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December 2023 Table of Contents

2024 Annual Dinner & Fundraiser………………
General Meeting……………………
   Lance Gray
December Raffle……………………
President’s Line……………………
Fly Tying……………………
 December Class: Trout Nugget
 Fly of the Month: Tying Tips
Conservation Concerns……………
 SCFF Volunteers on Little Arthur Creek
Membership Notes…………………
 Club Activities – December
 2024 membership renewals
Fishout Schedule…………………
Cartoon ……………………

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2024 Annual Dinner and Fundraiser



 with  HORS D’OEUVRES  to spur your appetite


5:00 – 9:00 pm

followed by




ANNUAL. FUND  RAISER  COORDINATOR:  DAVID  SOUTH    (831)713-5866   (831)234-0196

DINNER TICKETS:   Are $40 which can be purchased at the December and January club meetings and online at There is room for 180 people and sometimes we sell buy your tickets now, but no later than January 31.

VOLUNTEERS: Many long-term club members say that the best part of our event is the time volunteering, and working with others to put the whole event together. Contact Elaine Cook at (831)231-6515 or (831)-251-4741, or (no text please) to find out how you can best help.

DONATIONS: Our club would be grateful for donations to be used as raffle prizes at our annual fundraiser. Examples: flies you have tied, other handcrafted items, business services, personal services such as fly-tying lessons, casting lessons, etc. If you have such a contribution, please contact our annual raffle coordinator Rick Chace, at (831)234-9200.

RAFFLE TICKETS: Can be purchased online when buying your dinner ticket (which will be issued at the door),or at our event. Two door prizes of 50 raffle tickets will be awarded, which should increase your chances of winning.  There will be silent auction items as well.

ABOUT THE ROD AND GUN CLUB: it’s located in a rural setting overlooking Kelley lake. The parking lot is gravel so not a problem if it’s raining. Their insurance doesn’t permit us to bring alcohol. However, there is a cash bar where drinks and sodas can be purchased.


Ticket purchasers: (as of Nov 30)

  • B Peterson (1)
  • D South (2)
  • M Sherwood (2)
  • J Cook (2)
  • S Kitayama (2)
  • J Goyert (1)
  • J Tolonen (1)
  • A Presser (2)
  • J Hopkins (2)
  • M DiCiano (4)
  • K Powers (3)

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Pajaro Valley Rod & Gun club is located 14 miles south of the Aptos Grange.

Pajaro Valley Rod and Gun Club

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Lance Gray – December

Dec 06 6:45 PM at the Aptos Grange

Zoom link:

Lance Gray - Guide

During 2003, Lance and Kirsten Gray launched Lance Gray & Co., a full-service outfitter offering guided trips, fly-fishing schools, workshops and a travel agency. His guide service covers Lake Almanor, Manzanita Lake, and the Yuba, Lower Sac and Feather rivers. Lance is a signature tier for Aqua Flies, pro staff member for Sage and Rio and is a featured writer, with articles published in Angling Trade Magazine, California Fly Fisher, Fly Fishermen, Sierra Fisherman and Northwest Fly Fishing.

Lance and Kirsten together have more than a combined 50 years of experience in fly fishing. Lance started fly fishing with his father and brother Lincoln at age 7. In his teens, he began tying flies commercially for shops all around Northern California. During 1993, Lance and Kirsten started Saltwater Innovations, a manufacturer and distributor products for saltwater fly fishing. Lance’s Crystal Popper, Gray’s Billfish Fly, the KO Charlie line and the Raghead Crabs are all Saltwater Innovations products. Kirsten worked behind the scenes, handling day-to-day operations and running the manufacturing floor.

No upcoming events scheduled - check back soon!

Monthly Speaker Date Excerpt

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December Raffle

December 2023 raffle prizes

What is the best way to win your own Christmas present? Buy a bunch of raffle tickets for the  drawing at the  meeting on Wednesday, December 6th!

Naughty or nice, Santa doesn’t care. Buy a raffle ticket and be a winner!

We just got in a bunch of really nice V-Access rods; 9 ft. 4 piece with hard chrome guides, AA cork handles, and K-carbon tube aluminum reel seats. They each include a hard protective zippered  tube case. Each rod is paired with either an AG or Anatono matching reel.

TWO! rod/reel packages will be given away by winners choice. Pick between a 5 wt, 6wt,7wt, or 8wt. rod. There will be 4 different rods to choose from, a total of 2 two rod/reels will be awarded. 

