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California Surf Fishing


We will see and learn of the great fly fishing available in what is commonly referred to as “Calvada,” the northeast part of California that also includes parts of our neighboring state, Nevada. The beauty of this area, the variety of exciting fly fishing, the size of some of the fish here and the specific strategies used to catch these fish will amaze and delight all who step into Calvada waters. There are rivers, creeks and stillwaters galore and we can dip into all of them . . . and not be that far from our homes in SoCal.
The person to guide us on this journey is, without a doubt, the perfect choice. While for 47 years Doug Ouellette has fished throughout the United States, Canada and New Zealand, his waters of choice, concentration and definite expertise include the Truckee River, the Little Truckee River, Knott Creek Reservoir, South Fork Reservoir and Humboldt River. Doug will show us some of these excellent fisheries, the types of fish found there, what food they eat, what flies and techniques they succumb to, how to read the maps and the water in these areas and, in general, how to have a truly memorable fly fishing experience.
Doug’s personal story explains why he is so perfect to be the one to lead us on this journey. He was born in San Jose, California, the third of seven children, six of them boys. As he will tell you, he grew up as a country boy in the oak tree covered hills of Morgan Hill, California. As a youngster, he scouted those hills, cattle ponds and mountain springs to find and study snakes, frogs, lizards and, of course, fish. He caught minnows, bullfrogs and even, when only five-year-old and with only his hands, captured his first bluegill. Doug describes his most traumatic childhood experience as being forced to wear shoes and that was because he was starting kindergarten.
When he was ten, his family moved to Sunnyvale, California where his father became the athletic director and head football coach at Peterson High School. Doug went on to become an outstanding athlete in high school and later became a successful football and wrestling coach.
When Doug was 12-years-old, he spent most of his lunch periods in the school library reading and studying all the books and magazines he could find about fly fishing, including articles in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield. In fact, when he was a sophomore, he wrote a thorough and well-researched report titled: Trout, The Thoroughbred of Fishes. (His biology teacher was so impressed, he filed it in his personal library.)
Doug has always gone fly fishing whenever possible, learning all he could of the habits and mannerisms of wild trout in the small spring-fed creeks, the rivers and lakes of the central coast mountains. He learned from, and was mentored by Hall of Fame fly tier Bob Quigley, stillwater great Hal Janssen and legendary nymph fisherman Charlie Brooks.
In 1976 Doug moved to Reno, transferring to Nevada Bell from Pac Tel and, in his free time, started concentrating on learning everything he could about the streams in this area. In 1985 he started presenting slide shows for the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) and continues to do that to this day. He retired from Nevada Bell in 2001 and started guiding in 2004. He is a Nevada master guide, a California guide and a Pyramid Lake guide, and can be checked out at <www.calvadaflyfishing.com>. Doug is also a professional contract fly tier for “Umpqua Flies” with three patented fly patterns: Stonedaddy, Peaches & Cream, and Sweet Pea.
Doug explains that he absolutely loves to teach and share whatever he has learned about fly fishing, with absolutely no secrets held back. He lives just a few hundred yards from the Truckee River and has released several trophy browns and rainbows from this river. His most sincere hope is to pass on his enthusiasm and knowledge about his favorite waters.We will see and learn of the great fly fishing available in what is commonly referred to as “Calvada,” the northeast part of California that also includes parts of our neighboring state, Nevada. The beauty of this area, the variety of exciting fly fishing, the size of some of the fish here and the specific strategies used to catch these fish will amaze and delight all who step into Calvada waters. There are rivers, creeks and stillwaters galore and we can dip into all of them . . . and not be that far from our homes in SoCal.
The person to guide us on this journey is, without a doubt, the perfect choice. While for 47 years Doug Ouellette has fished throughout the United States, Canada and New Zealand, his waters of choice, concentration and definite expertise include the Truckee River, the Little Truckee River, Knott Creek Reservoir, South Fork Reservoir and Humboldt River. Doug will show us some of these excellent fisheries, the types of fish found there, what food they eat, what flies and techniques they succumb to, how to read the maps and the water in these areas and, in general, how to have a truly memorable fly fishing experience.
Doug’s personal story explains why he is so perfect to be the one to lead us on this journey. He was born in San Jose, California, the third of seven children, six of them boys. As he will tell you, he grew up as a country boy in the oak tree covered hills of Morgan Hill, California. As a youngster, he scouted those hills, cattle ponds and mountain springs to find and study snakes, frogs, lizards and, of course, fish. He caught minnows, bullfrogs and even, when only five-year-old and with only his hands, captured his first bluegill. Doug describes his most traumatic childhood experience as being forced to wear shoes and that was because he was starting kindergarten.
When he was ten, his family moved to Sunnyvale, California where his father became the athletic director and head football coach at Peterson High School. Doug went on to become an outstanding athlete in high school and later became a successful football and wrestling coach.
When Doug was 12-years-old, he spent most of his lunch periods in the school library reading and studying all the books and magazines he could find about fly fishing, including articles in Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Sports Afield. In fact, when he was a sophomore, he wrote a thorough and well-researched report titled: Trout, The Thoroughbred of Fishes. (His biology teacher was so impressed, he filed it in his personal library.)
Doug has always gone fly fishing whenever possible, learning all he could of the habits and mannerisms of wild trout in the small spring-fed creeks, the rivers and lakes of the central coast mountains. He learned from, and was mentored by Hall of Fame fly tier Bob Quigley, stillwater great Hal Janssen and legendary nymph fisherman Charlie Brooks.
In 1976 Doug moved to Reno, transferring to Nevada Bell from Pac Tel and, in his free time, started concentrating on learning everything he could about the streams in this area. In 1985 he started presenting slide shows for the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) and continues to do that to this day. He retired from Nevada Bell in 2001 and started guiding in 2004. He is a Nevada master guide, a California guide and a Pyramid Lake guide, and can be checked out at <www.calvadaflyfishing.com>. Doug is also a professional contract fly tier for “Umpqua Flies” with three patented fly patterns: Stonedaddy, Peaches & Cream, and Sweet Pea.
Doug explains that he absolutely loves to teach and share whatever he has learned about fly fishing, with absolutely no secrets held back. He lives just a few hundred yards from the Truckee River and has released several trophy browns and rainbows from this river. His most sincere hope is to pass on his enthusiasm and knowledge about his favorite waters.


