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YubaFest 2022 is coming October 15 and 16

by Mark Rockwell - President NCFFI

Do you want to spend a day celebrating fly fishing, our great California rivers, and spend time with friends and fellow advocates for our fisheries?  This will be what YubaFest is all about.  The Northern California Council, Fly Fishers International and our partners are organizing fun days of family focused education, learning, good food and music, and bringing our fishing community together to enjoy this wonderful River.

The event is Dedicated to the late Jon Baiocchi, our friend, fishing guide, and Yuba River advocate.  Please come to celebrate Jon’s life and what he stood for.  It will be a day of joy, music and fun.

The event will include:

Partner booths – NCCFFI, Cal Trout, TU, Gold Country Fly Fishers, and many other partners who advocate for fisheries & watersheds and enjoy fishing.

Learning opportunities – 

  • Fly Fishing 101 – how to fly fish
  • How to fly cast – presenting the fly to fish
  • Participate in the FFI fly casting challenge – a skills test – bronze, silver levels
  • Entomology – what fish eat 
  • How to create flies that catch fish – fly tying starter 
  • Women in fly fishing (Women Connect) 
  • Fishing the Yuba – how to catch the wild rainbows of the Yuba 
  • Restoration work on the Yuba – SYRCL program to restore this great river
  • Water safety – rivers are dangerous – how to stay safe

Food & drinks available throughout the day, including a BBQ dinner on Saturday

Music – Afternoon fun music,  and Karrie O’Neill, singer/song writer for the evening

Story teller to bring the history & glory of the region to a personal level

Special women’s programs for learning and taking fishing trips together

Sunday special on-the-water teaching and fishing opportunities with possible casting classes too

Raffle & auction of fly fishing “stuff” as well as other non-fishing items.  

Times for the event are:  Saturday 10 – 5:30 for learning and river activities, 6 – 9 for dinner, story telling, and music around the camp fire (if we can have it).

Location:  Sycamore Ranch Park, 5390 State Hwy. 20, Browns Valley, CA. 95918, 

(530) 749-5435.    Website:  parks_&_campground.php

Reservations for camping:

Please join us to celebrate the Yuba, Fly Fishing & Jon Baiocchi!

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May 2022 NCCFFI Report to Clubs

by Mark Rockwell - NCFFI President

We have been working to bring added value to all of our clubs and members with a focus on fly fishing education, events in the months ahead, as well as continuing to support all of you in 2022. We are developing an easy to use and conduct Fly Fishing 101 program, developed by Clay Hash of Fly Fishing Traditions. Clay is on our Board and a dedicated fly fisher, with a focus on educating people about fly fishing and how it is done. Clay has developed a series of teaching modules that we are preparing to make available to all of our member clubs. We hope to have it completed soon. Watch for it in May or June.

In addition to this program on fly fishing, Clay is also working on another easy to use program for clubs on teaching fly casting. It, too, will be easy to use and present. We hope to have it available in the summer.

The beauty of both the Fly Fishing 101 and Fly Casting programs is that they don’t take an expert to present. They will provide a complete process clubs can use to educate members & take to your community. We realize that most clubs offer similar programs, but the beauty of this program is it is complete and easy to deliver. It’s not necessary for a club teacher to be an expert. They will come in a format that can be carried forward year after year, can be tweaked and adjusted to meet club needs, and organized in an easy-to-understand sequence.
Lastly, we’re in the development process of re-starting our YubaFest event held for the first time 3 years ago. COVID interrupted the last 2 years. It is designed to be a celebration of the western Sierra watershed rivers, and the Yuba is the Queen of these rivers due to its continuous and controllable cool and consistent flows. Additionally, it is a river many of our members fish nearly year round.

We see this as a Celebration and a party, with learning and education included. It will be a family event with food, music, casting games & instruction, river education and some limited fishing opportunities. We will partner with the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), a longtime river partner and advocate for the Yuba. We hope to provide those who attend the opportunity to join the SYRCL salmon river tours to lean about the river and where and how salmon spawn. This will be a full day of fun events and activities, so look forward to hearing more from us as this comes together. It will be a Fall event, likely in October.

