Leland Fly Fishing Ranch open
Fishing and hunting
VAL ATKINSON, photographer and avid fly-fisher, will be one of many fly-fishing celebrities at the Leland Fly Fishing Ranch Expo April 16 and 17.
After being closed for major renovation the entire winter, Leland Fly Fishing Ranch opened today (Friday), and will be open seven days a week from now on. Fly-fishing classes are back on schedule with instructors Jim and Rachel Andros. Store manager Art Hau is busily getting the displays and stock in order, and Andy Arnerich, who manages the ranch, is putting the finishing touches in preparation for Leland's first Fly Fishing Exposition set for Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17.
Steve Kyle and I spent part of last weekend testing rods on Leland's recently restocked ponds and getting a preview of what is to come at the grand re-opening. This is the ultimate “candy store” for fly-fishers. You can use rods, reels and line over actual fish-filled water, smoke cigars, watch fly-fishing videos, take lessons, shop for new equipment and get tips from the pros. Mark your calendar for the April 16 and 17 weekend to see what I mean.
They have an impressive lineup of fly-fishing celebrities scheduled for the event, including photographer Val Atkinson; Charlie Bisharat, inventor of the “Pole Dancer” line of flies for Umpqua and a Delta-area fishing guide; distance casting champion George Revel; rod designer and fly-casting champion Tim Rajeff; and spey casting instructor Bill Lowe.
There will be wine tasting, barbecue, prize giveaways, manufacturers, reps from a host of fly-fishing equipment companies, plus a full schedule of demonstrations and seminars from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. And the Fly Fishing Film Tour starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night. The film tour has limited seating so reservations are recommended. To see a list of fly-fishing films the tour will include go to flyfishingfilmtour.com.
Even if you are not a fly-fisherman, a stop at the ranch is worth it. They've got ponds filled with trout, and a brand new pond in which they've planted bass and bluegill. Fly fishing lessons for beginners to advanced are available. Call the Ranch today at 939-6910.
Fishing close to Sonoma Valley this week will be best in the waters of the North Bay near China Camp, Buoy 5 and the Pump House, said Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. The Bay has turned almost completely from salt to fresh water, and that always turns on the sturgeon bite.
Bob Molinari, at Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, said there are lots of anglers catching striped bass and sturgeon from the railroad tracks upstream past the Highway 37 Bridge. The bait of choice for sturgeon is ghost shrimp. Anglers fishing off the bank using anchovies are also getting nice keeper stripers.
Marin's Bon Tempe lake was stocked with rainbow trout last week and this week.
Clear Lake, Berryessa and Lake Sonoma may all turn on at once if the weather stays warm. They are filled to the brim and the fish are there. A warming trend will make them hungry.
Local artist and fly-fishing instructor David Dempsey was featured in the most recent issue of California Fly Fisher magazine. David sent me a note that the Mt. Tamalpais Fly Fishers will be hosting a free fly-casting clinic at the Marin Civic Center this Sunday, April 3, at 10 a.m. Look for the group on the “island,” David said.