Wintertime fishing means Steelhead fishing which also means river wading. 

When river wading for Steelhead or other creek and stream inhabitants it is always a good idea to make use of a quality wading staff. From Orvis we have an American-made collapsing wading staff which includes a heavy duty Orvis zinger tether and neoprene belt sheath. A great aid in keeping safe and stable on the water. 

Speaking of wintertime fishing or even on a ladder in April at Pyramid, take a look at this quilted Primaloft insulated Gortex Veil Camo hat from Simms. Warm and waterproof with secure earflaps, this headgear will keep you on the fish during the worst weather out there. As is said,”Don’t change your plans, change your clothes “.

Don’t miss out on these great raffle prizes. Tickets are a dollar each, $20 bucks gets you 25. Click on the following link to purchase your lucky raffle tickets:

The online ticket sales office will close at noon on Wednesday the day of the Fly Club meeting. The drawing will take place at the monthly meeting (12/6/23) held at the Aptos Grange. Club membership is not required to participate, need not be present to win. 

Participation in the monthly raffle helps support your Fly Club and is greatly appreciated.

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Behind the Scenes

I have been told that the Santa Cruz Fly Fishing club has been doing an Annual Dinner and Fundraiser since way back in 1992. Last year’s lunch event was fun, but lacked the opportunity to have a sit down dinner with a lot of members of the club. Your board has been busy preparing for the February 3rd event and I just wanted to share with you some of what we are doing to make it happen and what you can do to help.

Wild Salmon Dinner

Securing a wild-caught salmon dinner has become more challenging due to the closure of the California fishery last year. However, for our upcoming dinner, dedicated members flew to a remote part of Alaska to obtain our salmon.. Below is Sam catching our dinner.

Along with the salmon, we will be serving salad courtesy of California Grill/Lakeside Organic Gardens. The Peixoto run the largest family-owned organic farm in the US and grow most of their vegetables around Watsonville including decades at my family’s farm. Along with the fish and Salmon, Dave South has been busy sourcing the rest of the dinner from local, organic vendors around the county. And Elaine Cook is organizing a team to prepare delightful appetizers for everyone to enjoy while perusing the prizes, purchasing additional raffle tickets, and mingling with fellow attendees.

Raffle Prizes

Oh do we miss John Steele. For many, many years, John, would shop sales, fix equipment and create wonderful art work for the Annual Dinner. John had big shoes to fill, so we so we got a big man, Rick Chace, to step into the role. We are still acquiring prizes, but from what I have seen, there is going to be some nice stuff and a lot of it: at least 16 rods, 4 float tubes, tons of fly tying material, and boxes full of flies. We are hoping to get more non-fishing prizes for the raffle and welcome any donations from the membership. Maybe a gift certificate for a product or service? A piece of art? Bottle of wine? If you have any donation, please contact Rick Chace ( or (831) 234-9200.

Unlike our monthly raffles, you must be present to win, ensuring that you’re only competing against others in the room. Our goal is for everyone to leave with something.

New Location

For years, the dinner has taken place at a church in Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, post-Covid, that location is no longer practical. After exploring various alternatives, we found a fantastic venue with ample space, full bar service, and a large BBQ pit for cooking the salmon. The only downside is its location at the south end of Santa Cruz county, near the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds (the location and map are available in the article about the dinner).

For those traveling from a distance, consider staying overnight nearby. The new Hampton Inn off Riverside is a suggestion. Other viable options in Watsonville include the Holiday Inn Express on Main St and the Comfort Inn near the Airport. Sunset Beach and KOA offer campsites for RVs or fancy vans. Alternatively, you could collaborate with other members to rent an Airbnb at Pajaro Dunes and enjoy some beach or Salinas River fishing the next day.

Volunteers, Volunteers, Volunteers

“Many hands make light work,” or, in the case of the fundraiser, we need many hands to make it work at all. Elaine Cook has already put in a lot of hours coordinating this event and needs volunteers. She’ll be passing around a sign-up sheet at the December and January meetings. You can also make her task easier by calling Elaine at (831) 234-6515 or email at on how you can help at the fundraiser.