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Donations from the Doug Severin Estate

by Elaine Cook

If you enjoyed receiving items from Doug’s estate at the January club meeting, you will have the opportunity to do that again at both the March and April club meetings. His desire was that club members would have the opportunity to receive his fishing belongings .More fishing items and fly tying materials will be available at the March and April club meetings.Some will be in raffles but those at the club meeting in March and April will be free for the taking. Donations will be welcomed if you so choose. The pictures show a lot of the items that will be up for grabs . The doors will open at 6 PM at the Grange and the meeting will start at 6:30. Don’t miss out come early to choose what you would like. The meeting will also be via zoom, so if you wish to come for some donated items and then go home to do a zoom meeting, that will be fine.

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2021 John Steele Award winner

by K Murdock; SCFF V/P

2021 John Steele Award Winner

In 2021, 12 club Members were nominated to receive the coveted John Steele Award. The reasons were as varied as they could be.

Sam Bishop was nominated for hosting the Beach Fish outs, described by one member as “The most important SCFF activity during Covid”.

Dan Eaton was nominated for hosting the Los Banos Creek fish out and giving largemouth bass fishing advice, and for hosting a fly tying class.

Robert Eberly apparently adopted a novice surf fisherman and schooled him throughout the day, eventually convincing our neophyte angler to join the SCFF club!

Jeff Goyert (Yog) helped a member get acquainted with the O-Neil Fore bay striper fishing techniques.

Scott Kitayama (Last year’s Steele award recipient) was nominated for helping a member while perch fishing, and again for just being friendly and helpful.

Phil Kowal has been helpful in e-mail and text for equipment questions and has also introduced club members to San Lois reservoir.

Jerry McKeon was nominated for his prodigious work on our Instagram account, which has grown both our membership, and our club’s reputation in the Fly Fishing hierarchy. He also received a nod for pitching in and helping set up Zoom Fly-tying.

Lord knows why Kevin Murdock was nominated; I suspect graft…

Steve Rudzinski (Stosh) was remembered for his work on the Jade St Park casting classes, and helping members with Pyramid and San Louis fishing techniques.

Bill Seamoa was able to facilitate transportation for one of our favorite couples to San Lois Reservoir when they were having difficulty driving in the dark.

Cecilia Stipes effervescent personality, and her willingness to share knowledge, as well as her efforts as one of our fish masters has made her a nominee again this year.

And finally, Mark Tragout was nominated for his casting classes in boulder creek, and for towing a tuber out of the weeds, and finally, for gifting the book “Home Waters” by John Mclean, to a member, which indirectly led to the marriage of a pair of our club members.

As you can see, Steele Award nominations can be for literally anything. We have numerous fish outs through the year where 20 or 30 of our members are present for up to a week. You can’t tell me that you can fish for a week without a club member sharing a tip, a fly, a spot, netting a monster, an incredible meal, emotional support or just plain good fellowship.

I should be getting 20 or 30 nominations after each fish out. The easiest way to make a nomination in this time of zoom and distance is to just e-mail me at That way I can just move the e-mail into my John Steele folder and count em up at the beginning of next year.

This year’s winner of the 2021 John Steele award is Mark Tragout.

Congratulations Mark. We are grateful to you and all our nominees.

Respectfully submitted 01/10/22

K Murdock

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National Forest Campground Reservations (simplified)

by Elaine Cook

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

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IN MEMORIAM: Douglas Severin

by Elaine Cook

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

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CSPA September 21st Report to NCCFFI

by Cindy Charles, Golden West Fly Fishers

The California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) has been in the trenches fighting for fisheries and water quality on multiple fronts during this historic 2021 drought. Here is a link to our website for the most current news

 Recent activities include:

  • Sacramento RiverOn August 26th, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, AquAlliance and the California Water Impact Network filed a lawsuit in federal District Court against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation over the plans of a group of Sacramento River Settlement Contractors to pump extra groundwater in 2021.  Reclamation’s Plan would enable further groundwater pumping from an already depleted groundwater basin during the current drought.  It is noteworthy that these water users have enough river water now to sell to south-of-Delta interests.  The Court denied an injunction against the additional groundwater extraction, and CSPA and allies are appealing the denial.  Meanwhile, the case is pending until later this year and the groundwater extra pumping continues.
  • Yuba River: CSPA gave a presentation on September 17 on lower Yuba River flows in an important public technical workshop at the State Water Board.  The subject of the workshop was the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for the FERC relicensing of the Yuba River Development Project.  The purpose of the workshop was to review the technical issues raised in petitions for reconsideration of the Certification.  Project owner Yuba Water Agency, CDFW, and a coalition of NGO’s, including CSPA, each filed petitions.  NGO Petitioners objected to the certification because key conditions related to flows and habitat restoration were vague and kicked the can down the road on controversial issues, including flow.  CSPA expects the CA Water Board to make a final decision on the petitions in an upcoming meeting.
  • California Drought Plan:  CSPA has been providing timely and extensive feedback on drought planning responses to the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Water Resources, who “manage” the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project.  Most recently, CSPA appeared before the State Water Board on September 21 to advocate for an immediate halt to water transfers from Sacramento River Settlement Contractors to farmers south of the Delta.  Cessation of these transfers would increase end-of-November storage in Shasta Reservoir by over 100,000 acre-feet.  CSPA told the Board : 

