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

    • 05 Jul 2018
    • 4:00 PM
    • 09 Jul 2018
    • 10:00 AM
    • Missouri River at Craig, Montana
    • 0
    Join waitlist

    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 never take more than at most 11 from the class each year.  

    This year we have guided spots for only 7 students currently, after having to sadly give up a couple of my chosen guides this year in response to last year's surprisingly poor class registration.  So, if you can possibly be one of the lucky 7 that definitely gets to go this year on July 5-9, you'll want to do it.  If it fills quickly enough, I'll do what I can to try to book another guide or two, but there is a good reason that I have to both make our reservations and prepay for guides a year in advance for this amazing destination.  If I don't, I lose our allotted slot to a waiting list. 

    We will be float fishing on a famed tailwater stretch of the upper Missouri River for 3 days (on Friday- Sunday this year) 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 up to 2 weeks to fish the "Mo" at this time of year, as he has done for many years. Willy promises to join us again this year for lively catered dinners in our rental house.)

    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, like most areas flanking the Rockies, may offer also 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. One cold, all-day-long rainstorm on our first day on the river a couple years ago taught us this lesson, and there's always the possibility of a cold hailstorm blowing through. 

    There will be an initial Pre-fishout Meeting on Sunday, March 11, at 1:30PM following the Annual Meeting BBQ (or at 12noon if the BBQ is cancelled due to inclement weather) for all those Intermediate students who may be interested in this trip.  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 arranging to share a car rental from one of the local airports. 

    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 many years now because it makes a great home base for us and there is nothing in town or in the area nearly 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 just about as far. Flights fill up quickly, so start looking at your options and checking available flights and prices now before the first 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 rental house sometime on Thursday afternoon, July 5 (I should be able to get us into the house around 3PM) and you won't need to leave there until Monday, July 9, before 10AM since we've also rented the house for Sunday night to allow for a full day's fishing on Sunday. 

    We will cook our own group dinner on Thursday night, but dinner on Friday and Saturday nights will be catered (to provide left-overs for Sunday night). Lunches will be provided by the guides on Fri.-Sun., and we will have enough food in the house for a quick breakfast each morning and for hors d'oevres and adult beverages for happy hour each afternoon. Volunteering for helping to cook breakfasts and some kitchen clean-up will be covered in the pre-meeting. 

    The total fee for this event this year is $1450, 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 guides' gratuities. 

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

    This trip is limited to 7 Intermediate students now, so sign up as quickly as you can so that you don't miss out!  Registration will start at 12:00 NOON on Monday, MARCH 12

    Cost:  $1450.00 payable online as a non-refundable registration fee (unless there is someone on the waitlist to replace you).

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

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

General Information:


Rondy Program:


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