LTFF Level 2 Fish-out - NF Stanislaus

  • 14 Sep 2024
  • 7:00 PM
  • 15 Sep 2024
  • 9:00 AM
  • Sourgrass Rec Area / Day Use, near Dorrington, CA
  • 0


  • 2 days of guided/mentored fishing on the North Fork Stanislaus. Saturday and Sunday

Join waitlist

This outing is exclusively intended for currently registered Level 2 and 3 students in the GGACC Learn To Fly Fish (LTFF) program.   

Cost: $235/ person


The Stanislaus River is an excellent rainbow and brown trout fishery.  We will be fishing the North Fork of the Stanislaus River in the Sourgrass Rec Area just above the Big Tree State Park.  This Rec Area is located off State Hwy. 4 way down below the little town of Dorrington (north of Arnold, CA) in a picturesque canyon.

There will be two days of fishing for 10 students. We will have Lost Coast Outfitter pro-staffer and independent guide Steve Slater leading the instruction on this fishout, along with several other experienced club member mentors.   Registrants will get two solid days of guided/mentored fishing on the North Fork Stanislaus. 

We also have the option available to some participants to go on a side outing further up the Stan’ on one of the two days of the trip. This is about a 30 minute drive from camp plus a 1-2 hour rugged hike into a canyon led by John Anderson. The hiker is rewarded with some larger native trout and a bit more seclusion. This side outing is optional and will be discussed and planned further during the pre-fishout zoom meeting. It is based on a regularly-run rondy from John Anderson.

Other logistics and recommended gear will be covered in a pre-fishout meeting to be held roughly two weeks before the fishout.  Registrants will be notified of this Zoom call meeting.  This will be an opportunity to ask questions, meet others in your group, arrange carpooling, decide on whether to tackle group dinners, etc. 

As always, your registration fees are non-refundable.  If you realize you have to cancel, finding a replacement is not guaranteed, and will be done on a best-effort basis.


Most of us will be trying to camp at the Stanislaus National Forest Service Wakalu Hep Yo (Wild River) Campground.  This campground is super-convenient, but not reserveable in advance (available on a first-come basis only). As we have done successfully in the past, we hope that by scheduling this fish-out after Labor Day again that this allows us to find sufficient camp space upon our arrival.

There is no group camp site in this campground, but the hope is that by possibly doubling up in campsites as needed, this arrangement should work to allow most of the students to camp together in adjacent campsites as much as possible rather than being spread out throughout the campground. This campground does have some showers and flush toilets!

There may still be a camp host on site then to collect the campground fee per night. If not, there will be a drop box for this daily camp fee.   Camp fees are included in the registration fee for four sites. If you are bringing family or friends, you should plan to get your own site near the group, which should be easily done..


There is the old Dorrington Hotel in Dorrington, CA about 4 miles above the campground, and a few motel or hotel options farther back down Highway 4 in Arnold and Murphys for those not into either tent camping or possibly sleeping in their vehicle. There is also the Bear Valley Lodge and the even more rustic Tamarack Lodge about 20 miles farther up Highway 4.  Finding alternate lodging is your responsibility, but be sure to book it early!  

Meeting Place

Everyone will need to meet at the campground at 7:00AM each fishing morning to pair up with mentors, make up your lunches, get your flies, instructions, etc. This early start is intended to get everyone on the water as soon as possible each morning — so please don’t be late. 

Note: There is only very spotty to non-existent cell phone service in this area -- try texting up there instead, but this is also extremely hit-or-miss.

Driving Directions

Use Google Maps for Wakaluu Hepyoo Campground Amphitheater, or enter GPS coordinates Lat. 38.322063, Long. -120.218558 

The shortest route from the Bay Area is to follow I-580 E to I-205 E, to I-5 N to connect to CA-99 S at Stockton, and exit onto CA-4 E.  Follow CA-4 (about 75 miles of winding 2-lane hwy.) to Boards Crossing Road in Dorrington, CA.  (This road, marked with a street sign, is on your right directly across from the Dorrington Hotel.)  Follow Boards Crossing Road taking only left forks to reach NF Road 05N02 (Beardsley Rd.) and follow that road down the canyon to the campground on the river (just before you cross the new concrete bridge on NF-05N02, and not the old Boards Crossing steel trestle bridge). The drive to this campground is at least a 3 hour total drive time without counting stops or traffic getting out of the Bay Area (plan for perhaps 4 hours).   

Camping Equipment

Unless you have a vehicle that you plan to sleep in, it is suggested that you have your own tent (with tent stakes, footprint/plastic tarp, and rainfly) or have an agreement to share a tent with someone. 

