The March 2nd and 3rd "Novice Class Day 1" dates are the class registration sites for GGACC members registering as 2nd year ("Novice") students in the 2019 Learn to Fly Fish (LTFF) program.
Initially, ONLY those students who were registered in the 2018 LTFF Beginners class (as 1st year students) may register for one of these two Novice Class Day 1 dates after they have been advised of the opening of the online registration for the 2019 LTFF Novice Class via email. The prior year's Beginner students can then choose to sign up for the first day of the two weekends' Novice classroom instruction on either Saturday, March 2 (Section A) or Sunday, March 3 (Section B) depending on their personal preference for either day and where openings are available.
If there are any spots remaining in the 2019 Novice Class after the previous year's Beginners students have first had their chance to register, these spots will be offered to those who have petitioned the LTFF Program Director to be accepted into the LTFF program at the 2nd year level on the basis of their reported previous fly fishing experience and abilities, independent of guided fishing trips.
There will be only one (now larger) "Novice Class" for purposes of class communication and signing up for all scheduled Novice Class fish-outs or clinics. However, this Novice Class must be split into 2 separate "Class Sections" (Section A and B) for the classroom instruction ONLY due to space constraints in our Anglers Lodge meeting room.
[The GG Angler's Lodge (Board Room) is reserved exclusively for this scheduled event for those registered club members participating in this 2019 Learn to Fly Fish program.]
The "LTFF" PROGRAM: This Step 2 "Novice Class" is intended for the second-year fly fishers in the GGACC's 3-yr. long "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) Program, or for those with enough prior fly fishing experience to petition for approved permission to skip the 1st year. Novice students are expected to already have a basic knowledge of at least the following: fly fishing gear and the different categories of flies; the ability to correctly tie at least 4 basic knots in leader or tippet materials (i.e, surgeon's knot, surgeon's loop, improved clinch knot, and loop-to-loop connections) in order to rig for indicator nymphing or dry-dropper fishing; enough knowledge of entomology to identify the major categories of bugs serving as trout food; and to have learned to safely wade and to fly fish small streams or rivers for trout (or a similar species) without a guide doing all the work.
The LTFF program offers classroom instruction in each of the first two years (and an increasing number of mentored or guided fish-outs for each subsequent year's class) with topics in the second year covered more quickly or in more depth, as well as introducing new topics not taught in the first year.
In general, this educational program is designed to help the Beginner (1st yr.) fly fisher to transition from the free casting lessons on the club ponds to fly fishing with club mentors (or, in some cases, professional guides) starting on smaller streams and later on lakes and larger rivers. Novice (2nd yr.) students will get more of the same exposure with a little more challenging instruction and venues. Intermediate (3rd yr) students are offered advanced clinics and exposed to a wide variety of fisheries in both Northern California and beyond. Besides the knowledge to be learned and all the fun we have in this program, it is also a wonderful way to gain new friends and (we hope) life-long fishing buddies.
This LTFF Program is offered to new or current club members only and, in addition to the membership dues, does require the payment of fees as needed to cover the club's costs for hosting or reserving different events, both for the class and any casting clinics, as well as the fish-outs. The Novice Class Day cost is $125 total for the two days of classroom instruction and any specialized casting clinics held in the afternoons on various announced 2nd Saturdays of the month.
CASTING PREREQUISITE for the LTFF Program: Participation in this Learn to Fly Fish program, AS A PREREQUISITE, requires the ability to proficiently make basic fly casts to at least 35'-40'. This includes both roll casts and overhead casts as taught by the GGACC in the Beginner through Intermediate levels of our monthly free public casting lessons (typ. held every "2nd Saturday" of each month year-round; register for these free casting classes on the club calendar). While this prior casting skill has been the requirement in years past, it has not been enforced -- BUT IT WILL BE in 2019, in order that some of those folks on the LTFF waitlists who are more qualified fly casters and more ready to receive angling (i.e. fishing) instruction are not deprived of available spots in the program.
