The Fly Fishing Photography presentation will not get bogged down in technology and fancy camera speak. Instead, I will offer mostly tips and suggestions. I’ll show many ways to get good/better/best photos, and much of my lecture will be through the lens of our smart/iPhones, as well. Besides photography tips: scenery/action/macro/underwater/etc, I’ll talk about handling fish and our responsibility to not over-do it. There are a lot of fun fish and fishing photos that we will discuss and some down right horrible photos that are part of the do’s and don’ts chapter. A lot of my photography tips will apply to your everyday fishing, but will also help with general friends/family/pets/food/Instagram/Facebook photography.
Bio: Brian OKeefe has balanced a lifetime of fly fishing, near and far, with work in almost every niche in the sport: fly shops, trout and steelhead guide, fly tackle rep, writer/photographer, online magazine owner, fly club speaker and currently with www.elevenangling.com, an international fly fishing lodge/mothership outfitter. Lives in Nyssa, Oregon.
BONUS TALK: Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon (in the salt): After a dozen or so trips to British Columbia and Alaska to specifically fly fish for silvers and kings in the salt, I have put together a presentation on the when/where/how, of this endeavor. I’ll show some really nice salmon, and the ways to go about catching them: motherships, DIY, local day guides, etc. Plus tackle, timing and techniques. Great fishing, scenery, wildlife and food.
June is the time of year, this year for sure, that we fly fishers get serious about spending some serious time on the water. It is time to get out of the house and visit our favorite lakes and streams. How about we do that with some new gear?
WINNER’S PICK ROD/REEL COMBO
Who among us can’t use a new rod and reel? Something to fill in a blank spot in our quiver, something as a back up to stash away in the back of the truck, or maybe a gift for someone new to the sport. The lucky winner with the lucky raffle ticket will have their choice of a four piece, 9 foot high carbon rod with matching reel in either 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, or 8wt. The winner picks!
All the rods include a cloth case inside a zippered cordura hard case and a protective cloth reel sack. The 8wt has a nice little fighting butt, perfect for Pyramid Lake or San Luis reservoir.
SUMMERTIME TROUT FLIES – 5 DOZEN!!
Unbelievable! Need to to give your heart a jump start? Just open this box of flies donated by Matt Maurin. 60 beautiful flies; Elk hair Cadis, midges, Pheasant Tails, and more. Wow, got to be $150 worth of flies in a really cool Santa Cruz Fly Club box. Don’t miss out on this one.
THINK SAFE PFD Life Preserver
If you spend any time on the water, be it float tube, kayak, or pontoon boat, do yourself and your loved ones a favor and WEAR A PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE! Don’t have one? Buy a raffle ticket and win one! This USCG approved Type III vest also has top flap and side entry gear pockets along with a D ring for accessory attachment. Constructed of durable nylon with large armholes and open neck for great range of movement.
THE FINE PRINT:
Raffle tickets are a dollar each sold in blocks of five, twenty bucks gets you 25 tickets. Click on this link to purchase tickets:
First of all I want to thank all of you who have participated in the Zoom meetings we’ve had over the last year. You made the leap and helped all of us have fun at a time when the media wanted us to focus on doom and gloom. I am grateful for all the new members we got to meet via Zoom, and some of the casting classes we were able to have together.
Now that the world is beginning to turn again – I’m singing the song – “Crimson and Clover, Covid is over…”.
At this writing, Mona and I are preparing to take off for almost a week of Eastern Sierra bliss – no cell, no work,. Just fly-fishing and exploring that beautiful part of our country along the 395. We will be hitting Mammoth, Crowley, Bishop, Lone Pine and Cerro Gordo (look it up and follow Brent on YouTube). I hope to have some photos for our Instagram and Facebook pages to share with all of you – pretty much – instantly – when cell or wifi is available. .
Our June meeting will be via Zoom – but don’t miss it. We’re bringing back a special presentation we use to do years ago – Teach you how to take awesome photos of the fish you catch. Brian O’Keefe, has some of the most common sense, but often overlooked, tips on how to get great photos of your fly-fishing experiences – including those of fish you would like to show off. Then you can share them with us so we can post to our Instagram page!!!
July we should be starting to experiencing some sense of normalcy, but we don’t have a club meeting historically, for obvious reasons. You’re all out fishing!!
August – Mark your calendars – we are going to have an in person Club BBQ. We historically call this our slop and swap – which means we grill up the food and you bring something to swap with other members. This will be our first physical gathering since March of 2020. More to follow, but we’re planning to have this at the Sherriff’s Posse’ hall on Ocean Street Extension, a beautiful rustic club atmosphere. Could be a sign of things to come.
