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Schroeder Hopper

by Elaine Cook. Fly Tying Master

This grasshopper pattern has been around for many years and the trout sure like it. Most hopper patterns today feature foam bodies and rubber legs, which are easier to tie and are more durable. There are times when the foam flies don’t work and the fish gobble the Schroeder imitation up. Since hoppers come in a variety of colors, the fly can be tied with wings in tan or cream. The body in tan, cream, yellow, brown, green or orange.

  • Hook: TMC 5212 or 5262.  Sizes 8/12
  • Thread: brown or tan. 8/0
  • Post: white calf body
  • Body: golden-brown Antron dubbing
  • Wing: mottled turkey quill
  • Legs: Ringneck Pheasant tail feather
  • Hackle: grizzly saddle
  • Thorax: same as body
  • Wing and Leg Coating: Flexament or clear lacquer spray

1. Coat or spray wing feather. Allow to dry.

2. Crimp barb.

3. Attach thread behind eye. Wrap to 1/3 back on shank.

4. Cut small clump calf hair from hide. Remove underfur. Stack tips. Position on top of shank, tips 1/2 shank length forward. Make several wraps to secure. Cut excess buts at an angle. Wrap down butts. Hold post upright, making many thread wraps in front of it to hold position. To secure, make several wraps around base, then pull thread to rear and make several wraps around shank. Repeat a couple times.

5. Wrap thread to rear of shank. Dub generous tapered body forward to 1/8 in. Behind post.

6. Separate barbs on quill wing making section equal to hook gap. Cut from stem.cut butt end straight across. Round the other end. Length equal to hook length. Place butt against post. Tie in place.

7. I like to prepare many ahead. Cut 4 barbs from stem and tie knot in center for each leg. This is tricky to do. Look on U-tube for various techniques, or buy them already prepared. Coat to reinforce. Tie in one on each side of wing. Knee should be near bend of hook. Trim length (see sample). Dub more over wing and leg tie in section.

8. Prepare butt end of hackle with crew cut. Tie in crew cut in front of post. Holding upright, make a couple thread wraps to hold in place. Dub generous thorax from eye to post. Wrap thread clockwise around post leaving it hanging on your side of fly. Wrap hackle clockwise around base of post 3 times. Holding hackle toward you and slightly down, bring thread up infront of hackle stem, then around base of post 3 times, then forward to eye. Tie off, cut excess. Cut excess hackle. Apply sm. Amt. glue to final thread wraps and base of post.

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Casting Practice

by Castmaster Mark Traugott

The shelter-in-place directives and changes in DFW regulations have caused many of us to postpone or cancel our plans to fish this spring. If you feel the need to re-connect with your favorite sport, consider this possibility:

Find a suitable place to cast and devote fifteen minutes to one hour of practice time a day to maintaining your skills or learning something new. At home or nearby is best, as you will be more likely to pick up that rod spontaneously and will put in more time; but, if necessary, any public space with an open, grassy area will do fine. In a pinch, your driveway or the street may suffice (though you will want to dedicate an old and disused line for the purpose, as asphalt and concrete are hard on high-tech coatings.) Once you start whipping that rod around and throwing a line, you will likely find that other people stay at least the recommended six feet away. A few simple props (hula hoops for accuracy, soccer cones for distance or for specialty techniques like curve casts) are helpful but not really necessary. The important thing is to work on upgrading your skills. If you need suggestions for what to focus on, you may want to look at the Fly Fishing International skills challenges. They offer three levels – bronze, silver, and gold – each of which involves a series of tasks that casters of increasing levels of competence should master. (The skills challenges can be downloaded here: In my experience, even well-seasoned casters seldom succeed at every one of the tasks on the bronze challenge on the first try, but you’ll be amazed at what a little practice can do.

