The GGACC's Learn to Fly Fish Program (the "LTFF program") is offered primarily for new Club members who have already learned to make basic casts with a fly rod and want to put their new casting ability to good use on the water. The goal of the LTFF program is to teach fly fishing knowledge and skills to beginners so they can better enjoy our great sport.

Through a combination of classroom teaching, in-the-pond casting instruction, and mentored or guided fishing outings (called "fish-outs"), the comprehensive 3 year LTFF program helps its students learn both how to fly fish and where to go in Northern California and beyond.  It is one of the most popular programs offered by the GGACC.

NOTE:  The LTFF program and its fish-outs are not intended for the club's more experienced fly fishers.  The Club's Rendezvous (Rondy) Program is designed for them.  "Rondies" are not mentored and are therefore offered exclusively to experienced fly fishers.  LTFF program graduates can participate in the Rondy Program, but it is off limits to all current LTFF students or any other beginners.

The LTFF's mentored program is 3 years long for most of its students.  It starts with the Beginners Class (Step 1) for the first year; a Novice Class (Step 2) in the second year; and an Intermediate Class (Step 3) in the final year.  The LTFF students can expect to make many new friends and hopefully some life-long fishing buddies.

The LTFF program is open only to GGACC members who have paid club dues for each year of their participation in the program.  You can join the club and pay annual dues online at the Club's website: www.ggacc.org.  Dues paid in December cover the following calendar year for new or current members.

Prospective students for each year's LTFF program must sign-up, beginning in December of the prior year, for the first posted February Class Day for the Beginner (Step 1) or Novice (Step 2) classes on the club Events calendar at ggacc.org.  Enrollment is on a "first to register" basis.  Students from the previous year's Beginner or Novice classes will have registration priority, and will receive an advance email alert for signing up for the coming year's Novice or Intermediate class.

Entering participants in the LTFF program should be able to make both a roll cast and an overhead cast with a single-hand fly rod to a distance of 25-40 feet.  They should have (or will purchase after the classroom sessions) their own fly rod (preferably a 9' long 5 weight) with fly reel and a matching floating fly line (i.e., a WF5F line); breathable chest waders; wading boots; and a wading staff.  Outfitted with this minimum equipment, they receive specialized casting instruction in the ponds during Step 1 & 2 classes (when club rods are also available) and can participate in the LTFF program's fish-outs offered for their class.

Those coming into the program with previous fly fishing experience may petition the Program Director (see contact info below) for written approval to skip the Beginner class and register for the Novice class instead.   This approval will be based on a verbal or written explanation of the applicant's prior experience, which at a minimum should include the ability to successfully fish small streams on their own, including the ability to select their own flies, tie up their own two-fly nymphing and dry-dropper rigs, and wade safely.  Having fly fished only with guides is not considered sufficient experience to qualify as a Novice.

LTFF students are strongly encouraged to attend the Club's monthly Free Casting Lessons at the GGACC's ponds, and the Skills Building Program lectures (also free) These lessons and lectures are usually offered on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

Step 1 & 2 students must be enrolled in their respective "class day" events before signing up for any of that class's scheduled fish-outs.  A release form must be signed to participate in fish-outs.  Not all students can be guaranteed a spot in each fish-out since the number of openings is limited.  An online wait list option is offered whenever the event limit is reached.  Any drop-outs will be replaced from the wait list until it is exhausted, after which it is the responsibility of the registrant to find his or her own replacement.

The fees charged for the classes and fish-outs are the minimum necessary to cover the LTFF program's costs.  Since this program is self-supporting and is not covered by membership dues, the fees are typically not refundable, but are negotiable between the respective parties for anyone taking over a fish-out spot from a paid registrant.

Pending weather, water conditions, availability, and participation, the following fish-outs (for trout unless otherwise noted) are the likely minimum planned for each class:

Step 1 Beginner Fish-outs:  North Yuba River, Main Yuba River

Step 2 Novice Fish-outs:  Luk Lake (primarily for bass), Lower Sacramento River, American River, NF Stanislaus River, Hat Creek

Step 3 Intermediate Fish-outs:  Pyramid Lake (NV), Lower Sac (for shad), Surf (for surf perch), Missouri River (MT), SF Bay (for striped bass), Upper Sac & McCloud Rivers, and Trinity River (for steelhead)

For any questions about the LTFF program, please contact either the program director (John Murphy,  650-799-1695, jmurphy7599@gmail.com) or a listed class leader.

