Note: GG Angler's Lodge (Board Room) is reserved exclusively for this scheduled event for those registered club members participating in this year's Learn to Fly Fish program.
Those wishing to join the 2020 "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) Step 1 Beginners Class, the 1st year of the club's 3-year long mentored fly fishing educational program (which is not a learn to fly cast program) should be sure to attend the October and / or November 2019 sessions of the club's 2nd Saturday morning "Free Fly Casting Lessons on the GGACC Ponds" in order to hear an announcement at 9:30am (just before the start of the casting lessons) of the date and precise time that the online registration will first open in the late fall of 2019
Due to the expected size of the 2020 LTFF Beginners class exceeding the capacity for seating at tables in our Anglers Lodge, there will necessarily be two separate classroom sections -- a Section A on Saturday mornings and a Section B on Sunday mornings -- for the two 2020 classroom weekends of Feb. 29-March 1 and March 21-22 (referred to as "Class Days 1 & 2", respectively). These section groupings on Saturdays or Sundays will apply to these class days only, and not to the subsequent fish-outs.
To join the 2020 LTFF Program at the STEP 1 "Beginners" level (i.e., meaning that you have little or no fly fishing experience without guides and/or no formal training), you must be quick to register (online only, on the announced date and time in the late fall of 2019) at the LTFF STEP 1 "Beginners Class Day 1" calendar event for either Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020 (for Section A) OR Sunday, March 1, 2020 (for Section B).
Registration fee for the mandatory Class Days: $100 payable online via credit card or PayPal account. Besides the cost of books, hand-outs, badges, beverages, snacks, etc. for the class days, this fee also covers costs for putting on the offered LTFF Casting Clinics and other program clinics or meals at the club.
Until the available openings fill up in any given class section, you may be able to choose your preferred section day when the large "Register" button appears on that day's event if you click on that quickly enough when the online registration is first opened on the announced date and time. If this "Register" button has already changed to a "Join Waitlist" button, you may wish to click on that quickly before trying to register for the other Beginners class section day on its Day 1 calendar event (that same weekend).
Be very careful that you are navigating to the LTFF STEP 1 "Beginners" Class Day 1 calendar events on Feb. 29 & March 1, and not by mistake to the LTFF STEP 2 "Novice" Class Day 1 events on those same dates.
Registration for those eligible (and granted express written permission) for signing up for any remaining Novice (2nd year) spots -- those not accepted by the previous year's Beginners -- will be opened on a separate date and time. So there will be no large "Register" button nor "Join Waitlist" button visible to click on those two Novice Class Day 1 events. Anyone choosing to skip the first year of the LTFF program must petition the Program Director for approval based on the described extent of their small river or stream fly fishing and wading experience -- without the use of guides.
Only current club members are eligible to participate in this LTFF Program -- and only current members will be able to register online on the announced 2019 date for opening of registration for the 2020 program (note: joining the club or renewing your membership in the last couple months of the previous year will be valid for the following calendar year, so be sure that you are signed up as a club member before trying to register).
Basic fly casting proficiency is a prerequisite to joining the LTFF program! Unlike other fly fishing programs, our LTFF program is NOT focused on teaching basic fly casting skill, which is a skill that you will need to have acquired previously. If you are learning to fly cast at GGACC, and if, after attending the club's monthly casting lessons for perhaps 4-6 or more months, you have made good progress at mastering loop control, line management, and line slipping and shooting at the "Novice Casting Level" (2nd level) -- OR, if you have been promoted by one of the casting instructors up to either the "Intermediate Casting (3rd) Level" or to the "Advanced Casting (4th) Level" in the club's 2nd Saturday of the month "Free Casting Lessons on the Ponds", you have likely achieved this expected basic casting proficiency.
If you are only a novice level fly caster now, you still have time to up your casting game in the months before the LTFF Casting Qualifier clinic to be held mid-day on January 11, 2020 (or on February 8, 2020, if granted permission to prequal then) following the GGACC's regular 2nd Saturday casting lessons on those dates. Unless granted approval for prequalifying on Feb. 8, all 2020 LTFF Beginner class registrants will need to perform some casting drills during that January 11th clinic in order to allow us to evaluate whether you can proceed to attend the upcoming class days and subsequent fish-outs, or whether you will need to give up your registration (your fee will be refunded) to someone on the waitlist, while you work on your casting skills to try again the following year.
