The March Meeting will be both in-person and on Zoom. Doors at the Aptos Grange will be open by 6:00 pm while we set up and test the system. The Zoom meeting will start by 6:30 pm, the link is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83842895848
Dagur Gudmundsson was born and raised on the wind-swept rock of Iceland, where he grew up chasing everything from arctic char and ice age brown trout to Atlantic cod and pollock. During his teenage years, he moved to the Central Coast of California where the fishing is quite different from the cold waters of Iceland.
When he was 18, Dagur started guiding at the world-class salmon river West Rangá, which in addition to having some of the most prolific Atlantic salmon fishing in the world, also has huge native brown trout in its upper reaches.
In between spending his summers guiding in Iceland, Dagur attended California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, where he acquainted himself with the local fisheries through lots of trial and error. He recently started a fly fishing guide service in San Luis Obispo with a focus on the area’s overlooked fisheries when it comes to fly fishing, such as bass, carp, and surf perch. Dagur also ties and sells flies, is a regular contributor to California Fly Fisher magazine, and teaches clinics on carp and bass through the Central Coast Fly Fishing fly shop in Carmel.
Future Speakers. Dates and speakers may change, please go to URL to see the current information.
Whether you’re throwing midges under an indicator or stripping Beetles along the bottom you will need some serious gear to do battle with the monster trout of Pyramid lake.
Either a 9 foot 8 WT Echo ION XL 4 piece rod or a bit heftier 9’8″ 9 WT G.Loomis IM6 2 piece rod. The matching Katuysha 6071-T6 aluminum alloy reel is corrosion resistant and has a large arbor for increased backing capacity and a fast retrieve.
Speaking of Beetles and Midges, take a look at these Pyramid lake beauties. We have a dozen Beetles and 16 midges packaged up in a pocket size Adamsbuilt two sided case. Keep them handy in your shirt pocket to save yourself a trip off the ladder back to your truck when you need to re-rig. Proven Lahontan Cutthroat winners.
A great new book by John Gierach: “Dumb Luck and the Kindness of Strangers”? It is a great collection of short stories, there is even one about Pyramid lake! A book like this is also great for those dark winner nights that are too cold to walk to the bar.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS The online ticket sales are available and will close at noon on Wed. March 2nd. Tickets are a dollar each. 20 bucks get you twenty five. Click on this link to purchase tickets: https://santacruzflyfishing.org/raffle
If you enjoyed receiving items from Doug’s estate at the January club meeting, you will have the opportunity to do that again at both the March and April club meetings. His desire was that club members would have the opportunity to receive his fishing belongings .More fishing items and fly tying materials will be available at the March and April club meetings.Some will be in raffles but those at the club meeting in March and April will be free for the taking. Donations will be welcomed if you so choose. The pictures show a lot of the items that will be up for grabs . The doors will open at 6 PM at the Grange and the meeting will start at 6:30. Don’t miss out come early to choose what you would like. The meeting will also be via zoom, so if you wish to come for some donated items and then go home to do a zoom meeting, that will be fine.
We have a lot of talent in our community. For a fly-fishing club, in a surf community that was once mostly a retirement town with surfers and outdoorsy people, we became a fly-fishing club.
You might find it interesting, that we really don’t have that much fly-fishing around here anymore. Certainly not a “trout stream”. But did you know that as far back as the early 20’s, hatcheries were built along the San Lorenzo for the purposes of supplanting year round trout fishing? That’s right! Back in the 20’s, clear through the 50’s, you could fish the San Lorenzo, and most, if not all, of her tributaries for trout – all year. And your limit – per day?! 25 fish. At least for a while. Then it went to something like 5 or 10.
True! I remember Jim Lazarotti, who spent his life here, from the 50’s until he passed away in 2008, working to save the San Lorenzo, telling me that he would fish Zayante Creek before school catching fish his mom would make for dinner.
We often marvel at the catch rates from the old days, but I also wonder if those catch rates were not also kill rates, would the rivers and tributaries have been better today. Probably not.
