Well-known anglers let out the ‘secrets’ at annual conclave | SierraSun.com
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Well-known anglers let out the ‘secrets’ at annual conclave

Bruce Ajari

The Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishers is scheduled to host its annual conclave at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach, Friday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Sept. 28.

The program typically begins about mid-day on Friday. Anything you ever wanted to know about fly fishing can probably be answered at this event.

The conclave is an extraordinary fly fishing show. It brings together many notable fly fishermen and women from all over the country to share their knowledge and skills with other fly fishermen and women.

This year, the conclave is fortunate to have as its keynote guest author Jack Dennis from Jackson Hole, Wyo. Dennis is one of those anglers who is willing to share his “secrets” with you so you can further enjoy the sport of fly fishing.

Dennis began as a guide in the Jackson Hole region and became prominent when he guided noted television personality Curt Gowdy on a couple of segments of the old outdoor program, “The American Sportsman.”

A noted author, he is probably best known for his first two books on fly tying, Western Trout Fly Tying Manual and Western Trout Fly Tying Manual Volume II. These two books have become standards for fly tiers everywhere.

He has also produced a number of videos with his good friends Mike Lawson and Gary Lafontaine. These videos are excellent instructional videos geared toward all levels of fly fishermen. Even experts will appreciate these tapes.

I first met Dennis in 1992 when my family and I were involved in a very bad car accident near Jackson Hole. My wife, son and I spent quite a few days in St. John’s Hospital in Jackson Hole as a result. Jack’s wife was a nurse in the emergency room and told him about our situation.

Dennis took time out of his busy schedule and came by to visit a fellow fly fisherman that he did not know. He also offered assistance in shipping my equipment home. To say I was overwhelmed was a bit of an understatement. Dennis is a real classy individual.

If you get the opportunity to hear him, you will realize that he is one of the most genuine of men that you will meet. He has a lot to offer – so be sure to pay attention!

Other well know speakers at the conclave include Ken Hanley, Dick Galland, Andre Puyans, Andy Burk, Jim Victorine, Frank Armendariz, Fred Rowe, Sarge Reynolds, Press Powell, Al Kyte, Dave Simmons, Dave Howard, Dennis Pierce, Ron Rabun, Jay Murakoshi, Nick de Croce and other well-known anglers. These speakers will focus on how to become more successful in fly fishing by improving presentation techniques, casting and selection of tackle. Many of these speakers will also talk about a specific region that they know very well to fish. These seminars will prove to be extremely valuable to any level angler.

Besides the speakers for the seminars, there are at least 50 world-class fly tiers that will be tying flies on the “Fly Tying Avenue.” If you are interested in becoming a fly tier or already are one, you will learn tremendous amount about this great craft from some of the best there are in the world. In addition, there are a number of local tiers that will help you dial into that special pattern for the area.

Lisa Cutter of the California School of Fly Fishing will repeat last year’s sold out women’s fly fishing program. This program can only handle a limited number of people so an early sign-up is encouraged.

A number of other activities are being planned for men, women, and children.

Trade booths featuring equipment, guides, destinations, art and other things will be there for fly fishermen to view. These booths can also be a very helpful resource in learning where to fish, when to fish, what to fish, and how to fish.

The cost to get into this show is $25 for individuals or $35 for families for the entire event. If you do not want to attend all three days there is a daily entry fee of $10 per person. Children under 18 are admitted free.

For more information on times or advanced registration, call the North Tahoe Conference Center at 546-7249. If they cannot help you they will put you in touch with the right person at the Northern California Council of the Federation of Fly Fishermen.

Sierra Fishing Report

Boca Reservoir – Boca is at 31,763 acre feet. Shore fishermen are doing fair. Most are using inflated nightcrawlers, power bait and salmon eggs. Trollers are still catching some Kokanee using flasher and Kokanee Bug combinations.

Others are using minnow-type lures or a flasher/worm combination for fair fishing for rainbow and brown trout. Fly fishermen are doing fair to good using woolly buggers, nymphs or midges near the inlet.

Donner Lake – Shore fishermen are taking planted rainbows and a few nice brown trout. Most are dunking nightcrawlers, power bait or salmon eggs near the boat ramp or West End Beach. Trollers are taking some nice Mackinaw. Jigging for mackinaw has also produced a few as well. Topliners should try the shallower water with flasher/worm combinations or minnow-imitating lures.

Lake Tahoe – (6,227.98 Lake Elevation). Mackinaw fishing is fair. The majority of fish are still being taken in water over 200-feet deep. Most fish are in the three- to five-pound range. Rainbow fishing is improving, particularly on the east side of the lake. Topliners are beginning to take a few more fish, but overall is only fair. Most use inflated nightcrawlers from shore or troll minnow-imitating lures such as a Rapala. Tributaries are open through September 30.

Martis Creek Reservoir – Martis is a zero kill lake – catch-and-release fishing only with artificial lures with barbless hooks. No bait is allowed. Fishing has been improving with the cooler nights. Vegetation near the inlet is thinning out so those with float tubes can now access this area. A variety of nymphs, midges and streamers have been successful. Seasoned anglers have found steady action. Try woolly buggers, bead head nymphs, midges and emerger patterns.

Blood midges and small midges have been good early and late. Callibaetis have been effective about mid-morning. Damselfly imitations can be effective as well.

Prosser Creek Reservoir – Prosser is at 17,152 acre feet. Fishing has been fair for shore fishermen. Most are using power bait, nightcrawlers and salmon eggs. Trollers are having fair success. Most are trolling flasher/worm combinations or minnow-imitating lures. Flyfishermen are having success with olive or black woolly buggers, nymphs and midges.

Stampede Reservoir – Stampede’s lake level is 182,167 acre feet. Shore fishermen have been taking some nice rainbows and browns. Most are using nightcrawlers, power bait or salmon eggs. Some nice fish are still being caught near the dam.

Kokanee fishing still remains the main draw for trollers. The traditional flasher/wedding ring and white corn combination has been a good producer recently, as have Ted’s Bugs and Kokanee Bugs.

Fish are beginning to school up around the dam, and anglers are beginning to have fair success with jigs such as the Buzz Bomb.

Flyfishermen have been taking a few fish on woolly buggers, nymphs and midges near the inlet streams.

Truckee River – The Truckee River is in great shape and fishing has been good. The section between Truckee and River Ranch is rated fair. Bait and lures have accounted for most of the fish. Good numbers of small fish have been reported.

Fishing from Tahoe City to Truckee has been fishing fair. The Wild Trout Section below Truckee has been fishing fair.

Try standard nymphs such as the Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear, Prince, Birds Nest and Zug Bugs.

For dries and emergers try an Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Humpy or Quigley Cripple.

Soft hackles and streamers can also be very effective on the Truckee.

Other Waters – The Little Truckee River is fair. Most success has been by the fly fishermen working nymphs, streamers, and some fairly good dry-fly action.

Jackson Meadows level is low and the fishing is only fair. Frenchmans Reservoir and Davis Lake are fair. Fish are beginning to move into the shallows. Bright woolly buggers and snail patterns should begin to produce now.


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