Ticket Sales and Purchase

If you want an easy way to support the fundraiser, consider purchasing your dinner and raffle tickets before the end of the year. Old-timers tell me that half of the tickets are sold a week before the event, meaning we waste time worrying about filling the room or cutting costs. Let us handle the logistics while you focus on making the event as fun and successful as possible! Dinner tickets are $40 and raffle tickets are $1.00 each. You can buy tickets at the December and January general meetings on line at

And Happy Holidays!

Scott Kitayama

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December Fly Tying Class: Trout Nugget

Dec 13 6:30 PM @ Aptos Grange

Trout Nugget - December Fly Tying Class


We welcome beginners and provide them with tools, thread and advice. It’s always helpful to bring magnification and a table lamp. Some lamps are always provided, but not enough to go around usually. Elaine Cook will be teaching. Sign ups are important and can be done at the September club meeting or calling  Elaine at 831-234-6515. Please allow at least 24 hours notice ahead.

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SCFF Volunteers Helping TU on Little Arthur Creek

by Bob Garbarino

Volunteers from Santa Cruz Fly Fishing club were out last month getting wet and dirty to help our local Trout Unlimited chapter. Tim Frahm, Central Coast Steelhead Coordinator for Trout Unlimited has been working on a project on Little Arthur Creek—a tributary of the Pajaro River—in an ongoing effort to improve and sustain steelhead habitat. Little Arthur Creek contains the best remaining spawning habitat for native steelhead in the upper Pajaro River system. One of the obstacles to steelhead moving upstream is a dam on the creek that is slated to be removed in 2024. The dam does have a crude retrofitted fish ladder that does not look to be effective. Another problem with the dam is that it collects debris on the upstream side—especially during heavy rain events. These two issues make it very difficult—if not impossible—for migration of steelhead further upstream.
Six of our club members showed up with shovels, picks, saws and other assorted tools to remove all sorts of wooden obstacles—small and large—to open up the flow of the stream for passage of fish beyond the dam prior to its removal. After a few hours of vigorous effort, we were able to accomplish our task. It was rewarding to spend the morning with my fellow fly anglers trying to help in a worthy cause to restore native fish in a local watershed. Thanks to Kevin Murdock, Kevin Morrison, Tommy Polito, Barry Burt and Jerry McKeon from Santa Cruz Fly Fishing. Also, thanks to Tim Frahm and Chris Fischer from Trout Unlimited Steinbeck Chapter for inviting us. I hope we can continue our our involvement in bringing back these iconic native fish. Trout Unlimited is one of the organizations our club supports with contributions thanks to your membership, raffle purchases and fundraiser participation.

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Club Activities – December

Date Activity Link DescriptionLocation
Dec 18 - Dec 19 10:00 am - 12:00 pmSpey Casting (See new dates)
Spey Casting clinics will be Monday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 19th .  Saturday, December 2nd is CANCELLED. Keep an eye out for updates from Alex Ferber on Google Groups messages for times and locations.  The Jade St. map is provided in case the class takes place there.  Spey Casting is a style of presenting a fly in a down and across manner ( aka Swinging Flies)It utilizes special lines and facilitates casting in tight quarters. It enables one to use sinking lines and throwing larger flies with ease.  It’s a technique used in fishing for Salmon, tout and Steelhead. It’ also has been used for Striped Bass and Shad.
Jade Street Park baseball field
Dec 30 1:30 pm - 3:00 pmFly Casting Meetup

All are welcome from beginners to experienced casters.  This is a good time to continue working on and enjoying your progress with effectively casting your fly-line -whether it’s 25, 35, 40, or 50 feet – 90% of your fishing casting.  We will continue to work on this foundation for everyone who wants to successfully and enjoyably pickup their fly rod and cast exactly where you want – time after time.  Bring your rod and reel if appropriate, and I will also have the nice club rods we have so you can toss one of those around too.

Jade Street Park baseball field
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130 members have renewed 2024 dues

by Bob Peterson

Next years dues for 2024 can be paid online now @  50% of our members have already renewed online and the response has exceeded last year with online renewals.  Along with the renewals, we have had many generous donations included.  We are grateful for your continued participation in the club.

