of directors. He spent countless hours searching for deals on fishing tackle for our annual raffle. Day after day he worked to create works of art for our silent auction. How many of us are better anglers because he worked with us on our double haul or steeple cast. His flies, which we enthusiastically threw at fish, were themselves works of art. I know I have some of them framed, but I’m pretty sure John would say “fish em” if he could.

I mentioned that he was a gifted sportsman. He was skilled in all aspects of pursuing whatever game he was after, and yet I never heard him boast or exaggerate. If he said he caught a five pound trout, you were sure it was within ounces of 5 pounds. If he said he caught it on 7x tippet and a size 20 baetis, and cast 40 feet into a strong headwind, you could take that to the bank. He was self-deprecating, and preferred to let others laud his exploits.

In an age when many think it comical to commiserate about how unreasonable a spouse or significant other could be, John never disrespected his Pat. It was obvious she was his highest priority, and he always treated her thusly.

I can’t speak for our whole assembly, but for myself, I never saw John lose his temper. I don’t think I ever even saw him angry. Or intoxicated. Calm, composed, compassionate. That’s how I remember John.

What a balm, in this era of self-aggrandation, to spend time with someone to whom character meant so much. Not the kind of character that makes excuses to justify whatever selfish motives a person might have, but the kind of character that it takes to always be kind, to excuse others their faults, to stand up for those weaker, and always place others before themselves.

I count myself lucky, to be a member of this club, to have been able to associate myself with men and women like John & Pat. There is, after all, a reason we renamed the Dame Julianna award after John. He has impacted each and every one of us, in a positive way.

That was John’s greatest gift. To make us want to be more like him.

Kevin Murdock’s tribute to John Steel at John’s Celebration of Life.

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November 2022 Table of Contents

General Meeting……………………
  Capt. Maury Hatch – Fly Fishing Stripers in NorCal
  November Raffle
President’s Line…………………….
Fly Tying……………………
  Blow Torch – Fly Tying Class
  Chironomid in red or amber
Conservation Concerns……………
  Steelhead and Coho Found in Mill Creek
  Los Padres Dam Steelhead Migration Data Results
Membership Notes…………………
  2023 Dues Renewal reminder
  Sign up to share your fish story
  Oct and Nov Casting Classes
  Tech Tip: Managing Google Group emails
Reel News…………………
Gone Fishing…………………
Fishout Schedule…………………

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Sign up to share your fishing pictures and story in January.

We are looking for six people who want to share their 2022 fishing story with the club at the January 2023 meeting. Here are some details:

  • Story should be about six minutes long with pictures or video.
  • The story can be told live or can be pre-recorded .
  • The audience will be encouraged to ask questions.

With the success of the club’s Instagram account, we get a chance to see lots and lots of fish pictures during the year. So we are changing the traditional slideshow to a show-and-tell type format. This will be a fun way for us to get to hear some great stories and learn more about a place visited by a fellow member in ‘22. If you know of a member who has a great story, please encourage them to sign up and share it with the rest of the club.

To sign up, send an email to

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Tech Tip: Managing Google Group emails

by Scott Kitayama

I have been enjoying the banter on Santa Cruz fly Fishing’s Google Groups especially when new members ask questions. So I was surprised when I heard a member say that there are too many Google Groups emails or the subject line doesn’t make sense. I’m guessing this person’s emails all go to a single inbox and is messy, so this is a tip to manage your inbox.

Think of your inbox like a fly box, if you only have a few flies, they can all go into one box. After a while, you have dry flies, wet flies, streamers, poppers and your one fly box turns into a big ol’ mess. Just like having separate boxes for different flies, you can have separate email folders for different subjects.

Gmail :

For me, Google Groups emails go into a separate tab called Forums so I don’t have to look at them until I am ready. Here is a link to a video on how to set up Forums:

Other email viewers like Apple Mail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL:

Since I haven’t used any other email reader in over a decade, I am not brave enough to provide instructions. I suggest you search google to find info on “moving new emails to folders using filters”.

Another solution:

Send an email to Bob Peterson or Scott Kitayama and request changing the way you are receiving the Google Groups emails:

  • Don’t send email updates: you won’t receive emails but you can still access the group messages, by
    double clicking on the group, then open and respond to any message within the list.
  • Send daily summaries: you will receive one daily message if any message(s) are posted.
  • Combined updates: One message with 25 responses in that message.
  • Every new message: (default) You will receive an email message for every new message or response is posted.

Hope this helps someone.

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O’Neill Fore bay Fishout Report or

What a difference a day makes!