If you want to up your game and are someone who learns best from books, try consulting the classics by Mel Krieger (The Essence of Fly Casting), Joan Wulff (Fly Casting Techniques), and Bill Gammel (The Essentials of Fly-Casting). However, many people find that a more visual approach is helpful. Our club’s library of DVDs includes some relevant titles, but in this time of social distancing, a more readily available alternative is the Internet. A quick search on will connect you to an overwhelming variety of instructional videos on almost any casting technique you wish to explore and at any skill level from beginner to advanced. Here are a few that I have found especially easy to understand, insightful, or entertaining:

Peter Kutzer is Orvis’s resident casting instructor. You may have met him at the Pleasanton show in February (which must now seem a long time ago because it happened just as we were all becoming aware of Covid-19.) He offers an entire series of professionally produced videos on a wide variety of subjects, several of which are indexed here:

Australian Casting Champion Peter Hayes has an appealing series of videos (the production values of which are, unfortunately, highly variable), all delivered with good humor and in an engaging Aussie accent:

And for those who want a more in-depth treatment of both the theory and practice of fly casting, you may want to work your way through the many subjects covered in Paul Arden’s Fly Casting Manual on ( His explanations can be a little harder to follow, but he has thought through the physics of casting in depth.

One instructor whose explanations I find particularly clear is Carl McNeil. He has a complete instructional DVD for sale on the Echo Fly Fishing site, but a few of his videos are available free on youtube at:

If you have a favorite site or instructor of your own, let me know so they can be shared in a future issue of the newsletter. Until we are able to gather again on our favorite lakes and streams, a little coronavirus-casting in the back yard is a great way to stay limber and sharp, ready to return to the water when the all-clear sounds.

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Kelsey Lake ( near Snelling Ca. ) May 7th and 8th

by Elaine and John Cook

First heard about this large bass lake from Jim Black, thanks Jim. Being a private lake we thought it might be a place where we could effectively accomplish social distancing and indeed that was the case. Booking is easy over phone and on line while Al Smatsky provided us with lots of great information. $100/day/fisherman, camping $25/night. It took us 3 hours to get there but we are slow behind the wheel. Now to the nitty gritty. Although we didn’t land many fish the quality was remarkable. Fat 17-22 inches beauties that fought like heck. Too bad it was a full moon and there had been a bass tournament 4 days prior. We did land ALL on poppers and that was the only method we used. Believe it or not, John caught the big ones. The bass habitat with lily pads was impressive and then there was a rock wall. We were also impressed with the camping area that was all grassed in under large trees making it easy to tolerate the heat. We are anxious to return, and will.

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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.

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‘Conservation Slim’ Report

by 'Conservation Slim'

“Slim blog” #1

I am not getting any local reports during our ‘mystery-demic #19’.

I just drove/delivered a new Honda truck with AWD from Phoenix area back home and it was like the 60’s as far as number of vehicles on the road. I-40 as far as I could see was only semi truck travelers. The very pleasant trip back was spoiled by my passing the foul and totally disgusting smell from the Harris Ranch feed lot alongside I-5 in Coalinga. The smell permeated this brand new vehicle and lingered for miles beyond, the acres of moving cattle and dairy cow heads as far as I could see and for maybe a mile along the highway.

I could not help but think of this lot as a holocaust for cows standing in the filth. This is not an ad to become a vegan, however, my re thinking of supporting Harris Ranch products is the only way to get their attention. I located the property:  Harris Feeding Company 29475 Fresno Coalinga Rd. Coalinga  CA 93210 or call 559-884-2435.    An idea just occurred is to post a sign after you pass the compound with the phone # so drivers can bombard them with complaints.  If a virus could attach to the smell, all the thousands of vehicles driving by are smelling the same stench and being infected. (just a notion as virus’s do not move on their own).  I bet drivers would pull out their phone and call the # immediately.  The cows were standing in black goo.  Time for us to rethink the hamburger and one fast food franchise already has.

The FDA office in Fresno 559-261-1082  I will find out what they say about the problem, the run off from this area when it rains has to flow downstream into a watershed and well water.

Other issues of concern is the high levels of aluminum in the air soil and water, analysis from the jet aerosols you see turning the blue sky into a hazy white that grows throughout the day. Official NASA reports its for reflecting sun rays to avoid the planet from warming, Cloud seeding is another use, the military uses it for ionizing the atmosphere to aid 5G and weaponized lasers for defense, other studies show the alumina is inside all of us, the 1 or 2 micron sized particles. Barium and strontium also measured from soil samples. This haze is also suspected in the reduction of many insects and hence birds and other prey animals including fish. The Mt Shasta area and the Redding Board of Supervisor meeting of scientists and experts attesting to the problem up to 5% soil sample includes aluminum which does not occur naturally anywhere.

