Nov 02 6:30 PM : Capt. Maury Hatch ~ Fly Fishing for Striped Bass in Northern California
Maury has been fly fishing the western United States and Mexico for 40+ years. After honing his skills with trout, he hooked his first striped bass in 1995, and has been chasing, catching, and releasing stripers ever since. As a Captain, he guides both out of the San Joaquin Delta in a center console bay boat in the fall and spring, and then on a jet sled on the Feather and the American Rivers in the summer for Stripers and Small Mouth Bass. All trips include top of the line equipment as well as custom tied flies. He is the sales rep for Costa Sunglasses in Northern California as well as an ambassador-level pro staffer for the following products: Simms clothing, Sage rods, RIO lines, Galvan reels and Camp Chef Grill and BBQ products.Maurey will be providing a summary of his 35-year addiction to the pursuit of striped bass on the fly rod in Northern California.
Join us in person at the Aptos Grange or by Zoom. (link is on club’s website main menu. Zoom -> Club Meeting).
Future Speakers. Dates and speakers may change, please go to URL to see the current information.
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean we all pack away our gear, there are still a lot of opportunities out there to enjoy. Take a look at this neat stuff we have this month. This month lucky winners have chance to win a “Salmon Fly” Spey rod, a choice between two heavy-duty Adamsbuilt bags, and a Maxcatch fly fishing vest.
The ticket sales are open and close at noon the day of the meeting (11/2).
This President’s line is a tough one. I’m writing like this because I’ve been sitting here at my desk wondering what to write, how to start, for over half an hour. I’ve been thinking about this all week and how do I write it down for you, for me, for anybody.
The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen, now Santa Cruz Fly Fishing, has been around for 45 years. No one thinks of that when they join, not that anyone should join because of its age. I certainly didn’t. My wife had a client who told her about the club, who told me, and since I was new to fly fishing in 1992, and I really wanted to learn more, learn to tie flies, cast better, know where to go at any given time of the year, I went to a club meeting.
I remember what I loved right away was how everyone was talking to each other; how easy it was to talk to anyone and tell them where exactly I was as a beginner. There were no “airs” as we often see in other settings. I was not only welcome but introduced to other people at the meeting simply because I was new and they all wanted to help. I don’t even know who the speaker was, or the raffle. But I do remember meeting Kathy Powers, John Steele, Tom McMillan and George Peterson. Today I still see this happening at every club meeting. I’ll say, it is also the very reason it is so difficult to start the “official” meeting part on time. Everyone is literally talking to each other about everything related to fly fishing – for the most part and I feel bad interrupting genuinely good conversations. And as embarrassing as it might be for some, I love the introduction of guests, new members and who’s been fishing, where… I still remember when I first stood up as a new member and how welcome I felt.
Kathy Powers encouraged me to get involved with the club, and within a few months I was going to be the clubs Conservation Chair the following year. It has been 30 years.
At the time, when newsletters were printed and mailed, SCFF was known for having the best newsletter in all the northern CA clubs. I thought that was the coolest thing on the planet. Pat Steele, and Elaine Cook were responsible for collecting all the data putting it in print, getting it mailed. For 29 years Pat Steele edited and published the newsletter, and when the internet came along, figured out how to put the website together and publish the newsletter to the website where we all had a chance to read it. She was also my best editor. The best letter I’ve ever received from anyone was Pat’s letter as I completed my first stint as President.
I’d say, on the side-lines, but it was characteristically more of a stealthy quiet thing, John Steele was there. President of our club the year I arrived. I realize John was younger than I am now when I first met him. And to think some of you still call me “kid”.
It was probably natural for John to be the President at that time, because along with his wife, he was actively involved with many parts of fly-fishing, and his other love – duck hunting. At that time, still working as a pharmacist here in Santa Cruz, raising two young adult children. John ran the rod-building class, organized, and encouraged people to go on a number of fish-outs – most notably the Green River for 30 years and a pile of Alaska trips. When he wasn’t doing that, with all of George Peterson’s walnut gunstock scraps, John was busy making shadowbox frames for fly displays, Regal vise holders and tool holders, fly-tying tables. John would make this beautiful large trout windchimes, wood carvings, fish, quail, frames, and stained glass. He’d take ordinary Sage blanks and turn them into works of art, especially the scrimshaw carvings, one of which I am a treasured recipient. And for as many years, taking a full bedroom in their house to store all the fly-fishing gear we would amass every year for the Annual Dinner Fundraiser. Spending his own time, buying things you would want, finding the best prices and the very best products for the benefit of everyone in SCFF. The silent auction was likely the largest contributor of finances during the Annual Dinner, most of which had something hand-made by John Steele. And if you ever asked John about fly-fishing, fly-tying, where to go, how, when… if John didn’t know the answer, he would take you to the person you could talk to, introduce you and make sure you were well on your way.