All LTFF registrants are expected to have ALREADY been promoted to the "Intermediate" casting level by the casting instructors (or consider themselves ready to be promoted to this level from the Novice casting level) in these 2nd Saturday lessons -- or have otherwise achieved (from other casting instruction) the ability to accurately (i.e. fairly consistently) make roll and overhead casts to hit 30" dia. targets up to 35' away with good loops and (slipping and retrieving) line control -- BEFORE the first Class Day on the weekend of March 2-3, 2019.
Following the 2nd Saturday casting lessons on January 12, 2019, there will be an afternoon casting qualifier that the 2019 LTFF Novice registrants are expected to attend. (Those unable to attend the Jan. 12 qualifier or those failing this first qualifier may request and be granted a spot in the Beginners qualifier on February 9, 2019, or arrange to meet the LTFF Program Director at the GG ponds on an alternate date convenient to him).
Anyone failing to demonstrate the expected level of casting skills in one or the other of these qualifiers will be asked to drop out of the LTFF program and will promptly be refunded their class registration fee as a PayPal credit. They will be expected to comply with this request well in advance of the first class day to permit the evaluation of someone on the waitlist to take their spot in the classroom.
LTFF participants are strongly encouraged to develop their casting skills beyond the prerequisite requirements as quickly as they possibly can by attending as many of these free 2nd Sat. casting lessons as possible throughout the year, and by participating in the LTFF Casting Clinics held on a few of those same days.
Another excellent training ground (being organized by Chris Korich) will be the new "Accuracy Casting Games" when they're held at the Golden Gate ponds as shown on the club calendar (likely moving to the 3rd Sunday morning of various months in 2019). The GG casting ponds are also open on most days of the year for individual practice when not reserved on the GGACC calendar for club events.
CLASS DAYS: The Novice class days will take a more advanced look at gear, knots, entomology, reading water, and introduce new topics such as stream presentation and stillwater fishing. Specialized casting techniques will now be taught in LTFF Casting Clinics in the afternoons on 2nd Saturdays of the month for certain months as announced later by emails. Casting instructors may work with you then to help prepare you for the planned "mentored" fish-outs to be offered later in the year, starting in late spring
We will be teaching classes for both the Beginners (1st yr students) and Novices (2nd yr, or by approval) on the same class days again this year, with the Beginners classes held in the mornings, followed by the Novices classes in the afternoon of each Section's class day. Since each day's classroom instruction is only for the half-day, there will be no lunch provided for the students on class days.
Novices will be spending each class day in the Anglers Lodge from 12:30PM to 4:00PM. (If you are not familiar with where this is, please see the map included on our website under the "About us" tab.) Please arrive promptly to get a name badge and seat. There is no need to bring anything to class other than paper and pen to take notes with. There will be a quiz on the 2nd class day, and the class days are purposely spaced two weeks apart to give students time to read some of the issued book, study their notes and hand-outs, and to practice tying those knots taught in the first class day.
FISH-OUTS: The cost of the separately posted fish-outs will be listed on their event pages, but typically run from $150-300 depending on the destination and what the program's expenses are for that fish-out. These fees do not cover any equipment costs, guide gratuities, driving expenses, certain meals, and any lodging costs. Only students who have registered for and attend the class days will receive emailed notices of when the Novice fish-outs are first opened for registration sign-up and payment online only.
Since there are not enough available weekends to create any additional weekend fish-outs in the expanded LTFF program, previous one-day fish-outs on any weekend will be scheduled as two separate one-day fish-outs on that same weekend and two-day weekend fish-outs will become two separate two-day fish-outs on Friday-Sat. and Sunday-Monday.
Fish-outs will be posted on the club calendar as soon as they are scheduled and confirmed. You don't need to watch for these postings, however, since the class will be notified by email when your fish-outs are posted and what date and time registration will open for each. The online registration for these fish-outs will be on a first-to-register basis only.
