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Surf Fishout at Palm State Beach: October 11, 2020

by Mark Traugott



The October Surf Fishout will take place at Palm State Beach in Watsonville, on Sunday, October 11th. We are now on a fall schedule, as the sun will rise at 7:12 a.m., so the plan is for us to meet at 7 AM. The tide will be high at 8:07 AM, and the surf at this time of year can be expected to be moderate. Our meeting place is just past the entrance to the State Park at 2660 Beach Road. (See the detailed directions below.) For information regarding equipment and technique, see the excellent instructions on surf fishing that Sam Bishop has published on our club website ( You can also call me at 831-338-6056. The basic equipment is a five- to 7-weight rod with an intermediate to full-sinking line or sinking tip. Surf perch are available year-round, and October is a month when you have an increased chance of hooking a striped bass. A Clouser pattern or anchovy fly will work for stripers, and small bonefish patterns (for example, Gotchas) will catch perch, especially if they have red or orange highlights. The only surf-specific piece of essential equipment is a stripping basket (like the ones that Sam makes and sells for $20 to benefit the club.) Face masks are optional while actually fishing, since we will be well spread out; but masks and social distancing measures (maintaining 6’ of separation) will be in effect whenever we gather, whether at the meeting place or on the beach. It helps if all participants have their rods rigged in advance and are ready to step into the rest of their equipment immediately upon arrival.

Directions: From Santa Cruz, head south on Highway 1 past the first Watsonville exits and take the Riverside Drive (Highway 129) exit. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp, then right again onto Lee Road. At the traffic light, turn left onto West Beach Road. Drive 3 miles to where West Beach Road ends just past the entrance to the State Beach and just across from the entrance to Pajaro Dunes. Park on the right along the row of eucalyptus trees.

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Fishout for striped bass Oct 15-18 O’Neill Forebay

by Stephen Rudzinski

Please put it on your calendar, as we are hoping for a really good number of fish to be caught this year. The weed beds are holding lots of food for feeding fish.  Those with float tubes not having oars may have some weedy areas to kick through to get out over deeper water in the channels. I am treating this years like the previous years, I am not walking around with a mask outdoors, I say that those who are most worried about airborne germs sit it out for a year but I think we need to live our lives without all this fear of getting sick from contact with friends.

More info in the October newsletter or just go into the archives from previous October newsletters to read all the info I had written on gear to bring and general info.  This is a primitive camping area, no water, vault toilets, little shade but only 70 miles from home.  Contact me anytime  831-462-4532 (land line with message machine/old school, no cell.  ‘Stosh’

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Message from your fishmaster chairman

by John Cook - Fishingmaster Chairman

Until covid-19 is no longer a threat, I think we should have fishouts that allow social distancing. 2021 will probably still have issues with covid. So if you have a  fishout, design it that way. Steve’s fishout at the Forbay in Oct. is one example. Show up for the day or camp out and enjoy the outing. See the newsletter for more information or call Steve. Our surf fishouts are also a safe venue. Also refer to newsletter article. Do remember masks, safe distancing and disinfectants when sharing objects. If you are thinking about sponsoring a fishout that can be run safely, and I hope you will, call me. (831)688-1561. Let’s be creative, think out of the box and have as much fun as possible fishing together.

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Weather Weaponing in California Fires

by 'Conservation Slim' (Steve Rudzinski)

California forest fires in the last five seasons have continually increased in ferocity and acres burned. Even without the fierce Santa Ana type winds, the fires have exploded throughout the west and mysteriously end at the border with Canada.

We have seen the photos of Santa Rosa after the fires a few years ago and whole neighborhoods not near forests or grasslands were burned to the ground, car engines and aluminum wheels a puddle of metal afterwards.  Cal Fire captain I talked with one day agreed that the fires are hotter than what they have seen from normal fires, they have a good idea what it is but cannot be caught talking about anything considered ‘conspiracy’.