Haven’t figured out who will be our speaker in September yet, but we’re hoping this will then be our first club gathering together. If any of you want to hear yours truly, speak on our own San Lorenzo River, with some recent updates, let me know. Otherwise send me some suggestions of what you’d like to hear.
Our raffle this month is going to be as good, and relevant, as ever. Thank you, Jeff Goyert for pulling in some of the best prizes our membership has had the pleasure of winning. You guys are barely spending twenty bucks on average, winning prizes that are worth hundreds. Keep it up. Even when we get together permanently, we’re going to continue the raffle as it is, so everyone has a chance to win something whether you’re at the meeting or now. Although, I’m thinking maybe I better have Jeff pull something really awesome just for those who pull their keesters out of the easy chair and make it to the meeting!
I’m really looking forward to “normal” again. I’ve met so many of you who have yet to experience the fun we have when we are together, aside from fishing together. Speaking of – lots of fishing to do together. If you’re not on the club email – get on it. There are lots of outings people are planning – surf, San Luis, Sierra, and more.
Our scholarships went out again this year and while we didn’t get as much participation due to covid, nine of the 14 available scholarships went out to students at San Lorenzo, Soquel, Aptos, Pajaro and Watsonville High Schools. We’re hoping Santa Cruz and Harbor have pulled it together after this writing to make it 13 out of 14. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the “Donation” button. That is where these dollars are going and we’re planning to continue and grow this in the future.
Some of you may be following me on Instagram, and you should also be following “Santacruzflyfishing” on Instagram also. If you’re following me, you’re probably wondering why you see more horses than fish. I moved here in 1982 as a 20-year-old kid, competing in horse sports. After Tommy and Emily were born I stopped riding and focused on family, building a house, career. Some of you know Emily turned out to be quite the accomplished vaulter, rider, trainer and started asking me to ride again. I knew what that meant if I was to do it right. And, since you only have so much time to spend with your kids, when they ask – you do.
Someone once asked me about fly-fishing and if I was getting to do all the fly-fishing I was able to do. At the time I answered, not completely, but I’m really happy with all the opportunities I do get to spend that time fly-fishing. They seemed disappointed when I said it was probably maybe 50 days a year. But they are the most precious days of the year with really awesome people – most of them from this club and my family.
Who could ask for anything better! Tread lightly people. We are all sensitive, even the fish.
This is a great stillwater pattern, as dragonfly nymphs are found in most western lakes. There is no pupal stage, and they stay as nymphs for 3-5 years. So even when hatching there are still nymphs present. Dragonfly nymphs breath using gills in their abdomen. The difference is they do this through the anus. Yes, they breath through their butts. This is also how they swim, short 4-5 inch bursts along or near the bottom as they head toward shore to emerge. There they wait till nightfall to emerge to avoid predation by birds. Fish this fly on a weighted leader or sinking line, near the bottom and weed beds. Use short 4-6 inch retrieves using a slow hand twist technique. We will be using furry foam for this fly that has many other applications. This pattern can be easily adapted to become a damselfly nymph. We will be using 6-0 or 8-0 olive thread. If you give me enough time I can mail you a packet or you can pick one up at my house. Text me at (831) 234-2244.
In late spring and eairly summer, damsels migrate from the debths of ponds and lakes becoming very vulnerable to trout and bass. As adults they flutter around vegetation that sticks out of the water. They end up in the water from mating rituals and the wind. Fish will sometimes come out of the water to take them from the air or off vegetation. Do check out http://Vimeo.com/85147880.
Hook: TMC 5262 size 12
Thread: 6/0 royal blue Damsels often come in tan. Just change all the materials to tan to imitate them.
Abdomen: “Adult Damsel Body” or “Braided Butt Damsel” in blue. These are braided monofilament. And a black Sharpie pen.
Eyes: Pre-made black monofilament eyes OR make your own from plastic hairbrush bristle. Holding a 5/8″ piece in the center with hemostats, melt each end with a flame, forming a barbell shape.
Thorax: blue 2mm closed cell foam
Hackle: dun saddle or neck
Thorax: blue superfine dubbing
Head: blue foam as above
1. Crimp barb.
2. Attach thread behind eye. Touching wraps to rear of shank.
3. Prepare abdomen. Cut 1 1/8″ long. With hemostats, hold 1/16″ from tip. Melt end with flame. Mark with Sharpie 6 times starting at tip. Note: some of this will be covered, leaving 4-5 exposed marks. Lay on top of shank, melted end to rear,other end to mid shank. Tie in place. Advance thread to 3 hook eye lengths behind eye.
