Column: Fly-fishing festival comes to North Lake Tahoe Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 |

Column: Fly-fishing festival comes to North Lake Tahoe Sept. 29 to Oct. 1

The Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers will be gathering for Conclave 2000/A Festival of Fly Fishing Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at the North Tahoe Community Conference Center in Kings Beach. Individual members, fly-fishing clubs and the general public will attend this annual event that promotes the sport of fly-fishing.

Fly-fishing is among the fastest growing sports in the country; once you have tried the sport it is easy to understand why. To become an accomplished angler an individual must learn a considerable amount about the fish that he is seeking, the aquatic insects on which they feed and the habitat that the fish favors. An angler is constantly being challenged to learn more to become a better fisherman or woman.

It seems that the more one learns the less one knows. Just when you think that you have figured something out, you may find yourself humbled at your favorite water. Take it from me, you never have it all figured out.

I can remember when a friend of mine and I had been very consistent on a pretty difficult water for quite sometime. We were commending each other on how we really had this particular water dialed in on our way out there one morning. Well, you guessed it: we got there and we both got skunked.

While there are great books, magazines and local shops that can help you out, an event such as the Conclave can really enhance the learning curve. It really doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or an advanced angler. There is something at the Conclave for any experience level.

The event is structured to promote the sport of fly-fishing. The goal of the Federation of Fly Fishers is the practice and preservation of the sport of fly-fishing. To those ends the Northern California Council, which consists of 21 member clubs, puts together this annual fly- fishing extravaganza.

Keynote speakers are provided to teach anyone interested in fly-fishing how to become a better angler. Seminars are provided as well as hands-on casting instruction and some great flytying demonstrated by some of the best flytiers in the United States and even the world. Local flytiers also are on- hand to demonstrate some of the best patterns in our area waters.

This year special guests are Dan Blanton and Al Kyte. Blanton is a famous angler, author, flytier and video personality. He is most recently known for pioneering fly- fishing the Delta region for striped bass.

Kyte is a renowned fly-casting instructor. Got a question on how to straighten out that casting problem? If so, asking an instructor such as Kyte is the way to solve that problem.

Kyte, Joe LiBeu and Floyd Dean will be conducting fly-casting instruction and certification for those interested in becoming a certified casting instructor through the Federation of Fly Fishers. There is a written and casting test for those interested in becoming an instructor. Whether one passes and becomes an instructor or not, an individual can learn a lot about his own casting by going through the process.

Local fly-fishing expert, Lisa Cutter, will be providing a women’s fly-fishing program. She has done this before and the reports from those women who took the class have been glowing. Lisa and her husband, Ralph, run the California School of Flyfishing in Truckee.

This year the United States Fish and Wildlife Service will be discussing the plans to reintroduce Lahontan Cutthroat Trout to the Truckee River, Walker River and the Carson River. This plan has a potentially huge impact on what the river will look like in the future from a fishing standpoint. Interested parties are urged to attend so that they can become aware of just what is going on in our area waters.

There are also other activities in which one can choose to participate. These include a dinner, reception, raffles and auctions (both silent and live).

Last, but certainly not least, are the commercial booths that are present. They represent everything from art to fly-fishing destinations. I always seem to find something that I need at this show.

Interested? Call Tom Smith at (775) 685-2383 for more information, starting times or registration. Registration will cost $20 per individual or $35 for family (two adults and children under 17) for the entire weekend. There is also a daily registration fee of $10 available at the door.

If you want to become a better fly-fisherman or woman, this is the place to be on the weekend of Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.

To see this week’s fishing report, go to


Boca – (28, 503 ac. ft.) Boca has been fishing fair to good. Anglers fishing from shore near the inlet are still having success. The area near the dam is also fishing well. Most anglers use nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Boaters are having fair-to-good success. Most were using a combination of flashers and a nightcrawler or minnow-imitating lure. Kokanee fishing remains good. Fly-fishermen near the inlet should have fair-to-good action using a variety of nymphs, streamers and emergers.

Donner – Fishing has been good. Most anglers fishing for rainbows on the west end and near the launch ramp have had fair-to-good results. Mackinaw fishing has been fair. Nightcrawlers and Powerbait seem to be the main bait. Trollers using minnow-imitating lures have had fair-to-good action.

Lake Tahoe – (Elevation 6,227.75) Fishing has been good for Mackinaw. A guide is highly recommended if you are fishing for Mackinaw for the first time. Toplining and shore fishing is fair.

Martis Lake – (Martis is restricted to artificial lures with barbless hooks. Zero fish may bagged or possessed.) Fishing is fair. Try using nymphs such as the Hares Ear, Pheasant Tail, damselfly imitations or the A.P. Streamers that imitate small fish and woolly buggers are also good choices. For surface activity, patterns such as the Quigley Cripple, Martis Midge, Parachute Adams and Griffith’s Gnat are good choices.

Little Truckee River – (This area between Stampede Reservoir downstream to Boca Reservoir is now subject to artificial barbless lures with a two-fish bag limit of fish 14-inches maximum.) The river flow is running at a rate of only 60 cubic feet per second. The fishing has been fair to good, but can be difficult with these reduced flows. Fly-fishermen on this section are concentrating on a mix of nymphs, emergers, dries and streamers.

Prosser – (15,406 ac. ft.) Prosser has been fishing fair to good. Fishing here is mostly with nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Trolling has been mostly with flashers and nightcrawlers. Fly-fishermen near the inlets are fishing primarily with midges, nymphs and streamers.

Stampede – (208,224 ac. ft.) Stampede is rated as fair to good. Shore anglers are catching a few fish. Most use the typical baits, nightcrawlers or Powerbait. Trollers are having success with kokanee salmon. Most used a flasher of some sort and a kokanee bug or wedding ring with a piece of white corn.

Truckee River – The release has been reduced to 203 cfs from the dam at Tahoe City. In the Truckee area the river is running at around 212 cfs. Fishing in the upper section between Tahoe City and Truckee has been fair overall. Seasoned anglers are doing well on the Truckee. Most fish being caught in the special regulation areas are being caught on nymphs, emergers, dries or streamers. A streamer this time of year can produce well.

Other Waters – Jackson Meadows reservoir has improved. Davis and Frenchman lakes improved this past week.

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