Our local fires in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties erupted from a dry lightning storm that produced epoch images from local photographers (Roll cloud image). Locals know that these storms are very rare and usually are the result from a dying hurricane in the Pacific and accompanied by rainfall.  This years ignition cause was something different, man made and with purpose says activist and author Deborah Tavares who investigated the fires in Santa Rosa and Paradise to mention the most famous fires. I encourage anyone rolling their eyes at the mention of arson and the use of DEW’s (direct energy weapon) developed at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. High flying super lasers developed for the military to cause great damage to anything it directs its beam. (All this can easily be searched via Google and I always recommend we do our own research when we have questions).

The next challenge we face is keeping our drinking water clean. We know that tons of that orange fire retardant has been dropped in areas that collect and get into the small streams and flow into our reservoirs. Soil engineers and scientists have already analyzed and reported up to 5% of the top soil throughout the state has aluminum and barium dust, the main ingredient used to turn blue skies into that hazy white jet trail sky. We all have noticed that now and it’s no big surprise. Now we know the alumina especially is an accelerant in the fires, the tree roots absorb the nano particle dust making them more explosive than ever. It’s not climate change it’s weather warfare. (

“Slim” has researched this subject to exhaustion, he sticks his neck out to non believers because this is so important, it’s our future. Already we are having our favorite camping and fishing grounds closed down with no plan on when they will reopen and with the fear factor as strong as it is now, we may very well see the end to the freedoms we all have loved our whole lives.  It has been 18 years since the ‘Shoe Bomber’ incident and we still cannot get through the ticketing without removing our shoes. The same could easily be true about mandatory masking and vaccinations.

Slim says, question authority. The former ‘Poppy’ Bush in his famous ‘A Thousand Points of Light’ speech promoted the New World Order and the changes that will be made on Earth. Top of the list for the future was to reduce the world population to a half billion or twenty five million in the USA. Those who google, ‘The Georgia Guide Stones” can read all the new commandments carved in red granite for all times.

Slim was going to just announce the big win in our battle against the Pebble Mine developers but that news is already a couple weeks old. I was in contact with John Squires widow Victoria and she was very happy about that news and that we will be sending more club funds to Trout Unlimited Alaska in John name.  Thanks everyone for your constructive criticism and questions you may have. I will try to provide anyone the links to these subjects raised this report.   Lets hope the rains come gradually, no big gully-washers please.

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Veep’s Line – Voting for John Steele Award

by Kevin Murdock, Vice President SCFF

With all the hoopla going on surrounding early voting this fall, it would be advisable for each of us to create a voting plan. No, not for the presidential election… I’m referring to our own John Steel award for 2021.
Who will be honored as this years recipient? Who has helped you on your fly fishing journey this year? Who shared a favorite fishing spot or favorite fly with you? Who showed you how to make a tuck cast or tie a new fishing knot? Who lent you a piece of equipment or taught you how to tie a new fly pattern? Who gave you sound fishing advice or just went out of their way to make you feel welcome at a club event? That is who will be chosen for this award.
And, as our nations president says, go ahead and vote twice. Or three or four times. (Just once for each kind deed though).
You can cast your ballot by emailing me at or texting me at (831) 238-3037. We’ll announce the results in the January newsletter.
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Aug. In Oregon

