Fly Fishing 101-Quail Hollow Ranch Public Education Day
By Publisher Pat Steele
The Public Education Day our club held at Quail Hollow Ranch was well-attended by both club members and guests. John Steele assisted with fly casting instruction, Tim Loomis held forth in the ranch house, teaching the basics, and relating some of the history of fly fishing, and Elaine Cook and Dennis Davie demonstrated fly tying. John Cook presided over the grill, cooking up a sumptuous lunch of hot dogs, beans and hamburgers with all the fixin's, and a good time was had by all. Bob Peterson signed up several new members, who were enthusiastic at having found our club, and seeing how helpful we all are in getting them up and running in our favorite outdoor activity, fly fishing.
I was particularly encouraged by the number of youngsters who came to try their hand at casting and oohed and aahed over Elaine's fly tying demonstration, for it gave me hope that our club will proceed into the future when we are no longer able to do the heavy lifting of keeping it going. Parents and grandparents brought them to us, and it was touching to me to see the older people sharing with the youngsters. I think it's great that those kids will be developing a sense of what it is to be outside having fun in nature, rather than engaged in solo activities with their tablets and phones.
All in all, it was a great day for both our club and for the guests who came out to see what we're about. I think we represented ourselves very well. Major kudos go to Kevin Murdock, our Vice President, who organized the event. If I had to pick one word to describe the day, it would be "generosity." If we conveyed nothing else about the SCFF, it was that we are a generous group of people, ready, willing and able to share our time, our knowledge and our passion for fly fishing.
Roostercomb Ranch Fishout
by Ryan Foy
I've gone to Rooster Comb Ranch every year since 2010 when I was 9 years old. It is an amazing place. There are tons of things to do. My brother and I usually spend the trip fishing, swimming, catching lizards and turtles, taking pictures, bird watching, hiking, target shooting, and more. It's great because there's no one to tell you what you can't do. You are never bored when you are there.
By Ryan Foy
From Aptos, CA
P.S.- If you'd like to see a lot of pretty photos of Roostercomb Ranch, courtesy of Tim Carson, go to https://photos.app.goo.gl/1MHZ73iYROSgyovH3.
A Bass Fish Out Festival
By Jeff Gose
Elaine even caught Kermit, pictured here, wearing his spiffy camo onesie!
Lots of fish, great company and close by - highlight April's trip. This was my first trip which I hope to share again with family and friends. Of course, they'd have to tolerate bass and bluegill exploding to the surface chasing our gracefully placed poppers. My poppers hit like rocks - I still need a lot of practice - I had a lot of fun. When I wasn't catching fish there were always friends around, curious to see what I was laughing about.
Sometimes over a missed strike; sometimes just a bass stare-down (aka I could see them-eye-to-eye-ignoring my attempts to hook up); sometimes to my surprise the fish were eating little drops of white that struck the water and my hat. I looked up and saw little birds -yep-the fish are eating --it and I am getting sh--on! This outdoor life is great fun.
A golden eagle circled over us much of our stay, ghost pines, blue oaks and other chaparral plant life cradled us and the hillsides were dotted with complete adobe structures dating back to the 49er days - 1849ers! I need to learn more about those who tamed these parts, raising their families, protecting them, as well as appreciate those who have managed to preserve Roostercomb Ranch as it was and still is for us to experience.
We mostly motored with ATVs or all-wheel drive vehicles but many of the lakes could be easily and safely hiked by those lucky younger ones and their kids. One couple has been bringing their family back for 9 years and I had the honor of meeting one of their lads! He is going places in life. I'd like to think Roostercomb is where he got some inspiration, along with mom and dad, showing him how easy climbing the ridges is and the fruits of effort payoff big. Over the years, others have brought their daughters and sons, still benefitting from the experiences.
No "e-stuff" works in the valleys, but satellite GPS usually works, dead-reckoning skills are useful, but the ranch hands were our "Rose of the Winds" (compass rose), guiding us home each day - thanks! I'm glad to have made some friendships there.
Cecilia organized us all together for this fishout; the friendships will last a lifetime. All this adventure and fun was only 1 1/2 hours away.