I’m curious as to who reads our newsletters so please say something pro or con as I would love to provide links to help support ‘Conservation Slim’s’ position.   (photos of feed lots not allowed for some reason, I pulled off the web).

Till we meet again……CS.

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Surf Fishing time again – Saturday May 9 – 5:50 am

by Sam Bishop, Surf "Fishmaster"

Let’s hope the beaches remain open so we can once again enjoy teasing the Surf Perch and Stripers (Strippers?) on Rio Del Mar Beach.
We will be fishing an ebb tide, with a 06:50 am low at -1.4’. Sunrise is just after 6 am.

Take Rio Del Mar Blvd all the way until it drops down onto the flats, take a left 180, circling left around the roundabout and drive down Beach Drive about half a mile to the State Park area and park outside. Do NOT stop near the round-a bout! You will see us.

I will have spare stripping baskets and flies. If you haven’t been out in a long time, please click here to review the article I wrote on surf fishing on this website.

We don’t serve coffee and I don’t bring doughnuts, we just fish. Sometimes we end up at the Pixie Deli for post-fishing breakfast burritos, but since everything is closed, that probably won’t happen this time.

Date:  April 17-19 and May 1-3, 2020

Place:  Near Henry Coe Park

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Roostercomb Ranch Fishouts

Fishmaster: Cecilia Stipes

This is our club’s 21th annual fishout to the Roostercomb Ranch, owned and operated by Scott Wilkinson. This private ranch is located adjacent to Henry Coe State Park, 22 miles off Hwy 152 from the entrance which is 5 miles from Casa de Fruta Restaurant in Hollister. It is a 3-day fun-filled weekend with fishing 9 bass ponds, hiking, birding and photography on nearly 6,000 acres. The ponds are primarily fished from float tubes or from the bank using woolly buggers and poppers. You can also bring conventional spin rods and gear. Accommodations are the 1928 ranch house and a cowboy bunk house, or if you prefer, your own tent or vehicle. Breakfasts and dinner meals/barbecues are organized by teams. Lunches, snacks and beverages are individuals’responsibilities. For more details, please feel free to call me.

The terrain is rough, rocky and sometimes steep; therefore all vehicles MUST be 4-WD or AWD with good clearance to drive in and around the ranch! If you do not have a 4-WD vehicle, I can make arrangements for you to carpool with other members or with Scott. Non-fishers are always welcome. Each fishout is limited to 15 fishers and 4 non-fishers. NOTE: You are only able to call in for yourself and your partner, and children.

COST: $250 /person (no charge for children 12 yrs and under). The earliest sign-up for either or both fishouts, is by phone call: Thursday, March 19, 7:00 pm. Your confirmation is not complete until I receive your check, please contact me for address to mail check.

Date:  TBA April through May

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Bourdet Ranch

Fishmaster: Cecilia Stipes

For anyone who would like to bass fish, I am offering day trips to the Bourdet Ranch in Hollister across from Casa de Fruta Restaurant on Hwy 152. Dates to be announced as we approach bass spawning season (April through May, sometimes into June). This is a really good opportunity for new fly fishers to learn skills quickly on ponds where blue gill and bass are eager to Bourdet RanchCecilia Stipes – 831-335-5727 – flyfishgal3@aol.comtake your flies. Each trip will be limited to six fishers, non-fishers are welcome. Cost $75/per son. 4-WD vehicle is required, you will fish from float tubes and need fins. (I have extra tubes to lend). I am creating a list with names from which to call once I pin down dates. If you are interested, please email or call me with your name and phone number.

Date:  May 31, 2020

Time:  Canceled

Place:  Quail Hollow Ranch

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Fly Fishing 101: Public Education Day – CANCELED

Unfortunately, this class has been canceled due to the COVID19 pandemic. This is an annual Fly Club tradition, so check back next sprint.

