Posted on

February 2024 Table of Contents

SOLD OUT 2024 Annual Dinner & Fundraiser………………
President’s Line……………………
Fly Tying……………………
 February Class: Booby Fly
 Fly of the Month: Midnight Cowboy
Conservation Concerns……………
 The Resilient Steelhead and the Zayante Watershed
Membership Notes…………………
 Club Activities – February
 Membership @ 210
Gearing Up…………………
  Fishout Schedule – February
  Winter Perch
Cartoon ……………………

Place:  557 1/2 Lakeview Road, Watsonville, CA

Posted on

SOLD OUT – 2024 Annual Dinner and Fundraiser

Dinner Tickets: The dinner is sold out. Dinner ticket purchasers, please go to this link and make sure that we have you on the list. We will not be selling dinner tickets at the door.

Directions and Parking: Use the address 557 1/2 Lakeview Drive, Watsonville, CA on your GPS to find the building. Lakeview Drive is a country road with no street lights, so you want to get to the dinner before sunset. There will be a lit SCFF banner to show where to turn to get to the clubhouse.

Parking Pro Tip: Saturday is forecasted to be rainy, and some of the parking lot is packed gravel, so you don’t need to wear your dress shoes. The parking lot is very dark at night, so you will want to have a flashlight or use your phone’s light.

Dinner: There are enough tables for everyone to comfortably sit in the main room. We will arrange the tables to seat six. If you want to reserve seats when you arrive, please make it obvious the seats at the table that are reserved and the ones that are still open. We have a lot of single ticket buyers, so there will be a lot of groups sharing tables. There is a cash bar at the back of the clubhouse, so bring cash.

Dinner Pro Tip: The seats are metal folding chairs and you will be sitting for a long time. Bringing a seat cushion will make it more comfortable and also make it obvious that you are reserving that seat.

Raffle Tickets:    Tickets can be purchased online and can also be purchased at the event.   If you purchased online, your tickets will be waiting for you along with your entrance/lunch receipt when you check-in.    Raffle boxes will be on the tables for you to decide what you want to win.   Keep a portion of your ticket so that you can claim your winnings.

Raffle Tickets Pro Tip: Keep your ticket stubs as a connected strip. On the paper provided with your tickets, write down the first number and the last number. Then when the tickets are being called, you can quickly tell if your have the winning number. While others are enjoying appetizers, use the time to look over the items being raffled. Make a ranked list of your top 10 or 20 items that you want. Pay attention during the raffle to see what items are taken so you can quickly get the best prize left on your list.

Door Prizes:   You will be getting a door prize ticket for each of the entry tickets that you purchased.  There are two door prizes, each 50 raffle tickets!  This should help increase your chance of winning.

Silent Auction: Silent Auction bidding will open at 5:00 pm with bidding increment of $5.00. Silent auction will end at the break between Table A and Table B raffle. Payment can be done with cash, check or credit card. Item must be taken home at the end of the evening.

Program Timing:
5:00 – 6:00 pm:   Appetizers and prize perusal. Silent auction bidding will be open
6:00 – 7:20 pm :  Dinner
7:20 – 7:35 pm :  Awards and introduction of 2024 Board of Directors
7:35 – 9:00 pm:  Raffle and Silent Auction
9:00 – 9:30 pm:  cleanup crew to put away tables, chairs,  get rid of garbage, etc.

Posted on

State of the Club

For the second year in a row, I get to proclaim “The State of the Union Club is strong”.

Some indicators of our strength:

  • Our finances are strong:  In November,  our treasurer, Jim, reported that our bank account was about $42,000. Since then we have had additional membership renewals and an upcoming sold-out fundraising dinner which will strengthen our financial position.
  • Our philanthropy is strong:  In 2024, we will contribution $4,000 to to Fishing and Conservancy organizations.  Also, club members have been generous in volunteering work hours for local conservation programs.    And in 2024, we will again provide  $3,200 in total scholarships, to eight seniors from the eight Santa Cruz public high schools  going on to study environmental science.
  • Our membership is growing:   In 2021, we had 150 in the club directory, in 2023, we had 175 in the club directory and in 2024 we will have at least 210 members listed.    That is a significant growth over three years!

