What an absolutely surprising attendance we had at the Fly Fishing Clinic along the San Lorenzo River on the 18th. Beautiful temperatures, a warm sun and very little wind made the wait worth it. We even made the 10:00 o'clock news!
By 8:30 in the morning, Elaine, Angela, Larry and Kevin were already set up and tying flies (it was the coffee and sprinkle donuts!). Barry and Ben had the MBSTP booth set up, Tim Frahm from TU was ready to go, Michael, Jeff and Bob had the SCFF information area thoroughly ready to provide membership, fish-out, dinner and other information. Tim Loomis had his class seating and great signage for the Fly Fishing 101 classes. Steve "Rud", Richard, Sam, and yours truly, were armed with casting rods and ready for the dozens who came eager to learn how to cast, and just as important, how to fish. John (Cook) and a few other members were very helpful at working the crowds, pointing them in the right direction and making them feel right at home.
Alev and Julie from Coastal Watershed Council (you can't see me right now, but I'm bowing in gratitude) were busy organizing the CWC booth, signs, providing coffee, water and pastries, arranged some of the attractive goodies SCFF and Patagonia donated for the raffle, and did a super job of keeping things moving with their PA system and infectious enthusiasm. They even gave each of us "organizations" a chance to get to the mic and talk a little about who we are and why we're here, and you know me, I hate a microphone!
For more than three hours, there were at least a dozen flies moving through the sky. We were all busy teaching from beginning to end. When I would look behind me, it was just beautiful to see just how quickly people were improving, getting it, and excited to finally learn how to throw a line. There was not one minute where some didn't want to be casting and learning about fly fishing.
Really rewarding was seeing so many of our partner organizations come together. Chris from Pour Taproom brought two of his five kids. Julie from CWC took time to learn to cast for the first time. My friend from the gym came, neighbors, kids' parents, friends from church, even the Park Rangers!
The fly tying tables had everyone hovering over shoulders marveling at the forming of fur and feathers, anxiously awaiting their turn at the vises. Elaine, Angela, Kevin and Larry paid genuine and careful attention to their proteges.
Tim Loomis' classes were overflowing. He has the gift, and the hat! OH! - His Fly Fishing 101 classes are also now going to be a part of the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation's programs - WAY to go, Tim! It's important to have someone simplifying and making people feel comfortable with the plethora of fly-fishing terms. You know - double surgeon, blood, nymph, weight-forward-double-tapered-fast-sinking lead-core shooting head, indicator, tippet, a 5-weight, size 14 - stripping! Say what?
Tim Frahm, Barry and Ben had captive audiences as they explained the plight of the Steelhead and Coho, and just how important it is that we really do something (this time) to get it right for the fish, the river(s), and this beautiful place.
Thank you! Alev indicated at least 90 people came to the event and many asked when we're going to do another one! Game on!
The river is getting ready - I can feel it! Come hang out at the meeting! Annual Fund Raiser raffle prizes are coming in like crazy! Buy your tickets! Let's go fishing!