The surf, cars and airplanes, have provided us the ability to be fly-anglers with plenty of opportunities to feed our desire to be out of doors, in the water, marveling at fish, and all things within those elements of the healthy habitats where we find these creatures. Fluttery things, crawly things, four footed and two footed (Big Foot and Sasquatch! – just seeing if you’re paying attention), perhaps some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of being stuck at home or afraid to go somewhere, with or without a mask, because of a pandemic. Which, by the way, is ending. Funny how it’s now called an endemic. Weird cuz it wasn’t called a begindemic. Never mind.
I hope if you’re reading this after February 27th, you got to go to the Fly-Fishing show in Pleasanton on the 25th to the 27th. I am so excited to be going again, especially since so many of you are also going. I’m sure there is something I still need there even after now 30 years of fly-fishing under my belt.
I’m also excited about our March meeting as it will be at the Grange, with a raffle, an in person guest speaker – Dagur – from Iceland. And a chance to see some of you who I only just met these last 2 years via Zoom – in person! At this meeting, we are also going to work on our “hybrid” solution, which is to run the meeting in person and via Zoom for those who can’t make it. Please bear with us as we may bump along at this meeting, trying to dial in the technology we need to become our own 1 million subscriber YouTube channel. Okay, kidding. We really just want to be good for those who can’t be at the meeting in person and can still enjoy the club meeting.
In this newsletter you will also read some beautiful tributes to three of our long-time members who left this planet this year. Matt Murphy, Jim Black and Pat Murray, all of whom were beloved members, family and friends with their own special gifts they bestowed on the club, their family and those who were very close to them.
If you have a knack for writing – please note that you can write a nice article, or even just a few sentences, and publish it in our Newsletter. Yes – You! Just find the tab on the website, under Newsletter, Article Submission, fill out the details, the write your article. Easy. We’d love to hear from you and put your input in our newsletter.
Michael McGannon has been our Marketing and “merch” guy for several years. I’m super grateful for Michael, because every time we’ve been together, he’s often drawing on a napkin – which I’m constantly stealing from him to hide in my own personal collection. The Picaso fish, the multi-caster, the tangled mess, and others he’s drawn up. At one of our last meetings, I explained to the board I wanted to have something related to Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz Fly Fishing. So what better way to describe that than on a surf board! This is an initial rendition that Michael drew up for me, and I love it. Note the Striper in the waves. Truth be told, is I got this idea from an old advertisement Salz Leathers used to promote a leather they made called “Surfer”. It was a waterproof leather we made for the likes of Timberland and Wolverine boots. Similarly, it was a heifer surfing. Likely a native heifer – but that’s another story. I envision this one being refined a bit, then being available as a T-Shirt – Santa Cruz Fly Fishing. Who knows, maybe we can get the “Santa Cruz” logo on it and sell it in the surf shops!! Wouldn’t that be a hoot! Thank you Michael!!
I’ve really enjoyed our Zoom meetings. I don’t know what we would have done if it weren’t for that technology which until then, was just a way for companies to hold fancy meetings in conference rooms and offices and for those who might have been “remote” for one of those meetings. I am certain Zoom never thought they’d be taking on the whole world when the begindemic occurred. And while we often use fly-fishing to get away from it all – it all – meaning technology, that very “technology” has made fly-fishing infinitely more enjoyable, perhaps a bit easier to learn, and Zoom gave us a chance to break down barriers, not otherwise possible.
But I sure am looking forward to seeing you, shaking your hand in person. My only regret is that I won’t be able to “mute” you all when it comes to start the meeting.
