Humble Heron Fly Fishing is a fly fishing outfit out of Grants Pass Oregon. Owners James and Kait (Bailey) Sampsel started their operations the fall of 2016 but have guided rivers all over the west and Central America collectively for the better part of 24 years.
Their focus is on the zen of the swung fly to illusive steelhead. They passionately guide guests on many of Southern Oregon’s premier rivers and consider the Rogue River their bread and butter.
The focus of the presentation will be on steelhead using swung fly presentations. Flies, lines, tips, tactics, experiences, and imagery. We will be covering the entire Rogue River from source to mouth including the trout fishery. And finally, images of James’ art from time spent with their guests on the water.
How about a gift card ($100 bucks!) for fly tying stuff from the Fly Shop in Redding? Wow!! They have a huge selection of absolutely everything a fly tyer could dream of. Call them up or go online, it is truly a fly tying paradise. Just like being a ‘kid in a candy store’.
Ok. Full disclosure. The gift card is good for anything at the Fly Shop, just wanted to show a little love to the fly tying folks.
Now that you have tied up a bunch of new flies or maybe just did some organization of your old flies it would be great to have some boxes to stash them in. Take a look at this neat package from Adamsbuilt of Fallon Nv. Four individual clear lid boxes and a padded heavy duty zippered carry case. Great way to store hundreds of flies at your fingertips.
For those of you who just want to grab a box of flies and hit the road take a look at this box of custom tied flies by John T. Kraschinsky. They were donated by club member Matt Maulin and are beyond gorgeous. There are a little over 2 dozen flies. Dry, nymphs, and a few midges. Beautifully presented in a custom Fly Club box.
YOU CAN’T WIN A PRIZE IF YOU DON’T BUY A TICKET!! DON’T BE A WHINER, BE A WINNER !
Tickets are a dollar each, $20 bucks gets you 25 chances to win. Need not be present at the Zoom meeting to win.
Click on this link to purchase tickets.
A year ago after our last physical meeting in March, I was cracking jokes about Elaine’s fly-tying class saying she was going to be tying a new fly. The Covid-19 – a real deadly fly. I’m sorry I made that comment. I suppose none of us realized what this last year would be.
Fast forward. I’m envisioning the potential of our actually having a meeting at the Grange in September.
May and June will be Zoom with great speakers. July will be no meeting as we always take 4th of July week off, and then August we’re planning our annual out-door BBQ, as one of the ways we can start to meet again.
This last year has been one of opportunity for sure. I remember a manager I once knew, who related every problem to be an opportunity. Opportunity to turn something bad into good. If you have yet to attend via Zoom -please let us know how we can help you. We are having a lot of fun at these meetings, and the information we’re all sharing, and our speakers have been hanging out with us being an enormous wealth of information and resource.
This month, you have to join us on Zoom for the April Rogue River exploration, top to bottom, every species, every season, what to fish with, when, … Trout to Steelhead. James and Kait from Humble Heron Fly-Fishing. Don’t miss this one, if a not-too-distant destination is in store for you this Spring, Summer, or Fall. Super opportunity to explore this relatively easy to reach, prolific fishery and beautiful country.
Social Media –
I need to give a big shout out to Jerry McKeon and Scott Kitayama, two of our newest board members who have taken SCFF into the 21st century, big time. Don’t “poo-poo” “social media” if you haven’t seen Instagram. It is one of the best venues for fly-fishing resources on the planet. Destinations, flies, techniques, stunning photos and videos. And, with our own page, we are posting our own photos and videos. Please reach out to Jerry and Scott to send them some of your own photos and videos we can use for the Santa Cruz Fly Fishing page.
Elaine’s fly-tying classes on Zoom, continue and have been a lot of fun. All you need is a vice, your tools and Zoom – we supply the fur, feathers and fun.
Steve Rudzinski has been our Conservation Chair, and past President, but he has taken to these Jade Street Casting afternoons on Saturday with even more fun. Totally social distance casting practice. Watch for more coming soon.
Our Spring Surf Perch fish-outs are also starting again, so watch the Google Group email and news-letter/website for upcoming events. The perch and Stripers – are biting.
