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April 2024 Table of Contents

April Meeting: Origin of Golden Trout with Steve Schalla………………
April Raffle……………………
President’s Line……………………
Fly Tying……………………
 April Class: AP Nymph
 Fly of the Month: Mallard Flank Mayfly Nymph
Conservation Concerns……………
 Judge Decides in Favor of Fish in San Joaquin River Watershed
Membership Notes…………………
 Club Activities – April
 Tactical (ADVANCED) Dry Fly Fishing W/ field trip to Hat River
 228 Members Have Renewed
Gearing Up…………………
  Alpine County – Update for 2024
  Safety Using Stripping Baskets in Surf
  Fishout Schedule – April
Cartoon ……………………
SCFF Advertising ………………

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The Origin of Golden Trout with Steve Schalla

Apr 03 6:45 PM at the Aptos Grange

Zoom link:

Steve Schalla is the creator of the website, Filled with maps and fishing knowledge, the website has become a repository for everything he’s learned about fly fishing over the past 30 years. Steve’s goal has been to create regional maps covering all of the waters of the Sierra. These maps show fish species, fishless areas, access trails, fishing/permit regulations, and a hatch chart with a suggested fly selection.

Steve is a graduate of Forestry from Cal with an emphasis on Botany from UCSB. He has established reforestation nurseries in California, Oregon, and Washington and grew close to 45 million seedlings for replanting many of our forests. Additionally, Steve is active with Fly Fishers International and his local club, Sespe Fly Fishers.

Steve will be speaking to the club on the history of the Golden Trout Wilderness, from the uniqueness of the geology and natural fish introduction to cultural interests that impact  Golden Trout today.

Apr 03 6:45 PM at the Aptos Grange

Zoom link:

Click here to see current month club meeting program

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April 2024 Raffle

by Jeff Goyert


Spring has sprung which means that it is time to start thinking about trout fishing!
We have some great raffle prizes and door prizes to be given away at our April meeting, 

Don’t miss out, buy your lucky raffle tickets. The online ticket sales office will close at noon on 3/31/24.

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

Participation in the monthly raffle helps the Club’s conservation and scholarship programs, your support is greatly appreciated. 

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Response to Petition to ban fishing in parts of Monterey Bay

We are fortunate to call the Monterey Bay area our home, where the ocean’s health directly impacts our well-being. Recently, our club members became aware of petition 2023-33MPA, pushing for new no-fishing zones around Pleasure Point and off the coast of Natural Bridges State Beach. While protecting kelp forests is a commendable goal, the proposed fishing ban has raised concerns in our community about potential threats to our fishing rights.  Personally, I joined the club because I wanted to learn how to fly fish the surf and I know a lot of club members that enjoy fishing from the beach as well as fishing the kelp beds from a kayak.

The heart of the debate revolves around assessing how fishing activities may affect kelp ecosystems in Santa Cruz. Advocates for the petition, primarily environmental groups from Southern California, argue that implementing no-fishing zones is crucial to safeguard these fragile habitats. However, opponents of the petition, including members of our club, question the necessity and effectiveness of such broad fishing bans. We argue that the conditions in Santa Cruz’s kelp forests may differ significantly from those in other regions, such as Southern California, where fishing restrictions might be more warranted. This article in Santa Cruz Local and its links give a good explanation of the issue.

During our recent Club Board meeting, we discussed the issue and decided to take a stance of patience and proactive engagement. The California Commission of Fish and Wildlife is currently handling numerous petitions, including 2023-33MPA. In solidarity with those opposing the petition, I have sent letters on behalf of SCFF to key opponents, including Supervisor Cummings, UCSC Professor Zavaleta (a member of the California Fish and Wildlife Commission), and the All Waters Protection and Access Coalition. These letters express our readiness to collaborate and provide assistance in finding sustainable solutions that balance environmental protection with community interests.

Although there is no specific deadline for the commission to decide on the petitions, we are committed to remaining informed and actively participating in the ongoing dialogue. We encourage members with experience or insights into navigating such petitions to share their expertise with the club.