We will be making poppers so that we can go for those big mouthed bass. In the past the class has spanned over 2 days and involved lots of paints, epoxies, glues, solutions, along with various other supplies. It is not reasonable to assume that everyone would have everything that would be needed to craft these beauties, and not practical via Zoom. In order to not miss out this year, a simplified method has been devised which will give everyone reasonable and useful poppers. The only thing you will need to complete your popper fly is clear nail polish and Supper Glue or equivalent. If you have 30 min epoxi, a variety of acrylic paints and rubbing alcohol, your finished fly will be more like the ones we usually craft. Some lead time for prepping and putting supplies together will be needed. So please sign up soon but no later than Mar. 5th. It will still be a 2 day class, but fewer hours than usual. We’ll start at noon. Allow 2-3 hours each day. You beginners to fly tying should feel comfortable doing this class. As always, the class is free and materials provided. Very strong thread, any color, such as flat waxed nylon or monocord will be needed. If you need thread, or tools and vise if you are a beginner, the club can loan them to you. Materials , directions and tips for bass fishing will bagged for you to be picked up at my door. Call me to sign up @ (831)688-1561
Future tying classes. Dates and subject may change, please go to URL to see the current information.
Midges, also known as chironomids, are available to trout year-round. Not only in their larval stage but hatches occur as well. In nature they vary a lot in size and color. For the club fishout at Pyramid Lake tie larger flies. I prefer size 8 hooks. For Crowley lake use smaller hooks. The best way to fish a midge is to suspend it under an indicator so it rides a little above the bottom.
HOOK: TMC 2457 or TMC 2487 sizes 6-16
Note: 2457 is a heavier hook and is typically the hook of choice for a bigger fish like it Pyramid Lake.
Crimp Barb. BEAD: Silver, size to match hook.
Note, for a size 10 Hook use a size 5/32 inch.
Slip small opening on to hook first, and position behind hook eye. THREAD: Red, 3/0 or 6/0 depending on hook size
Test thread with glue to be sure it doesn’t turn black when applied.
Thinner thread with larger hooks will require more thread wraps.
Attached behind the bed. RIB: Larva Lace Other brands also available. This is a vinyl strand with elasticity. Diameter is usually round, sometimes D shaped.
Micro midge for size 16 hooks, midge for 12 and 14, small for eight and 10, medium for size 6. Lay on top of shank with and slightly behind bead. Touching thread wraps halfway back on shank. Then pull on rib material to make thinner and continue with thread wraps halfway around rear bend of hook. Note spin thread counter clockwise to keep flat and avoid twisting. BODY: Red thread.
Wrap forward with touching thread wraps to cover rib well up to bed. Spin thread as above. Use more touching thread wraps backward and forward to form a slender tapered body if necessary. Finish with thread behind bead. Make one half hitch.. Snugly spiral rib forward in opposite direction of thread wraps, 6 wraps to reach bead, each a little further apart. Secure in place with 5 to 6 snug thread wraps. Cut excess rib. Tie off thread, cut. Applied glue to entire body. Allow to dry. COLLAR: Peacock hurl and black 8/0 thread.
Attach thread behind bead. Select one hurl from stem of feather with medium to long barbules. Break off fragile tip. Tie tip in behind bead. Make dubbing loop. Hold hurl down side of loop, insert dubbing tool, and twist to make chenille. Make several chenille wraps behind bead, tie off, cut excess. Apply glue to about 1/2 inch of thread near bead, whip finish behind bead, cut thread.
If you are interested in fish-related scientific information, you should check out fishbio.com. They have articles on fisheries research, monitoring and conservation. I came across an article on steelhead kelt reconditioning. What the heck is that? First of all…what is a kelt. Not all steelhead die after spawning one time. Some spawn multiple times. Steelhead that return to the ocean or an estuary after spawning are called kelts. During the journey back down the river post-spawn, kelts are challenged by obstacles such as dams that are typically designed to aid juvenile salmonids—not adults. This is the case on the Columbia river. To help the fish survive, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and the Yakama Nation have been practicing kelt reconditioning. This involves capturing the fish and placing them in holding tanks where they are given medical attention, fed and allowed to rest for several months before release. The fish are also tracked by PIT tags after being released. For more information on this interesting subject, go to the link.
