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Backstory on what inspired this month’s cartoon

by Pat Steele

A little backstory on what inspired this particular cartoon:

* August 2-6 – Missouri River – Pat and John Steele
John and I hadn’t made long range plans for this trip, but fellow SCFF member Bob Peterson raved so much about how well the Missouri was fishing that we jumped on a plane and went. Bob was right, the rainbows were fat, feisty and hungry. We didn’t have any top-water dry fly action, (fishing was all subsurface with a sow bug and some little purple thing called a “two-bit hooker”) but what we did have was epic. There was no trouble catching fish, the problem was in landing them on teeny tiny hooks. I had to learn to keep my paws off the reel and just let them jump, gator-roll, head-shake and do all their shenanigans until they tired out enough for me to land them without breaking them off. We did the first day on the lake at Holter dam, the so-called “Land of the Giants”, and Captain John Hall and his jet-propelled boat put us onto more big fish than we had ever caught in one day.

The second day, we launched from Craig and did a river trip. Along about 11 AM, John had hooked a nice big rainbow, was bringing it up to the surface, when we felt wings flap over our heads, from the stern of the boat, and to our absolute amazement, saw an eagle snatch the hooked fish, line and all, and fly off with it! The eagle broke the fish off, flew with it up onto some old, unused railroad tracks, proceeded to stomp and peck at it to subdue it, then flew up into the cliffs above, to share it with some eaglets that were nested up there. I was too stunned to take photos or video of the event. Later, when we met with our outfitter, Ed Lawrence, he told us that the eagle is a repeat offender, that other people fishing at that very spot, have experienced the same theft. There is even a video on YouTube featuring the thieving eagle. For a short, unplanned trip, this junket proved to be productive, enjoyable, and surprising!

P.S.-On August 5th, the Mann Gulch Fire, which happened in 1949, was commemorated at the lake. Thirteen smokejumpers lost their lives in it, and there is a memorial to them at the lake. The story is told in a book, “Young Men and Fire”, by Norman McClean, who also wrote “A River Runs Through It.” It is a riveting, tragic tale, and anyone who visits this area should read the book.


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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 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

Date:  May 8

Time:  2 pm

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Casting practice at Jade Park 2 pm – May 8th

Stosh (Steve Rudzinski) will hosting a social casting practice at Jade Park in Capitola on Saturday, May 8th.   There is no agenda, just be at Jade Park at 2 pm and stay as long as you would like. There will be novice casters and experienced casters to assist as desired.

We will have plenty of Club 5 weight rods there for practice too.

See you May 8th, 2 pm

Date:  March 6

Time:  2 pm

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Casting our life away March 6, 2 pm

by Sam Bishop

Stosh (Steve Rudzinski) has sponsored a monthly social casting practice at Jade Park in Capitola the first Saturday of the month. He will be up at Pyramid Lake on March 6, so he “volunteered” me to coordinate. I am most happy to do that. There is no agenda, just be at Jade Park at 2 pm and stay as long as you would like. There will be novice casters and experienced casters to assist as desired. I will personally be happy to assist with the double haul and shooting head relationship.

Jerry McKeon (Social Media Chairman)  will bring a drone and making some promotional videos.   If you are in a witness  protection program, better wear a good disguise or let us know you prefer not to be included.   Rumor has it that there will be an after-casting event at Beer 30 to continue the occasion and tell fish stories.

We will have plenty of Club 5 weight rods there for practice too.