Date:  April 10

Time:  Doors open at 6:15 PM, class begins at 6:30 PM

Place:  Aptos Grange hall

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AP nymph

by Elaine Cook - fly tying chairman

This fly was created by Andy Puyans back in the 1960s. He was a well-known fly tyer and this pattern has been successfully used for decades in waters that hold mayflies. If you are planning to fish Los Padres Reservoir or Lake Almanor, be sure to have a few of these with you. It can be tied in sizes 10 to 18 and for our class we will be using a size 10 hook, an easy size to handle. Our fly tying classes are always free and materials provided. For beginners, who are always welcome,  vices and tools are available. If you have black 6/0 thread please bring it. You can sign up for the class at the club meeting or call me, with at least 24 hours notice, at 831-234-6515.

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Mallard flank mayfly nymph

by Elaine Cook - flying chairman

The fly tying class this month is an AP nymph. It’s tied in the same manner, but using different materials. This pattern works well for flies sized 12 to 18. The AP nymph is better adapted to the larger hooks like 10 to 14. mayflies come in a variety of colors. More comonly tan, olive, brown and pale  yellow. use same color for thread, mallard, feather, body and thorax.
HOOK: TMC 200 R, sizes 12 to 18.   Crimp barb.
THREAD: color to match body    Attached mid shank, and wrap to rear of shank.
TAIL: Died mallard flank feather.    Stroke barbs so that tips are lined up. Cut approximately 6-10 barbs from stem. Position on top
of shank, tips to rear forming a short tail. (see sample). Attach to top of shank up to 1/3 back from eye. Cut excess.
RIB: Find gold wire.    Attach strand under hook shank back to tail.
BODY: Super fine dubbing. Dub a tapered body up to 1/3 back from eye. Spiral wire forward, 5 wraps. Tie off cut excess.
WING CASE: Died mallard, flank feather.   Prepare the feather in the same manner as above, but select twice the number of barbs.
Position on top of shank with tips to the rear, allowing length to be slightly longer than hook. Tie in place.
THORAX: Same dubbing as body.  A generous, round body. Finishing one eye length behind eye. Bring wing case forward over
thorax and tie down.
LEGS: Divide mallard barbs in half. Tied down one half on far side with tips to the rear, and 1/2 on the near side.
HEAD: Tie a small thread head, and then whip finish. Cut thread.


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Judge Decides in Favor of Fish in San Joaquin River Watershed

by Bob Garbarino

A Sacramento County superior court judge recently handed down a ruling upholding an important decision by the California State Water Board that impacts flows in the San Joaquin River and its three primary tributaries—the Tuolumne, Merced and Stanislaus Rivers.
In 2018, the State Water Resources Control Board issued a water quality plan for the San Joaquin River and the aforementioned tributaries that are part of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta watershed. The plan called for increasing flows in the three tributaries to help increase severely decreasing populations of chinook salmon and steelhead trout. In order to increase flows, water diversions would need to be reduced. Diversions of over 80% of river flows are currently allowed. In 2022, a stretch of the Merced River was run dry. The 2018 plan was challenged with numerous lawsuits and claims by large agricultural water suppliers such as the Merced Irrigation District and Westlands Water District as well as municipal suppliers including the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and the city of Modesto.
The Decision:
A total of 12 lawsuits and 116 claims were rejected in this ruling. If and when the standards are implemented, diversions during certain times of the year will be limited to 50%-70% of total river flows. This will result in a double in water flow in the rivers at certain times of the year. Also rejected was a challenge to a limit to salinity levels. It is expected that lawsuits will challenge the court decision.
Another Idea:
Another approach governor Newsom has promoted are so-called “voluntary agreements”. This approach, where parties come together to work out a comprehensive, multi-year solution that brings together dozens of water agencies with the state and federal governments to pool resources and take concrete actions to provide targeted river flows and expand habitat in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers and Bay Delta. These environmental improvements are supposedly guided by scientific monitoring and collaborative decision making. Many of the water agencies, including Westlands support the VA path. But, former Water Board chair Felicia Marcus says a voluntary agreement can be effective, regulatory requirements must be in place to enforce adequate water for the environment.
We will see how this saga plays out and if salmon and steelhead numbers bounce back sooner than later.


