1. Retired or working? If working, what do you do?
Working - Have been operating my own carpet cleaning business for 23 years.
2. How did you get started in fly fishing?
My brothers and I have been fishing all of our lives, like most when we were kids. We were chasing stockers in Bishop Creek, South Lake, Bridgeport Twin Lakes, Bridgeport Reservoir with salmon eggs, lures and trolling from a boat. Our parents moved to Missoula, MT in the early 90's and that is when the bug took hold.
3. Did you have a mentor?
I would say I've had many mentors - My Father, first and foremost.
Doug Persico (Rock Creek Merc owner) Sold me my 1st fly rod and taught me to cast. He wasn't too happy when I walked in his shop years ago toting a fly rod I had purchased at K-Mart. I did catch fish with that old K-Mart rod though!
Brian Adams (KRFF) Met Brian at an outdoors show 25yrs or so ago, joined the club and he and many past members taught me to tie flies and build fly rods.
John Perry (Montana Guide/Outfitter) Have been using him as my guide for the past 20yrs and has given me a boat load of coaching and knowledge.
These are just a few.
4. Describe your favorite style of fly fishing.
When I initially started fly fishing I had read in a book that 90% of a trout's diet was subsurface so I was an avid nymph fisherman. But my favorite to date is streamer fishing. I just love to chuck the meat and drag the bottom in search of the Big Boyz!
5. Why do you fly fish?
It's in my blood! The people I meet are a special breed. There seems to be an unspoken bond and camaraderie that I have never experienced in any other facet of my life. I love the challenge, excitement and scenery. It does something to my soul when I'm casting that line to what I know is the perfect seam or lie and shortly after the line hits the water and a fish is on the world seems to stop for just that short span of time and all is great. I wish I could bottle that emotion and sell it!
6. What was your most memorable fly-fishing experience?
Probably the first time I took my wife Lorraine to Montana. I took her on two float trips, the first being Rock Creek and that was a bit too fast for her. So the next day we floated the Clark Fork which is larger and slower. The guide and I were coaching her most the day and I think we were just getting on her nerves so when we pulled the boat over she decided to wander off by herself and she caught her first fish without our input. That was a great day!
Catching a large Bull Trout in Rock Creek just behind our place with a 4wt rod Chiaki had built. I actually thought it was going to break that rod. That was an adrenaline rush!
All my trips that involve my family and friends are truly the most memorable!
7. If you could fly fish anywhere in the world, where and why?
I think a Big Fat New Zealand Brown would be a thrill! But if all I had the rest of my days was Rock Creek, MT I'd say the dream has come true! That is a very special place for sure!
8. Music you've been listening to lately?
Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Creedence CR, Simon & Garfunkel of course throw in some AC/DC and Black Sabbath occasionally. I generally like most music just depends on the mood.
Fly fisher of the yeaR
by Carole Ontiveros
I was surprised and pleased to accept the 2019 Southern Sierra Fly Fisher of the Year Award. In the relatively few years that I have been participating in SSFFC, I have found that belonging to this club not only pushes me to grow in my own fly fishing skills, but to consider and act within the bigger venue of the fly fishing community. I am more than honored to be included with Chiaki Harami, Alan Bell, and Celine Bayla and others, whom I consider fly fisher’s with outstanding club dedication and ability to take action to further causes that are not just their own. I hope that I can hold this award up to the high standards of those previous winners. Thank you, SSFFC for this special distinction of Fly Fisher of the Year.
FFI Silver Fly Tying Award
Longtime member Amy Kileen recently earned FFI’s Silver Fly Tying Award by successfully tying 6 complex flies: Ginger Quill, HW Blue Charm, Lefty’s Deceiver, Parachute Adams, BH Prince Nymph and Troth EH Caddis. Her flies were judged by world renowned fly tyer and Buszek Award winner Al Beatty. Amy is the 3rd woman in the US to have earned both the FFI Bronze and Silver Fly Tying Awards. She is currently developing her fly tying skills to complete her Gold Award. Congratulations to Amy
Search and Rescue fundraiser
The Southern Sierra Clay Crushers were at it again this weekend, participating in a sporting clays tournament benefiting Kern Valley Search and Rescue. KVSAR is a 100% volunteer organization and is funded entirely by donations and events like this. Their year round training and on-call readiness are critical to providing rapid response to emergencies in the Kern River valley and beyond -- swift water rescue, lost hikers, ill-prepared adventurers, evacuations and more. Congratulations to Marisol on her first shoot and winning the Most Challenging Shooter on the range!