There will be only one 2020 LTFF Beginners Class for purposes of class communications and signing up for all scheduled class fish-outs or clinics, even though this Beginners Class must be split into 2 separate "Class Sections" for the classroom instruction ONLY due to space constraints in our Anglers Lodge meeting room.
REGISTRATION FOR THIS LTFF PROGRAM IS ON A FIRST-COME BASIS ONLY AND THE PREVIOUS YEARS' CLASSES FILLED VERY QUICKLY. THE DATE AND THE EXACT TIME THAT ONLINE REGISTRATION WILL BE OPENED FOR NEXT YEAR'S CLASS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE OCT. & NOV., 2019 (2nd Sat.) FREE PUBLIC CASTING LESSONS -- and to those still on the waitlist from this past year's Beginners class via an email in the fall.
"LTFF" PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This Step 1 "Beginner Class" is for the first-year fly fisher in the GGACC's 3-yr. long "Learn to Fly Fish" (LTFF) Program who has done very little or no fly fishing on his or her own. This program offers classroom instruction in each of the first two years, as well as an increasing number each year of mentored or guided fish-outs. This educational program is designed to help the Beginner (1st yr.) or Novice (2nd yr.) fly fisher or angler (in this case, one who already knows how to fly cast) to transition from the free casting lessons on the club ponds (or other suitable fly casting lessons) to fly fishing with club mentors (or, in some cases, professional guides) starting on small streams and later on lakes and larger rivers. Intermediate (3rd yr) students are offered advanced clinics and exposed to a wide variety of fisheries in both Northern California and beyond, including the SF Bay and ocean surf. 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 life-long fishing buddies.
This LTFF Program is offered to new or current club members only and, in addition to prepaying the required 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 instruction) as well as for the fish-outs. The Beginner Class Day cost is $100 total for the two days of classroom instruction, including any subsequent specialized casting instruction offered on various announced 2nd Saturdays of the month.
Participation in this Learn to Fly Fish program, AS A PREREQUISITE, requires the ability to proficiently make relatively accurate presentations of the fly to at least 35'-40' with good loops and line control. This includes making both roll casts and overhead casts, with loop and change of direction control, line mgt. skills, and the ability to extend casts by slipping line during false casts as taught by the club in the Beginner and Novice sections of the monthly free public casting lessons (typ. held every 2nd Saturday of each month, see club calendar to register for these free casting classes).
Participants are encouraged to develop their casting skills beyond these minimal prerequisite casting requirements as quickly as they can by attending as many of the club's free casting lessons as possible, and by participating in any LTFF Casting Clinics held on some of those same days. The GG casting ponds are open on most days of the year for individual practice when not reserved on the GGACC calendar for club events.
Another excellent training ground for casting skills (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).
CLASS DAYS: Attendance at class days is generally mandatory and requisite for being allowed to participate in fish-outs. The Beginners classroom instruction will cover required gear, knots, entomology, reading the water, and wading safety. Specialized casting techniques will now be taught in LTFF Casting Clinics in the afternoons on 2nd Saturdays of the month for various months as announced later by emails. Casting instructors will work with you then to help prepare you for the 3 or more planned "mentored" fish-outs to be offered beginning in the late spring.
We will be teaching classes for both the Beginners (1st yr students) and Novices (2nd yr, or by approval of the prog. dir.) on the same days again this year, with Beginners classes held in the mornings followed by the Novices classes in the afternoon each day. Since each day's instruction is only for the half-day, there will be no lunch provided for the students.
Beginners will be spending each class day in the Anglers Lodge from 8:30AM to Noon. 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 the issued book, study their notes and hand-outs, and to practice tying those knots taught on the first class day.