The formerly known Dame Juliana-Berners award for the person making the biggest difference in your fly-fishing experiences every year, became appropriately the John Steele Award.
In retirement, John and Pat made a pact to travel somewhere (most often involving fly-fishing) as often as humanly possible. And they did. Alaska, the Green River, Montana, Wyoming, the North & South Atlantic, the South Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico – East and West. Salmon, Trout, Bonefish, Redfish, Snook, you name it – there is a photo of John and Pat – together usually with fish. And after all that, dove, pheasant, duck season.
More than 57 years, married to the love of his life, his “cat”, glued to the hip. They did everything together and loved it! Especially fishing.
John died, again, this past Sunday. Yes, again. Some 22 years ago, John suffered a heart-attack and died. He and Pat were home, John in his easy chair – gone. Pat was in the other room for several minutes before discovering why John didn’t answer. The ability for him to come back was in part because Pat and John live less than 2 minutes from the fire department. John had been gone for quite some time.
When John got better after the first incident, he jumped right back into fishing, hunting, crafting…, giving. He got healthy. Then he ran the club and became President – again! He and Pat traveled, hosted the Board Meetings at their house for years, chock full of goodies to eat, dogs and cats, until the C-word stopped it. And travel they did.
This last time, John didn’t come back. He passed peacefully. Selfishly, because we loved him so very much, we’re kind of upset, sad, heartbroken, and grateful for all he meant to us – a tiny portion mentioned here. A celebration of John’s life is planned for November13th, at 1:00 PM, at Chaminade.
30 years. Half of my life. More than two-thirds as long as the club has been around. How did that happen? It wasn’t until this week I thought of it this way, knowing so many of you half of my life and some of the best parts of it. You join this club and it’s like Hotel California – you can check out, but you can never leave!
Don’t be afraid to get involved. It will change your life. You will find introductions turn into friends, turn into family.
This fly is almost guaranteed to catch steelhead in our local waters during early season, which is right around the corner. As always the class is free and materials provided except for thread. The thread this month is black 8/0 and any fluorescent orange, but only bring it if you have it. There will be plenty available for everyone at the class. Beginners are always welcome and there will be devices and tools available as well as threads. Sign ups are important so that enough material is available for all. You can sign up at the club meeting or call me with at least 24 hours notice . 831-688-1561
Chironomid’s are more commonly called midges. They are the most abundant food source for trout and can be found in any freshwater , but most abundant in still water. They are available to trout year-round. This pattern simulates a midge in its pupa stage which is between larva and adult. Best fished under an indicator. HOOK: TMC 200, Dai-Riki 270, Daiichi 1270. Sizes 12-18.
Crimp Barb. THREAD: Black 6/0.
Attach behind hook eye. Touching wraps to 2 eye lengths behind eye. NOTE: frequently spin bobbin counter clockwise to keep thread flat. TAIL and GILLS: White High-Vis or Darlon or similar. (Same material for both. Gills in front of hook, tail in rear, )
Separate fibers with bodkin. Use about 15 to 20 strands. Lay bundle on top of shank extending about hook shank length beyond eye. Tie in place with touching wraps back to slightly past rear of shank. Cut bundle about hook shank length beyond rear of hook. BODY: red Flashabou under red vinyl D-Rib (choose size to match size of hook). OR. Pearl Flashabou under amber vinyl D-Rib.
Attach Flashabou extending to the rear. Thread wraps 2 eye lengths forward. Cut piece of D-Rib 3” long. Cut one end at an angle. Position D-Rib, flat side down, extending to rear, and point where thread hangs. Tie in with snug touching wraps back to tail. Advance thread forward in one wrap to the D-Rib tie in. Using touching thread wraps, wrap forward to gill tie in, then back to the D-Rib tie in, then forward to gill tie in again. This will form a body with uniform thickness. Wrap Flashabou forward with touching or overlapping wraps to cover thread. Tie off cut access. Make one half hitch. While gently pulling on the rib material, make first wrap behind prior wraps then forward with touching wraps to gill tie in. Tie off cut access. THORAX: peacock herl.