Lastly – I am still looking for more of you interested in bringing your talent and interest to the board as SCFF continues to blossom the next 40 years. Please reach out to any of our board members, even me, if you are interested in doing something fun as part of the board and the structure of the future. This is your chance to broaden the horizons, bring new ideas and more fun. Let me know.
Caddus are one of the primary food sources for trout. They hatch widely and there is a significant hatch on the Deschutes River in Oregon during the summer which has been described as magical. Learning how to handle deer hair is important for fly tying and is incorporated twice in this fly. For you beginners, call me well ahead of time to work out how we can best assist you with vise, tools and information to get started. Everyone will need to call ahead to allow enough time for materials and directions to be assembled and for you to pick up at my home. ( about 2 days (831)688-1561 ) in addition to your tools, vise, and computer or tablet, you will need tan or brown 6/0 thread.
April is just around the corner and many of us are counting the days till the annual FishOut at Pyramid Lake NV. Those of us who experienced last years closure of the lake at the time the club was renting the trailers from Pyramid Lodge as Crosby’s Lodge sold to the Paiute tribe last year. My latest adventure (2/28-3/3) was very slow in the north half of the lake while the southern beaches were producing only one or two fish days with the rare individual who found the right spot and used the right color and fished hard all day would nail a half dozen fish with one over ten pounds.
By the time we meet in April the water will warm and more insects hatching, the numbers of fish inside casting range will increase as fish turn to eat more bugs than tui chubs. Joe Contaldi posts client catches daily on Facebook, most fish are in the 5-8 lb. range. Joe sets them up with indicators and flies like the albino wino about 6′-9′ under the surface using 2 fly set ups.
In the news from the Pebble Mine/Save Bristol Bay program, the new head of the EPA is Michael Regan. The promoters are very happy with this appointment and along with Congressmen DeFazio and Huffman (sub committee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife) who sent a letter immediately to him (Regan) to support his ending any possibility for mining in that region using the authority under section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Thank you to all members for allowing us to donate yearly to this great cause in the memory of fellow fisherman and guide who perished on the American Creek in AK only a month before his scheduled speaking engagement at the Aptos Grange in 2018. John Squires was the one who donated his speaking fee to the Alaska Fund for Trout Unlimited. We continue to donate in John’s name.
Locally, the latest report from MBSTP and the hatchery at Kingfisher Flat in Swanton says, A setback due to water problems, a large portion of this years hatch of coho salmon were lost. Still about 35,000 fish will be transferred to our hatchery from the Warm Springs hatchery in the Russian River district. The hatchery is going to com through this all, even though it did not capture any steelhead this season as the rains did not allow any operation to exist. I will let the club members know when there is a call for volunteers to help carry buckets of fish to release in the Scott Creek watershed.
Local supervisors are agreeing on taking action to clean up illegal camps along the San Lorenzo River. Fishermen especially see the problem close up, it’s disgusting and painful to realize there is such disregard for beauty in nature. As a former information/referral operator at SWITCHBOARD 426-LIFE (1970-75) or until Governor Reagan took office, we existed on a bare bone budget from the State of CA. I personally know the homeless problem began as soon as the mental hospitals were closed and inmates put on the streets. Vietnam Vets suffering severe PTSD were 70% we had walk in the office daily, all we could do was show where the bridges were located to sleep. If we can’t offer a real mental health solution, the issue will not change no matter how much money is diverted. We have to get the schools involved. Children are the best to grow a new generation who care about the environment. Fish-On Everyone, Best to all,
As fly fishermen/women and conservationists, what comes to mind when we think of dams? We all, to some degree have learned about the harmful effects they can have on fish. I found this statement on the americanrivers.org website that captures the negative impact of dams on the environment: “Few things have such a fundamental impact on a river as a dam. Dams block the movement of fish and other aquatic species, inundate river habitat, impair water quality, and alter the flow regime necessary to sustain river life. As dams age and decay, they can also become public safety hazards, presenting a failure risk and a dangerous nuisance.”
One important example of dam removal is the long debated plan to remove four dams on the lower Klamath river in California and Oregon. This $450 million project—if it comes to fruition—will be the largest of its kind in US history. Oregon, California and the utility PacifiCorp, which operates the hydroelectric dams and is owned by billionaire Warren Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, will each provide one-third of the additional funds. The current plan calls for the dams to be removed by 2024.