In 2023, I tried to emphasize Fellowship as a way to improve the value that the club to each member.    I hope that your interactions with the club and other members have been positive.

As we look forward, I can easily see  the club getting to 250 members in the next year or two.   I worry that our current structure of 16 members of the SCFF Board of Directors managing all the club activities will limit the club.  We need a way to get more club members to participate in planning and running activities; we need to figure out how to scale the club.

A step in the right direction is what Bob Garbarino has done by creating Conservation Committee.    Suddenly he has involved three more club members in providing insight and effort to tackle conservation issues for the club.  I am hoping that we will be able to reach out and get more members involved in helping in  the areas of fly fishing education, fish-outs, and technology.    If you have suggestions to help grow the club, I would love to hear from you.

Now for a few notices:

  • There will be NO General Meeting in February.  The next meeting will be March 6th.
  • The Fly Fishing Film Tour will be at the RIO Theater in  Santa Cruz on February 10th.  This is the ONLY showing of the film near the Bay Area.  The next closest showing will be in Sacramento.
  • Please attend the Pleasanton Fly Show from February 23-25th.  There are not a lot of places that you can touch products or try a fly rod in the United States.  Without good attendance, the Bay Area may lose its last fly fishing show.
  • Thank you to those who are attending our Annual Fundraiser.  The team has been working very hard at it and know that you will have a good time.

Oh yeah, Happy Valentines,

Scott Kitayama, President of the Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club

Posted on

February Fly Tying Class: Booby Fly

Feb 14 6:30 PM @

The Booby Fly - feb 24

This fly originated in England, and became extremely popular until they outlawed because it was too successful. It is now becoming very popular in the states, and having the same results including at Pyramid Lake. We will be having a club fish out there in early April so be sure and bring a few of these flies with you. It’s tied in a variety of ways and we will be tying one that was particularly successful at Pyramid this last year. For those of you who are new to our club, the classes are always free with materials provided.For people who are new to fly tying, tools, vices, and thread are made available. For those who have thread bring white flat waxed nylon or similar. Our annual fundraiser of Salmon and big ralffle on the 3rd of February is taking the place of our club meeting so you will need to sign up by calling or emailing me. 831-234-6515,

MARCH FLY TYING CLASS: We will be doing our annual popper class and space is limited. It will be held the weekend of March 16 and 17th at my home. Two days are required, each about four hours, due to drying of paints and epoxies.  No particular fly tying skill is needed for this class.  If you wish to attend this class, you can sign up now to assure your place. Do call if you have questions.



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

Date Fly Excerpt
March Poppers Class! -2024Mar 16 - Mar 17 10:00 am - 3:00 pmMarch Poppers Class! -2024

March’s fly tying class is going to be a two day event on March 16 and 17th from noon until 3 pm each day at Elaine’s house.  If you wish to attend, please sign up no later than March 4th. Call Elaine at 831-688-1561 or 831-234-6515.   Allow 4-5 hours each day.

Posted on

Midnight Cowboy

by Elaine Cook - fly tying instructor

Hook: TMC 5263 or TMC 200R   Sizes 6 (at Pyramid ) -12.   Adjust materials for the smaller flies.

Thread: black 6/0

Tail: Black marabou with fluffy tips ( straight tips can be broken off )

Tail Flash: both red and blue Flashabou

Hackle: Black strung hackle, AKA India hen back.

Body: Speckled midnight fire chenille ( black chenille with short projections of both red and blue flash )

1. Crimp barb.

2. Attach thread behind eye. Wrap to above hook barb, then forward to mid shank.

3. Note: moisten marabou for easy handling.  Cut moderately large clump from stem. If barbs are not at least 2 shank lengths long, tie in at rear of shank. Lay on top of shank, butt ends 2 eye lengths behind eye. Tie in place to top of entire shank. Advance thread 1/4 inch. Shorten length of tail, by pinching  not cutting, to length of hook (some prefer a tail half that length).

4. Holding one strand of both red and blue Flashabou together, moisten for easy handling, cut in half. Tie center of all strands to top of shank with a couple wraps. Holding half on far side of tail and half on near side, tie in place back to rear of shank. Cut to length of tail.