by Elaine and John Cook

This was our second fishing trip to Oregon during covid. Once again, took all our food and water for the whole month. Used stream water for bath and laundry. Made Nat. Forest Campground reservations ahead of time,  so no contact with camp hosts and gaurenteed spot. Lots of mask wearing and alcohol disinfectant. All in all, very covid safe. We had the pleasure of having Rich Hughett and Bobby join us for a few days. Not a great fishing trip again. If we had trout fished, that may have been different, but our focus was on large mouth bass. There was day of bass fishing with poppers that was truly outstanding. Dozens of fish exploded on our flies. Many in the 20 inch range. We meet a local fisherman fishing subsurface. Gave him one of my poppers. All he had was success with it over the next couple weeks. He sent me a picture of it after catching around 100 bass. It was trashed! Now the down side of fishing that lake. In order to launch our tubes, we had to slug through knee deep mud for about 20 feet. Crawling helped some. Then for 200 or more yards,too shallow the paddle, so pushed with our heels. Did the adventure one more time, the fishing was good not outstanding. Geer has been in lakes and washed in a stream, but some mud still remains. It’s like clay. We will go back again , eairler in the year when the lake has more water. We left before their horrible fires began and the Santa Cruz fires were greatly improved.

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We hit the Beach Labor Day Weekend

by Fishmaster Sam Bishop

This 2020 Labor Day weekend was due to be the hottest on record, that is the temperature of course, but unfortunately the catching was cold for the six of us that met on such a beautiful morning at Manresa Beach. The beaches were closed to people sunbathing or lounging, but open to us who were participating in “Water Activities”. Scott Kitayama caught one “Guitar Fish” and no one else even had a fish tug at a fly. Pictured left to right are Scott Kitayama, Bob Garbarino and Michael Sherwood. Not pictured are Jeff Slaboden, Gary Cramton and Sam Bishop.

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Colorado King Caddis

by Elaine Cook

Although caddis don’t have tails,  this pattern includes two stabilizing peccary. I’m not sure what trout make of these, but it’s a very effective pattern. Due to the coloring it may represent a bee to the fish. Apply floatent, fish drag free or with an occasional skitter.

HOOK: TMC or TFC 100, sizes 8-18.    Crimp Barb.

THREAD: black 8/0.   Attach mid shank. Wrap to rear of shank.

BODY: yellow or golden/yellow , superfine or rabbit dubbing.    Dub a small ball at rear of shank. Leave thread hanging in front of ball.

TAIL: 2 black peccary hairs or can substitute other coarse black hair such as moose main or body.    Position one hair on far side of ball, tip extending hook length to rear. Make 3 wraps. Pull on butt end of hair until it extends hook shank to rear or a little shorter. Tie in place. Cut excess.

HACKLE: grizzly.    Select feather with barbs equal to one or one and a quarter hook gap. Cut several barbs short on each side of base of stem (crew cut). Tie crew cut in infront of ball, light side facing you.

BODY CONT. : same dubbing.    Dub a non tapered body forward to 2 eye lengths behind eye.

HACKLE: same feather.   Palmer forward in about 5 wraps. Tie off, cut excess.

WING: bleached or light deer hair, with med. fine hairs.    Cut a sm. clump an effectiveof hair from hide. Clean out fuzz. Stack tips. Position on top of shank, tips extending to mid tail. Make first thread wrap around only the hair, the second wrap around both hair and shank. Make several snug wraps , making hairs flare. Cut hair butts short at an angle. Wrap thread head covering all hair stubs. Whip finish, cut thread. Apply Zap-A-Gap or similar. If any hairs remain exposed in thread head, use black Sharpie.

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FREE waders & Boots for the tall fellers

by Sam Bishop

For the big guys over 6 ‘ in our club, we have a donation of neoprene stocking foot waders and a pair of size 14 felt soled wading boots to go with it. These are not new, but perfectly serviceable and includes Simms gaiters (weed guards). The fellow also donated a belt with a rod holder and pliers. This setup was used on his trips to Alaska, stream fishing for Silvers.

These are FREE. Contact Sam Bishop

Date:  September 2, 2020

Time:  6:30PM

Place:  Zoom Presentation

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Fishing California Valley Rivers with Gray Lance

by Jim Black

Click here to join the Zoom Monthly Meeting:

Lance’s presentation comes at an opportune time. In a couple of months, it will be prime time – late September thru November – on these Northern California rivers. “Fishing Valley Rivers” is his newest presentation and will cover the Feather, Lower Sacramento and Yuba rivers, highlighting the what, when and how to fish these Northern California valley rivers, which offer some of the best trout and steelhead fishing throughout the year. Fall and Spring being the best times to target these rivers. Lance spend innumerable hours guiding and fishing all three rivers and during his presentation will offer insight into what he does every day on them, including flies, equipment and rigging.

