Leland fishing expo Saturday and Sunday
Fishing and hunting
YOU'LL SEE a lot of folks test casting new fly rods this Saturday and Sunday at the Leland Fly Fishing Ranch Expo. Fly-fishing pros like Rachel Andras (left) will be offering seminars, tips and coaching on both days.
If you are an angler, or thinking of becoming one, or want to learn how to fly-fish, there is no better weekend than this one – tomorrow, Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17 – to head out to Leland Fly Fishing Ranch on Arnold Drive (next to the Schellville Airport). Owner Josh Frazier and his team of fly-fishing pros along with an impressive lineup of guest fly-fishing “stars,” who will be offering fishing and casting tips, demonstrating the use of new rods, reels and other equipment and showing off the latest in fishing fashion.
You think “fashion” is too strong a word? Not necessarily. Patagonia “technical clothing,” which will be featured at the Expo, is a long way from the leaky old waders, moth-eaten flannel shirts and dirty baseball hat of my grandfather's era. This stuff will make even dumpy old geezer anglers like me look semi-cool while attempting to fool a trout with a fly.
And speaking of fooling fish with feathers, a whole bunch of expert casters will be there starting at 10 a.m. and going on throughout both tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday. The roster of pros includes George Revel teaching distance casting; Rachel and Jim Andras talking about fishing the Klamath and Rogue Rivers; Charlie Bisharat on top-water bass techniques; Mike Perusse on improving casting accuracy; Matt Koles on the dry dropper techniques used on the Truckee River; Tim Rajeff on rod design and dynamics; Bill Lowe on spec casting; and Guy Manning on fishing in Mexico.
Jamie Lyle of Sage, and Dale Hightower from Patagonia, will be there to show off all of their latest products, and the folks from Cal Trout will be present to talk about preserving our state's best fly-fishing waters. They will even have Ranger boat reps showing off a fully loaded, $60,000 bass boat. For those of us on a more modest budget, Dave Scadden will be there with the latest and best in inflatable watercraft. There will even be boat demos on the ponds.
The ranch will be unveiling its latest improvements, including a new bass pond, in which customers will be allowed to test rods and actually catch fish. The two trout ponds on the property will also be open for customers testing rods and taking instruction.
Throughout both days there will be prize giveaways and food.
There are still some seats also available for Saturday evening's Fly Fishing Film Tour, which opens at 7 p.m., preceded by a fishing slide-show by photographer Val Atkinson. Go to flyfishingfilmtour.com to see a list of the films to be shown.
Call the Ranch today at 939-6910 to reserve a seat at the film festival.
To round out a great weekend, use one of the days to hit San Pablo Bay, Petaluma River, Napa River or mouth of Sonoma Creek for some excellent fishing for striped bass and sturgeon, both of which can be caught with regularity in those waters. Bob Molinari, of Leonard's Bait Shop at Port Sonoma, said he's getting good reports of anglers catching nice stripers and sturgeon from the banks of the Napa and Petaluma Rivers, Sonoma Creek near the Highway 37 Bridge, and off China Camp near Rat Rock. Keith Fraser, at Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael, adds the fact that the sturgeon and striper action at the sturgeon triangle is excellent, especially if you are using his live mud shrimp. Keith is also offering live shiners for those who want to go after halibut. In fact, this could be an excellent weekend for a “Bay Hat Trick,” limits of sturgeon, striped bass and halibut all in one day's fishing. If you plan it, go for sturgeon in the morning, halibut in the afternoon and bass all day. Keith can book you on a party boat. Call him at 415-456-0321.
Salmon fishing showed promise early this week off the Sonoma Coast, when the wind stopped blowing for two days. Capt. Rick Powers, at Bodega Bay Sportfishing, said that last Sunday and Monday, quite a few boats got out, and 90 percent of them returned with limits or near-limits of king salmon averaging 12 pounds, with the largest reported at 22 pounds. This bodes well for a strong season, Rick suggested. He can book you on a boat, call him at 875-3344.