Also be sure to bring:  sleeping bag; sleeping pad (or air mattress and/or cot); a headlamp or flashlight with good batteries (wise to bring spares too); cooking stove; water container; cooking pots/cooking utensils; camp dishes / eating utensils; wash basin; biodegradable soap; butane lighter or matches; paper or cloth towels; garbage bags; and a cooler with ice for perishables.  All food and dry goods should be stored in the campground-supplied camp boxes to keep away from rodents and jays, and the potential bear.  Optional equipment could include:  lantern; camp chair; firewood; hand axe; coffee pot; small folding table; table cloth for picnic table; etc.


There will be one dinner for everyone Saturday night at the campground. We will plan this on the zoom call.  Other nights you will either make your own meal or small group dinners for anyone on this fish-out.  You can cook dinners in camp (either together as a group if those in the group choose to organize this themselves, or individually), or there are other possible options such as a small burger joint in Dorrington (next to the hotel) or a few casual restaurants back in Arnold that smaller groups may decide to try.  

It is recommended that students work together on a simple meal for Saturday evening—taco salad is an easy idea—enjoy being together and sharing your experiences of the day.

We will be providing groceries for making your own sandwiches for sack lunches on days you are fishing Saturday and Sunday.

NOTE:  Other than the two DIY lunches provided by your fish-out leader on your fishing days, you are on your own to bring (and prepare) your own food for all breakfasts, other lunches, and all dinners (or for group dinners), or buy your own meals out.

Fishing Gear

Fishing License. Don’t leave home without this.

We recommend bringing a 3-5wt fly rod with floating line. For dry flies, bring 9’ tapered leaders to 4X or 5X, with mono tippet spools in 4X-6X.  Also be sure that you bring both a liquid (or gel) dry fly floatant and a dry shake floatant (dessicant-type) for treating your dry flies. For indicator nymphing, bring indicators, split shot, one spool of say 0X to 3X mono tippet material, and spools of both 4X and 5X  fluoro tippet for connections to nymphs. 

Bring foam hoppers or Chubby Chernobyl pattern flies for hopper (dry) / dropper rigging if you prefer this rather than indicator nymphing), or you might try tight-line nymphing instead (although the Stan has more pools than actual pocket water where tight-lining works best).  We will have opportunities for multiple styles of fly fishing, some come prepared.


We will be providing a dozen flies to each student: 2 each of some dry fly and nymph patterns, as recommended by Steve Slater.  These flies will be supplied and packaged by LCO and distributed to you at the meeting place, so you will need to put them in your own fly box along with your other flies -- and be sure to pinch the barbs!  We will not be doing this for you.

Also, bring your own flies, especially any that you have picked up for (or tied for) this particular trip.

If you still need more of your own flies, or forgot some other gear after you leave town, there is a small fly shop (if open) as well as the Ebbet’s Pass Sporting Goods in Arnold as you pass through that town (both are on the south side of the hwy.) or you can divert your trip up on I-205 for a few miles to reach the Bass Pro store in Manteca. 

Other Stuff

In addition to forceps, nippers, vest or pack for fly boxes and other gear, sunhat, sunscreen, bug repellent, waders, boots, belts, water bottle (or other means to carry, or filter, drinking water), don’t forget your wading staff!  A small net is always optional for trout, but it really helps in landing them with minimal stress and keeping them in the water while unhooking—both of which are extremely important for the fish’s survival. Camping gear should include headlamps or flashlights —the former is especially good for tying on flies during late evening fishing or cooking / setting up camp in the dark.  Bring spare batteries too. 


As a tailwater, the Stan can still be pretty cold this high up, but you may decide when you get there and test the water that you might prefer to wet-wade (not me!) instead of wearing waders.  If so, just be sure that you have sturdy closed-toe wading sandals or, better yet, use neoprene guard socks (or other neoprene socks) plus wool or polypo liner socks to fill-out your wading boots.  Lightweight (i.e., nylon) long pants are recommended for wet-wading over wearing shorts to better protect your shins from scrapes on rocks, scratchy brush, poison oak, etc.

Registration Fee

The registration fee is $235 per student (which includes paying Steve’s super discounted fee), flies, camp fees, and groceries for lunches.  Not included in the registration fee is guide tips, the cost of travel, lodging other than the camp site, and meals other than the provided lunches.

Cancellation Policy

There are no refunds.  In the event that a student is, for any reason, unable to attend, he/she may resell his slot (rod) to another LTFF member (by first pulling from the waitlist if one exists).  It is the sole responsibility of the student to manage this transaction.

For further information, contact:  Fish-out Leader, Charles Marsh (, 415-902-0489.

Questions? Please direct your inquiries to the appropriate mail box:

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Our Mailing Address:  Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club  ·  P.O. Box 591476  ·  San Francisco, CA 94159

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