LTFF Hat Creek Fishout – Level 2 Students - June 9th - 12th
Hat Creek! In the shadow of Mt. Lassen, this is both a beautiful and challenging fly fishing venue for LTFF Level 2 anglers. You will learn techniques to be on your game to catch trout in this great location!
We have a great group of LTFF alumni with experience on this river to guide you and teach you strategies and skills for this water.
Unless announced otherwise, this mentored Hat Creek fish-out is only being offered to a limited number of this year's enrolled Level 2 students in the club's "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) Program. Do not register for this event if you are NOT in this class, or risk losing your registration fee.
We have structured this outing for two groups of 8 students, with 1 ½ days of mentored fishing. Group 1 will fish Friday evening & Saturday. Group 2 will fish Sat evening and Sunday. The two group will overlap for the Sat evening sessions. After a morning fishing session, we will take afternoon breaks while the fishing slows down. You may choose to rest or explore the area during the afternoon, and then return in the evening hopefully for a nice hatch and more great fishing! This arrangement of fishing the morning and evening is generally not available with guides since they need to make it home to their families.
The schedule then allows for a Sunday or Monday departure for the roughly 5 hour return drive to the Bay Area.
Jessica Grey and John Chung will be your fishout leaders, taking charge of the logistics. Jessica is a LTFF alum who loves to fish the Burney area rivers, especially Hat Creek and the (much more difficult) Pit River. We will have at least two other club mentors providing a 2:1 student to mentor ratio for great expert coaching!
Hat Creek is one of California’s most renowned trout streams and a favorite dry fly water for many of the state’s best fly fishers — especially on the Wild River section and other famous stretches of this special river that we expect to fish. And since this is a spring-fed stream, it should have a good water level regardless of run-off.
Campground: We will be camping at PG&E's public Cassel Campground (off Hwy 299 east of Burney). Campsite reservations won't open until later in April. We will detail the specific campsites in our pre-fishout zoom call. Camping with the group is highly encouraged for both proximity to fishing, as well as getting the most out of this great fishing venue.
In past years, we've been able to pitch 2-3 tents per campsite at Cassel without objection (the area mgr. actually suggested these particular "back loop" sites for us to do so). There are no group camp sites in either this or any other nearby campgrounds, but this arrangement should work to allow most of the students to camp together in adjacent campsites rather than being spread out throughout the campground. We have paid extra for up to 2 vehicles per campsite. Any more than that and we may have to park some vehicles at the gate to the campground (after unloading) -- or pay an extra $5/night for additional vehicles if there is space to park them off the loop road -- but the area mgr. may decide that when he sees how many vehicles we have (another good reason to carpool, if possible).
Should you prefer to reserve a campsite of your own though to perhaps stay longer, then go to pge.com and under the "Find A Park" tab, search for Cassel Campground and book your own site very soon. (Another, but much smaller, PG&E campground in that area is North Shore Campground, if you can’t find any more open spots in Cassel.) Reservations for PG&E campgrounds usually open around Mid April.
Motels: For those who prefer not to camp, the motels in nearby Burney include:
Charm Motel (ph 530-335-3300, www.charm.burneylodging.com)
Green Gables (ph. 530-335-3300, www.greengables.burneylodging.com)
Shasta Pines Motel & Suites (ph. 530-335-2201, www.shastapinesmotel.com)
Meeting Place: Everyone will need to meet at Jessica's campsite (UON) in Cassel Campground at 7:00AM each fishing morning to figure out who is going with which mentor, to make up your lunches, to get your flies, instructions, etc. This early start is intended to get everyone on the water as soon as possible each morning — so please don’t be late.
Driving Directions: Google "Cassel Campground”: the shortest route is to follow I-5N to Redding, from there take CA-299E to Cassel Road — about 5 hours total drive time without traffic (from Redding it is about 1 hr. 15 min. without traffic)
If you need them, follow these directions: Take Exit #680 off of I-5 for CA-299/Lake Blvd., keep right at the fork and follow signs for Burney/Alturas/CA-299E, follow CA-299E for 50 miles to Burney, continue east of Burney on CA Hwy 299E for 7 more miles (to 2 miles past the junction with Hwy. 89), turn south (right) onto Cassel Road, drive 3.6 miles and turn left at paved access road into the campground (just before the bridge and across from Cassel Post Office).