P.S. - There have been many articles written from past trips, please view them. They're all true! "No line!"
By Michael Sherwood
If three days of bass fishing, private roads, and poppers on five-thousand acres of historic land sounds like a good time, you're right. My first "fish out" fell on Cinco de Mayo, and while I was not sure what to expect, I borrowed a float tube (thanks Tom), bought a #6 weight-forward line, and ordered some poppers on Amazon. With these and a push from Cecilia, I was off. It wasn't long before I was catching bass, blue-gill, and some panfish (yet to be properly identified).
Roostercomb Ranch brings you back to the 1920s, allowing you to be a part of history as you walk the same footsteps as Joaquin Murrieta, to the bunkhouse built onto an old adobe he used. Murrieta transported stolen horses south through the same mountains that tower over us now. As the time to fish approached, Jeff, Jim and Peter helped me get rigged and into the water at Eastman. It wasn't long before I caught my first bass on a fly-line and popper. I suppose when you lose count of all the fish you catch, it's a good day. Assuming I had exhausted one area, I moved on, only to see Jeff had moved in and caught a monster bass! It was so big, he had to reach his whole hand down its mouth to take out the hook, biggest fish of the trip. I guess technique really does matter. We headed back over hill and dale (more hill than dale), for beers and dinner. Everyone brought something special to the BBQ including wonderful sides, and stories.
The next day, we headed to Mustang, driving through steep terrain and deep streams. My trusty Tacoma tackled it with ease. This pond is a little bigger, but filled with lots of the same fish. They seemed to go deep around mid-day, where I used a silver lead-head. I hooked a fish on nearly every drop before it snagged on something at the bottom; not nearly as fun as the poppers. It was then time to head back for the Cinco de Mayo celebration, where we had homemade salsas, a burrito bar, and plenty to drink. The burrito bar had all the fixings, plus beans and rice, and we had margaritas of various flavors. To top it off, we finished with Jeff's Mexican brownie for dessert!
The final day we made the trek back to Mustang, where fishing seemed slower until Cecilia showed up to show us how it's done. With the help of her handmade poppers with the special tail, I caught a few more before heading back to the casa to clean up.
What a fantastic three days! I visited an area close to home I never knew existed. I learned new fishing techniques and ate a lot of dust, as well as great food. I drank a good amount of beer (and Margies) and had the opportunity to meet some great people. Will I go again? You bet! Next time, I will go to Elaine's popper class to learn how to perfect them with Cecilia's rabbit fur tail to make those poppers really pop!
Los Banos Creek Fishout
By Steve Rudzinski
Only four of us fished the Los Banos Creek impound offered by Danny Eaton. Along with David and Gene we all fished differently getting good results.
My first morning while my breakfast was on the stove, a school of shad were driven onshore by feeding fish and not birds this time. I grabbed my 4-weight rod and ran to strip out line and make a good cast from shore. Amazingly, the largest bass I ever caught grabbed the jig and was off to the races. I guess it was about 5 pounds or so and the best fish for me this week. (burned my breakfast).
Averaging 27 fish a day, the last two days I figured out how to find the elusive and tempt the Crappie and sunfish and along with the Florida strain bass. I had almost a fish every cast the last morning and couldn't be much better than that kind of action.
The campground was quiet and only the four of us were there last three nights, no campfires the first two nights, windy all day and night sometimes some big gusts blowing stuff off the tables that you thought would not blow away. I windsurfed at this lake in the 70's, loved it then and love it now. Stay away in between Memorial Day and Labor Day or be prepared for noise and rudeness and trash.
I was witness to a lineup of egrets and herons on the beach early when waking up first light feeding on shad being driven ashore by smart hunting by the local grebes and a couple mergansers, the lake was full of life and all the fish were strong and healthy and well fed. I am going back soon. (no trout this trip at all water temp was 68 the day I left), I never fished deeper than 19 feet but the lake gets up to 80' I learned. This is a good place for beginning fishermen and float tube users. A 10" 'sunny' or a 15" crappie can make your day, a big bass as bonus lurking nearby. Peace.