Great weather and quality guests gathered at the Graeagle Outpost in preparation for the LostCoast Outfitters Middle Fork Feather River clinic. The clinic was designed to give our aspiring fly anglers a look into this designated Wild & Scenic River adopted by the United States Forest Service in 1967. Though it was not the best year for fishing conditions due to our extreme drought here in California, the main emphasis was for future knowledge when the river is more productive. Our students were very eager to get thrown in the mix, and away we went to the Camp Layman area.
After setting up my mobile workshop, I passed out some killer handouts like my Middle Fork Feather trip planner which included a brief explanation of the river, safety, equipment, diagrams of the most popular rigs, flies, and a simple map. The other handout was on the entomology of the river, and the special bugs that call the Middle Fork Feather home. The handout explained complete and incomplete metamorphosis, different species, and a great reference index for future reading.
We then went over proper rod set ups, lines, and reels. Proper rigging endured including presentations for nymphing, dry / dropper applications, and pure dry fly fishing. Next up where simple knots that bind the system together in a very easy and manageable way. Then the fun stuff began like an onsite collection of aquatic insects. Samples included caddis flies and midge that dominated our collection tray, we then compared them to our fly boxes to get a real understanding on which flies to choose and why. After a hardy lunch it was time to suit up, hit the water, and learn the many presentations that are effective on this grand freestone sierra river. Reading water was a big part of the on stream portion of this clinic, and one of most important lessons to be learned. We actually fished after some casting demos for a few hours, and I spent some time with each student conducting one on one instruction while refining technique. We had a few sprinkles of rain and dark clouds but we were able to finish the clinic relatively dry for the most part.
Everybody in the clinic learned so much and walked away a better fly angler with a greater understanding on how to approach, and to be successful on the Middle Fork Feather River. Lost Coast Outfitters will be offering more informative clinics and outings in the very near future. If you're new to fly fishing, don’t delay in signing up as they fill up quickly. Shorten the learning curve and get the right info. Knowledge, experience, and practice is everything when it comes to fly fishing.