Lance will join us on Zoom to share the knowledge he’s gained since age 17, when he went to work at Powell’s in Chico, in the fly shop and building rods. He guided for Powell’s, led fly-tying and fly-fishing schools, and traveled.

During 2003, Lance and Kirsten Gray launched Lance Gray & Co., a full-service outfitter offering guided trips, fly-fishing schools, workshops and a travel agency. His guide service covers Lake Almanor, Manzanita Lake, and the Yuba, Lower Sac and Feather rivers. Lance is a signature tier for Aqua Flies, pro staff member for Sage and Rio and is a featured writer, with articles published in Angling Trade Magazine, California Fly Fisher, Fly Fishermen, Sierra Fisherman and Northwest Fly Fishing.

Lance and Kirsten together have more than a combined 50 years of experience in fly fishing. Lance started fly fishing with his father and brother Lincoln at age 7. In his teens, he began tying flies commercially for shops all around Northern California. During 1993, Lance and Kirsten started Saltwater Innovations, a manufacturer and distributor products for saltwater fly fishing. Lance’s Crystal Popper, Gray’s Billfish Fly, the KO Charlie line and the Raghead Crabs are all Saltwater Innovations products. Kirsten worked behind the scenes, handling day-to-day operations and running the manufacturing floor.

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Online monthly raffle! Don’t miss out!

by Jeff Goyert

If any of you faithful followers have thought about giving Euro Nymphing a try now is the time to buy a handful of raffle tickets  ($1 each, 25 for 20 bucks).

This months raffle prize is an Echo CBXL 10′ 3 WT 4 piece Euro Nymph rod. This is matched with a Rio 0x/2x 11-12 ft tapered Euro Nymph leader featuring a two-tone sighter leader and a tippet ring for your point fly leader.

To make sense of all this will be a full length DVD by Euro Nymph masters Devin Olsen and Lance Egan included with the rod and leader.

To buy your tickets click on this link:

The drawing will be held at the monthly Zoom meeting Wednesday September 2nd. At 6:30 pm. Need not be present to win. Raffle ticket sales will end at noon the day of the meeting

During the meeting a drawing will be held for a number of cool door prizes, no ticket purchases  will be required.

Any questions, call/text me at 831-234-0033.

Date:  Sept. 9th

Time:  6:30pm

Place:  Zoom meeting

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San Luis Smelt Online Tying Class

by Elaine Cook

To join the Zoom meeting, tap this link:

Here is another clouser pattern and as a matter of fact it has been THE fly in recent times to catch stripers in the O’Neill Forebay and San Luis Reservoir. Remember that we will be having a club fishout at the Forebay in October. This fly is a little challenging to tie but don’t let that deter you beginners ,who are always welcome. You will however have to have a vise and tools or borrow them for the club equipment will not be available. We will be using materials the are not often found in flies.

The class is free.

In addition to the usual tools and vise, place at your tying vise, toothbrush, ruler, and glue (such as Zap-A-Gap or Super Glue),and your computer or iPad.

Thread: strong white such as flat waxed nylon, AND red 6/0, flat wax nylon, or red Sharpie permanent marking pen. Some available to borrow.

Sign ups are mandatory , with at least 2 days notice, in order to receive materials. Call to sign up: (831)688-1561 Be sure to leave phone number and any need to borrow thread. Your packet of directions and material will be left at my door. I will also need to know if you are coming to the front or back. Call me for directions if you have never been here. It’s fine if all you want to do is join in and not tie.