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Club Activities – April

Date Activity Link DescriptionLocation
Apr 27 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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Tactical (ADVANCED) Dry Fly Fishing W/ field trip to Hat River

by Alex Ferber

Alex Ferber – (831) 419-0564
Learn or improve your ability to make successful surface presentations (Dry Fly) to rising fish on Spring Creeks. The true art of fly fishing. This class will focus on loop control, drag free drifts with long leaders using small dry flies. This 5 day class will include 3 days of lawn instruction, culminating in 2 guided day workshops on Hat Creek and Fall River; two iconic Spring Creeks in Northern California, where accurate, well presented flies are a must. Minimal skills: Ability to consistently overhead/false cast to a minimum of 45 feet

Note:  Registration through Capitola Recreation Department.   (Link will be put here when the catalog is published)

Jade St. Soccer Field/OFF-SITE FIELD TRIP
R $450| NR $467
Jade St Park:
Sat 9:00-11:00am 5/18, 6/1, 6/15
Hat River Field Trip:
6/27-6/30 (All Day)

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228 members have renewed their membership for the 2024 Roster

by Bob

Membership continues to grow with 5+ new members per month for a total of 228 members who have renewed their  memberships to be included  in the 2024 Roster which should be available by the end of April f0r the May meeting.  We print 50 hardcopies and electronic copies are available upon request .  Members can send an email to prior to the May meeting.  Also if you are not receiving the monthly newsletter, or googlegroups, please send me an email  and you can be added.

Members that have joined since January, 2024:

New MemberCity
J. Reis
D. Botman
M. Kiely
J. McKeon
N. Dryden
R. Morton
C. Morast
P. Shields
M. Curtis
J. Ainsworth
J. Shulin
B. Payne
J. Raynes
C. Chriswell
C. Beale
K. Taylor
W Russel
C. Koontz

Sant Cruz
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
La Selva Beach
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz
Scotts Valley
San Jose
Pebble Beach
Santa Cruz

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Alpine County – update for 2024 (4 hrs from Santa Cruz)

by Randy Saar

With spring in the air and a new season upon us, I thought we should bring back an article from last year and ask its author (Randy Saar) for his thoughts on what this year is looking like. Below you will find Randy’s thoughts from our recent email exchange and his article from last year.

 My thoughts on fishing in the Markleeville area this year (2024) are that it should be a fairly normal season —    meaning the following:

    Indian Creek Res. is good now and will be until it heats up in June.

    Rivers will be cold but fishable soon but then they get to be chocolate milk and start to be fishable again mid, to late May. Still water should be good after getting to be accessible and continuing that way.  Rivers start to get skinny late September.  But September and October are when Heenan Lake opens for broodstock cutthroats.  County and DFG usually stock some planters in the East Fork above Hangman’s Bridge (below there is wild w/ special regs.) around then too.  DFG plants fish in the area all summer.

Randy Saar

Original Article from 2023

Have you ever fished the area around Hope Valley and Markleeville?  If you have you know how many fishing opportunities there are and if not, you may want to consider venturing that way.  It’s about a four-and-a-half hour drive from Santa Cruz through Stockton then Jackson, the foothills, finally to the Sierra and over ~8,700 Ft. Carson Pass on SR-88 a Scenic Byway.

There are many fly-fishing opportunities on still-water, rivers and streams.  Larger lakes include Silver Lake, Caples Lake, Upper and Lower Blue Lakes and Indian Creek Reservoir.  And then there’s Heenan Lake that is open from Sep. 1 through Nov. 30 where you can catch broodstock Lahonton Cutthroat.  Numerous smaller lakes are also in the region, e.g. Woods Lake, Lake Kirkwood, Burnside Lake and others.  4, 5 or 6 weights are used on the lakes with wooly buggers, various nymphs with the Damsel Fly nymph often being the most productive.  Hit risers with a Damsel Fly dry or parachute Callibaetis.

Much of the fishing attention is focused on the West Fork and to a greater degree East Fork of the Carson River.

The West Fork originates above Upper Blue Lake at Lost Lakes and runs through Charity Valley and Hope Valley.  The meadows have good long runs with a few steeper, narrower, faster canyon areas that hold fish in the deeper pools.  The river then flows down a rather steep boulder strewn path along Hwy 88 through the town of Woodfords.  Call it pocket water.  There are many places to pull off the road at fishable locations.  Blue Lakes and the river are regularly visited by Fish and Wildlife trucks full of planters.

