This 2017 LTFF Intermediate Class fish-out is scheduled for 7:00AM -- 5:00PM on Saturday, September 30, 2017, on the O'Neill Forebay which is in the San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area (SRA).
Registration will be limited to 8 students.
Students must bring their own (or rented or borrowed) personal watercraft for this fish-out. There are not any local rental shops known of out there.
Located in the Central Valley, this body of water can be exposed to strong winds, in which case it will be closed to all watercraft and this fish-out could be cancelled on short notice (there is little point in fly fishing from the shore in high winds).
The entrance to this Forebay (which is below the dam since it happens to also be an Afterbay) is on the north side of Hwy CA-152E when driving east from Gilroy over the Pacheco Pass (before you get to Los Banos). Although this one-day fish-out will officially end at 5:00pm, you also have the option of staying until almost sunset that evening (when the action can be very productive if the wind cooperates) and fishing independently. But all watercraft must be off the water at sunset or face a fine from the park rangers.
This is a wonderful Striped Bass fishery, with a great many fish in the "schoolie" size of 13" to 16" making high numbers of landed fish possible. Even though the fish in this O'Neill Forebay and the main reservoir are a land-locked sub-species of Striped Bass, this reservoir also holds the record for the largest Striped Bass caught in California.
Bill Scharninghausen will guide this LTFF fish-out. As a well known Northern California guide, Bill already guides our combined LTFF and Rondy Surf outings each year.
We will meet up with Bill at 7:00am just inside the Forebay park entrance (off to the right) where all watercraft, waders, boots, and fins will be inspected by a park ranger for invasive species (be sure that ALL gear is clean and totally DRY! Damp gear will be cause for rejecting your boating permit.)
Use of your own personal watercraft will be required for this fish-out and wearing a PFD will be mandatory. Personal watercraft can be float tubes or Watermasters (either of these work best), pontoon boats, or kayaks. The Forebay can be quite windy so a good anchor may be helpful if you need to stay put while changing flies or rigging.
This particular 9/30/17 date is reserved for registered Learn to Fly Fish (LTFF) Intermediate Students ONLY -- unless specifically announced otherwise by the fish-out leader John Murphy. (A separate Rondy to this destination for experienced club members who are not in the LTFF Program is scheduled for the following day.)
Gear required: A float tube or pontoon boat; chest waders; at least one wading belt; a PFD (to be worn at all times on this water); a 7-9wt fly rod; fast sinking shooting heads such as Type 6 or T-14 (Bill prefers to use an integrated shooting head of 250-300 grains on a 7wt rod); 15-20# nylon tippet; clousers or other striper flies; stripping fingers, stripping glove, or stretchy tape for this purpose; forceps or pliers; nippers; your own lunch and drinks; and finally, rain and sun protection for on the water, including a hat with straps or a buff to secure a billed hat. You don't need a lot of gear so keep it simple.
There are options for both camping in the rec area itself and local motels. For more info about the rec area, especially the two campgrounds on O'Neill Forebay (San Luis Creek Campground which is reservable, and Medeiros Primitive Campground which is on a first-come basis only) and also the warning light system controlling watercraft access on the forebay, go to: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=558 Students shall make their own arrangements for staying overnight Friday and/or Saturday nights. To make a reservation for San Luis Creek Campground, go to: https://www.reservecalifornia.com/CaliforniaWebHome/Facilities/AdvanceSearch.aspx
The cost for this fish-out is $70.00, which covers the guide fee and a few sample flies, but does NOT include a guide gratuity, any meals, the rec area access fee / daily boating permit, camping fee, or other lodging cost.
There will likely be two clinics associated with this fish-out -- a float tube clinic and a "how to fish O'Neill Forebay" clinic. The former was conducted at the club ponds on April 29, 2017; the latter will likely be held at the California Fly Shop down in San Carlos on a date TBD.
For more information, contact:
John Murphy 650-799-1695 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Scharninghausen 415-203-5819 email@example.com