LEARN TO FLY FISH PROGRAM


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

    • 29 Apr 2017
    • 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • West Pond, GG Casting Ponds
    • 6

    NOTE:  The West casting pond is reserved exclusively for the following event for the morning of 4/29/17:

    This Float Tube Clinic on Saturday morning, April 29, from 9:30am to 12:00pm is designed to prepare the Intermediate level "Learn to Fly Fish" students and any Rondy participants to fly fish on Stillwaters using a float tube. The primary objective is to teach basic float tube use and safety. The Clinic instructors will provide float tubes, fins, and PDF's for participants to try-out in the West pond.  

    Club members will need to bring their own waders and boots (or other booties) to this clinic if they wish to try-out one or more float tubes.  They may also want to bring a fly rod to try casting to some targets while sitting in a float tube.

    Due to the limited number of available float tubes and instructors, this free clinic will be limited to the first 25 club members to sign up, so register quickly if interested. 

    For more information contact:  Jeff Hogan 

    jbhogan@ucdavis.edu


    • 06 May 2017
    • 7:00 AM
    • 07 May 2017
    • 12:00 PM
    • Luk Lake, Corning, CA.
    • 10

    This fish-out is open to the 2017 "Learn to Fly Fish" registered NOVICE students ONLY, unless otherwise announced. An email will be sent to the Novice class notifying them when registration will be first opened. 

    This Luk Lake Fish-out on the weekend of May 6-7, 2017, should be a good opportunity to catch some of the big bass this lake is known for with "topwater" flies, especially with the warmer water and amount of weed growth expected then. Topwater bass fishing can be as much fun as dry fly fishing for trout.  

    Luk Lake (pronounced as Luck, since it is near the Rolling Hills Casino) is a small private lake located off Interstate I-5 just south of the town of Corning.  Corning is about 45 minutes (50 miles) south of Redding.  This is a very good fishery for largemouth "black" bass, rainbow trout, and the occasional scrappy sunfish or bluegill. 

    Last year's Novices had a phenomenal fishing experience at Luk Lake on this same weekend -- catching lots of bass AND trout -- on what is the earliest date we can get the lake guest house for our fishing trip.  Admittedly, before last year's experience, I was about to scrap this date in favor of a mid-December date focused mostly on trout, but the bass fishing was just too good last year.  So, we'll try it again and hope for the same luck at Luk this year (sorry, I couldn't help myself). 

    We have exclusive use of the lake and the rowboats all day on Saturday, and on Sunday morning until noon, and we have rented the guest house for up to 10 students to sleep there on both Friday and Saturday nights.  Students can arrive anytime Friday evening after 4pm -- and fish that evening if they want to. 

    This lake can ONLY be fished from a small boat (rowboat, pontoon boat, canoe, or electric-powered skiff) or from a float tube since there is virtually no shoreline access due to the heavy tule growth around the lake. Unless you bring your own permissible watercraft, students will be expected to fish from the rented rowboats.  

    There will be two students per boat, who will be responsible for rowing and managing it while fishing through-out the day. Mentors will be on hand to provide instruction and help as needed.  There will be a brief safety and orientation talk first thing Saturday morning before launching the boats.  All fishing on this lake is catch-and-release only, with barbless hooks required. 

    Rowboats (~12' prams) will be provided with oars, anchors, and (at least) life preserver seat cushions.  If you are not completely comfortable on the water in a small boat or not a good swimmer, it is suggested that you also bring your own personal flotation device to wear or borrow one of the club's PFD's, (especially if you choose to try out your own float tube or similar personal watercraft -- no gas motors allowed).  We will NOT be wearing waders when fishing from the prams, but you should bring water sandals, old tennis shoes, or similar footwear to allow you to step into the water when launching or beaching your boat.

    Briefly, suggested gear includes a 5 or 6wt rod and reel, with floating line to use for dries, topwater bass flies, or for indicator nymphing for trout, bass, or sunfish.  If you like to retrieve Wooly Buggers or other streamers, an intermediate line (1-1.5 ips sink rate) may be helpful, but is not necessary. 

    Further discussion of what gear to bring, including some suggestions about what flies to use and the rigging needed, will be covered in a Pre-Fishout Meeting at the clubhouse on Saturday, April 29, at 12:00 noon. (And maybe stay after for the Float Tube Clinic, but please register separately for that event) Come to this logistics meeting to also hear how to get there, what the lake house offers, possible carpooling, and what all to expect for the weekend, including the plan for the group to all cook their Saturday night's dinner at the house.  

    The registration fee for this fish-out is $240, which fee includes all costs for the lake access, boats, lunch and dinner (on Saturday only), and rental of the guest house for Friday and Saturday nights.  There will be coffee, cereals and other quick breakfast items supplied, but bring your own breakfast meals if you choose to cook for yourself. Friday dinner will be on you, whether you choose to cook in or join those heading to the nearby casino for buffet or into town for fast food/pizza.

