These fish-outs are open to 2018 "Learn to Fly Fish" registered NOVICE students ONLY, unless otherwise announced. An email will be sent to the entire Novice class at once notifying them exactly when the online registration will be first opened.
Fri.-Sat., May 4-5 and Sun.-Mon., May 6-7, are the fishing days for two separate 1-1/2 day fish-outs being offered initially to a different 10 students each day from the 2018 Novice Class in the GGACC's "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) program. The Fri.-Sat. fish-out will be for Group 1; while the Sun.-Mon. fish-out will be for Group 2. Eligible Novice students may sign up for either one of these two groups when the online registration is first opened, but not for both initially until later advised the fish-out leader via email to the whole class that this is acceptable in the event that not all the openings are initially filled.
Arrival and Departure Times: Group 1 students should arrive at the lake house after 4pm on Thursday, May 3 and leave the lake around noon on Saturday, May 5 (but must be moved out of the lake house before 11am). Group 2 students should NOT be arriving at the lake house before 4pm on Saturday, May 5 (to allow the housekeeping service time to clean the house and change sheets and towels) and must be out of the house by 11am on Monday and off the lake by noon.
General Info: Fishing on Luk Lake over the 4-days of May 4-7, 2018, should be a good opportunity to catch some of the big bass this lake is known for with "topwater" bass flies, especially with the warmer water and amount of weed growth expected then. Topwater bass fishing can be just as much fun as dry fly fishing for trout.
Luk Lake (it's pronounced "luck", possibly because it's so close to the Rolling Hills Casino?) is a small private lake located off Interstate I-5 just a couple miles south of the little town of Corning. Corning is about 45 minutes (50 miles) south of Redding. This lake is a very good fishery for largemouth "black" bass, rainbow trout, and the occasional scrappy sunfish or bluegill (we've caught both "panfish" there).
Last year's Novices had very good fishing at Luk Lake on this same weekend in May -- still catching both bass AND trout -- on what is unfortunately the earliest possible spring date that we can reserve the lake's guest house for our fishing group, since the private sporting club's own bird hunters have sole use of it before this.
Upon arrival: We have booked the lake and rented the 5 small rowboats for all day Friday-Sunday, and Monday morning until noon, and we have rented the guest house for up to 10 students to sleep there on Thurs. & Fri. nights (Group 1) and on Sat. & Sun. nights (Group 2). Group 1 students can arrive anytime Thursday evening after 4pm -- and, after claiming a bed in the house and checking in (with the fish-out leader John, or his assistant Josh), you may fish that evening if you choose to. The same goes for Group 2 on Saturday.
Boats: This lake can ONLY be fished from a small boat (rowboat, pontoon boat, kayak, or electric-powered skiff) or from a float tube since there is virtually no shoreline access due to the heavy tule growth around the lake. (Note: Float tubes are not practical at this time of year due to weed growth.) Unless you bring your own permissible watercraft, students will be expected to fish from the rented rowboats. There will be two students per boat, who will be responsible for rowing and safely managing it while fishing through-out the day.
Instruction and Safety: Mentors (including Willy George) will be on hand to provide instruction and help as needed. After Willy's bass "clinic" down at the lake starting at 7:00am on that first morning for each group, there will be a brief safety and orientation talk before launching the boats. All fishing on this lake is strictly "catch-and-release" only, with barbless hooks required. So remember to pinch your barbs on ALL flies you use (doubly important when fishing together in small boats) and be kind to the fish. Trout should always be revived before releasing, this is especially important in this warm water. Bass and panfish are much hardier and can usually be dropped or lightly tossed back into the lake.
Must wear a PFD: Rowboats (~12' prams) will be provided with oars, anchors, and (hopefully) life preserver seat cushions to sit on. However, it is strongly advised that you bring your own wearable personal floatation device (PFD) to wear in case you can't borrow one of the GGACC's (6) PFDs -- that's assuming that I actually do remember to bring these (hopefully someone will kindly remind me).
Note: Wearing a PFD is now mandatory while fishing from any watercraft NOT operated by professional guides on any GGACC club outings, and is always recommended to be worn on any small craft, especially in float tubes, pontoon boats, or other inflatable crafts.
Personal Gear: There is no shore or wade fishing possible at this lake and we will NOT be wearing waders when fishing from these prams, but you should bring water sandals, old tennis shoes, or similar footwear to allow you to step into the water when launching or beaching your boat. Also, be sure to bring sun protection (including brimmed hat or visor, sun lotion, and buff / sun gloves if you use them), polarized sunglasses, rain jacket, and other clothing appropriate to the possible weather (it is likely to be very cool in the early morning and cool off in the evening no matter what the day's high temp is). We have not had any issues with mosquitos in past years, but come prepared. And bring a headlamp to fish late evening with (best action may be after sundown).