4. Position barbell eyes 2 1/2 hook eye lengths behind hook eye. Attach to top of shank with figure 8 wraps so it’s at right angle to shank. Apply drop of Super Glue” or the like.
5. Cut 3/16″ of foam. With one end behind eyes, attach snugly to top of shank back to mid shank or a touch more.
6. Cut wing strip 2″ X 3/8″, round ends. Twist center and attach to top of shank infront of extending foam with figure 8 wraps so that wings extend outward.
7. Select hackle with barbs 2 times hook gap. Cut off fuzzy end. Cut 5-6 barbs short on each side of stem forming a “crew cut”. Lay crew cut on top of shank infront of extending foam with tip to rear. Tie in place.
8. Dub thorax up to and a little around barbell eyes ending infront of extending foam.
9. Holding hackle, foam and wings upright, wrap thread all the way around base of all 3 over shank leaving thread hang on your side. Holding wings downward, make 3-5 hackle wraps around base of foam then leave hanging infront of hanging thread. Bring thread upward, make 3-4 wraps around base of foam. Cut excess hackle. Cut hackle barbs short in front of foam. Apply small amount of dubbing to thread and wrap to behind barbell eyes.
10. Pull foam forward. Tie snugly in place with several wraps. Advance thread to infront of barbells, pull foam forward. Tie in place with several wraps. Pulling on foam, cut foam short.
I really enjoyed this video and it was a wonderful escape to the days of late 20’s early 30’s where dragging an inflatable raft down trails and rock to the river. The boys purchase a short size school bus and turn it into the camp out king on a small budget. They drive north to Montana and fish the Madison and Missouri and another feeder stream. The guys are full of adventure, humor and the cooking will convince you that hungry fishermen will eat anything and say ‘yum’. I hope you will sit back and enjoy the 13 day fishing trip.
Locally, good news for salmon fishermen on the bay, the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project have contracted Fish and Wildlife hatchery trucks to deliver a full load of 60K chinook salmon smolt’s. Again the truck will just drop the fish from the roadway level into the bay. (May 25).
Lakes all over the state are down to levels that have launching boats impossible. The only 2 lakes (Eastern Sierra) that have launch ramps in operation is at Lake Davis and Frenchman’s. Some have the docks alongside the ramp and others do not so check ahead if you are pulling a boat. Float tubers never have to worry about that.
I guess we all know the drought has hit us again this winter. I measure 12.60″ only from this rainy season. I cannot find a year except in 06/07 where we had 11.40″ locally in Santa Cruz/Soquel. We can expect this fire season will be constant till the rain returns in Nov/Dec. We can all do our part by saving water and shower with a friend.
OK, this may not be big news like the dams being removed on the Klamath river, but it is in our own backyard. The Sempervirens Fund has received a $550,000 grant to remove an abandoned 110 year old dam on Mill Creek. The creek feeds the San Vicente watershed between Bonny Doon and Davenport. By removing the dam, both Coho salmon and the water customers of Davenport are expected to benefit. The fish are expected to have improved spawning habitat and access to more of the creek. The water quality for the 950 customers downstream will be improved by allowing more erosion of granite.
Since the big fire last year, things are moving along with the hatchery rebuild. Fundraising efforts to rebuild are underway from many sources. They include the need to replace the upper bridge for full access to the hatchery.
A few orders for the first phases of the rebuild have been placed to re-plumb the intakes and drains for tanks which survived last year’s fire more or less undamaged. Once we get the tanks re-plumbed and recirculation running, we will be able to receive this year’s production of our fish (Coho) back at the hatchery. It is not likely we will be able to actually spawn fish this year, as there are contamination and potential blockage issues from fire debris. The post-fire effects on the environment around the hatchery are not attractive for now.
Our Chinook releases (smolt hatched elsewhere) from the Santa Cruz and Monterey wharfs will have happened by the time this is published. We make a direct release into the Bay, well after dark. This has been quite successful from the Santa Cruz Wharf, as the birds, seals and sea lions are pretty much asleep and don’t seem to realize the giant feast being dumped in a few feet away! Sorry, but we could not publicize this in advance for the public to watch due to concerns about crowds and Covid restrictions.