Upcoming events

    • 30 Sep 2017
    • 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    • San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area
    • 5

    This 2017 LTFF Intermediate Class fish-out is scheduled for 7:00AM -- 5:00PM on Saturday, September 30, 2017, on the O'Neill Forebay which is in the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (SRA).  

    Registration will be limited to 8 students.

    Students must bring their own (or rented or borrowed) personal watercraft for this fish-out.  There are not any local rental shops known of out there.  

    Located in the Central Valley, this body of water can be exposed to strong winds, in which case it will be closed to all watercraft and this fish-out could be cancelled on short notice (there is little point in fly fishing from the shore in high winds). 

    The entrance to this Forebay (which is below the dam since it happens to also be an Afterbay) is on the north side of Hwy CA-152E when driving east from Gilroy over the Pacheco Pass (before you get to Los Banos). Although this one-day fish-out will officially end at 5:00pm, you also have the option of staying until almost sunset that evening (when the action can be very productive if the wind cooperates) and fishing independently. But all watercraft must be off the water at sunset or face a fine from the park rangers.

    This is a wonderful Striped Bass fishery, with a great many fish in the "schoolie" size of 13" to 16" making high numbers of landed fish possible.  Even though the fish in this O'Neill Forebay and the main reservoir are a land-locked sub-species of Striped Bass, this reservoir also holds the record for the largest Striped Bass caught in California.

    Bill Scharninghausen will guide this LTFF fish-out.  As a well known Northern California guide, Bill already guides our combined LTFF and Rondy Surf outings each year.  

    We will meet up with Bill at 7:00am just inside the Forebay park entrance (off to the right) where all watercraft, waders, boots, and fins will be inspected by a park ranger for invasive species (be sure that ALL gear is clean and totally DRY! Damp gear will be cause for rejecting your boating permit.)

    Use of your own personal watercraft will be required for this fish-out and wearing a PFD will be mandatory. Personal watercraft can be float tubes or Watermasters (either of these work best), pontoon boats, or kayaks. The Forebay can be quite windy so a good anchor may be helpful if you need to stay put while changing flies or rigging. 

    This particular 9/30/17 date is reserved for registered Learn to Fly Fish (LTFF) Intermediate Students ONLY -- unless specifically announced otherwise by the fish-out leader John Murphy. (A separate Rondy to this destination for experienced club members who are not in the LTFF Program is scheduled for the following day.)

    Gear required:  A float tube or pontoon boat; chest waders; at least one wading belt; a PFD (to be worn at all times on this water); a 7-9wt fly rod; fast sinking shooting heads such as Type 6 or T-14 (Bill prefers to use an integrated shooting head of 250-300 grains on a 7wt rod); 15-20# nylon tippet; clousers or other striper flies; stripping fingers, stripping glove, or stretchy tape for this purpose; forceps or pliers; nippers; your own lunch and drinks; and finally, rain and sun protection for on the water, including a hat with straps or a buff to secure a billed hat. You don't need a lot of gear so keep it simple.

    There are options for both camping in the rec area itself and local motels.  For more info about the rec area, especially the two campgrounds on O'Neill Forebay (San Luis Creek Campground which is reservable, and Medeiros Primitive Campground which is on a first-come basis only) and also the warning light system controlling watercraft access on the forebay, go to:  https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=558  Students shall make their own arrangements for staying overnight Friday and/or Saturday nights. To make a reservation for San Luis Creek Campground, go to:  https://www.reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/Facilities/AdvanceSearch.aspx

    The cost for this fish-out is $70.00, which covers the guide fee and a few sample flies, but does NOT include a guide gratuity, any meals, the rec area access fee / daily boating permit, camping fee, or other lodging cost.  

    There will likely be two clinics associated with this fish-out -- a float tube clinic and a "how to fish O'Neil Forebay" clinic. The former was conducted at the club ponds on April 29, 2017; the latter will likely be held at the California Fly Shop down in San Carlos on a date TBD. 

    For more information, contact:

    John Murphy 650-799-1695   jmurphy7599@gmail.com

    Bill Scharninghausen 415-203-5819 billsch8@gmail.com

    • 07 Oct 2017
    • 7:00 AM
    • 08 Oct 2017
    • 6:00 PM
    • Boyington Mills Campground, Little Truckee R. off I-80 east of Truckee, CA
    • 0

    Sorry, but this event is now sold out. You can join the waitlist and we will send you an email when additional spaces become available.

