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Fishout for striped bass Oct 15-18 O’Neill Forebay

by Stephen Rudzinski

Please put it on your calendar, as we are hoping for a really good number of fish to be caught this year. The weed beds are holding lots of food for feeding fish.  Those with float tubes not having oars may have some weedy areas to kick through to get out over deeper water in the channels. I am treating this years like the previous years, I am not walking around with a mask outdoors, I say that those who are most worried about airborne germs sit it out for a year but I think we need to live our lives without all this fear of getting sick from contact with friends.

More info in the October newsletter or just go into the archives from previous October newsletters to read all the info I had written on gear to bring and general info.  This is a primitive camping area, no water, vault toilets, little shade but only 70 miles from home.  Contact me anytime  831-462-4532 (land line with message machine/old school, no cell.  ‘Stosh’

Date:  September 2, 2020

Time:  6:30PM

Place:  Zoom Presentation

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Fishing California Valley Rivers with Gray Lance

by Jim Black

Click here to join the Zoom Monthly Meeting:

Lance’s presentation comes at an opportune time. In a couple of months, it will be prime time – late September thru November – on these Northern California rivers. “Fishing Valley Rivers” is his newest presentation and will cover the Feather, Lower Sacramento and Yuba rivers, highlighting the what, when and how to fish these Northern California valley rivers, which offer some of the best trout and steelhead fishing throughout the year. Fall and Spring being the best times to target these rivers. Lance spend innumerable hours guiding and fishing all three rivers and during his presentation will offer insight into what he does every day on them, including flies, equipment and rigging.

Lance will join us on Zoom to share the knowledge he’s gained since age 17, when he went to work at Powell’s in Chico, in the fly shop and building rods. He guided for Powell’s, led fly-tying and fly-fishing schools, and traveled.

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.

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Online monthly raffle! Don’t miss out!

by Jeff Goyert

If any of you faithful followers have thought about giving Euro Nymphing a try now is the time to buy a handful of raffle tickets  ($1 each, 25 for 20 bucks).

This months raffle prize is an Echo CBXL 10′ 3 WT 4 piece Euro Nymph rod. This is matched with a Rio 0x/2x 11-12 ft tapered Euro Nymph leader featuring a two-tone sighter leader and a tippet ring for your point fly leader.

To make sense of all this will be a full length DVD by Euro Nymph masters Devin Olsen and Lance Egan included with the rod and leader.

To buy your tickets click on this link:

The drawing will be held at the monthly Zoom meeting Wednesday September 2nd. At 6:30 pm. Need not be present to win. Raffle ticket sales will end at noon the day of the meeting

During the meeting a drawing will be held for a number of cool door prizes, no ticket purchases  will be required.

Any questions, call/text me at 831-234-0033.

Date:  Sept. 9th

Time:  6:30pm

Place:  Zoom meeting

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San Luis Smelt Online Tying Class

by Elaine Cook

To join the Zoom meeting, tap this link:

Here is another clouser pattern and as a matter of fact it has been THE fly in recent times to catch stripers in the O’Neill Forebay and San Luis Reservoir. Remember that we will be having a club fishout at the Forebay in October. This fly is a little challenging to tie but don’t let that deter you beginners ,who are always welcome. You will however have to have a vise and tools or borrow them for the club equipment will not be available. We will be using materials the are not often found in flies.

The class is free.

In addition to the usual tools and vise, place at your tying vise, toothbrush, ruler, and glue (such as Zap-A-Gap or Super Glue),and your computer or iPad.

Thread: strong white such as flat waxed nylon, AND red 6/0, flat wax nylon, or red Sharpie permanent marking pen. Some available to borrow.

Sign ups are mandatory , with at least 2 days notice, in order to receive materials. Call to sign up: (831)688-1561 Be sure to leave phone number and any need to borrow thread. Your packet of directions and material will be left at my door. I will also need to know if you are coming to the front or back. Call me for directions if you have never been here. It’s fine if all you want to do is join in and not tie.

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Flaming Covid and Fly Fishing!

by Tom Hogye

CZU Lightning Complex Fire – Covid – Fish.  Fly-Fishing.  What Day is It?

At this writing we’ve evacuated our home in Ben Lomond (which is safe), and are watching God clean up 81,000 acres (Sunday was 2,500, Tuesday, 25,000, Wednesday 63,000, Sunday 74,000 -21% containment) of forest in Santa Cruz Mountains.  A historic event not seen in nearly a century.   Tragically over 635 structures are lost and likely more still unaccounted for.  Many of them homes.   We are okay and we are now patiently waiting for the opportunity to return home.   Beyond grateful for all our service members fighting the fire and protecting some 24,000 residences from looting.  And my brother Dave, and Diane for a great place to stay and for all who came to help us move horses, chickens, belongings and prepare the house even more.