If completed, the decimated Chinook and Coho salmon as well as steelhead populations are expected to increase their numbers significantly.
In Coho program news, there was a major facilities problem at the NOAA FED laboratory last month, where this year’s spawning class is being incubated and ponded. Flow was lost to two of the incubator stacks that contained a large number of eggs and post-hatch fry, leading to the loss of a big portion of this year’s cohort. This was a huge let down, especially after all the hard work we put into spawning our fish at Warm Springs this season. Our production numbers are much lower than we anticipated after completing spawning.
We’ll be returning fish to our own facilities at Kingfisher Flat (the name of our hatchery) soon. These are the fish that survived the CZU fire and were moved out after the fire. it’ll be a huge accomplishment (and relief) to see these fish released to their home waters of Scott Creek. We’ll also be bringing up the ponded fry (young of year) from the NOAA lab later this summer, but sadly reduced in number due to the aforementioned loss incident at the NOAA facility.
Everybody involved with the Coho program wants to see our hatchery again capable of spawning and incubation, hopefully this winter.
Steelhead conservation program still on hold due to threatened species legal issues way beyond our control.
Our Chinook releases from Monterey & Santa Cruz into Monterey Bay should be mid to late May, same as last year.
The more I learn about fly fishing, the more I realize I didn’t know about fly fishing. Aristotle must have been an angler. While I’m not a novice to our sport, I realize daily through my involvement with the club that I have plenty of room to grow. Last weekend I tied my first bass poppers, thanks Elaine! Stosh educated me on how to get your fly to the right depth at Pyramid, Scott took me surf perch fishing, Phil gave me some good intel on a back country trip I’m doing and several of you have shared your fourth and fifth favorite fishing spots…. I know, I know you have to earn spots 1-3.
Fly fishing has become a bigger priority for me. More of my free time is spent focusing on how I can be a better and more well rounded angler. I’m reading a bit more, tying a bit more, watching more videos and connecting with more of you. Although I’m really looking forward to Spring fishing, it’s been an inspirational off-season for me. Thanks for that!
Instagram has been an extension of that angling community for me. It’s been an honor to post your content and rewarding to see the enthusiasm from 160 like minded people come back in the form of “likes” and comments. In addition to SCFF we have a diverse group of talented followers. Whenever someone new follows us I take a peek at their account and sometimes I get lost in their posts. To name a few socalflytying, truckeetroutunlimited, Californiasurfflycasters all have great content. There are also plenty of young followers of our page that make up in enthusiasm what they might lack in experience. The future of our sport is in good hands and some of them are following us! Your content is connecting us to experienced fly fishers and youth alike.
If you’re currently following SantaCruzFlyFishing you probably have noticed that we offer a wide variety of photos as content. Hero shots holding that beautiful striped bass are great but I’d like to expand our content to other categories of fly fishing. Fly tying, rod and reel shots, bugs, boats, nature, etc. Anything that’s part of the fly fishing lifestyle.
If you do not have an Instagram account, you can still see what we are doing by going to https://www.santacruzflyfishing.org website and click on the menu item INSTAGRAM. This will show the latest pictures from our account.
Please forward me some of your favorite pics through email or text. You can find my contact info in the Google Group ss or in the club roster. Let’s keep this thing moving forward. T hanks! Jerry McKeon
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 mid-flood tide. 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.
Sign Up Now! Experience a new HIGH! Fish for Dorado, and many other salt-water fish, including Bonito, Roosters, Yellowtail and Sailfish on a fly! Join the group going to Loreto in Baja from Tuesday, July 13th through Saturday, July 17th. This trip includes:
Four nights at the beautiful Hotel La Mision, on the water-front next to Loreto Harbor.
Three days of fishing on 24-foot Super Pangas, with fly fish-ing guides.
Ground transfers and fishing licenses.
It does not include meals, because there are some nice restaurants (A lot of fresh seafood!) in town or if you prefer, eat at the hotel, where they will cook your catch.
The fishing day starts around 6:00 a.m. and we usually get back to the harbor between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. Spend the rest of the afternoon fishing from the beach, having a cool drink in the pool, exploring Loreto, or just sitting around telling some tall fish stories. And, you will have many exciting moments on the Sea of Cortez to talk about.