Back by popular demand is the Rendezvous. This is the Club’s largest fundraiser and membership drive for the year. It will be held on April 13th at Mountain River and Adventure. The format of the Vous will be the same as in prior years. We start with a partner Catch and Release Tournament. Check in starts at 7:30 am at the Kern River Fly Shop and the tournament begins at 8:00 am. Use regular fly fishing equipment with barbless flies. Score cards must be turned in by 2:30 pm at the fly shop. Trophies will be awarded for the largest fish and most fish (accumulated inches). There will also be a trophy for a Junior Division. The afternoon activities begin at Mountain River Adventures at 3:00 pm with games, raffles, entertainment and a BBQ dinner. The cost for the Partner C&R tourney is $25, which includes dinner. Dinners can be purchased separately for $15, which includes salad, tri tip, chicken, rolls, dessert and beverage. Kids dinner for 10 years and under are free. Reserve your camping spot at Mountain River Adventure: Mention you are with SSFFC for a discount.
Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019
Tournament Check In: 7:30 AM at Kern River Fly Shop
Score Card Return: 2:30 PM at Kern River Fly Shop
Dinner: 5:00 PM at Mountain and River Adventures Campground
Vous Festivities: 3:00 PM - 10:00 PM at Mountain and River Adventures Campground
Visit our Rendezvous page for more details and to sign up.
OUTING: Kelsey bass ranch
Date: April 27-28, 2019*
Details: We will be fishing with Wilderness Fly Fishers and Guy Jeans will be available for guiding. Kelsey is a 125 acre isolated, private catch and release fishing lake filled with trophy size Florida Largemouth Bass. The lake is perfect for float tubing, wading or shore fishing. Kelsey ranch is near Snelling, CA, about 20 miles north of Merced. Set your GPS for 7400 Merced Falls Road, Snelling, CA 95369. It will take you to the ranch entrance.
We have permission to camp next to the lake on a lovely park-like peninsula surrounded by prime angling. The nearest hotel accommodations are approximately 35 minutes away. We highly encourage camping.
Note: There is no potable water. It can be hot, so bring more water than you think you need.
Contact: email@example.com before signing up with Wilderness Fly Fishers
Pay your rod fees at Wilderness Fly Fishers
KELSEY BASS Fly Recommendations
by The Buhler Bros
- Foam or Deer Hair Poppers: White, Olive, Green, Chartreuse, Yellow, Orange Sizes # 2-10
- Foam or Deer Hair Frogs: # 2-10
- Dahlberg Divers: #2-6
- Damsel Dries and Nymphs-#10
- Mice: #2-6
- Clouser Minnow: Olive, White, Black, Chartreuse #2-10
- Wooly Bugger Conehead and Standard: Black, Olive, White- #6-10
- Leeches Balanced and Standard: Olive, White, Chartreuse, Wine, Purple, Black0
Date: May 18, 2019
Tournament Check-In: 7:00 AM at Kern River Fly Shop
Start: 8:00 AM
Score Card Return: 4:00 PM at Kern River Fly Shop
Tournament Festivities: 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM at Kern River Fly Shop
On Saturday, May 18, 2019, SSFFC will be hosting the second annual Carpfest, a fly fishing tournament specifically for carp. The tournament will be held on Lake Isabella, CA and will be a catch and release only event with trophies for 1st in each of wade, float and a new youth division. Proceeds benefiting our close Friends both Keepers of the Kern and Kern River Conservancy who help protect the waters that make this area so wild and scenic. Check in 7am, at Kern River Fly Shop in beautiful Kernville, CA. Tournament starts at 8am and ends at 4pm. Awards, BBQ, music and good times, 5pm-10pm.