The event is hosted in conjunction with the Santa Cruz County Parks, Education and Conservation Program. Our club and the sport of fly fishing is recognized for taking care of our environment and passing on a conser-vation legacy. Quail Hollow Ranch is a beautiful mountain park acquired by the county in the mid 80s. It features a 300-acre preserve that was once the home to Ohlone Indians, Spanish ranchers, even the headquarters for Sunset Magazine. Now it is home to a few horses, a natural history center and a spring-fed “untouchable” bass and bluegill pond. Don’t forget the binocu-lars, as this is a major stop on the bird watchers circuit. The Ranch is located above Felton, about a mile up Zayante Rd., a left turn just past the old Trout Farm Inn.

The day is geared toward introducing and educating the public as to why the members of our club are so hooked on fly fishing. Fly Fishing 101 will be taught by a member expert in the morning, followed by casting lessons in the morning and in the afternoon. There will also be fly tying demonstrations

Kids and grandkids are especially welcome, so bring them along. They are the future of both fly fishing and conservation, so it’s important to expose them to the sport. This event is all going to happen rain or shine. Everything is provided for fly casting, rods and reels, and hookless yarn flies. There will be fly tying demonstrations as well. This will be a great club event, with a special invitation to all mem-bers to come out and represent what we’re all about. Members who attend should be sporting some club attire, like one of our baseball caps, a T-shirt, or a casting shirt with our logo on it, and your name tag, so guests can tell who we are. There’ll be a BBQ lunch for everyone. Tell a friend and bring a friend to Fly Fishing 101 at Quail Hol-low Ranch, Sunday, May 31st, 2020.

Date:  July 11-17 (Saturday through following Friday)

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The Green River, Utah – CANCELED

This fishout has been cancelled because of the COVID-19 restrictions, which may or may not still be in force in July 2020.  The principle attendees have all expressed their disinclination to travel out of state to Utah because of the residual risk of unfamiliar contact.  John and Pat Steele will not be leading the fishout, they are not going.  If other persons wish to go to the Green River, to Dutch John, which is the town where the lodging is located, at Trout Creek Flies, they should call and make their own reservations for both lodging and for river guides.  The number to call at Trout Creek is 435-885-3355.  There are other lodging options in the area, Flaming Gorge Lodge, at 435-889-3773, and Red Canyon Lodge, at 435-889-3773.

We will miss this fishout very much, it has been a trip that John has been taking every year for over 25 years.  Hopefully, this pandemic is over by this time next year.  Stay safe, shelter in place until otherwise notified, and please take care of yourselves and each other.  We will get through this!

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I was all set to raffle off T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers that screamed


however I haven’t quite figured out to do an online raffle but I am still working on it. What I am going to do for the May zoomer  meeting is to do virtual door prize. Everybody gets a free ticket, must attend the meeting to win.

First the prize! We have a really trick Phixton XM-L2 tactical & military WT-04 rechargeable flashlight torch. Included are both ac and USB charging accessories or can function on three AAA batteries. All of this is packaged in mil-spec snap closure case. Perfect for the car, boat, float tube,  or airplane.

“How to I get a door prize ticket?”

As everbody  logs into the meeting I will write names on tickets that will go into a hat for the drawing. The lucky winner will receive their prize by USPS. What could be simpler?

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Heed The Call of the Surf

by Lamar Underwood - author of "250 Amazing Fishing Tips

If the call of the surf–the breaking waves, the flowing tides, the on shore and offshore birds with their flights and cries , the great vastness of the sky and the salt-sented air — means anything at all to you, I’d like to give you a shove, not a nudge, toward getting into surf fishing. Most people who are really crazy about surf fishing have found they don’t have to catch a lot of fish to have a good day at the beach. Of course, catching fish is what makes surf fishing exciting.

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Bead Chain Bugger

by Fly Tying Master. Elaine Cook

This bugger pattern is very effective when twitched or stripped using a sinking line in stillwater. It can be varied in size and color. You will find this easy to tie.   Hooks: 4-12.   Body Colors: solid black, mottled black/olive, mottled black/brown, mottled black/tan, mottled brown/tan.  Tail, Hackle and Thread: color to match one of body colors. My favorite is as follows.