Fishing Gear: Briefly, the suggested fishing gear includes a 5-8wt rod and reel, with a floating line to use for dries, topwater bass flies, or for indicator nymphing for trout, bass, or sunfish. If you want to retrieve Wooly Buggers, little clousers, or any other streamers, then an intermediate line (1-1.5 ips sink rate) may be helpful, but is not necessary since we will not be retrieving very deep due to the weed bed growing up from the bottom of the lake at this time of year. (A 9' leader with added fluoro tippet and bead-head flies should get you deep enough if you count long enough.) You'll need 15-20 lb. (0X or stronger) Maxima or other mono tippet for topwater bass flies (bass are not generally leader shy). For fishing dries to any rising trout or even for stripping Wooly Buggers and other small streamers, bring 9' long tapered leaders in 3X or 4X, with tippet spools from 3X-5X in either mono, fluoro, or both. You may have to indicator nymph to reach trout during the day, in which case small indicators (especially those with "tell-tales", i.e., little flags) are useful, in addition to size BB or heavier split-shot to get down deep enough. You'll need a liquid floatant to dress your bass flies and any dries you might try. And of course, bring nippers and forceps. A landing net is useful for landing trout or small panfish to keep them from being accidentally dropped in the boat and for helping to revive them before releasing (bass are more easily handled by "lipping" with thumb and forefinger). You do need a valid Calif. fishing license so if you haven't bought one yet, now is the time.
Flies: In addition to receiving an emailed lengthy fly list suggested by The Fly Shop, all registrants will be provided with at least a dozen flies at the lake, including 2-3 bass flies. But you should still have some of your own flies along in the event you may want to try something different than all the rest of the folks, and in case you lose the supplied ones -- there is no nearby source for flies or other fly fishing gear. (The Fly Shop near Redding is 45 minutes north of the lake.)
Emailed Info Packets: There will be no pre-meeting for these Luk Lake fish-outs, but in addition to the information provided here, you will receive an info packet via email that will include directions to the lake, gate combination, rules for driving on the property's dirt road (15mph to keep dust down!) and for using the house, more gear and fly suggestions, etc. When driving into the property, be sure to leave the gate exactly as you found it -- whether unlocked, locked, or made to look as though locked. Gate lock combination is in the info packet. It is almost a 3 mile drive from that first and only gate to the house. The house will be set-back on your right under some trees just past what used to be a small green shack close to the road on the right side and at a fork in the dirt road. The left fork takes you to the house you can see right in front of you. The right fork is the 1/3 mi. drive down to the lake's boat ramp. Students are encouraged to carpool if feasible to limit the number of vehicles parked down at the lake.
Group Meals: All students will be expected to either help cook for and/or clean-up after the happy hour and group dinner at the house on the second night of each fish-out. There will be sandwiches provided for the first day's lunch down at the lake (or groceries to make your own.) The fish-out leader and his assistant will do all the grocery shopping for these group dinners, lunches, and breakfast. There will be some beer and wine provided but you are not restricted from bringing beverages to share.
Fee: The registration fee for this fish-out is $300, which includes the costs for the lake access fee, boat rental, the group lunch and dinner (on 2nd day only for each group), and rental of the guest house for your two-night stay. There will be coffee, cereals, and maybe other quick breakfast items supplied each morning, but bring your own breakfast food if you prefer to cook for yourself. The first night's dinner for each group will be on you, whether you choose to eat before your arrival there, cook in at the house, or join those heading to the nearby casino for the all-you-can-eat buffet or possibly into town for fast food/pizza. Since people will be departing at different times, there will be no lunch offered on your second day before you head home.
Lake House: The guest house has beds with sheets, blankets, and pillows for 10 people in 5 bedrooms (hopefully making it easy enough to segregate men and women as needed), but only two bathrooms (so no morning showers!). Depending on how many ladies or couples sign up, the two smaller downstair bedrooms may be reserved by the fish-out leader for specific people, otherwise beds are on a first-to-claim basis (just drop your bag on it). In the event that the mix of bedrooms and genders does not allow for the needed privacy, the students will have priority to stay in the house in the order in which they have signed up. Unless there are extra beds remaining, the mentors and any others will camp outside the house, stay in their vehicles, or get a room at their cost at the nearby casino or one of the cheaper motel options in town.
Limited Registration: This fish-out is limited to the first 10 students to sign-up for each group (due to expected maximum number of boats), after which an online waiting list will be created for possible replacements for any registrants who may later learn that they can't make it. But in line with the LTFF policy, there will be no refund possible if there is no one on the waitlist willing to take your spot or if you can't find your own replacement.
For further info, contact your fish-out leader: John Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)