Carp are some of the best fish to pursue on the fly -- they are intelligent, prolific and and very strong fighters, outclassing most of the freshwater species in the US in several regards. The Lake Isabella fishery is an ideal location with nearly 36 miles of epic carp water. Last years event event was an amazing success and we encourage all interested to visit Carpfest for registration. We are also looking for additional vendors or supporters, with your continued support we can host our benefit raffle at this event, the competition for which at last year's event rivaled the fishing. Please see Carpfest Vendors for more information.
Kern River Fly Shop will be having a Carp Clinic on May 11, 2019 for those wanting to hone in on their carp skills before the tournament. The club will also be providing a Carp Crash Course for our club members out on the lake on April 14, 2019.
Date: Saturday, June 22, 2019
Details: The future of our sport lies with the children of the world. We must teach our children the ways of our sport and lifestyle. Our Kids Academy will be held on June 22, location TBD. The kids will learn entomology, knots, etiquette, conservation and casting. Lunch will be provided, along with a complete fly fishing rod at the end of class. Parents please save this date and reserve your kid’s spot in our Kids Fly Fishing Academy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Kids Academy is provided at no cost. SSFFC membership is required.
OUTING: Rock Creek, Montana
Date: July 11-16, 2019
Location: Sky Ranch, Clinton, Montana
Details: The Club has an outing to Rock Creek Montana on July 11th to 16th. We will be staying at Sky Ranch Resort, which accommodates 20 people. Along with normal inside sleeping arrangements, they have “glamping” accommodations, including a fully furnished tee-pee. Rock Creek is one of Montana’s Blue Ribbon streams. It is a medium sized stream with 2,000 trout per mile. This will be a walk and wade trip as fishing from boats is not allowed after June. Visit Rock Creek Fly Fishing for more details.
The 20 spots are filling fast with only a few spots open. The cost is $360 per person for lodging with $180 securing your spot and the balance due by May 31st. Food and transportation is not included in the cost. We will have group meals with everyone helping with cooking and cleanup. Please email email@example.com if you’re interested.
by Chiaki Harami
We held our Introduction to Casting Class on March 23rd at Riverside Park in Kernville. 6 eager students learned to roll cast, as well as the pickup and lay down, and false casting. For many of the students it was their first time casting a fly rod. Everyone learned quickly and will be casting their flies to hungry trout. Big thanks goes to the instructors: Randy Skidgel, Ants Uiga, and Chiaki Harami.
by Ryan Buhler
On march 23rd Rob and I were fortunate enough to teach a beginner fly tying class. We do these classes about 4 times a year and this one had 10 new tyers hopefully getting a good grasp of tools, materials and the basic fundamentals to get started into tying. Like all of our classes, we try to have a good time and strive to make it fun. Kern candys and woolly buggers were tyed by all students, two great patterns for beginners to tie. With the class located in Kernville, our students got to go fish their newly tyed flies on the Kern that afternoon. Other tyers are always welcome at our classes and a few regulars showed up and got some intermediate tips also. It was a great turnout for the class and a pleasure to meet new members of the club. If anyone is interested in more advanced tying classes let us know and the club big wigs will try and set some up. Thanks to all who came to the class.
The other top water season
by Rob Buhler
Who doesn't love "hopper-time"? Warm summer days with browns, bows and cutties alike rising up to greedily inhale your hairy or foamy offering. Everybody, right!? Well, this is the often overlooked spring equivalent that just might bring even more joy. Popper Time! Except this time we are targeting bass and bluegill.
It doesn't have to be a stacked deer hair work of art to get the fish's attention (although these are fun to fish too). A simple foam popper head with a few rubber legs and/or feathers attached and cast near some watery structure, early and late in the day, is likely to get inhaled from below or better yet, completely blown up with a 3lb largemouth bass getting airborne attempting to devour your offering!