Before the fire, Mona and I had taken off to play in the Sierra for a few days.   It was a beautiful trip.  We watched meteor showers on a houseboat at Lake Almanor, caught trout at Moccasin Creek just before it dumps into Lake Don Pedro.  Some very feisty escapees – probably from the hatchery above.   Despite drifting PT Nymphs in the heat of the day, the fish were still willing and fun.   Then we fished the, North Fork of the Stanislaus at Boardman’s Crossing in Dorrington, where we had to contend with a lot of the smaller wild fish hitting our flies, and roaming cattle, while we went in search of the larger fish.    That water was colder than Moccasin.

Bear Valley Ski Resort is a beautiful place to visit this time of year.   When you are taking a break from fly-fishing, you can rent canoes, and mountain bikes to do some other adventuring, or you can just hike many miles around Alpine Lake and other areas- free and Covid Free!

We got skunked on the East Fork of the Carson, mostly because we fished the heat of the day and we were finally starting to think about heading home.  But we had a beautiful time exploring the Sierra in our truck.   Best Covid get away together.

There is still plenty of time to do some terrific fly-fishing here and within 2-4 hours driving.   5 hours and you have your pick of the best fly fishing in California.   Most of these places we chose are the best and we learned about them hanging out at our Zoom Club meetings talking about these areas, accommodations, flies,…   The RV parks have tent camping and many of them have nicer bathrooms and showers if you’re on the move like we were.   Best thirty dollars, especially if you’re with yer best friend.  Make your camp easy to set up and take down – fun way to move about.

We have all been working hard together during this Flaming Covid crisis to keep – YOU – our membership engaged, and especially our new members who are anxious to drink from this 43 year cup of fly-fishing experience we are.   We have engaged in so much and I’m super happy with what we’re doing.    Please attend the Zoom meetings.  They are fun – Even if you don’t stay for the whole meeting, come – buy a few raffle tickets ahead of time and hang out.   This meeting Lance Grey is going to share some awesome Northern California trout tips for us, and even around some of the lakes.   Don’t miss this one.

I am also super excited to introduce you to our new Secretary, Camille Padilla and our new Newsletter Editor/Web Master, Scott Kitayama.  Both Scott and Camille dove in and have been helping so much already.   We’re all really excited to have them on your Board.

It is hard figuring out what day it is sometimes.   And we’re naturally thinking of all our friends impacted by Covid and these fires.   It’s been a year of refining for sure.   But we persevere, look forward, get creative and look for things we can be grateful for in the midst of trials.

When we saw the orange glow over the mountain in Ben Lomond that Monday night, that “fight or flight” thing kicks in and you just do.   I thought of the men and women fighting the fire and how they must feel, that there are no scheduled ten-minute breaks or lunch hour.  Or the men and women who have had to fight for freedom in wars or to live in a war zone, not knowing for months, if you were going to make it or not.   We had a lot of help and we all reached out to help each other, even when we were tired from helping ourselves.  It’s what we do.  It’s what brings us together.

When the smoke clears and things settle, we’ll fish more.  Together.

Thank you for being a valuable part of SCFF.   I am grateful for you.   Tom

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Gear Up for the surf on Saturday, September 5, 0630 am.

by Sam Bishop

Our club is quite unique. We fish the surf with our fly rods more often than probably any club in the world. We have more experienced surf fly fishers than any other club and to top it off, we have our unique, distinctive, bright green stripping baskets, making our club members easily identifiable.
For our second trip to Manresa this year, we will meet at the State Beach that Saturday 0630, this beach has produced some nice fish and usually has more wave action than do Rio Del Mar or Palm. I don’t know why, but I believe it may have to do with curvature of the Bay making the swells more concentrated as they arrive.
Reminder that parking is limited outside, so if there is none, then drive on up ¼ mile and turn right on Ocean View, then another right into a larger parking area. There are stairs down to the beach. We will fish to the NORTH side of the stairs, all the way up to the railroad bridge.
Low tide is about 0650 and is a plus 1.2, so most of the time we will be fishing a flood tide.
As always, I will have spare fishing baskets and extra flies.

No reservations required, just show up!!!

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‘Conservation Slim’ Report

by 'Conservation Slim' (Steve Rudzinski)

Six months into the Covid 19 shutdown of all we love to do, forcing us to stay home and mask up. As if the fear of getting sick wasn’t enough, we now are not sure if our homes are going to burn up as fire surrounds our little county along the coast.