GEAR: The special casting lessons on the dates that LTFF Casting Clinics are offered to the Beginners and Novices will generally require you to bring your own gear unless notified otherwise that club rods will be made available or used for these clinics. Unless told differently or asked to bring other gear, bring your own fly rod (we recommend a 9' long 5wt -- but a 4 or 6wt will suffice -- with reel, floating line, and a 0X-3X tapered practice leader that's at least 6' long), and -- when so requested -- also waders (with wading belt) and wading boots.
Owning your own "breathable-fabric, stocking-foot chest waders" and a pair of good wading boots (felt-soled or rubber-soled with cleats) will usually be needed to get the most benefit out of what may be offered as "in-pond" specialized casting instruction and, in any case, is REQUIRED for most fish-outs. The class instruction will quickly cover all the basic gear you may own now or will need to purchase, as well as present other gear options that you may choose to buy, or may need in order to participate in these fish-outs. Fly lines especially will be covered in more detail in this Novice Class.
Most fish-outs involve group camping in campgrounds (with motels as an added cost option). Buying needed camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, pad or cot, lantern, stove, etc.) may be another expense. If you haven't car-camped before, feel free to ask for a suggested list of needed camping gear.
REGISTRATION: This year's Novice class will be mostly pre-filled by the past year's Beginners who are guaranteed a spot in the next year's class upon completing the previous year's class. Also, a prior year's Novice student is allowed to register to repeat the class one time if that person is not ready to advance. In addition, new participants to the LTFF program who have sufficient prior experience fly fishing on their own (i.e., they know how to rig up and fish nymph and dry-dropper set-ups and wade fish small rivers on their own), may petition the program director to skip the first year and register for the few remaining spots in the Novice class each year. If there are still one or more openings left after this, a general announcement will be made by email blast to the club membership. After that, you will need to REGISTER QUICKLY to have any chance at a spot in this limited class. Class size will generally be limited to the first 40 people to sign up.
Those failing to register in time for a spot this year and interested in next year's class may sign this event's waitlist to be notified by email next fall of the announced opening date & time of the online registration for the 2020 Novice class. A online waitlist will automatically be generated when the class limit of registrations has been reached (the large "Register" button changes to a "Join Waitlist" button).
Those with Family Memberships should check to be sure that each member is listed in their profile. Those families hoping to participate as couples or legal partners in the LTFF program's classes or fish-outs should be sure that each spouse or partner has a separate email address listed in their membership profile since the program's website software will not allow for multiple registrations by the same contact (email address). Any questions about this should be directed to the Membership Chair (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Registration Fee for the two Novice Class Days is $125. This fee covers the cost of instructional materials and other miscellaneous class expenses only (all instructor's time is offered free by club volunteers). Registering online and paying for the 1st Class Day covers registration for the 2nd Class Day. Registrants will receive special badges to allow them to participate in the LTFF Casting Clinics.
You must be a club member in good standing to BOTH register for and to participate in this program. You can join or renew club membership for the following calendar year anytime after Nov.1 by clicking on the "Join us" tab on the Home Page.
All LTFF participants must be at least 18 years of age before registering for the program, and willing to provide valid proof of age identification if requested.
Due to restrictions for the given destination, river etiquette or other factors, there will usually not be enough spots available for all class students to attend each fish-out. These spots can only be offered on a first come basis, so you are encouraged to sign up quickly upon receiving the emailed announcement of the fish-out registration opening.
Students who have registered for a fish-out and later learn that they can't attend will be solely responsible for finding their own replacement (to pay them directly for whatever they can collect) if there is no one on the waitlist willing to take their spot. Since fish-outs must be scheduled months ahead and the program's expenses paid for in advance, club refunds are NOT generally possible.
For further information, contact:
John Murphy, LLTF Program Dir., (email@example.com)