    The guest house has beds for 10 people in 5 bedrooms (making it easy to segregate men and women) and two bathrooms. The first 9 students to sign up can stay in the house (leaving room for one recruited mentor). The balance can camp outside the house, stay in their vehicles, or get their own room at the nearby casino or in town.

    This fish-out is limited to the first 10 students to sign-up (due to expected maximum number of boats), after which an online waiting list will be created for possible replacements for any registrants who may later learn that they can't make it. 

    For further info, contact John Murphy (jmurphy7599@gmail.com) or Bob Sorenson  (r.sorenson@comcast.net)

    Cost: $240.00 


    • 07 Jul 2017
    • 5:00 PM
    • 11 Jul 2017
    • 10:00 AM
    • Missouri River, Montana
    • 7

    This extremely popular fish-out is what most of you have waited your 3 years in the LTFF program for:  The Intermediate Class's trip to Montana always seems to be the highlight for most students in the program and is the one trip that just about everyone who goes each year ends up pleading to get the chance to go again. But we can never promise that and I can't even take more than 11 from the class each year.  So, if you can be one of those 11 this year that gets to go this year on July 7-11, you'll want to do it.

    We will be float fishing a famed tailwater stretch of the upper Missouri River for 3 days (Sat. - Mon.) out of Craig, Montana each day.  The dry fly and nymph fishing for the big strong rainbow and brown trout in this incredibly abundant fishery is world renowned. (Our club president Willy George loves this place and often stays in his camper there for at least 2 weeks to fish the "Mo" at this time of year, as he has done for years.)

    We will be fishing with the HeadHunters Fly Shop's guides, some of the very best you'll ever experience. They will supply all the gear required including fly rods, leaders, flies, etc. However, you are welcome to bring your own gear if you desire, especially if you can stick around to fish this river and one or more of the other famous rivers in the area on your own, or with a guide that maybe a couple of you will line up afterword to float or wade/walk with.  

    Sandals or water shoes, rather than waders, are advised on these Missouri River drift boats for most of the warm sunny days at this time of year which may offer only a brief afternoon rain shower. However, if you don't bring waders (only bring them because you need them for something else), DO remember to pack a pair of rain pants along with a good-quality rain jacket. A cold, all-day-long rainstorm on our first day on the river a couple years ago taught us this lesson. 

    There will be a Pre-fishout Meeting on Wednesday evening, Feb. 22, at 6:30PM at the clubhouse, with plenty of snacks and beverages, for all those Intermediate students interested in this trip.  (Come early and try out some of the award-winning Douglas fly rods that afternoon and enter free rod raffle before 5:30 --see calendar event.)  Transportation options, logistics, gear, licensing, the fish-out rules, etc. will be covered at this meeting, so do try hard to be there if you can.  I will send out some notes to those who can't make it, but you should look at this pre-meeting as a good opportunity to coordinate your travel plans or to team up for traveling and fishing in the area, or for sharing car rentals. 

    We have rented the Jumping Rainbow Lodge, a large house that is situated right on the river about 8 miles from Craig. We have rented this house for several years because it makes a great home base for us and there is nothing in town as big. 

    The tiny town of Craig, MT is located on Interstate I-15 about halfway between the cities of Helena and Great Falls (it's about a 50 mile drive northeast from Helena and a little shorter drive southwest from Great Falls).  If you are planning to fly there, the airports in those two cities are the closest possibilities, but there is also Bozeman, MT which is about a 2-1/2 hour drive away and Missoula, MT, which is probably at least as far. Flights fill up quickly, so start looking at your options and checking available flights and prices before the pre-meeting to be able to discuss your preference for driving there or flying to one of these airports. 

    If possible, you want to arrive at the lodge sometime Friday afternoon July 8 (I should be able to get us into the house around 3PM) and you won't need to leave there until Tuesday, July 12, before 10AM since we've also rented the house for Monday night again to allow a full day's fishing on Monday. 

    We will cook our own group dinner on Friday night, but dinner on Saturday and Sunday will be catered (to provide left-overs for Monday night). Lunches will be provided by the guides Sat.-Mon. and we will have food in the house for a quick breakfast each morning. Volunteering for helping to cook and clean-up will be covered in the pre-meeting. 

    The fee for this event again this year is $1400, which covers the 3 full days of top-notch guided fishing and gear, 4 nights in the lodge, and all meals and beverages (including wine and beer) for most of those 4 days. It does NOT cover your transportation expenses, a Montana fishing license (with a req'd. small conservation fee), or the guide gratuities. 

    Those who have gone on this fish-out before have had some of their best fishing days ever, and had such a great time together, that they would go again in a heartbeat if we'd only let them.  If you can't make it, you will definitely make someone else happy. 

    This trip is limited to 11 Intermediates, so sign up as soon as you can so that you don't miss out!  Registration will start at 12:00 NOON on Monday, FEBRUARY 13

    Cost:  $1400

    Contact for info: 
    JOHN MURPHY (jmurphy7599@gmail.com) 650-799-1695




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