  • Hook: TMC 5263 size 8
  • Thread: 8/0 olive
  • Eyes: sm. or med. bead chain
  • Tail: fluffy olive marabou
  • Hackle: saddle, dun color, barbs equal to 1 and 1/2 hook gap
  • Body: mottled black/olive ,med. size
  • Glue: Super Glue , Zap-A-Gap or similar

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind hook eye. Touching wraps to 1/3 back then forward to one hook eye length behind eye.

3. Attach bead chain eyes on top of shank with multiple  crisis-cross wraps then wraps around under side of balls but on top of shank. Repeat several times. Apply glue. Position thread mid shank.

4. Position marabou on top of shank, tips extending hook length to rear of shank. Tie in place up to bead chain then back to rear  of shank. Cut butts behind bead chain.

5. Holding tip of hackle, stroke bars so they stand out at right angles to stem. Tie in tip.

6. Pull fibers off 1/4 inch of end of chenille. Tie in exposed strings.

7. Position thread behind eyes. Wrap chenille forward in touching wraps. Tie off, cut excess. Palmer hackle forward in 6 wraps. Tie off, cut excess.

8. Wrap thread head in front of eyes. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply glue.

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To the Rescue!

by Cecilia Stipes

We owe a debt of gratitude to club member, Jeff Slaboden, who generously provided 100 bottles of hand sanitizer produced by his company in an effort to protect our community from the coronavirus.   At the onset of the crisis and due to the apparent shortage of product, Jeff directed his company to immediately convert production from its usual products, to producing and supplying hand sanitizer to community first-responder agencies, organizations and some local stores.   Being the generous person he is, he offered a supply to our club members for free, or to use as a fund raiser.   All club members who requested some, gladly paid five dollars, and it raised $500 for the club’s scholarship program, where Jeff asked the funds be directed to students entering the medical or science studies.   A huge thank you to Jeff for his humanitarian effort helping so many families during this serious pandemic.

Thank you Jeff. 

P.S. – Thank you Cecilia and Richard for stepping up, helping to get these 100 bottles of hand sanitizer to our club members who were rapidly moving to the shelter in place requirements.   Jeff informed me that over the last 30 days, his company has produced and distributed over 100,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, “Thousands of which have been donated to a variety of good causes and people in need.

If you have a special story you’d like to share around this crisis and fly-fishing – drop me a line. −Tom Hogye

Date:  April 1, 2020

Time:  Any time you want

Place:  YouTube!

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“Van Life” – Epic Montana Fly Fishing Adventure “Journey On”

by Aimee and Chase Bartee

Hello my fellow big stick fly line, fly tying, fly flippin enthusiasts.  For what is probably the first time in the 43 year history of the SCFF, we have had to cancel our April meeting due to the Coronavirus pandemic forcing us to shelter-in place and wait out the storm.

I found this beautiful adventure of two people heading across the country to spend a summer fly-fishing in Montana.  The photos and video are spectacular and include fish, fur and feather.   No this is not the typical adventure that John and Elaine Cook do every summer, but it could very well be, or be you – or me – next!!  I invite you to turn on your TV, grab some popcorn and a refreshment – say “youtube” and settle into your most comfortable place and enjoy this nearly 1 hour escape.

You can also visit

Wishing all of you good health and looking forward to gathering again soon.

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Popper Class -Cancelled

by Fly Tying Master. Elaine Cook

Unfortunately , due to Covid-19, our class is canceled. I’ll bet the bass are real happy!  As for other future fly tying classes, we will have to play it by ear, one month at a time. With your spare time, whip out a few of the “Fly of the Month” patterns. Good time to clean reels and lines. Add a new leader and tippet. And follow the dictate of Steve Rudzinski and sharpen those clouser hooks. Stay safe and well

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Social Distance Casting!

by Your President - Tom Hogye

In 1992 I was at the Ed Rice Fly Fishing Show with Mona.   We were still practically newly-weds and had recently seen A River Runs Through It, in the movie theatre.   As new comers to fly-fishing I was on overdrive soaking in everything as a guy who by today’s standards had virtually nothing in my collection of all things fly-fishing.   We were taking in everything from fly-tying, gear, waders, flys, vests, hats, how I came to get my Filson cap, and guys and gals casting fly rods, like I’d just seen Brad Pitt do in the movie.