Divide gill fibers and pull out to each side of shank. Make criss cross thread wraps to hold in place. Using 1-3 pieces of herl depending on size of hook, pull off fragile tips. Tie tips in behind gills. Make dubbing loop, insert hurl, then twist to make chenille. Advance thread to behind eye. Wrap chenille behind and in front of gills. Tie off, cut excess. Wrap small thread head. Whip finish, cut thread. Cut out a few tail fibers. Trim gills and tail. (See photo)
Just over a year ago, a small dam on Mill Creek near Bonny Doon was removed (see my article in the June 2021 newsletter https://www.santacruzflyfishing.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/SCFF_June_2021.pdf). One of the expected outcomes was to expand and improve spawning habitat for fish. Now, scientists have reported some unexpected good news. Twelve juvenile steelhead and 15 coho fry have been found in the creek. It is the first time coho have been found in the creek. Though it is early in the recovery process and more work to be done—like removing invasive plant species and placement of large woody debris—this is encouraging news, no doubt.
For more interesting details on this article, see the following websites:
An interesting recent article from FISHBIO discussed a study performed by the National Marine Fisheries Services on the migration of steelhead from the Carmel River up into Los Padres Reservoir and and their return out of the reservoir and downstream toward the ocean.The data obtained from the experiment supports the concept that fishways at dams dams present what they call ecological traps.The article describes ecological traps:“Animals expressing instinctual behaviors that put them at disadvantage in an altered environment is referred to as an ecological trap.”The goal of the study was to determine the how many fish made it back out of the reservoir on their way out to the ocean. There are two routes for the fish to make it out:over the spillway (when there is enough water) and through a bypass.Both adult and juvenile steelhead preferred the spillway by a significant margin and that very low percentage offish make it back down to an antenna 8.7 miles downstream.The scientists concluded that the dam significantly impairs downstream passage and the fishway is creating an ecological trap.I encourage you to read the full article….it’s not long and and is quite interesting.FISHBIO has an office in Santa Cruz.
We are looking for six people who want to share their 2022 fishing story with the club at the January 2023 meeting. Here are some details:
Story should be about six minutes long with pictures or video.
The story can be told live or can be pre-recorded .
The audience will be encouraged to ask questions.
With the success of the club’s Instagram account, we get a chance to see lots and lots of fish pictures during the year. So we are changing the traditional slideshow to a show-and-tell type format. This will be a fun way for us to get to hear some great stories and learn more about a place visited by a fellow member in ‘22. If you know of a member who has a great story, please encourage them to sign up and share it with the rest of the club.
To sign up, send an email to email@example.com.
I have been enjoying the banter on Santa Cruz fly Fishing’s Google Groups especially when new members ask questions. So I was surprised when I heard a member say that there are too many Google Groups emails or the subject line doesn’t make sense. I’m guessing this person’s emails all go to a single inbox and is messy, so this is a tip to manage your inbox.
Think of your inbox like a fly box, if you only have a few flies, they can all go into one box. After a while, you have dry flies, wet flies, streamers, poppers and your one fly box turns into a big ol’ mess. Just like having separate boxes for different flies, you can have separate email folders for different subjects.
For me, Google Groups emails go into a separate tab called Forums so I don’t have to look at them until I am ready. Here is a link to a video on how to set up Forums: https://youtu.be/dRCOX-4nE7c
Other email viewers like Apple Mail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL:
Since I haven’t used any other email reader in over a decade, I am not brave enough to provide instructions. I suggest you search google to find info on “moving new emails to folders using filters”.
Send an email to Bob Peterson firstname.lastname@example.org or Scott Kitayama email@example.com and request changing the way you are receiving the Google Groups emails:
Don’t send email updates: you won’t receive emails but you can still access the group messages, by double clicking on the group, then open and respond to any message within the list.
Send daily summaries: you will receive one daily message if any message(s) are posted.
Combined updates: One message with 25 responses in that message.
Every new message: (default) You will receive an email message for every new message or response is posted.
Arrived with Brother Terry around noon on Thursday. Found that Elain and John had arrived the day before, and had selected a perfect waterfront campsite. That evening, they met up with Bill Seaman and had a fantastic evening on the water near the old boat launch. Lots of good sized fish.