The East Fork originates high up between Ebbetts Pass (Hwy 4) and Nevada with fishable Silver Creek and Wolf Creek adding to it along the way.  Most of the more accessible waters are planted.  A few miles south past Markleeville the East Fork passes under Hangman’s Bridge, where from there to Nevada there are special regulations including artificial lures only.  This area is not planted and flyfishers target rainbows and browns for miles down this stretch of the river.  Runs, riffles and pools provide fairly straight forward dry and nymph fishing.  The areas strewn with borders will make wading more challenging and requiring more technical casting and mending.

Fishing 4 to 5 wt. rods is ideal but 3 and 6 are just fine and to some degree the time of year or day and fly will influence your selection.  If the County (Alpine Co.) plants Alper’s trout or you’re throwing streamers go heaver.  If the flows are slow and a small fly delicately presented to smaller natives is the way of the day, go smaller.  Depending on overnight temperatures morning Mayfly hatches get going like crazy and parachute Adams should do the trick.  Stoneflies come out early too.  When you hear the grasshoppers start buzzing, you may want to get on that band wagon.  Dry dropper rigs with a nymph of the top fly work good, except in slow shallow water where the nymph could get snagged and/or the dry is small.  Bigger Mayfly dry’s, Stimulator’s, Chubby’s and of course hoppers work for the dry or indicator.  Imitative droppers (and for bare nymphing too such as hare’s ear, pheasant tail or stone fly) work well but loud Prince Nymphs or Copper Johns usually get more attention.  In the evening, Caddis get their heads up and rising fish are targetable.  Browns are more vulnerable a ways downstream from where Markleeville Creek (water not to be ignored) enters the East Fork.  Go deep with streamers swung around submerged boulders.  And Browns are even up in Wolf Creek meadow (think spring creek tactics, possibly with terrestrials) before it plunges down to the river.  This gorge has rainbows in the pocket water.  It’s bouldering territory where you dap a little dry, maybe get a couple feet of drift and, hopefully, see a little guy come up and grab your gift.  Wolf Creek is about 5 mils (dead end) off Hwy 4 turning off at Centerville Flat Campground on a somewhat paved road (good fishing along there) then a dirt road to the Wolf Creek campground or a left turn before that to the meadow and then down to the river.  If you keep going south on Hwy 4, fishable Silver Creek runs along the route, with good access at Centerville Flat Campground.  Keep going and you’ll find Kinney Reservoir for easy access lake fishing.

So, there are lots and lots of fishing and camping opportunities in the area.  Now back to kind of the center of it all — Markleeville.  This is the county seat of the least populated county in California.  The little town has a couple restaurants a motel and a small/limited general store.  A few miles south of town is the Carson River Resort (“resort” – ya right) with a very little store and campsites across the street on the river.  This stretch of the road is central for recreation in the area.

I’m writing to mention to the SCFF Club members that I think this is a great area (the beauty however has been moderated by recent wildfires) that is relatively close to enjoy and encourage you to check it out.  Below are a couple of maps and photos to help orient you.

Randy Saar

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Safety using stripping baskets in the surf

by Elaine Cook

SAFETY FIRST when fishing the surf. If you’ve ever been hit by a wave or fall in the water and your stripping basket becomes involved, it can be a real issue. At that point your ability to maneuver in the water is greatly reduced as the water pulls you in the direction it wishes to go. Whichever type you use, make sure the belt and/or basket can be quickly removed. A couple of suggestions for how you achieve a quick release. 1. A basket that attaches to the belt with Velcro. 2.Purchase your own double sided Velcro, about 2 inches wide, to make your own attachment. 3. Scientific Anglers ECOastal basket comes equipped in this way. 4. The basket that Sam now has available for the club to purchase comes with a belt that has a plastic attachment that slips apart easily. Do note: belts with a button release is very difficult to do when you’re tossing in the surf helplessly. Whatever you decide to use, be sure to try it ahead of time, and probably while holding the rod in the other hand.