The report from the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout project (MBSTP) is not good, although the main building and this years smolts survived, most of the outside big tanks holding adult fish were either destroyed or compromised, some adult spawners were saved but the damage done is extensive and the hatchery manager who lived at the site lost his cabin. the bridges leading to the hatchery were destroyed so getting in will be a difficult issue till the bridges can be replaced. The finances allow the organization to get through a couple years but they will be needing a lot of funding to replace what was lost. Sam Bishop sent me the letter listing all the things lost to the fire from the director, Matt Rowley, we can share upon request.

Just in today 8/23/20 from a report about the Pebble Mine which should be made public tomorrow. The president had seen the special report on FOX news Tucker Carlson show about the Pebble Mine and the effects it will have on the people and the land and apparently he is also listening to the CEO of Bass Pro and his son Don Jr. to veto the plan to build the worlds largest copper, gold and silver mine ever. As we recall in 2015/16 President Obama put to rest the Pebble Mine and we all cheered but it was challenged and allowed to be reviewed again and we are awaiting findings from the Army Corps of Engineers as to the safety of the proposed mine on the environment.

There is a lot of money invested but some are dropping out like CITI group recently. The lobby in Washington to approve this mine is strong but the president needs the Alaska vote and this might do it he thinks. AK has always voted Republican but this year he is not so sure I am just guessing. It may be premature but I want to thank everyone for their support and donations to help save Bristol Bay and to keep it that way for future generations.

Best wishes and may the force be with us all.  ‘Slim’

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Just how are we doing financially?

by SCFF Treasurer Jim Tolonen

Several folks have been asking about our financials since this “stay at home Pandemic” showed up.  So I thought the easiest way to communicate to all was a short article in the newsletter.

Basically we are in very good shape.  As a “Non-Profit” we generally do not set out to make money every year, but through decades of carefully managing our inflows and outflows we have built up a reserve of cash to tide us through lean periods.  Our cash currently stands at approximately $29,000.  We had just finished our fiscal year on February 1, just after our successful annual fund-raiser dinner and raffle; and had our push for renewal of memberships through March.  All that completed before this pandemic struck.  So we were at a high point in our finances for the year.

As a brief overview, we usually have three sources of funds; the annual dinner itself (which raises about $2,500 net of all costs) , the big raffle and silent auction (which raises about $5,000 net of costs), and memberships and donations, (which raise about $6,500).   This gives a total inflow of about $14-$15 thousand per year.  Our total expenses for the year typically run about $14-$15 as well, including $3,000 in Conservation donations and $1,000 in scholarships.  The other large items are Speakers, Hall rental, Printing (including our roster, fund raiser and thank you letters), postage, liability insurance, events, etc.

So, if we brought in zero new dollars, our current cash should last about two years.  But the reality is that membership has continued to flow in, and even if we cannot have our normal January fund-raiser, it is still likely we can have some type of fundraiser later in next year.  Also, some of our expenses have decreased.  Speakers are charging less for ZOOM meetings because they do not have to travel.  We have already paid our grange rental for the year, and that is being held, and we are thankfully not being charged for now, as we cannot use the facility; so we are building a credit for future use.  The bulk of the new web site consulting work has been completed.  Our 11 scholarship recipients have already been paid.

I hope that is helpful and comforting.

Having been frugal in the better times is allowing us to weather these lean times.  I read somewhere that is usually a good plan.  I believe Ben Franklin recommended that in Poor Richards Almanac.

Looking very forward when the fires abate, and Covid is behind us, and we can all meet at the Grange, or on the water, or …….

In the mean time, stay safe and fish on!

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New Board Member – Camille Padilla

I’m originally from Sitka, Alaska, and grew up in a commercial fishing family spending summers from year 10 to 21 commercially fishing for salmon. I was introduced to fly fishing by my father during a bone fishing trip to Belize in the 90s – talk about a blast!
For the past decade fishing has taken a back seat to school and career, but with my recent move to Santa Cruz I’m picking up the rod again and am excited to shake off the rust and get back into the sport!
I’m coming to the board after clicking a box on the new member form in March raising my hand to help. I believe deeply in giving back and being part of the SC fly fishing organization is a great way to give back, promote a great sport, and continue expand my SC community.

Fun fact:
– I took a sabbatical in 2019 and spent the year traveling the world, did a fair bit of fishing too!

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New newsletter board member: Scott Kitayama

by Newsletter Editor - Scott Kitayama

I grew up on a flower farm in Colorado and spent many days worm-fishing with my family.  The first time I saw someone fly fishing, I didn’t know what it was, I just knew it was magical.   Came to California to attend UC Berkeley in Computer Science and later Dartmouth for an MBA.  Spent a lot of years in Silicon Valley working in software marketing and then at my family’s flower business.  My wife, Eva, and I are now empty-nesters in Watsonville where I do a little consulting, but mainly try to figure out how to catch local fish.  I look forward to fishing with club members and helping the SCFF club where I can.