5. Holding tip of hackle, stroke all other barbs against the grain. Tie tip to rear of shank with shiny side facing you. Advance thread to 1-2 eye lengths behind eye.

6. Strip 1/4 ” chenille from center threads. Tie threads to shank. With touching wraps, wrap to rear of shank then forward to tie in. Tie of, cut excess.

7. Spiral (palmar) hackle forward in about 8 wraps, stroking barbs backward with each wrap. Tie off, cut excess.

8. Holding barbs back, wrap thread head. Whip finish. Cut thread. Apply Zap-A-Gap glue or similar.

Posted on

The Resilient Steelhead and the Zayante Watershed

by Bob Garbarino

Since steelhead are for many of us on our “to-do fishing list” this time of year, I thought I’d include some interesting information about this fish that, despite the environmental challenges it faces, continues to instinctively fight back to survive as a species. What I find really interesting is that steelhead are the same species as rainbow trout. Their lifestyles differ in that steelhead are anadromous (they spend part of their life-cycle in the ocean) and rainbow trout spend their lives in freshwater. An interesting blog appeared this month from FISHBIO about the steelhead’s amazing ability to adapt to unfavorable environmental conditions. Dams are problematic in that they limit spawning and rearing habitat. They also disrupt natural stream flow and temperature patterns. Stream diversions, agriculture and urban development also have an negative impact. And because they move from river to ocean and back they face threats that are difficult to measure. The article expands on the methods and new ideas FISHBIO and other biologist employ to collect data that provide information to help develop plans to improve wild steelhead populations. For more details go to:

In other news, our local Sempervirens Fund received a conservation easement donation to permanently restrict development of 67 acres of property in the Upper Zayante Watershed. The property has second-growth redwood trees and habitat for rare animal species and mountain lions. Isabel Upani creek, where coho and steelhead inhabit, passes through the property on its way to the San Lorenzo River. Although the property still belongs to the landowners, the agreement ensures that the protections are permanent. To read more, go to:

Posted on

Club Activities – February

Date Activity Link DescriptionLocation
Feb 03 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm2024 SCFF Annual Fundraiser, Awards, and Installation Day

We are bringing back the Annual Fundraising dinner. Wild Alaska Salmon will highlight the dinner and we will have many prizes available for the raffle. We are keeping the dinner affordable at $40/person and expect it to sell out early.

Pajaro Valley Rod and Gun Club
Feb 10 5:00 pm - 8:00 pmFly Fishing Film Tour 2024

The 18th annual FLY FISHING FILM TOUR (F3T) is at the RIO theater February 10th 2024 with a top notch selection of short films that are sure to get you fired up for the season ahead!

Rio Theater
Feb 23 - Feb 25 12:00 amFly Casting-No Class at Jade St. in February

There will be NO casting class at Jade St. in February.  The Pleasanton Fly Fishing Show is taking place in February and instructor Tom Hogye will be there helping with casting lessons.  Look for a message to the club from Tom with more information about the casting classes at the Pleasanton Show.

Feb 23 - Feb 25 12:00 amPleasanton Fly Fishing Show

There are lots of activities including casting demos/instruction, fly tying demos/instruction, seminars from well-known pros, vendors selling all-things fly fishy. It’s a great opportunity to learn and check out gear before you purchase. Many club members make it an annual event. If you are new to the sport, go and pick up a few tips. Visit the the website for details and how to get tickets.

Alameda County Fairgrounds
Posted on

Fishout Schedule – February

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

Mar 01 : Upper Sacramento River Fishout (Dunsmuir) Date TBD (monitor river flows)

(Click for address and map)
Fishmaster: Alex Ferber Location: Upper Sacramento River with Potential McCloud River Side Trip Species: Trout Duration: TBD Cost: No Cost Equipment: Typical Trout Set Up 9', 4-6wt Rods w/ Floating Lines Ideal Euro Nymphing, and Trout Spey conditions available Nymphs: Pheasant Tail, Hairs Ear, Prince Nymph, Wooly Buggers, Perdigon, Copper Johns, Zebra Midge, Micro… Read More

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

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

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

(Click for address and map)
  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 given to new members (limited to… Read More

