Last week, I stopped by the Tracy transit Center to attend a meeting of the Tracy Fly Fishers. The scheduled speaker was an old fishing buddy from Stockton, Leo Gutierrez, who gave a demonstration on making both specialized leaders and making balsa wood bass poppers. Leo’s presentation was excellent and I learned a lot. It was great seeing old friends and making new ones.
My visit to The Tracy Fly Fishers was a reminder of what a great bunch of people most anglers are. Over the years I have guest speaker or visitor at fishing club meetings ranging from Visalia to Red Bluff, in California and from Virginia to Pennsylvania to Wisconsin in the eastern half of the country. Fishing club members are some of the most accepting, welcoming, folks I’ve ever met. There must be something about angling that attracts friendly people. There are fishing clubs to suit almost every taste. There is the Striped Bass Association for those interested in big Stripers, while seekers for Black Bass can find clubs in almost every city of any size. If you want to become a fly fisher, there are clubs in Tracy, Modesto, Stockton and Livermore.
Listening to Lucky Leo at the Tracy Fly Fishers last week, I was amazed at his exploits in catching Tarpon, Sailfish, and Bass. I recall attending a meeting of the Delta Fly fishermen in Stockton some years ago, where the speaker gave us hints on how to catch sharks on a fly rod. That’s right they use fly rods to cast for sharks right off the end of the runway at San Francisco International Airport. When I went to Washington, D.C., to testify at a congressional hearing, I contacted the Fly-fishing association and they put me in touch with a fellow fly fisher in Washington who took me up to a beautiful stream that ran through the site of the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Yes indeed, anglers are a most friendly, accommodating sort.
If you are a novice and want to get started, drop by your local fishing club and they will be more than glad to help you get started. For example, the Tracy Fly fishers can teach you how to tie your own flies, how to build a rod, how to cast, and even put you onto some great places to fish. The fishing clubs also invest heavily in conservation and insuring great fishing opportunities far into the future. How costly is it? The answer to that is sort of like the answer to the question of “How high is up?” It can be either quite inexpensive or outrageously over-expensive.
The gang at your local fishing club will be able to help you get started. In fact, at $30 a year for a family membership, the dues at the Tracy Fly Fishers is undoubtedly a heck of a bargain. They meet on the third Wednesday of every month, and attending a regular meeting as a first time guest is absolutely free. For more details contact The Tracy Fly Fishers at www.tracyflyfishers.org.
Other area clubs are the Delta Fly Fishers who meet at John R. Williams School in Stockton on the second Wednesday of each month, and the Stanislaus Fly Fishers who meet in Modesto on the second Tuesday of the month at the Mill Creek Church in north Modesto.
Meanwhile, I’m going to try some of Lucky Leo’s balsa poppers on some Stanislaus River bass.
Until Next Week,