Cost = $40
This is a one-evening only introduction to Shad fishing for LTFF Novice students on the American River either on Saturday, June 8, or on Sunday, June 9, starting at 4:00pm. Initially sign up for one of these two dates only. If there are still openings in one of these two days 48 hours after the online registration opened, then you may sign up for a second day. I was not able to book the guide that I hoped to help me with this outing, but I think I can manage on my own to provide the instruction you need with a more limited number of students each day.
I strongly encourage Novices to give this a try. If we are lucky enough to get into shad, it can be a whole bunch of fun! And until those fishable Sacramento River gravel bars come back which were washed out in 2019, this may be the only opportunity in the LTFF program for group shad outings since we've had to cancel both the LTFF Intermediate Shad fish-out and the club Shad Rondies on the bigger Sacramento River this year -- where longer casts and heavier sinking lines are usually needed.
If you already own a 6-8wt single-hand rod and a shooting head set-up with a Type 3 or Type 4 sinking shooting head (ie., 3-4 or 4-5 ips sink rate) on a floating mono (or floating, coated-fly line-type) running line OR an integrated sinking line with a roughly 180-275 gr. sinking head and know how to cast this set-up (as Willy taught in our LTFF Shooting Head Casting Clinic back in March), that would be ideal. Depending on how fast the river is still flowing, a Type 6 shooting head (or maybe a 10' sink-tip of T8 or T11) may work also. You can also bring a two-handed rod of 5-7wt, with a Skagit or Scandi floating head on a floating running line with a 10' sink tip having a sink rate in the 3-6 ips range (i.e.., T6 or T8 or just a fast sink or extra fast sink polyleader).
However, if you are not yet ready or don't have time to get new gear for this outing or didn't attend that Shooting Head / Sinking Line casting clinic, I still want to encourage you to come on this fish-out. In that case, just bring your 5 or 6wt single-hand rod and reel with a floating WF fly line and I'll provide you up with a 10' sinking polyleader to attach to it. This set-up is not ideal for either casting or getting your fly down quickly, but it will hopefully serve to at least get you into some action on this particular river.
This will be only a short day trip up to the Sacramento area so there is no plan for the group to spend the night. We'll meet at 4:00pm sharp just inside the Sunrise Recreation Area entrance gate on S. Bridge St. just east of Sunrise Blvd. in Sacramento. I'll send map and directions to all registrants. The exact location of our fish-out within this rec area will not be decided until after I have stopped in on my way there at Kiene's Fly Shop's new location at 9550 Micron Ave. (Sac.), which is now on the south side of the Hwy 50 freeway. So wait for me just inside (or outside) the entrance gate to follow my silver Toyota 4Runner with roof rack when I show up at 4:00pm.
The late evening is usually the best action for shad so we will plan to fish right up until it gets dark (bring a headlamp or flashlight to help you get back to your vehicle and pack up after dark), and then drive home after most of the weekend traffic back to the Bay Area has died down. I will give a short clinic on what shad are and how to fish for them, distribute some flies often called "shad darts" (or whatever I can buy now), and pass out sandwiches, chips, and water to hold you until you head home.
Shad fishing is very social because we need to be fishing as close to one another as possible (but spaced apart enough to still swing your line through the current) in order to fit everyone into the run where we hope shad will be holding. We will be rotating spots through the run on my command to give everyone equal opportunity to hook fish.
As you may have heard, shad are often referred to as the "poor-man's tarpon" since they can put up quite a battle for their small size -- esp. on a light fly rod. I will be walking up and down the line-up to provide coaching, but you'll be expected to land your own fish (typically without a net, unless you prefer to use one). For handling shad I suggest that you may want to have a pair of sungloves or similar half-fingered gloves -- which is something that you will want to be sure to wash when you get home.
And in addition to your waders and boots, warm socks, one or two under-layers (you'll be standing in the river for long periods), windbreaker or fleece (just in case it cools off), polarized glasses, hat, small fly box, nippers, and forceps, I do want you to bring a wading staff just in case we get into some faster current or rocky bottom.
This fish-out will be limited to 6 students, so that we don't get spread out too far. The online registration fee to cover flies, sink tip, tippet materials, and sandwiches is $40 per person.
Contact info for fish-out leader:
John Murphy ( firstname.lastname@example.org)