Mona and I befriended a guy at the Sage booth.   At that time, I didn’t know Sage from Orvis, from R.L. Winston, Thomas & Thomas,…   They were all just really expensive and really beautiful.   This guy was super nice.   He grabbed a couple of rods and we went outside to do some casting.    It was evening, but the casting pool was lit up.   Fly lines shimmering and floating in the night sky against the bright lights.   We were having a blast and learning a lot, watching the line, practicing and practicing.    When we asked his name, he said it was Randy Swisher.   I commented, ‘Swisher?! You mean like, Doug Swisher?’

Yeah, That’s my dad.

Wow – I was hooked.   When we went back inside, I asked him about the rod I was casting.   It was a beautiful deep bluegreen graphite Sage SP.  Mona said I did have a birthday coming up soon, and Randy offered up his employee discount and threw in the rod tube.

I’ve loved that rod and at the price you pay for a rod like that, even 28 years ago – you take care of it.

Well I broke it last summer and was crushed.   I was worried that part of the rod wasn’t even available anymore.   But the long and the short of it, is they did.  Sage treated me like it was one of my kids.   They repaired the rod and had it back to me in a few weeks.

“Social Distance”.  Two words none of us have ever though of putting together before.   In an unprecedented health crisis, none of us saw any of this coming.   Although I did hear a 2015 TED talk with Bill Gates who warned us of just such a disaster.   Wow.   Anyhow, I am, like all of us, at home, working to be responsible so as to mitigate this health crisis.    We are certainly going to be a different world in the future, and preparing our “kit bags” for many different things we never really thought of before, will become the new norm.   Teachers will now have to prepare for their classes each year, with an online curriculum, just in case.   Hospitals, government, manufacturing, finance, business in general will have to have a disaster plan that now may include some sort of crisis unforeseen.  Probably all good ideas, but hard to manage now -unless you’re Walmart, Clorox, Charmin or Amazon.

It was really hard canceling the April meeting and equally hard having to cancel the board meeting.

As we are at home, I do recall one of the instructions is to “get outside”!   I’ve seen more people walking their dogs, or just walking together than I’ve ever seen before.   I painted the laundry room and have been fixing some fences.  Went for a bike ride.   I took inventory of all my fly-fishing gear.   I cleaned my fly lines and rigged up some two fly leaders for surf perch/Striper fishing in the near future.   I organized my fly-tying and spun up a couple of bugs for the summer I’m very much looking forward to.   My rod came back!   Get Outside!   Okay – that’s where you can practice Social Distance Casting!  The grass is green at the parks, and it’s legal/okay to go to the park.  You had time to clean your line and maybe even clean up your favorite stick.   A good time to get out and practice your line control, with a little dab of yarn, and do something different.   If you’re in the park waving a nine foot long stick with a long colorful string on the end of it, chances are, people are gonna stay way clear of you.   Much more than six feet.

Stay well my friends.   Hang in there and all of us at SCFF are wishing everyone good health so we get through this together and get back to having fun together.   We are going to appreciate that more than ever before.

Cast away – everything!    Tom

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‘Conservation Slim’

by 'Conservation Slim'

My first attempt to navigate the new system and thanking Vicki for patience and giving me an idea for a new name for my title and position with the organization.

I wanted to share the letter I got from the volunteers and friends who are working hard to save the last wild river system all the way to the headwaters where the largest open pit copper and gold mine is slated, approved and rejected and near approval again and up to Washington at this stage. Our members approved a donation to saving Bristol Bay and also honoring the name and legend of a fallen friend, guide and fisherman who lost his life in Alaska rafting a wild American Creek, he was not found and we donated his speakers fee to the charity in his name, This is for you John Squires and your wife Vicki and children and giant dog who miss him very much.

Other news is that although listed as being in our county off Laurel Glen Rd, the new 5 G tower was rejected by residents in the area I learned but calling the glass studio next door to where the tower was said to be located the owner said its not going up now.  Santa Cruz County is so far opposed to the spread of 5G at this time. Nearest tower is across from SJ City Hall or Hollister. Fresno seems to have the most activity in CA at this time.

As Scoop once said at the end of all his years of alternative radio news, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own”.  Peace and stay well,  ‘Conservation Slim’