Dues can also be paid @ the Dec meetings and also by check mailed to SCFF, PO Box 2008, Santa Cruz, Cal 95063

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Fishout Schedule – December

The newsletter provides brief fishout info.  For full detail, go to the website menu and select EVENTS -> Fishout Schedule

2023 Fishout Round-Up Dec 01 - Dec 02FISH Club Members
Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 1 – April 7, 2024 – New Info Apr 01 - Apr 07Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Mike White - (831) 706-5556

Dec 01 : 2023 Fishout Round-Up

2023 Fishout Round-Up
(Click for address and map)
Greetings Club Members (Existing, new, soon to be),  This though not a Fishout, but rather a year in review of 2023's great events held by our members.  19 trips planned in 2023 not all the trips planned were executed due to the high waters and weather early in the season but for some of those… Read More

Apr 01 : Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 1 – April 7, 2024 – New Info

Pyramid Lake (Click for address and map)
The Pyramid Lake trip is one of the best-attended fishouts the club has, and for a good reason. Lahontan Cutthroat Trout cruise parallel to the shore in easy casting distance from shore. Read More

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November 2023 Table of Contents

General Meeting……………………
   Conway Bowman ~ Fly Fishing for Mako Sharks
November Raffle……………………
President’s Line……………………
Fly Tying……………………
 November Class: Wiggle Worm
 Fly of the Month: Tiger & Zebra Midges
Conservation Concerns……………
 SCFF Supports Organizations That Make a Difference
Membership Notes…………………
 Club Activities – November
 2024 membership renewals
 2024 Annual Dinner & Fundraiser
Fishout Schedule…………………
Gone Fishing…………………
 Last Surf Fishout of 2023
 Thoughts on Mammoth
Cartoon ……………………
 Solution to last month’s puzzle

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Conway Bowman ~ Fly Fishing for Mako Sharks

Nov 01 6:30 PM at the Aptos Grange

Zoom link:

Conway X Bowman is a USCG-licensed captain who pioneered fly fishing for Mako sharks over 27 years ago. has fly fished and guided around the globe from the jungles of Thailand to the remote lakes and rivers of Alaska.

Conway is regarded as one of the top fly fishing guides and anglers in the world. His pioneering of not only Mako sharks on the fly, but also West Coast saltwater fly fishing has been featured in many books, and he is the author of The Orvis Guide to Saltwater Fly fishing: 101 tips for the Absolute Beginner. Conway resides in the coastal town of Encinitas, California, with his marine biologist wife, Michelle, and their boys Maximillian and Jackson.

Conway will be joining the club virtually to speak about fly fishing for Mako Sharks just off the coast of San Diego.

Monthly Speaker Date Excerpt
Nov 01 November's Virtual Speaker ~ Conway Bowman ~ Fly Fishing for Mako Sharks
Lance Gray - GuideDec 06 Lance Gray - Guide

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November Raffle

Rods/Reels:  We will be giving away TWO! Rod/reel packages to our lucky ticket holders.  Both packages are V-Access SK carbon 9 ft 4 section rods, choice of either 7wt or 5wt.

Net:  Take a look at this long handle, long oval laminated wooden landing net. Nearly 3 feet in length, this net, with a clear fish friendly vinyl basket.

Fish Whistle:  The Fish Whistle is the perfect addition to any trip that succeeds greater than all expectations or for that occasional adventure that does not turn out quite so well.

Raffle tickets are a dollar each, $20 bucks gets you 25. Click on the following link to purchase your lucky tickets.

The online ticket sales office will close at noon on Wednesday the day of the meeting. The drawing will take place at the monthly meeting (11/1/23) held at the Aptos Grange. Club membership not required to participate, need not be present to win.

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Giving Thanks

Thankful that:

  • we live in a place where we can fly fish twelve months a year.
  • club members are willing to volunteer for local conservation projects.
  • we belong to a fishing club that is filled with friendly people.
  • club members have shared their fishing spots with me on local streams, the Firehole in Yellowstone NP, secret ponds in Wyoming, Fall River, and tarpon fishing in Florida.
  • we have a dynamic club board dedicated to making the experience better for all club members.
  • expert volunteers spend time teaching fly tying and fly casting every month.
  • fishout masters are willing to set up trips for club members.


  • I finally caught a striper off the beach.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Scott Kitayama

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November Fly Tying Class: Wiggle Worm

Nov 08 6:30 PM @ Aptos Grange

Wiggle Worm - November Fly Tying Class

Our fly this month was originated by Jay Fair many years ago, and he’s considered one of the best stillwater fly fisherman there has been in Northern California. He passed away a number of years ago, but his flies and the materials that he developed are sought after even today.  This is an easy fly to tie and is thought to be one of the most effective lake and pond fly patterns around. As always, the class is free and materials provided. If you have a black, six ought thread, please bring it, some will be available for beginners. You beginners ought to plan on attending this class, and tools and vises are available for you to use. Kathy Powers will be conducting the class this month. She is one of the most skilled fly tires we have in the club and loves to share her knowledge and skills with others. Signing up for the class, which is needed, can be done at the November club meeting or by calling Kathy at 831-316-2451 or myself, Elaine, at 831-234-6515 and no latter than 24 hours before the class.