The approximate cost for everything but meals and airfare is: $950.00 per person (double occupancy). Interested? Please contact Rich Hughett, 831-757-5709, for all the details. You will need to book airline flights* as soon as possible. No advance payment needed.
*Southwest Airlines from San Jose and Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles to Loreto. Rich will help with your airline reservations
by John Cook fishmaster-- (831)688-1561 or (831)234-6515
Dates: This fishout will take place over two consecutive one-week periods. You may sign up for one or both weeks. Week 1: Sept 18 – 25. Week 2: Sept 26 – Oct 2.
Location: The town of Mammoth Lakes is located on the eastern side of the Sierra, 6 or 7 hours drive from Santa Cruz. There are many lakes and streams in the area to fish.
General: We will be staying in condominiums in the town of Mammoth Lakes. Condo has a lovely hot tub, so bring your suit. Two people per bedroom. Most people bring a sleeping bag to share king size bed or a pad and sleeping bag to sleep on floor. A private room option is possible at an increased fee.
Cost: Covers 7 night’s lodging and 3 meals per day. $320/week, $640/two weeks. $535/week for a private room. $ is not refundable unless someone takes your place. Any unused funds will be used for prizes at the annual fund raiser.
Food Preparation: Breakfast and lunch items will be purchased by the fishmaster ahead of time. Each person will be assigned a Kitchen Day. On that day, tasks will include setting out breakfast and lunch items, store unused food, and preparing the evening meal and clean up afterwards.
SignUps: Call John Cook letting him know which week or both or private room. ASAP or up to May 1st. We will be leaving town mid May, so need to put things together and confirm reservation by then. Receiving your $ will reserve your spot. I will maintain a waiting list and, if space becomes available you will be notified by phone, even while we are on summer vacation. Deliver your $ by mail ( PO Box 2822, Aptos, Ca. 95001 ) or deliver in person. (215 Treasure Island Ave., Aptos , Ca. )
Covid Issues: All participants must have completed the vaccine regiment at least one month prior. Must be free of symptoms. If negative public health issues arrive, the fishout will be canceled and $ returned.
Roy Gunter writes: I am offering to sponsor a fishout to the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska leaving on September 4, 2021 and returning on September 12, 2021. Limited to 4 participants including Roy. We will stay in the Riverside Cabin at the Eagle Landing Resort in Cooper Landing, AK (go to eaglelandingresort.com to check out Resort and Cabin). Trip will be fishing the Kenai River, Russian River and nearby creeks, targeting rainbows and dolly varden, but catching many salmon along the way. Trip includes 2 guided trips on the Kenai River, including at least one boat trip down the Kenai River Canyon to the delta of Skilak Lake. You will have to provide your own airfare to Anchorage and return, which can be arrange for virtually no charge if you obtain an Alaska Airlines Credit Card. Alaska Airlines now flies out of Monterey. However, a rental car is included in the trip. Food and beverages are included and obtained from Costco and Carrs Supermarket for preparation at the cabin. Since I am cooking for the most part, meals are gourmet including wine and/or other beverages. Since I am an Alaska Air card holder, over the last 20 years I have never exceeded $2,000 for the entire trip, including the cost of a motel before flying out, and once paid only $770. Couples are welcome, but there is only one queen bed in a separate bedroom. Other Club Members who have accompanied me include: Bob Monaco, Steve Rawson, Milana Rawson, Daneen Gunter, Don Foskett, Gary Hazelton, Harry Petrakis, Mark Traugott and Gil Santos. Requirements: $1,000 deposit subject to forfeit unless you find a substitute fisherman to accept your spot and you must have recieved all of your covid vaccinations at least 14 days prior to departure. Prior participants have priority. If interested please contact Roy Gunter at 831-809-0316 or email at email@example.com.
Sam Bishops adds some insight on the Alaska Airlines Credit Card opportunity: “Buy a new Alaska Airline card and get 50,000 miles if you spend $2,000 in 2 or 3 months. $75 for the card, but you get a free bag. Without it the first bag is $40. I just got a new card for about the fourth time. I let the old one expire and get a new one for the mileage. I paid the house insurance on the new one and bingo I am covered.”