See you March 6, 2 pm

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March Roster for 2021

by Bob Peterson

The 2021 draft membership roster of 150 members will be sent out by SCFF googlegroups for members to review their information on the spreadsheet before we print the roster. If you do not see your name, or there are corrections please email me Members who did not pay their 2021 dues were deleted from the roster..We are hoping to print the roster by mid March. Any member who has experience converting xcell to word to a mail merge file please contact me

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Instagram was Built for Fishing

by Jerry McKeon

Did you know that Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram designed his app so that he could share fishing photos with his friends?  Of course you didn’t because that’s completely untrue but in fact Instagram is an excellent tool for fly fishers.  The club’s website and Facebook Accounts have their place and aren’t going anywhere, but they are not as elegant as Instagram is for those of us who prefer our mobile devices.  I like to wake up before my wife and kids and head down to my quiet kitchen.  Cup of coffee in one hand, iPhone in the other, I take in some content that’s all mine.  Within 5 minutes I’m caught up on the photo rich content of the people I follow.  A baseball writer, a few fly-tiers, a comedian and some interesting friends.    It’s how I kick start my day with wonderful photos, short videos and inspiration of the things I’m passionate about.   In truth, I’m average at best with technology but Instagram solves for that by being incredibly user friendly.  It’s fun, it’s fast and it’s easy which has made it incredibly popular with today’s youth. For those of us not so young,  we also see the value in it.

SantaCruzFlyFishing” now has it’s own Instagram page and I hope you get a chance to visit and follow us.  The page is currently in its nymphal stage but I see a lot of potential for it to help the club share our stoke of everything fly fishing with each other and future members alike.

If you have input on this tool, I welcome the feedback!  Looking forward to getting to know you all better especially on the water, Jerry McKeon

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John Steele Award

by Vice President Kevin Murdock

This is your last chance to nominate your candidate for our annual John Steele award.
You can submit your nomination by texting your V/P (Kevin Murdock) at

(831) 238-3037 or emailing to

John has forever been a mainstay of our club, offering whatever help was needed to whoever needed it for the last 30 years. In that spirit, this award is presented to whoever has aided you on your fly fishing journey. You can vote as often as you need, to capture the spirit of your fishing gurus.Call or text me and let me know how they’ve helped you.  You can nominate a member for each individual kind act.


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Thank you to New members and those who have renewed

by Bob

As of the week before Christmas, we have 135 memberships,  including 21 new members for 2021..We are hopeful to have 15 more renewals by the end of the year…Majority of the renewals have been online and 90% of new members were online….To date we have received over $2,500 for conservation and scholarships and a thank you to those members for their thoughtful donations.

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Send in your pictures!

by Program Coordinator: Jim Black

It’s now time to prepare for our Annual Santa Cruz Slideshow (Zoom Meeting on January 6th, 2021) and look forward to sharing last years Fishing Experiences with our entire club.  As he did last year, Rich Rubin has graciously agreed to be the Master of Ceremonies for Our Slide Show.

Please submit your photos to Rich Rueben to

Pictures should be emailed directly to Rich so he can save them to his iPad.  Please don’t use Dropbox or other cloud based applications.


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December 31st reminder dues deadline

by Bob

More than half of all current members have renewed 2021 membership online

The balance of renewals (45) have been mailed out to members to be paid by check or online.  To date, over $2,200 has been received for Scholarships/ Conservation.  This years renewal response has exceeded expectations and members continue to support our Club in this transitional time.

Thank You

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New SCCF Hoodie available for order

by SCFF Board Member: Michael McGannon

Just made available.   SCFF Trout Logo on cotton hoodie with a full zipper.   Small logo on front pocket only in sizes Small, Medium Large and Extra Large.  Price is $59 which includes shipping.    We are only going to inventory a few per size, so please buy and we will get it to you as soon as we can.



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2021 Renewal Update

by Membership chairman Bob Peterson

Almost half of all current members have renewed 2021 membership online

The balance of renewals have been mailed out to members to be paid by check or online.  To date, over $1,000 have been received for Scholarships/ Conservation.  This years renewal response has exceeded expectations and members continue to support our Club in this transitional time.