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Fishout Schedule – April

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

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

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

Apr 20 : Kelly Lake – Watsonville (bass, crappie)

Kelly Lake - Watsonville (bass, crappie)
Updated March 25th,  fish out if full. Fishmaster: Scott Kitayama Location: Kelly Lake in Watsonville (Private lake limited to 6 people) Species: bass,  crappie, bluegill Duration: 1 day Registration and Cost: No Cost, but you must contact Scott as the number of people fishing is limited.  Contact at On this Fishout, priority will be… Read More

May 04 : Rio Del Mar State Beach Surf Fishout

Rio Del Mar State Beach Surf Fishout
First Surf Fishout of 2024! Saturday May 4th 2024 5:55AM Location: Rio Del Mar State Beach Read More

Jun 01 : June Surf Fishout – Beer Can Beach

June Surf Fishout - Beer Can Beach
Surf fish-out Saturday October 7, followed by breakfast at Mike Lovejoy's. Important location information and breakfast information Read More

Jun 07 : Burney and Around

Burney and Around
Fishmaster: Alex Ferber Location: Lakes, rivers and streams of the Burney area Species: Trout Duration: 3 Days Cost: No Cost Meet Up: Hat Creek Park off Hy 299 (See the map below) This meet up will be a general discussion with your Fishmaster Alex Ferber. Here he will be discussing the local fishery, access points,… Read More

Jun 22 : Lake Almanor/Hex Hatch -June 22nd thru 29th- 2024 -UPDATED-

Lake Almanor/Hex Hatch -June 22nd thru 29th- 2024 -UPDATED-
Fishmaster: Tim Loomis - 831- 345-8411 / The Lake Almanor fishout is typically scheduled for the last weeks of June (22nd - 29th). This time period is, hopefully, the peak of the annual Hexagenia hatch that begins generally mid-June and runs through mid-July. The most productive fishing takes place early evenings on into past… Read More

Jul 06 : Palm Beach Surf Fishout

Location: Palm Beach State Park  Species: Surf Perch, Striped Bass  Min./Max Participants: NO Limit Cali Surf Style Gear: 6-8wt. Rods with full sinking lines or shooting heads to match the rod. Polarized glasses (safety), Mandatory Accessories: Wader Belt & Stripping Basket (If a basket is needed, some maybe available to borrow or purchase. Please contact the… Read More

Jul 07 : Loreto Fly Fishing Trip *UPDATED*

Loreto Fly Fishing Trip *UPDATED*
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 July 7th through the 11th This trip includes: Four nights at the beautiful Hotel La Mission, on the water-front next to the Loreto… Read More

Aug 03 : Rio Del Mar State Beach Surf Fishout

Rio Del Mar State Beach Surf Fishout
Location: Rio Del Mar State Beach Target Species: Surf Perch and Stripers Gear: 6-8wt. Rods with full sinking lines or shooting heads to match the rod. Polarized glasses (safety), Mandatory Accessories: Wader Belt & Stripping Basket (If a basket is needed, some maybe available to borrow or purchase. Please contact the Fishmaster ahead of time. Also there… Read More

Sep 07 : Manresa Beach

Location: Manresa State Beach Target Species: Surf Perch and Stripers Gear: 6-8wt. Rods with full sinking lines or shooting heads to match the rod. Polarized glasses (safety), Mandatory Accessories: Wader Belt & Stripping Basket (If a basket is needed, some maybe available to borrow or purchase. Please contact the Fishmaster ahead of time. Also there are many… Read More

Sep 21 : Mammoth Fishout -Sept. 21-Oct.5

Mammoth Fishout -Sept. 21-Oct.5
UPDATED - 3/25/2024 -  Several spots open first week,  second week is full. SignUps: As a reminder, it is important to sign up early or this Fishout. Half of the spots have been filled. Also sign ups must be completed by May 1 as the Fishmasters will be traveling mid May and all arrangements will… Read More

Oct 01 : O’Neill Forebay ‘Stosh’ Memorial Fishout (Final Date TBD)

Event: O'Neill Forebay 'Stosh' Memorial Fishout Date: Date to be updated as we get closer to October (I will be looking for a weekend with a 'skinny' moon, less night feeding for the fish) Target Gamefish: Striped Bass Location: Medeiros Campground located on the Southern Shoreline of the O'Neill Forebay, access off of Santa Nella… Read More

Oct 05 : Last Surf Fishout of 2024!

Location: Palm Beach Target Species: Surf Perch and Stripers Gear: 6-8wt. Rods with full sinking lines or shooting heads to match the rod. Polarized glasses (safety), Mandatory Accessories: Wader Belt & Stripping Basket (If a basket is needed, some maybe available to borrow or purchase. Please contact the Fishmaster ahead of time. Also there are many DIY… Read More