    Join waitlist

    LTFF Step 3 Intermediate Fish-out - Truckee Rivers

    October 7-8, 2017

    Cost: $100 / person

    Registration limit:  6 Intermediate students from 2017 class

    Overview: This trip offers fly fishing on two famous wild trout rivers near Lake Tahoe - the Big and Little Truckee Rivers. Both tailwater rivers hold big rainbow and brown trout up to 20" and more. The education fish-out includes a 1 to 2 hour long "on the water" nymphing demo and clinic from a local guide that has 25+ years of experience on the Truckee.

    Day 1: (Big) Truckee River

    The 'Big T' is a Sierra tailwater river that flows 121 miles from the weir at Lake Tahoe before emptying into Pyramid Lake north of Reno, NV.  Pyramid Lake has no outlet so the Truckee is one of the only major rivers in the West that doesn't eventually flow into the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. 

    The Truckee does have a reputation for skunking even the most seasoned fly anglers who haven't learned the secrets to how to fish it. With only about 400 fish per mile, you'd wonder why anyone would even bother with this river. But all it takes is one grab from these powerful beasts and you'll understand why this river has a cult following among both locals and visitors alike. As Ralph Cutter tells many disheartened souls, if you don't believe they're in there, just swim the river. Ralph's famous "Bugs of the Underworld" DVD was filmed in the Truckee River.

    Proper technique and choosing the right flies is a must for being successful on this river.  Most fish are caught in the Truckee by indicator nymphing, stripping streamers, or "Czech nymphing", one of the various forms of tight-line nymphing. For this fish-out we'll be focusing primarily on indicator nymphing, but don't be afraid to try a streamer or a Czech nymph (a heavily weighted nymph pattern that gets down quickly without the use of split shot, usually tungsten beaded and often lead-wire wrapped under the body).  

    We'll start the day off with a demo of the perfect indicator dead drift. The goal is to 'tick the bottom' of the river, adjusting your depth and weights until you are in the zone. If you're not ticking the bottom on the Truckee, you're not fishing. After practicing this, we'll then break up into small groups and drive to separate locations with your mentors, switching up locations after a brief lunch. 

    It's fun to carry two rods rigged with different flies, leader lengths, or even for different techniques (eg. streamer or Czech nymph) so that you can cover the same hole twice without re-rigging. (Just be sure that you pay careful attention to where you set down that 2nd rod!  They have a way of disappearing in the brush.) Although it's rare to see hatches that warrant casting dry flies on the Truckee, the occasional riser will surface, sending anglers scrambling for the right fly to catch a trophy on a dry. We'll keep our eyes open for BWO hatches in the afternoon.

    Day 2: Little Truckee River

    The 'LT' is a picturesque tailwater that stretches roughly 3-5 miles from Stampede Reservoir to Boca Reservoir which is north of the town of Hirschdale and east of Truckee. At first glance, this smaller river gives off the appearance of easy fishing after a day on the Big Truckee, but don't let this river fool you. The large brown trout that inhabit this river are some of the most selective trout in the state and, no wonder, since they receive lots of pressure from skilled anglers. 

    At this time of year we'll be on the tail end of the BWO hatch with some potential for caddis and stone flies. The trick to catching large trout on this river is the proper use of emergers and even drowned BWO dries. Sculpin streamers are also extremely effective under deep-cut banks.

    Camping: We'll car camp along the Little Truckee river at Boyington Mills Campground. Our group has 3 sites (#7-9) reserved for Friday and Saturday nights right on this river, offering sunrise and sunset fishing opportunities.

    Equipment: We'll provide a dozen for more flies but feel free to supplement yourself with extras (doubles) or different patterns that fly shops recommend. Don't be surprised if you lose 6-12 flies a day on the Truckee. 

    Sample flies and rod setups by river:

    • Truckee River:
      • Rod(s): It helps to carry two pre-rigged indicator rods, a 6 wt and maybe a 7wt, with one rigged for greater depth. This way if you lose your rig you're still in the game, or if you are maxed out on depth with one rod, you can quickly change rods vs. re-rigging. Switch rods (2-handed rods under 12' lg.) are also fun and great for distance casting and swinging or stripping streamers. Czech nymphing rods (typically sgl.-hand rods 9-1/2' or longer) are also a perfect secondary rod for pocket water.
      • Flies: Pat's Rubber Legs (black, coffee), tiny egg patterns (yellow, the smaller the better), dead-drift crayfish (red, orange, blue), San Juan worms (red/pink), squiggly worms (red), Zebra midges (green, black). jigged Prince Nymph (size 12-14), various streamers.
      • Leaders: 9 foot 4X tapered mono leader; flour tippet in sizes 4X & 5X
      • Indicators: small and medium sized Airlocks may be best.
      • Weights: AAA  & BB split shot
    • Little Truckee River
      • Rod(s): A 9 foot 5 wt is perfect and all you should need. However, I prefer to carry two rods to try different techniques (dry fly / indicator nymphing / streamers / Czech nymphing). If you are walking with a buddy you could each bring two rods to cover four techniques.
      • Flies: BWO emerger, BWO dries (size 18), caddis dries, caddis puppa, pheasant tails, stone patterns (yellow, black), and sculpin streamers
      • Leaders: 9 foot 5X tapered mono leaders, fluoro tippet size 6X