Jun 07 : Burney and Around

Burney and Around
(Click for address and map)
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,-121.560662,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x54cd08aece187a3b:0x1df2125da7e183fd!8m2!3d40.9770981!4d-121.5580871!16s%2Fg%2F1trxdffb?entry=ttu This meet up will be a general discussion with your Fishmaster Alex Ferber. Here he will be discussing the local fishery, access points, general information and… Read More

Jun 24 : Lake Almanor/Hex Hatch – Jun/July – 2024 Final Date TBD

Lake Almanor/Hex Hatch - Jun/July - 2024 Final Date TBD
(Click for address and map)
Fishmaster: Tim Loomis - 831- 345-8411 / The Lake Almanor fishout is typically scheduled for the last week of June. 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 dark between Lake… Read More

Jun 27 : Loreto Fly Fishing Trip June/July 2024 Final Dates TBD

(Click for address and map)
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 Final date TBD as we get closer to the fishing season   This trip includes: Four nights at the beautiful Hotel La Mission,… Read More

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

Mammoth Fishout -Sept. 21-Oct.5
Mammoth Lakes (Click for address and map)
UPDATED - 2/17/2024 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 have to have been completed prior to their departure. Call… Read More

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

(Click for address and map)
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

Posted on

Winter Perch

by Lance Boling

The pacific is scarcely visible as we make our way down the steep, sand abraded stairway towards the shoreline. Audibly, you can sense the breakers might be challenging but the desire to be early in the water and the potential of landing a mini-slab urges you toward the dark water. Whether the tide is ebb or flow might matter but is there really a bad time to fish?  Yes, there might be a time that would be dangerous, wave height is excessive or when the wind and blowing sand abrades your face. But other than risking life or rod, is there any bad time to get onto the beach and fling a fly?

There are a bunch of us that venture to one beach or another, in small groups, individually or in larger groups as time constraints allow. Either mode brings interesting conversation, good learning and sometimes personal challenges. Me personally, my beach days are typically Wednesday and Sundays but will ditch work for most other mornings if my meetings allow and someone is interested. There have been several mornings when I am taking calls while driving on Soquel San Jose road. BTW there are two good places to get coffee on the little winding highway back to San Jose.

The target species in the winter is typically barred perch. Our group typically fishes between Pajero Dunes and New Brighton, rambling into every slice of sand in-between. I can’t speak for any of the other groupers but I enjoy the familiar beaches as well as I enjoy exploring. The fish are where you find them. The enjoyment is walking the beach and probing rips, troughs or any ripples around bars that might be holding fish. In the winter, the surf seems to be a bit higher and the beaches change as weather pushes the sand. Finding structure increases the odds of catching fish and it seems like once the stripers head into the rivers you do catch bigger perch. Barred surfperch or an infrequent calico might appear. Both are really fun to fight on a seven-weight rod.

I didn’t want to get deep into gear because everyone has a little different spin on the preferred. For me, my perch rod is an 11-foot, 330g, two handed rod which is advertised as being equivalent to a 7/8-wt single handed rod. I don’t have an expensive reel, just a line holder made by Compo69 which is almost all plastic but impervious to salt. This summer I landed a bat ray with at least an 18-inch wingspan. Only time I wish I had a friction drag because my palm was burning from the ray’s heft. Good thing there was a bunch of sand to run up and down. My line which might be the most important gear component is a full sinking RIO cut to length T-14 which is a tungsten line that is integrated into an intermediate running line. I like the integrated line because the loops don’t bump going through my guides. I cut the line to match the grain of the rod. Again, this is how I do it but everyone has their own methods.

When blind casting into deeper structure two things are important; getting to depth and staying in touch with your flies. I learned the essentials from the club veterans and the clubs perch outings which are outstanding events. Winter perch might also like larger flies. Only a theory because my personal best this year was caught on a size 8 perch pattern the club teaches during one of the fly-tying classes. I however like Imagineering fly patterns and trying new materials, bigger and smaller. One of my flies, two fished consistently, is typically something unique and a tried and true fish slayer.

If you have not ventured out this winter you are missing a fabulous opportunity. The beach resource during the summer gets pounded by bait dunkers and jig masters however the winter you see fewer anglers. If you are minimally adventurous and are not disagreeable to a nippier air, get out there and fish. Perch are waiting to be tantalized by your undulating marabou and glittery profiles.