Save the Redwoods League, in partnership with Caltrout, the Yurok Tribe, National Park Service, California State Parks, California State Coastal Conservancy, NOAA Restoration Center and Wildlife Conservation Board has begun a project that includes returning Prairie Creek and adjacent floodplain habitat for salmon and steelhead back to a more natural state. The project is taking place adjacent to the former Orick Mill site north of Eureka in Humboldt County. For more information on the overall scope of the project and an inspiring video, go to the link.
Matt and I met at Pyramid Lake trailer #7 ‘the Animal House’. He shared a room with his good buddy Dougald Scott, (the Snoring chamber) would shake as a wall separating the bathroom was pretty thin. The mornings Matt liked making cheese on toasted bread in the oven, and the coffee pot was set to go off early before first light. Even at that time of day did not distract his natural smile and great humor.
We would fish nearby at Blockhouse beach waiting for that plastic ball to go under. Matt landed some fine fish and we all helped net them, I think of that place like the ‘senior citizens hole’. Good banter and when the fishing was hot…well it never got that hot.
Matt brought me eggs from his hens at home and his elk stews and venison dishes in years when the elk eluded him was always our group meal the first night after fishing. Wine and storytelling into the evening was fun and I enjoyed his sharp mind and humor and will miss him this year at the lake. See you on the other side of the veil, – Stosh
Thoughts from Dougald Scott
Our club lost a colorful member and good friend in February. Matt Murphy had been an SCFF member since 2008. He was easily recognized by his massive white mustache and jovial presence. At our annual dinners, he was known for buying massive numbers of raffle tickets with high hopes of a new float tube or fly rod, and then accepting his final winnings of a calendar or hat with good humor. At Pyramid Lake fishouts, Matt was a fixture in Trailer 7, aka the “Animal House.” Cabin mates always looked forward to his wild-game dinners, especially his elk stew. He thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of all of the club members, especially at fishouts. Matt had many stories to share from his rich life experiences. His early years were spent in Afghanistan, Hawaii, and Samoa. In Afghanistan, he expanded his love for the outdoors and spent most of his time hunting much needed wild game for the family’s table. For many years after high school in Davis, he was a white water guide on numerous rivers throughout the west. Later on he became a master craftsman and contractor building many fine houses. Matt will be sorely missed, especially at the Pyramid Lake Fishouts.
Club member Jim Black passed away recently. He was an adventurous fly fisherman, traveling the western US and the world . Jim had a strong affection for the club, assuming the presidency in 2017 due to the incumbent’s illness; however his tenure was short, as he faced his own medical problems. He was able to continue on the board as Programs Chair often coming up with great ideas and funding some himself. Unfortunately his illness interceded one again.
One year, I was meeting Jim, Tom Welle, his son-in-law, and a bunch of Tom’s brothers to fish Henderson Springs, a series of lakes east of Redding. Tom and Jim stopped at The Fly Shop to pick up some flies. Low and behold, Jim realized his rods and gear bag had been left behind.
Forgetting your fly rod; $500. Remembering your reel and waders were in the bag; $300 Spending your son-in-laws 50th birthday with him and family; priceless.
Pat Murray, a dear club member of ours, passed away recently. She was introduced to the club in 2006 by long-term club member Gill Santos. You could find her at many club functions and fishouts ,and help at the annual fundraiser was much appreciated. On one particular memorable horse pack trip into Humphreys Basin in the High Sierra, she kept us entertained with her skills at playing bridge , which helped us deal with the cold rain and then corn snow which fell upon our tarps all day. The O’Neil Forbay was one of her frequent haunts. She really enjoyed catching those mighty Stripers. Thanks Gil for introducing us to Pat who was such a fun friend. – by Elaine Cook
Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 1 – April 7, 2024 – New Info
Apr 01 - Apr 07
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
Mike White - (831) 706-5556
Apr 01 : Pyramid Lake Fish-out April 1 – April 7, 2024 – New Info
Pyramid Lake (Click for address and map) Fishmaster: Mike White - (831) 706-5556
Pyramid trip starts the Monday after Easter in 2024. SCFF will have 5 trailers which means lots of folks will be attending. This is a bucket-list fishery.