[S]tart now to keep the present condition from getting worse. Specifically, the Board should act now to end the ongoing water transfers that BOR is making on behalf of Sacramento River Settlement Contractors from water sourced in Shasta Reservoir. The Board should not allow it to get worse by allowing BOR to complete these transfers in the balance of September and in October.  The August Addendum currently anticipates Shasta storage to be 728 thousand acre-feet.  That storage level is reckless.

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August NCCFFI update

by Mark Rockwell - NCCFFI President

The Heat Is On
Mother nature is serving up a blow this summer? 2021 is way hotter than average across much of the United States. What does that mean for trout? What does that mean for those of us that fly fish for trout? These questions have been on the minds of many of us this past month as temperatures soared here in California and across the west.

In the heat of summer, water temperatures increase, which can be troublesome and often fatal for trout, especially during extended periods. If water temps get above 68 degrees Fahrenheit, fish begin to struggle to breathe, get stressed and need a little extra TLC from us. How hot is too hot for trout? Here are a few tips courtesy of Trout Unlimited based on water temperature:

  • Below 65 °F – Fish are happy, healthy, hungry, and ready for a fight.
  • 65 – 68 °F – Trout are starting to slow down and are feeling the heat. Rope up with heavy tippet and land fish quickly. Skip the picture and give them plenty of time to revive before release.
  • Over 68 °F – Heads up: Too hot for trout. Trout are feeling stressed and need a break! Mortality rates increase even with proper handling. 

How do you tell if the water is too warm and causing the fish stress? Pack a fishing thermometer with you and when you get to the stream check the water temperature. If the water is too hot (out of the trout comfort zone), have a beer, take a nap, read a book, chase warm water species, fish a spring creek or a tailwater, or head for the high country and try again when the water temperatures drop. In other words, give the trout a break. We all have a responsibility to protect the trout we love.
My Personal Actions for Trout This Summer
I will always carry a thermometer and check water temperature every
hour. If water temperature goes above 65 degrees I will stop fishing.
I will consider not fishing cold water fish if air temps go above 95
degrees and water temps are not below 65.

  • I will consider fishing only early morning & late evening. Measure water temperature before starting, hourly thereafter, and I will stop if temps go above 65.
  • Every day will be different. Some days just will not be trout days.
  • I will consider only fishing warm water fish if the heat prevails, and I will do so into the Fall and until water temps are below 65 throughout the day.

The point here is to protect our cold water fish so they will be with us in the winter and next year. As some of you already know, Oregon has issued a set of regulatory changes to protect its fisheries (see emergency regulations for angling zones: ).

We’ve not yet heard anything from CDFW but I do expect it. Let’s band together and do our part to care for and protect our fisheries in this, our most severe summer in years, if not ever. I salute all of you who join me in this effort. We’re in this together – we and our fish.

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Northern Calif. Council, Fly Fishers International July 2021 Report

by Mark Rockwell, FFI President

Greetings to all and I’m glad to say that we are continuing to see COVID cases diminish in most of our region.  I am hearing that many of our clubs are again holding fishing retreats and scheduling in-person club meetings.  This is all good!