Future tying classes. Dates and subject may change, please go to Fly Name to see more information.

Date Fly Excerpt
Trout Nugget - December Fly Tying ClassDec 13 6:30 pm - 8:30 pmTrout Nugget - December Fly Tying Class

All club members are welcome!

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Tiger and Zebra Midges

by Elaine, Cook - fly tying Chairman

Midges are the most abundant food for trout. During the winter, it is their main source of food. They come in a great variety of sizes and colors. This pattern simulate the midge pupa stage, therefore is fish subsurface. The bead usually represents the air bubble that brings them to the surface to hatch out. These two particular patterns are very commonly used and are very effective. Their size has nothing to do with the size fish they catch.
HOOK: TMC 2457 or similar scud hook   Sizes 16-22
Crimp barb.
BEAD: silver for zebra midge, gold for tiger midge.     Use size chart online for comparison of hook size to bed size.
Feed bead onto hook, small opening first.
THREAD: black 6/0, 8/0 or 12/0 depending on size of hook.
Attach behind bead. Touching wraps to part way around bend of hook (see picture). Wrap back to bead.
RIB: silver for zebra midge, gold for tiger midge.     Size medium, small, or fine, depending on size of hook.
Place on near side of hook shank, wrap in place back to rear thread wraps. make two thread wraps behind rib.
BODY: thread as above
At this point in going forward, spin bobbin counter clockwise to make thread lie flat. Wrap forward, beginning in front of wire up to bead with touching wraps. Wrap thread backward 3/4 of shank then forward to bead again. Then halfway back, then 1/4 back leaving thread, hanging behind bead.
RIB (continued) spiral wrap forward in about five wraps,  each getting slightly further apart than the last. Tie off with several wraps behind wire and several in front of wire then one behind wire and one in front of wire. Twist wire in awinterhelicopter type motion to cut. Never use good scissors.
FINISH: make multiple thread wraps behind bead and covering tied off wire rib. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue. Coat body with UV resin, or glue, or sally Hansen hard as nails.

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SCFF Supports Organizations That Make a Difference

by Bob Garbarino

Two conservation organizations our club supports with annual donations—Alameda Creek Alliance and Caltrout—are working on a project to increase the habitat for Chinook salmon and steelhead on Alameda Creek. The goal of this project is to provide fish access to an additional 20 miles of the Alameda Creek watershed, into and above Sunol Regional Park. The obstacle to be addressed is a protective concrete pad over a main PG&E gas pipeline near the 680 freeway in Sunol Valley. The concrete crosses Alameda Creek at a level that blocks fish passage except during high streamflow events. The plan is to lower the pipeline 17 feet below the stream bed. Caltrout will be providing their resources to spearhead the project, and will lead stream monitoring after the obstacle is removed. This work builds on many projects on Alameda Creek over the years that resulted in Chinook salmon and steelhead being able to swim up into Niles Canyon in 2022—the first time in 50 years. Thank you SCFF club members for your support that enables us to pass along our success to organizations like Alameda Creek Alliance and Caltrout. To learn more about this, go to:

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Club Activities – November

Date Activity Link DescriptionLocation
Nov 18 9:30 am - 3:00 pmVolunteer With Trout Unlimited at Little Arthur Creek

SCFF volunteers will be helping Trout Unlimited remove a barrier to steelhead spawning habitat on Little Arthur Creek in the Pajaro River watershed.  We currently have enough volunteers planning to help, but cancellations are possible.  Contact Bob Garbarino if you are interested. or 831-247-2045

Nov 18 1:30 pm - 3:00 pmFly Casting Meetup

Bring your lawn chair, lunch, and fly rod to practice casting with other SCFF club members.

Jade Street Park baseball field
Nov 19 9:00 am - 12:00 pmVolunteer for Salinas River Cleanup, Sunday November 19th.

Join the Salinas Valley Fly Fishers for the annual clean up of the Salinas River fishing access. The event will be on Sunday November 19th starting at 9:00 am.  Greg Smith 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.