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. Cost for the week including meals and lodging and is around $300+ per person depending on the number in attendance. You need not fish all six days as there may be openings (usually later in the week.) Contact Mike for more details (831) 706-5556, to check on openings, or be put on a waiting list. First come first served.
You can also make your own arrangements either by bringing your own RV (Pyramid Lake Lodge has hook-ups and sells permits to park on the any of the beaches along the lake) or staying in Reno. Reno is 45 minutes away. Call Pyramid Lake Lodge to inquire about last minute cancellations in their cabins as well (775) 476-0400 and check out their website to see what the cabins look like at www.pyramidlakelodge.com. The General Store in Sutcliff offers meals on selected nights only to those who call in before 2:00 PM. Check at the General Store for details.
Equipment: 6-9 weight rods with hi-speed, hi-D shooting heads or fast sink integrated lines to fish the bottom in 6 to 9 feet of water, and a floating line for indicator fishing. You should bring a stripping basket and a ladder that will accommodate it. A ladder helps to get you up out of the cold water and enable you to cast out to where the fish are. You can still catch fish without one but not with near as much consistency.
Flies: Woolly buggers in black, white, purple, olive, midge, caddis and mayfly nymphs to name a few. If as in years past the Confab in February is offering the opportunity to see how some of the best Pyramid patterns are made plan to attend and bring a vise and tie some yourself. Flies may also available from club member Jim Hall who ties some very good flies specific to Pyramid cutthroat as well as other species at reasonable cost. His number is (831) 713-6835. There is a general store with provisions as well as tackle and an assortment of flies.
How to get there: Take US 80 to Reno-Sparks, take the Pyramid Blvd. off ramp and go north about 35 miles. Crosby Lodge is at Sutcliff, near the Ranger Station.
If you have any questions about equipment or how to get there, check the “Gearing up” columns in the March 2007-2009 archives on our great club website, or call Mike White at (831) 706-5556.
If you are considering going to Pyramid again this year with the club and you have not already done so, please contact the person who is booking the trailer you stayed in last year. Trailer-masters, if your trailer has gaps or cancellations, you can call Mike so he can pass the names of members who don’t have lodging to fill the empty spots.
Fishing, Camping, and New Ladder Regulation:
Fishing and camping permits can be purchased online prior to the fish-out. We would highly recommend doing this. Go to www.plpt.nsn.us to obtain your licenses. There is also an RV Park available at (775) 476-1155.
As with any great fishery there are always a long list of rules and regulations. We would recommend you review them on the website above. Suffice to say those of us who have been going to Pyramid Lake for many years are a good source of information as well. We will help inform and guide all newcomers. 15.6 USE OF LADDERS, ETC. Any ladders, milk crates, boxes or other objects used in the water as a fishing aid must be occupied or closely attended (i.e. remain in the area) by fishermen at all times. Any person who leaves such objects unoccupied in the water for more than one hour will be deemed guilty of littering. 15.6.1 Fishing aids described above must have a permanent tag affixed that has the name, address, and phone number of the owner of the fishing aid. If the permitted angler using the fishing aid is not the owner, the owner will be the responsible party for any infractions by the permitted angler.
This year we have five trailers reserved. (6,7,8,9, and 10) As of September 1st 2021 we have 5 openings available. These openings will fill up quickly, so contact Mike immediately at (831) 706-5556. Last year was an incredible experience with many fish over 15 lbs brought to the net. If you cannot commit early and make it into one of our reserved trailers you can always make your own arrangements by contacting the Pyramid Lake Lodge at (775) 476-0400.
WANTED: Anybody have a tricked-out Pyramid ladder that is in good shape and no longer being used? How about selling it to me so that it can get its feet back in the alkaline lake? Would like to keep the price less than $80. Call/text 650 279 5871 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org