NCCFFI is working for the future of Fly Fishing 

  • Developing a stronger connection with our clubs to improve relationships, communication & better protect our watersheds through conservation. 
  • Improving and re-modeling our website.  Our goal is to have a good looking & informative website that has club activity information, conservation actions, educational opportunities & more.  We hope to have the site up by early July.
  • Strategy group working on goals & objectives for the next 3-5 years. We will be working over the next several weeks to develop a vision and working set of actions to meet the needs of our clubs, members and our fly fishing community.  We expect this to take a couple of months, but it will put us on the road to stability and being able to continue to build the fly fishing community we know is important to the future. 
  • Things to look forward to:  Better club support for your projects; Enhanced support for fly fishing by the Council by our work at the ISE show & Fly Fishing Show; Continued Council-club communications; enhanced connection with FFI programs and events; Better learning opportunities for all through Council level education programs.


Fly Fishers International (FFI) – Working for our Sport & it’s members

  • New – Virtual Expo November 5-7, 2021 – enjoy all FFI has to offer from home on your computer!  This appears to be a new & exciting way to enjoy your organization, yet learn and support your sport. This promises to be a great event that is full of information & opportunity.


Women Connect – Within NCCFFI & FFI

  • NCCFFI & Women Connect:  We have a local group of Women Connect, and our Council is proud to say Anne Marie Bakker,, is our Council connection.  Contact her to find out more and join.  


It’s important to understand that both NCCFFI and FFI are working hard to help our sport on many fronts.  FFI is the only organization we have that is only focused on fly fishing and All fish in all waters.  Being a member means you support fly fishing and its future.  Join today:

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Annual Salinas River launch-site cleanup

Geoff Malloway from Central Coast Fly Fishing writes on Facebook: “Another successful Salinas River cleanup!  We had an exceptional turnout thanks to the Salinas Valley Flyfishers, the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen, CDFW , AmeriCorps and Trout Unlimited. Also, special thanks to Jefferson Farms (Jay and Benji) and MPWMD.  A lot was accomplished but there’s always more to do.”

The Salinas Valley Fly Fishing club have been doing this cleanup for years right before the December opening of the Salinas river.  There were about 25 people total who helped on the morning of November 22nd.   SCFF was represented by Jeff Gose, Jeff Slaboden, Sam Bishop and Scott Kitayama. Great to meet people from the other organizations.


If you are fishing any of the coastal rivers this winter, Tim Frahm from Trout Unlimited asks that you fill out the “Central Coast Striped Bass Catch Reporting Survey” which shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to fill out and will help better understand our local waters.  The survey can be found at    

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Fly Tying Tool – The Burner

by Sam Bishop

Have you ever put the dumbbell eyes a bit too close to the eye when tying a Clouser, then found that when you tied it all off, you just couldn’t keep some of the deer hair or synthetics out of the eye? Then when you tried to trim it out you risked damaging your expensive scissors?
Well, for something between $7 and $15 you can buy a thread burner, a device used by those who sew, and solve the problem once and for all. But if you buy one, be sure it has a replaceable battery.

Note the smoke in the picture.

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Volunteer for Salinas River Cleanup, Sunday November 22nd.

by Scott Kitayama, SCFF Member

Join the Salinas Valley Fly Fishers for the annual clean up of the Salinas River fishing access. The event will be on Sunday November 22nd starting at 9:00 am.  Jay Jefferson is the Salinas Valley Fly Fishers representative for this event.  Wear clothing for the weather of that day and if you can, bring gloves and a three prong hoe, as it’s the best tool.


  • Go South on Highway 1 towards Monterey
  • Follow CA-1 S to Molera Rd. Take exit 414 from CA-1 S and take Nashua Rd over the highway
  • Take the first right on Monte Road 1.6 miles to your destination.   This is a dirt parking lot on the left side of the road before the twin bridges.
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Local business for gear repair

by Elaine Cook

Have twice recently had the need for some work to be done on my float tube cover. I used the Santa Cruz Outdoor Gear Repair business. Good service, good work, reasonable, very Covid safe with no need to enter his building. He works on all kinds of stuff. Does not however repair waders or leaks. Located  in downtown Santa Cruz in Old Sash Mill .   303 Potrero St. Bldg. 45 Suite 101  (831)824-4176. Open Wed.-Sat.  His name is Peter and is a fly fisherman.

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Shelter in place at Goodwin Lake

by Elaine Cook for Roy Gunter

Roy has sponsored several club fishouts at his lovely 2 bedroom home at Goodwin Lake which is full of large rainbows. If you would like to escape from COVID for the next year, he will be leasing it out for $1,450 per month plus utilities. It includes a boat with motor the get around this beautiful private  lake. You can reach him at for more details.