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February 2023 - Volume 31 Number 3
The Best Fly Box Ever
The problem is finding one and then affording it.
By Bill Barich
Steelheading: Foundations for an Addiction
Simple rules to maximize your effectiveness when seeking steelhead in California.
By Ryan Johnston
The Smith River
An undammed and storied steelhead river at the far northwest corner of our state.
By Bob Gaines
American River Winter Steelhead
Don't expect solitude, but you might hook a hot hatchery fish on this Sacramento-area river.
By Lance Gray
Steelhead Stories
Musings on steelhead fishing and friendships from a novice of the sport.
By Taylor Feezor
Shore Bassin'
You don't need a boat to do well with bass in lakes.
By Dagur Gudmundsson
Fly Fishing Soft Plastics
A new frontier, or the Dark Side?
By Cal Kellogg
California Fly Fisher's 2022 Index of Articles
Where to find articles by title, author, or fishing location.
By Raffi Boloyan

Click here for Doug Lovell's
February 2010 Good Fight article

Click here for Drew Braugh's
March 2011 Good Fight article about the Fall River - page 1 / page 2

We are So Darn Lucky

In a recent conversation, a friend nailed the spirit behind California Fly Fisher. “It’s about the adventure of fishing in our state,” he said, and he was absolutely right. All fishing trips are adventures, inasmuch as the outcome is unknown when first starting out. One might say an adventure simply is an exploration of the unknown, which in turn means there’s an aspect of discovery and maybe even excitement.

California is extraordinary in the range of fly-fishing adventures that it offers, and this range is perhaps the most extraordinary of any state in the nation. At the very least, these adventures fit one or more of four categories: locale, quarry, approach, and intellect. The first two, the adventures of locale and of quarry, are easiest to grasp and are intrinsic to the geographical nature of our state. For locales, we have saltwater and freshwater environs, warm waters and cold waters, mountains and valleys, and notable changes in latitude. All of these aspects influence where we find fish and define the particular fish species available to us at particular locales.

The adventure of approach pertains to the gear and tactics we use. One-handed fly rods, two-handed fly rods, switch rods, Euro-nymphing rods, tenkara rods, rods long and short, whippy and stiff, with lines that float, sink, plummet, and types of casts and tactics that would require a platoon of fingers to count. Using tackle, casts, and tactics competently, successfully, is intrinsic to the adventure of fly fishing.

The fourth category of adventure is intellectual, applying one’s mind to solve the problems we face when fishing. An obvious example is fly design — you venture into the unknown when you give your own twist to an existing pattern or when you create a new fly. The same is true when trying to improve tackle, casts, and tactics. This solving of problems, especially tactical, is a huge source of pleasure for many fly fishers. From frustration comes joy.

However you define an adventure, in California, an open, curious mind will allow you to take advantage of angling opportunities (and problems to solve) that many states lack. When it comes to fly-fishing adventures, ours is truly a land of plenty. Get out there and explore.

     Richard Anderson
     Publisher and Editor

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