Thank You

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Veep’s Line – Voting for John Steele Award

by Kevin Murdock, Vice President SCFF

With all the hoopla going on surrounding early voting this fall, it would be advisable for each of us to create a voting plan. No, not for the presidential election… I’m referring to our own John Steel award for 2021.
Who will be honored as this years recipient? Who has helped you on your fly fishing journey this year? Who shared a favorite fishing spot or favorite fly with you? Who showed you how to make a tuck cast or tie a new fishing knot? Who lent you a piece of equipment or taught you how to tie a new fly pattern? Who gave you sound fishing advice or just went out of their way to make you feel welcome at a club event? That is who will be chosen for this award.
And, as our nations president says, go ahead and vote twice. Or three or four times. (Just once for each kind deed though).
You can cast your ballot by emailing me at or texting me at (831) 238-3037. We’ll announce the results in the January newsletter.
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Just how are we doing financially?

by SCFF Treasurer Jim Tolonen

Several folks have been asking about our financials since this “stay at home Pandemic” showed up.  So I thought the easiest way to communicate to all was a short article in the newsletter.

Basically we are in very good shape.  As a “Non-Profit” we generally do not set out to make money every year, but through decades of carefully managing our inflows and outflows we have built up a reserve of cash to tide us through lean periods.  Our cash currently stands at approximately $29,000.  We had just finished our fiscal year on February 1, just after our successful annual fund-raiser dinner and raffle; and had our push for renewal of memberships through March.  All that completed before this pandemic struck.  So we were at a high point in our finances for the year.

As a brief overview, we usually have three sources of funds; the annual dinner itself (which raises about $2,500 net of all costs) , the big raffle and silent auction (which raises about $5,000 net of costs), and memberships and donations, (which raise about $6,500).   This gives a total inflow of about $14-$15 thousand per year.  Our total expenses for the year typically run about $14-$15 as well, including $3,000 in Conservation donations and $1,000 in scholarships.  The other large items are Speakers, Hall rental, Printing (including our roster, fund raiser and thank you letters), postage, liability insurance, events, etc.

So, if we brought in zero new dollars, our current cash should last about two years.  But the reality is that membership has continued to flow in, and even if we cannot have our normal January fund-raiser, it is still likely we can have some type of fundraiser later in next year.  Also, some of our expenses have decreased.  Speakers are charging less for ZOOM meetings because they do not have to travel.  We have already paid our grange rental for the year, and that is being held, and we are thankfully not being charged for now, as we cannot use the facility; so we are building a credit for future use.  The bulk of the new web site consulting work has been completed.  Our 11 scholarship recipients have already been paid.

I hope that is helpful and comforting.

Having been frugal in the better times is allowing us to weather these lean times.  I read somewhere that is usually a good plan.  I believe Ben Franklin recommended that in Poor Richards Almanac.

Looking very forward when the fires abate, and Covid is behind us, and we can all meet at the Grange, or on the water, or …….

In the mean time, stay safe and fish on!

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New Board Member – Camille Padilla

I’m originally from Sitka, Alaska, and grew up in a commercial fishing family spending summers from year 10 to 21 commercially fishing for salmon. I was introduced to fly fishing by my father during a bone fishing trip to Belize in the 90s – talk about a blast!
For the past decade fishing has taken a back seat to school and career, but with my recent move to Santa Cruz I’m picking up the rod again and am excited to shake off the rust and get back into the sport!
I’m coming to the board after clicking a box on the new member form in March raising my hand to help. I believe deeply in giving back and being part of the SC fly fishing organization is a great way to give back, promote a great sport, and continue expand my SC community.

Fun fact:
– I took a sabbatical in 2019 and spent the year traveling the world, did a fair bit of fishing too!

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New newsletter board member: Scott Kitayama

by Newsletter Editor - Scott Kitayama

I grew up on a flower farm in Colorado and spent many days worm-fishing with my family.  The first time I saw someone fly fishing, I didn’t know what it was, I just knew it was magical.   Came to California to attend UC Berkeley in Computer Science and later Dartmouth for an MBA.  Spent a lot of years in Silicon Valley working in software marketing and then at my family’s flower business.  My wife, Eva, and I are now empty-nesters in Watsonville where I do a little consulting, but mainly try to figure out how to catch local fish.  I look forward to fishing with club members and helping the SCFF club where I can.