    You'll also want to bring standard wading equipment (waders, boots, wading staff, etc.) and gear for camping / cooking at the campsite.  For the Big Truckee, you might be more comfortable wading with an inflatable PFD if you have one.

    Lunch will be provided each day, however students will need to bring their own breakfast and dinner items to prepare in camp.

    Additional reading and research for the overly ambitious (not required):

    • Watch Ralph Cutter's "Bugs of the Underworld" DVD - provides great footage of the Truckee river, the resident trout there, and of course the bugs. Contact stephen.golebiewski@gmail.com if you need to borrow a copy.
    • Watch Youtube videos by Kelly Galloup on indicator nymphing techniques and rigging set-ups
    Contact person for any questions:  Steve Golebiewski 
    • 04 Nov 2017
    • 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
    • 7

    This Lower Sacramento River Float Trip on Sat., Nov. 4, is a fish-out offered to those students registered for the "Learn to Fly Fish" Step 2 Novice Class for 2017 as part of this educational fly fishing program for club members only.  This will be the second offering of this trip in 2017. 

    The Lower "Sac" is a famous wild rainbow trout fishery, probably the best in the state for numbers and size of fish. Due to the relatively deep and swift flow of this big river, it is primarily fly-fished by nymphing from drift boats since there are only limited dry fly opportunities and little wading access most of the time.

    We will be fishing from guided drift boats, with two novices and one guide per each boat.  Our guides (provided by Kirk Portocarrero, www.SacRiverGuide.com, 800-670-4448) are very experienced on the "Sac" and, in addition to guiding trout anglers, they may also guide steelhead, salmon, or shad trips on this river. The guides will provide excellent instruction -- in addition to any gear that you don't have, all flies and tippet materials, water or sodas, and a nice lunch on the river.


    It is suggested that you arrive Friday night to get a good night's sleep as this will be a long day on the water.  And we also want you to stay a second night in Redding to enjoy the included group restaurant dinner.  Driving home this far after fishing all day is strongly discouraged -- we don't need any more people falling asleep at the wheel.  

    A 5 or 6 wt fly rod and floating fly line is recommended. The guides can provide a rod (if requested in advance) and will provide leaders, tippet, and all flies.  Waders are not required and NOT suggested since you'll overheat in them in the boat. Wear wading sandals, boots, or other footwear that allows you to step into the water while getting in and out of the boat. Bring hat, polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, rain jacket, and of course, your fishing license, which the guide needs to see.

    The registration fee is $300, which covers the boats, guides, lunch on the river, and Saturday night's dinner and wine at an Italian restaurant in Redding, but NOT the cost of guide gratuity or lodging. 

    Additional details, including how to find the designated boat launching ramp and how to get to the restaurant that night, will be provided via email to those who register for this trip.

    This fish-out is for students who are previously registered for the 2017 LTFF STEP 2 Novice Class ONLY and have attended this year's class days back in March. 

    SIGN-UP QUICKLY FOR THIS FISH-OUT SINCE WE HAVE A VERY LIMITED NUMBER OF BOATS AVAILABLE.  If you do miss out, be sure to sign up for the wait list in case a spot opens up later or we are able to get more boats. 

    Location:  Boat Ramp TBD near Redding
    Fee:  $300, exclusive of the guide gratuity (sugg. $35-45)

    Contacts:  John Murphy (jmurphy7599@gmail.com)  cell ph. 650-799-1695

    Lodging in Redding:  There are roughly 30 listed motels in and around Redding. The major ones include: Holiday Inn 530-221-7500, Red Lion  530-221-8700, Best Western 530-221-6100, Motel 6 530-221-1800, Oxford Suites 530-221-0100.  Some other well known possibilities include:  Fairfield Inn & Suites (Marriott), Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Town Place Suites.

    A list of all registrants and their contact info will be distributed before this fish-out since you may want to email or talk to others who sign up about carpooling, sharing a room, or even a group of you booking into the same motel to get to know one another better.

Questions? Please direct your inquiries to the appropriate mail box:

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