An added benefit of popper time is location. Across the south, popper time has a large history and anglers look forward to it annually since they do not have trout populations nearby and have access to local bass fishing. Many of us have this same benefit with local city parks that have fantastic bass populations and habitat right in our own backyard!
Just like hopper time, things don't always come together and you may have to resort to adding a dropper to your popper. A leech, damsel or dragonfly nymph pattern hung 18-24 inches below the popper can be deadly. But, as often as not, you can get rewarded with spectacular visual, top water results!
Spring is here! Tye on a popper and go searching for those top water explosions! I bet you won't be disappointed.
by Carole Ontiveros
Final details are being tidied up for the Super Raffle! It’s a special opportunity to get in on an amazing package of fly fishing gear and support Casting for Recovery, So Cal at the same time! A special thank you to participating vendors, Rhino Nets, Chiaki Harami, Abel Reels, Western Vision Lanyards, Kern River Fly Shop…stay tuned for more details!
May 3-5, 2019: 6th Annual Retreat at UCLA Bruinwood, Lake Arrowhead
Participants have been chosen including Alternates. 14 Women are filling out their paperwork and Participant Coordinator, Jenni, has made 2 of the 4 calls to prepare the participants for their fly fishing weekend. We are fishing at a new venue this year, Lake Gregory, in hopes of getting more women catching fish! Watch our FB and IG for photo follow up! FB CfR, SoCal IG CfR, SoCal More at #catchthepowerofnature
October 4-6, 2019: 1 st Annual Retreat at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort, Sanger
Applications are still OPEN for our Wonder Valley Ranch Resort retreat. Apply here https://castingforrecovery.org/sca/ by July 26, 2019 for a wonderful weekend of fly fishing, community and #catchthepowerofnature.
As we look forward to serving 2 retreats in Southern/Central California this year, our Lead Medical Facilitator, Jacqui, has 2 Trainees. Our volunteer staff continues to work hard to spread the word about our free fly fishing retreats for women with breast cancer and gather the donations that make our retreat free of cost to our participants.
AFISHONADO: Fly Fishing Book Review
by Ants Uiga
Fly Fishing: Simple to Sophisticated
by Al Kyte, Copyright 1982 and 1987 Printed by Leisure Press, Champaign, Illinois 1987, 198 pages
Al Kyte’s book is reviewed again following my first time as assistant casting instructor. Al Kyte is a great resource for casting and for fishing. If you search using his name, the result will show many of the FFI casting instruction lessons and materials came from Al Kyte.
Let me add a brief comment or two on my experience as a casting instructor. It seems casting is not so much taught as it is learned by the caster. Casting involves muscle memory and lots of subtle nuances. For example, false casting changes based on the amount of line being cast. As more line is cast, a longer time is needed at the end of each stroke. Those as the type of details that need to be felt – it is easy to describe, but the caster’s timing (and learning) is the key to success..
When it comes to moving from learning casting details to fishing with a fly rod, Al Kyte does the best job I have read in describing fishing technique. A wonderful detail with the book is if the book is used regularly, the same advice is offered on a consistent basis.
The book starts with fishing down and across a stream with a wet fly. It is the simplest technique in moving water. The casts are fairly short (20-30 feet), the wide riffle is a place where trout have a tendency to feed, and the current keeps the line tight so the fish takes are felt by the caster. The book gives instruction on types of flies to use, how to set up your fly line and leader, and how to approach the water.
The book continues with more techniques for streams, creeks, and lakes. As the fishing technique become more complicated, the additional details are presented.
I find this book to be a great reference to keep on my bookshelf. Sometimes, I read before I go out and see if I can find the type of water the author describes. More often, I try fishing a section of water a certain way, and afterward (usually) the next day, I finally come to realize I should have changed a few things to be more successful. There is always something to learn while fishing. That keeps me coming back to learn and learn some more. When I finally get the pieces together and the fish takes the fly, the fishy feedback is great. Enjoy!