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, firstname.lastname@example.org) or a listed class leader.