with Al Quattrocchi

 





 

 

Did you know that you don’t have to make a four or five hour drive to find great fly fishing in southern California? In fact, we have the largest saltwater pond right outside the door in our own back yard? The Pacific coast of California is an amazing and mysterious ecosystem that beckons to be explored with fly rod in hand. And we are going to see and learn all about it this month with a true expert.


 

Al Quattrocchi has been fishing the surf on three coasts of America for more than forty years. His presentation, which could be titled “Fly Fishing the Surf in Ten Basic Steps,” will demystify this challenging environment and invite you, as well as show you, how to explore our largest fly fishing resource totally on your own.

Al (known to almost everyone as Al “Q”) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. There, early in his childhood, he developed his love for saltwater fishing while living in Sheepshead Bay, once home to the largest commercial fishing fleet operating in the U.S. As a teenager he spent his formative saltwater fishing years on party boats, piers, bridges, beaches and jetties in and around Sheepshead Bay as well as Breezy Point, Rockaway and Jamaica Bay.



After moving to California in the late seventies to attend college, Al was inspired to switch from plugs to the fly rod. Here he began his fly fishing journey after years of reading articles written by saltwater fly fishing luminaries such as Joe Brooks, Lefty Kreh, Frank Woolner, Bob Popovics, Lou Tabory and our own Nick Curcione.

Al lectures and presents programs to many fly fishing clubs and fly shops in southern California. He founded the “One Surf Fly,” an event which he created to help promote his favorite sport along the SoCal coast. Al also created the “Double Haul Ball,” which is a free, educational and collaborative effort put forth by local fly fishing friends and Federation of Fly Fishers certified casters and is held once a year at the historic Long Beach Casting Club. Al and good friend Conway Bowman (of “Bowman Bluewater” and “Fly Fishing the World” fame) both host the Carp Throwdown at Lake Henshaw, San Diego each June. This Orvis sponsored event is mainly a sight-fishing tournament for carp-enthusiasts and has been widely recognized across the country. The tournament is timed around the hopper hatch so anglers can experience dry fly sight-fishing for cruising carp. 


 

Al’s articles and fly patterns have been published in Fly Fishing in SaltwatersFly TyerCalifornia Fly Fisher and Saltwater Fly Fishing magazines. He is currently on the pro tying staffs for Umpqua, Tuffleye and Enrico Puglisi. His Beach Bug pattern is one of the best selling SoCal surf flies in Umpqua’s Surf Fly Series. Al’s other commercial Umpqua patterns include Qs Corbina CandyQs Thin Lizzie and the Qs Ghost Whisper

As an avid fly angler, fly tier, artist and photographer, Al continues to draw inspiration from the sea. He hopes to expand his passion and love of saltwater fly fishing through teaching and mentoring one angler at a time through “The Fly Zone,” a comprehensive program he and his friend (and Wilderness Fly Fisher member) Jim Solomon created to help anglers learn to be better fly casters.



Al resides in Westchester, California with his wife Janet and daughter Quinn. He is a creative director at Tornado Creative, the award-winning design agency located in the historic Helms Bakery in Culver City.

Al’s fishing blog can be found at: https://alquattrocchi.wordpress.com