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Flaming Covid and Fly Fishing!

by Tom Hogye

CZU Lightning Complex Fire – Covid – Fish.  Fly-Fishing.  What Day is It?

At this writing we’ve evacuated our home in Ben Lomond (which is safe), and are watching God clean up 81,000 acres (Sunday was 2,500, Tuesday, 25,000, Wednesday 63,000, Sunday 74,000 -21% containment) of forest in Santa Cruz Mountains.  A historic event not seen in nearly a century.   Tragically over 635 structures are lost and likely more still unaccounted for.  Many of them homes.   We are okay and we are now patiently waiting for the opportunity to return home.   Beyond grateful for all our service members fighting the fire and protecting some 24,000 residences from looting.  And my brother Dave, and Diane for a great place to stay and for all who came to help us move horses, chickens, belongings and prepare the house even more.

Before the fire, Mona and I had taken off to play in the Sierra for a few days.   It was a beautiful trip.  We watched meteor showers on a houseboat at Lake Almanor, caught trout at Moccasin Creek just before it dumps into Lake Don Pedro.  Some very feisty escapees – probably from the hatchery above.   Despite drifting PT Nymphs in the heat of the day, the fish were still willing and fun.   Then we fished the, North Fork of the Stanislaus at Boardman’s Crossing in Dorrington, where we had to contend with a lot of the smaller wild fish hitting our flies, and roaming cattle, while we went in search of the larger fish.    That water was colder than Moccasin.

Bear Valley Ski Resort is a beautiful place to visit this time of year.   When you are taking a break from fly-fishing, you can rent canoes, and mountain bikes to do some other adventuring, or you can just hike many miles around Alpine Lake and other areas- free and Covid Free!

We got skunked on the East Fork of the Carson, mostly because we fished the heat of the day and we were finally starting to think about heading home.  But we had a beautiful time exploring the Sierra in our truck.   Best Covid get away together.

There is still plenty of time to do some terrific fly-fishing here and within 2-4 hours driving.   5 hours and you have your pick of the best fly fishing in California.   Most of these places we chose are the best and we learned about them hanging out at our Zoom Club meetings talking about these areas, accommodations, flies,…   The RV parks have tent camping and many of them have nicer bathrooms and showers if you’re on the move like we were.   Best thirty dollars, especially if you’re with yer best friend.  Make your camp easy to set up and take down – fun way to move about.

We have all been working hard together during this Flaming Covid crisis to keep – YOU – our membership engaged, and especially our new members who are anxious to drink from this 43 year cup of fly-fishing experience we are.   We have engaged in so much and I’m super happy with what we’re doing.    Please attend the Zoom meetings.  They are fun – Even if you don’t stay for the whole meeting, come – buy a few raffle tickets ahead of time and hang out.   This meeting Lance Grey is going to share some awesome Northern California trout tips for us, and even around some of the lakes.   Don’t miss this one.

I am also super excited to introduce you to our new Secretary, Camille Padilla and our new Newsletter Editor/Web Master, Scott Kitayama.  Both Scott and Camille dove in and have been helping so much already.   We’re all really excited to have them on your Board.

It is hard figuring out what day it is sometimes.   And we’re naturally thinking of all our friends impacted by Covid and these fires.   It’s been a year of refining for sure.   But we persevere, look forward, get creative and look for things we can be grateful for in the midst of trials.

When we saw the orange glow over the mountain in Ben Lomond that Monday night, that “fight or flight” thing kicks in and you just do.   I thought of the men and women fighting the fire and how they must feel, that there are no scheduled ten-minute breaks or lunch hour.  Or the men and women who have had to fight for freedom in wars or to live in a war zone, not knowing for months, if you were going to make it or not.   We had a lot of help and we all reached out to help each other, even when we were tired from helping ourselves.  It’s what we do.  It’s what brings us together.

When the smoke clears and things settle, we’ll fish more.  Together.

Thank you for being a valuable part of SCFF.   I am grateful for you.   Tom