Camping Equipment: It is suggested that you have your own tent (with tent stakes, footprint/plastic tarp, and rainfly) or an agreement to share a tent with someone. Also be sure to bring: sleeping bag; sleeping pad (or air mattress, or cot); headlight or flashlight; cooking stove; water container; cooking pots / cooking utensils; camp dishes / eating utensils; wash basin; biodegradable soap; butane lighter or matches; paper or cloth towels; garbage bags; and a cooler with ice for perishables. All dry goods should be stored in the supplied camp boxes to keep away from rodents and jays. Optional equipment might include: lantern; camp chair; firewood; hand axe; coffee pot; small folding table; table cloth for picnic table; etc.
Meals: There will be NO hosted group dinners for anyone on this fish-out. You can cook dinners in camp, or there are at least two possible restaurants on Main St. in Burney that smaller groups may decide to use: Rex Club (ph. 530-335-4184, they also have cabins) Art’s Outpost (Steak House & Italian, ph. 530-335-2835)
There are also other diners, a Subway for sandwiches, pizza joints, and other fast food options in Burney: (www.reddingcentral.com/Dine/dine-Burney.htm)
We will be providing groceries for making your own sandwiches for sack lunches on each fishing day only. Lunches will most likely be held in camp with a chance to rest from the heat of the day and to reorganize mentors' groupings if requested.
NOTE: Other than the two sack lunches on your Group's fishing days, you are on your own to bring (and prepare) your own food, or buy dinners or other meals out.
Fishing Gear: We recommend bringing a 3-5wt fly rod with floating line (6wt rod max!). For dry flies, bring 9’ tapered leaders to 4X or 5X, with mono (nylon) tippet spools in 4X-6X (these fish can be picky!) Also be sure that you bring both a liquid (or gel) dry fly floatant and a dry shake floatant (dessicant-type) for treating your dry flies. For indicator nymphing, bring indicators, split shot, one spool of say 0X to 3X mono tippet material (to use 5-7' of this for indicator/ depth adjustment), and spools of both 4X & 5X fluoro tippet for connections to nymphs. Bring foam hoppers or Chubby Chernobyl pattern flies for hopper (dry) / dropper rigging if you prefer this rather than indicator nymphing, or simply tight-line nymph instead (although Hat Creek has very little pocket water where tight-lining works best). "Swinging" of soft-hackled flies is another very good choice.
Flies: We will be providing at least a dozen flies to each student -- some dries, a couple buggers, and a few nymph patterns. These flies will likely only be packaged in sandwich bags for distributing to you, so you will need to put them in your own fly box along with your other flies -- and be sure to pinch the barbs! We will not be doing this for you. Also, bring your own flies, especially any that you picked up for (or tied for) this particular trip on a fly shop's or someone else's recommendation.
If you still need more of your own flies, or forgot some other gear after you leave town, there is "The Fly Shop" on your way up there (located just south of Redding on east side of I-5 backed up to the frwy.: take the Churn Creek Road exit, then head north about a 1/2 mile or so on the frontage road to see the shop on your left). There's also the "Shasta Angler" in Fall River Mills, which is 5-10 miles past the Hat Creek area on CA-299 (for good local knowledge from owner Matt).
Other Stuff: In addition to forceps, nippers, vest or pack for fly boxes and other gear, sunhat, sunscreen, bug repellent, waders, boots, belts, water bottle (or other means to carry, or filter, drinking water), don’t forget your wading staff! A small net is always optional for trout, but it really helps in landing them with minimal stress and keeping them in the water while unhooking—both of which are extremely important for the fish’s survival. Camping gear should include headlamps or flashlights —the former is especially good for tying on flies during late evening fishing.
Wading: As a spring creek, Hat Creek can be pretty cold, but you may decide when you get there and test the water that you might prefer to wet-wade instead of wearing waders. If so, just be sure that you have sturdy closed-toe wading sandals or, better yet, use neoprene guard socks (or other neoprene socks) plus polypo liner socks to help fill-out your wading boots. Lightweight (i.e., nylon) long pants are recommended (in lieu of wearing shorts) for wet-wading to better protect your shins from scrapes on rocks, scratchy brush, poison oak, etc.
Registration Fee: The registration fee is $175 per student. This fee is needed to hopefully cover the cost of all the campground fees, the purchase of flies, groceries for lunches, etc. It does not include the cost of transportation, lodging, meals (other than 2 lunches), or any other expenses.
Communications: John Chung will lead this fishout and coordinate accordingly. (415)-577-5585 email@example.com
Note: There is only spotty to very poor cell phone service in the Hat Creek area -- try texting up there instead, which is also hit-or-miss.