Arrived with Brother Terry around noon on Thursday. Found that Elain and John had arrived the day before, and had selected a perfect waterfront campsite. That evening, they met up with Bill Seaman and had a fantastic evening on the water near the old boat launch. Lots of good sized fish.

Whilst Terry & I went about setting up camp, other members dribbled in off of the water with varying degrees of success. Scott Kitayama caught fish on both his first and last cast. He reported that Bob Garbarino had landed a very nice fish. Gil Santos showed up and quickly launched his pram. David Marks came into camp to visit & swap stories. Rumor had it that Yog was out on the water catching fish. Mike Diciano was camped nearby with his motorhome, and launched his inflatable shortly after we arrived. The weather was perfect, with gentle to no wind and comfortably warm temperatures. We watched as Mike rowed into the fray, and we wondered why the stern of his little floatie was under water. Turns out float tubes inflated in the heat of the day tend to loose air pressure when immersed in cold water…

I would point out that setting up camp to host a crowd is thirsty business, so Terry and I paused our efforts frequently to hydrate. During one of those pauses, I noted that my pop-up camper had been invaded by giant hornets. While they were not particularly aggressive, Terry is allergic to bee stings, so I spent the next hour chasing a couple dozen of the buggers out of the camper. Time to re-hydrate again.

With camp established (complete with full wind screen) we enjoyed a light meal. I intended to head out in my float tube afterwards. It was then that I discovered I didn’t have my license with me. I recalled it was on my entryway table, placed there so I wouldn’t forget it. Oh well, Los Banos was just a hop, skip, and jump away so I left for Walmart while Terry took his boat to be inspected.

We arrived back in camp just as everyone was coming off the water. It seemed that most everyone had caught fish, with the consensus being that this year’s graduating class of fish were considerably larger than the previous year’s. Armed with that knowledge, Terry & I weren’t too dismayed to not have fished that day; there is always tomorrow, and we had great expectations. Snacks, cocktails, a fire, and great conversations ensued.

The following morning dawned about ten degrees cooler than the previous day. Terry & I were on the water by 6:30. We fished the islands where Gil had measured some success the evening before. We marked a few sporadic fish on the finder in around 20 ft. of water, but they seemed to have developed lockjaw. We moved on to where the group was concentrated on the South west corner of the Fore bay. Slim pickens there too. Many had caught a fish or two, but certainly not at the rate of the previous two days.

Having been totally skunked, we decided to head to camp and enjoy a nice lunch. Which led to a Bloody Mary. Or two. Which led to a nap. I awoke greatly refreshed around 3:00. Time to head out for the afternoon bite, but we found that the mighty wind had risen and chased everyone off of the water. We thought it best to cut our losses and head on in. There were white caps and good swells so it took almost an hour to get to the dock area. We were thoroughly soaked, but the warm wind quickly dried us off. We noticed that there was about a 300 yard stretch of water out to 50 yards off shore that was in a ‘wind shadow’ from the hills behind the launch ramps. It was still breezy, so one of us had to helm the boat while the other fished. Terry piloted as I landed two schoolies of around18”. Terry’s turn. I handed him my rod and took over the helm. I like to believe it was my superior boat piloting that led to Terry landing a 25” chromer.

Getting the skunk off the boat took till the last 30 minutes of fishing time. Whew, that was close. Arrived back at camp to find JT and our newest member, Rich, had joined our group. Lance snuck in and set up his tent and joined in. Rich shared a fine bottle of Scotch with us, which instantly endeared him to the gang. We sat up till late sharing scotch and stories.

The wind grew in intensity.

Everyone slept fitfully Friday night, with the wind buffeting tents, campers, and trailers. Saturday morning found the red light blinking at the cottonwood creek entrance, meaning watercraft was forbidden from launching. I estimated a steady 30mph wind with occasional stronger gusts. Hoping against hope that the wind wouldn’t last, Terry & I hunkered down and made a nice breakfast. The sunrise was spectacular. The more experienced among us checked out the weather forecast to find that strong winds were expected through Sunday. Most folks began packing up to go. Around noon, we began to slowly break camp. The rest of the crew had left by one-o-clock. Around 3:00, I gave one last cruise by the North side of the Fore bay to see if the ‘wind shadow’ still held. There was still a small calm area, but I decided better than to launch my float tube when there wasn’t another vessel on the water anywhere.

Sadly, we had to cut the O’Neill Fore bay trip short. We missed out on several members who had planned on coming out on Sunday, but you just can’t ignore the weather. The moral of the story: The best time to fish is right now! (If you can).

Until next year,