For those not acquainted with our history of the Chinook releases; for years they were put into a big pen in the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor (also sometimes Moss Landing and Monterey), then released from there. Problem was that they acclimated to the Harbor and came back later when they grew up. That created problems with too many people coming in to fish, trespassing on boats, fishing where prohibited, and of course even more sea lions came in to feast.
A little backstory on what inspired this particular cartoon:
* August 2-6 – Missouri River – Pat and John Steele
John and I hadn’t made long range plans for this trip, but fellow SCFF member Bob Peterson raved so much about how well the Missouri was fishing that we jumped on a plane and went. Bob was right, the rainbows were fat, feisty and hungry. We didn’t have any top-water dry fly action, (fishing was all subsurface with a sow bug and some little purple thing called a “two-bit hooker”) but what we did have was epic. There was no trouble catching fish, the problem was in landing them on teeny tiny hooks. I had to learn to keep my paws off the reel and just let them jump, gator-roll, head-shake and do all their shenanigans until they tired out enough for me to land them without breaking them off. We did the first day on the lake at Holter dam, the so-called “Land of the Giants”, and Captain John Hall and his jet-propelled boat put us onto more big fish than we had ever caught in one day.
The second day, we launched from Craig and did a river trip. Along about 11 AM, John had hooked a nice big rainbow, was bringing it up to the surface, when we felt wings flap over our heads, from the stern of the boat, and to our absolute amazement, saw an eagle snatch the hooked fish, line and all, and fly off with it! The eagle broke the fish off, flew with it up onto some old, unused railroad tracks, proceeded to stomp and peck at it to subdue it, then flew up into the cliffs above, to share it with some eaglets that were nested up there. I was too stunned to take photos or video of the event. Later, when we met with our outfitter, Ed Lawrence, he told us that the eagle is a repeat offender, that other people fishing at that very spot, have experienced the same theft. There is even a video on YouTube featuring the thieving eagle. For a short, unplanned trip, this junket proved to be productive, enjoyable, and surprising!
P.S.-On August 5th, the Mann Gulch Fire, which happened in 1949, was commemorated at the lake. Thirteen smokejumpers lost their lives in it, and there is a memorial to them at the lake. The story is told in a book, “Young Men and Fire”, by Norman McClean, who also wrote “A River Runs Through It.” It is a riveting, tragic tale, and anyone who visits this area should read the book.
Hello fellow anglers. I hope you are doing well and have some fishing trips on the calendar. I hope your lines are tight, and your net is heavy. Hopefully you will be inspired by our speaker, Bill OKeefe, and want to show the world your much-improved fish picture. Let us help you share it with the world by emailing it to me at Metropolitantrout@gmail.com or text it to 831-588-4759,
If you have lots of pictures, give me a call and I can explain how to easily upload a lot of pictures.
Wow, what a great turnout for our surf fly fishing today, May 8, 2021! I think everyone but me (!) caught fish on this glorious spring day. It was a mid-flood tide, which is arguably the best time to fish the surf and the waves were breaking perfectly for us.
Attendees were Elaine Cook, Scott Kitayama, John Davis, Jerry McKeon, Doug Hessel, Jeff Slaboden, Kirk Mathew, Judy Johnson, Aaron Reismer, Jeff Gose Robert Eberle, Kevin McClish and Sam Bishop.
Next club surf outing is June 5 at Manresa. More info elsewhere under Gearing Up.
“PALM Beach” (but not in Florida) is our next destination for surf fishing. If you know Pajaro Dunes, that is it. We meet on Saturday, June 5, starting at 05:35 am. The tide will be mid-flood. This is a long stretch of beach that has produced lots of fish, including my largest Striper. Kirk caught 10 Stripers in a row on this beach on one of our outings.
You may want to use 2 hooks, one smaller for perch and a larger one for Stripers, but it will likely be harder to cast with two (or especially with three) flies. When I add flies I often need to use lighter weight ones than I might with one fly. For example, dumbbell eyes are heavy, so I tie most Clousers and jig flies using bead-chain or even plastic eyes, knowing I will very likely be using 2 or 3, so need them to be light enough to cast.
A reminder that the surf is not a place to learn to cast, but it will force you to improve your line control! Stosh has hosted a few casting clinics and that is a great place to learn to cast.
DIRECTIONS: Take Highway One to Watsonville, Riverside Exit towards the ocean. Turn right and follow Lee Road. Turn left on West Beach and go to the end, park just outside the State park parking lot, which will be closed at that hour.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”
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.