FISH-OUTS: The cost of the separately posted fish-outs will be listed on their event pages when posted, but typically run from $100-250 for Beginners depending on the destination and what the program's expenses are for that fish-out. These fees do not cover any your equipment costs, guide gratuities, driving expenses, certain meals, and any lodging costs. Only students who have registered for and attend the two class days will receive emailed notices of when the Beginner fish-outs are first opened for online registration sign-up and payment.
Since there are not enough available weekends to create any additional weekend fish-outs in the program for the now much larger class size, the previous one-day fish-outs on any weekend will be scheduled as two separate one-day fish-outs on that same weekend, and all previous two-day weekend fish-outs will become two separate two-day fish-outs on Friday-Sat. and Sunday-Monday for Groups 1 & 2.
Most of the new Beginners fish-outs still need to be scheduled and the available mentors or guides confirmed before posting on the club's events calendar (or the LTFF Program's extracted calendar found under the Events tab dropdown menu on the homepage). You don't need to watch or keep checking for these online postings, however, since the entire class will be notified simultaneously via a group email whenever one of your fish-outs is posted and also notified what date and time the online registration will be opened for it.
GEAR: The special casting lessons on the dates that LTFF Casting Clinics are offered to the combined 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 fly rod (we generally suggest a 9' or 9'-6" long 5wt rod-- but any 4wt to 6wt fly rod of at least 7-1/2' length will suffice -- with reel, floating line, a 0X, 2X, or 3X tapered practice leader that's at least 6' long, with a small piece of yarn tied on (in lieu of a fly with hook -- cut pieces of yarn are available in the clubhouse), and possibly (subsequent to the class days) -- when specially requested -- also chest 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 studs) will usually be needed to get the most benefit out of what may be "in-pond" specialized casting instruction, and generally necessary for most fish-outs. The class instruction will cover all the gear you will need to purchase, as well as some other gear that you may choose to buy, in order to participate in the fish-outs. Most fish-outs involve our camping in campgrounds (with motels as an added cost option). Buying needed camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, pad or cot, headlamp, lantern, stove, etc.) may be another expense if you don't already own this gear (or prefer not to rent it from REI).
REGISTRATION: The past year's Beginner class was quickly filled when the online registration first opened last fall, and a substantial waitlist was soon generated. The same is expected for the 2019 class registering on this Beginners Class Day 1 calendar event. Those interested in the following year's (2020) 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 that 2020 class.
For the 2019 Beginners class, you will need to REGISTER QUICKLY to have a good chance at a spot in this limited class. Class size will generally be limited to the first 40 new members to sign up (20 per section), but a prior year's Beginner student will be allowed to pre-register to repeat the class one time if that person is not ready to advance. Couples hoping to enroll in the 2019 class together (and target the same class section if possible) should attempt to register simultaneously from different web devices using separate email addresses for each name (multiple registrations by the same contact are not allowed, so each contact must have their own email address).
Registration Fee for the two Beginner Class Days (plus any LTFF Casting Clinics) is $100. This fee covers the cost of instructional materials and other miscellaneous class expenses only (all instructors' time is offered free by club volunteers). Registering 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 Class Days and Casting Clinics.
You must be a club member in good standing to BOTH register for and to participate in this program. You can immediately join or renew club membership, as well as for the following calendar year anytime after Nov.1 for the price of only the annual dues, by clicking on the "Join us" tab on the Home Page. Family memberships must list the name and a separate email address for each family member (18 or over) hoping to participate in this LTFF program or other club programs requiring registration. (Note: While each registrant's name is required for the LTFF class roster, the online software recognizes all valid member contacts by email address for registration purposes rather than by their name).
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 of the class's 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 date and time of each fish-out's online 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.
Lastly, we want to emphasize that this program is run by club volunteers and would not exist without the generous commitment of their time and efforts to make this program so very successful. Participants in the program will be asked -- and expected -- to contribute however they can to helping out with this program or other club activities while they are LTFF students and after. In due time subject to availability, graduates of this LTFF program are often asked to serve as fish-out mentors or leaders as their skill and experience permits. If so asked, please recall what all your mentors' help meant to you.
For any questions not answered above, please contact:
John Murphy, LLTF Program Dir., (firstname.lastname@example.org)