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Oroville with Ryan Mathew

by Sam Bishop

Remember the great presentation last meeting on fishing top-water for Bass on Lake Oroville? Well I was fascinated, so I picked up Jerry Greer, my long time business partner and avid spin fisherman in Modesto, then we flew through horrible smoke to Oroville. Oroville was much more clear than the area from about  Sacramento south, at least that day and the next.

We flew up on a Wednesday afternoon, arriving at 4 pm. Ryan picked us up with his bass boat in tow and we went straight to the lake where we fished until dead dark. I caught at least a dozen spotted bass and one smallmouth bass. Well I am not real educated on the type and identification of bass, but Ryan said that smallmouth was the largest that has been landed on his boat. So the picture of that smallmouth is attached. Didn’t look all that big to me though.

So here is another interesting revelation. Ryan, if you remember, talked about “float flies”. I didn’t know what that meant (and I doubt anyone else on the Zoom meeting did either) until we were on the water and I said let’s do that too. Lo and behold it was just an indicator/bobber, with a # 4 or #6 weighted jig hook! I had to laugh, remembering that I was in our club a year or so, afraid to show my ignorance by asking what they were talking about when they talked about an “indicator”. Heck, it just a bobber. So was this, but shaped different!

Well I am making fun of it, but it was very effective. In fact the next morning at 5 am we met Ryan at our motel and launched the boat as twilight was barely breaking. I fished the top-water poppers for over an hour with no luck, then went to the “float fly”. It worked quite well and I got at least another ten fish until we stopped at 11 am and headed back to the launch ramp, then the airport.

BTW, the flies out caught the spinner lures big time both days. Ryan even mentioned that was unusual. I was surprised too, because Jerry had great  top-water gear lures. I still would not bet serious money on catching bass on a fly rod over lures on a spinning rod.

The flight back was not particularly pleasant, with smoke extending up thousands of feet. Due to the terrible visibility, I had to make instrument approaches to Modesto to drop of Jerry, then another coming in to Watsonville. I was back to home base 24 hours after leaving with a wonderful fishing adventure stored permanently in my memory.

Thanks Jim Black for arranging that presentation. I would never have known about fishing that lake without it.

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Prevention of Skin Cancer

by SCCF Boardmember David South, MD

Flyfishers are at particular risk for skin cancer (CA) due to prolonged exposure to sunlight and secondary reflection from water and sand.

Sun (UVL) damage is cumulative and responsible for 90% of aging.

UVL is responsible for 90% of non-melanoma skin CA (NMSC) and 70-85% of malignant melanoma (MM). Hereditary factors are also important, especially with MM. The annual cost of treating skin CA in USA is $8.1 Billion.  Two die of skin CA every hour in the USA.

The most common is Basal Cell CA, with 4.3 million annual cases in USA. Fortunately very treatable and only 2,000 related deaths/year. Squamous Cell CA accounts for 1 million cases with 15,000 deaths/year.

MM accounts for 200,000 cases and 7,000 deaths per year, as it is more aggressive and less treatable, and unfortunately its incidence doubles every decade. MM has a 2:1 male to female ratio. Only 20-30% of MM starts in existing moles, so it is important to look for new black lesions.

Sun protection is the key to avoiding skin CA. Hats (no mesh), sun-gloves, “Buff” bandanas for face and neck, sunglasses, long sleeved shirts and pants are the best. Thread count is most important….a $10 Kmart shirt that you can’t see through when held up to light is equal in protection to an $85 one impregnated with SPF chemical.

Sunscreens have repeatedly been shown experimentally to prevent most BCC and SCC, and at least 50% of MM. They have recently come under scrutiny and controversy regarding THEORETICAL effect on human hormone production, bleaching of coral reefs, effect on algae in still waters, and presence of nanoparticles in the bloodstream. To date there is NO EVIDENCE for harm in any of these areas.

The “bad” ingredients suspected are: Benzophenone (Oxybenzene), Avobenzone, Homosalicalate, Octinoxate. Sunscreens thought to be “safe” are the mineral type (containing mainly zinc oxide or titanium dioxide), but these wash and wear off easily, requiring reapplication every few hours. “Safe” brands include: Think Sport, All Good Sport, Stream 2 Sea, Mama Koulenne, Art of Sport Skin Armor, Hello Bello, Babo Botanicals, Purely Simple and Sun Bum.

Thankfully as flyfishers, if properly clothed we only need a dab of sunscreen on ears, nose and hands, so we don’t need to sweat safety issues.