Whilst Terry & I went about setting up camp, other members dribbled in off of the water with varying degrees of success. Scott Kitayama caught fish on both his first and last cast. He reported that Bob Garbarino had landed a very nice fish. Gil Santos showed up and quickly launched his pram. David Marks came into camp to visit & swap stories. Rumor had it that Yog was out on the water catching fish. Mike Diciano was camped nearby with his motorhome, and launched his inflatable shortly after we arrived. The weather was perfect, with gentle to no wind and comfortably warm temperatures. We watched as Mike rowed into the fray, and we wondered why the stern of his little floatie was under water. Turns out float tubes inflated in the heat of the day tend to loose air pressure when immersed in cold water…
I would point out that setting up camp to host a crowd is thirsty business, so Terry and I paused our efforts frequently to hydrate. During one of those pauses, I noted that my pop-up camper had been invaded by giant hornets. While they were not particularly aggressive, Terry is allergic to bee stings, so I spent the next hour chasing a couple dozen of the buggers out of the camper. Time to re-hydrate again.
With camp established (complete with full wind screen) we enjoyed a light meal. I intended to head out in my float tube afterwards. It was then that I discovered I didn’t have my license with me. I recalled it was on my entryway table, placed there so I wouldn’t forget it. Oh well, Los Banos was just a hop, skip, and jump away so I left for Walmart while Terry took his boat to be inspected.
We arrived back in camp just as everyone was coming off the water. It seemed that most everyone had caught fish, with the consensus being that this year’s graduating class of fish were considerably larger than the previous year’s. Armed with that knowledge, Terry & I weren’t too dismayed to not have fished that day; there is always tomorrow, and we had great expectations. Snacks, cocktails, a fire, and great conversations ensued.
The following morning dawned about ten degrees cooler than the previous day. Terry & I were on the water by 6:30. We fished the islands where Gil had measured some success the evening before. We marked a few sporadic fish on the finder in around 20 ft. of water, but they seemed to have developed lockjaw. We moved on to where the group was concentrated on the South west corner of the Fore bay. Slim pickens there too. Many had caught a fish or two, but certainly not at the rate of the previous two days.
Having been totally skunked, we decided to head to camp and enjoy a nice lunch. Which led to a Bloody Mary. Or two. Which led to a nap. I awoke greatly refreshed around 3:00. Time to head out for the afternoon bite, but we found that the mighty wind had risen and chased everyone off of the water. We thought it best to cut our losses and head on in. There were white caps and good swells so it took almost an hour to get to the dock area. We were thoroughly soaked, but the warm wind quickly dried us off. We noticed that there was about a 300 yard stretch of water out to 50 yards off shore that was in a ‘wind shadow’ from the hills behind the launch ramps. It was still breezy, so one of us had to helm the boat while the other fished. Terry piloted as I landed two schoolies of around18”. Terry’s turn. I handed him my rod and took over the helm. I like to believe it was my superior boat piloting that led to Terry landing a 25” chromer.
Getting the skunk off the boat took till the last 30 minutes of fishing time. Whew, that was close. Arrived back at camp to find JT and our newest member, Rich, had joined our group. Lance snuck in and set up his tent and joined in. Rich shared a fine bottle of Scotch with us, which instantly endeared him to the gang. We sat up till late sharing scotch and stories.
The wind grew in intensity.
Everyone slept fitfully Friday night, with the wind buffeting tents, campers, and trailers. Saturday morning found the red light blinking at the cottonwood creek entrance, meaning watercraft was forbidden from launching. I estimated a steady 30mph wind with occasional stronger gusts. Hoping against hope that the wind wouldn’t last, Terry & I hunkered down and made a nice breakfast. The sunrise was spectacular. The more experienced among us checked out the weather forecast to find that strong winds were expected through Sunday. Most folks began packing up to go. Around noon, we began to slowly break camp. The rest of the crew had left by one-o-clock. Around 3:00, I gave one last cruise by the North side of the Fore bay to see if the ‘wind shadow’ still held. There was still a small calm area, but I decided better than to launch my float tube when there wasn’t another vessel on the water anywhere.
Sadly, we had to cut the O’Neill Fore bay trip short. We missed out on several members who had planned on coming out on Sunday, but you just can’t ignore the weather. The moral of the story: The best time to fish is right now! (If you can).
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.