GBF Classes & Workshops Curriculum

Updated Jan 7, 2024

Note: Most of these GBF events are free to members. There may be exceptions
printing costs for hand-outs are involved.

Email Eric Palmer, Education Chair, with any questions or suggestions for new educational programs.

  • Fly Tying Basics: Designed for first time fly tiers.   Club members will learn how to use fly tying tools, select materials, and the techniques to tie several different patterns.   Equipment and materials will be provided.   There is a nominal fee to cover costs of materials.
  • Fly Tying Jam:   This is a monthly fly tying “get-together”  (third Tuesday at the club house) conducted by master fly tier Jim Holmes with an assist from other club experts.   Members will tie seasonal flies and special requests.   Bring your own equipment, or use club loaner tying tools, or just come and watch and ask questions. Jim also has plenty of tying materials to spare. More info here.
  • Workshop on Novelty Flies (wasp): Members will learn the fine art of making very fancy flies like ants, wasps, and humming birds.  There may be a small fee to cover the costs of materials.
  • Fly Fishing 101:   This popular class is for members who are new to fly fishing, or returning after a break, or even experienced fly fishers who feel a review is in order.   It’s a two-evening comprehensive course on all the essentials of fly fishing. There’s a $10 charge to cover printing costs of the extensive course book provided to all participants.
  • Fly Rod and Fly Line Selection: How to select your first rod, and how to match a suitable line that optimally loads your rod. What to look for and expect from rods as you advance up the line in terms of cost and performance.
  • Fly Casting:   These “members only” free workshops are conducted by certified casting instructors and structured for beginner through advanced fly casters. The six essential elements of a fly cast will be addressed. Instruction includes learning the role cast; the pickup and laydown forward cast; false casting; shooting line to add distance; and introduction to the double haul. The club has practice rods available for people who need them.
  • Introduction to Spey Casting:   This free workshop introduces club members to the exciting world of two handed casting with a spey rod. Casts include the roll cast, switch cast, snap T, single spey and more.   The club has a limited number of loaner spey rods.
  • Rod Building: This class covers basic rod building techniques of splining blanks, fitting and installing reel seats and handles, selecting and attaching line guides with nylon thread, and sealing the thread wraps with epoxy finish. The rod building is done during 3 classes (7-8 hours total) that are held at L3Rods in Citrus Heights. Costs for kits range from $150 (entry level) to $800 (high end tricked out) and include all parts, building instruction, and equipment. Currently, most common rod kits with high end blanks, guides, and great durability range from $200-$350. **
  • Net Building:  In this hands-on workshop, club members will build a wooden laminated net from precut materials, including fine/exotic hardwoods of their own choosing for a truly custom one-of-a-kind heirloom net.  Woodworking experience is not necessary.  Each workshop consists of 3 sessions, approximately 2 hours each, with only 5 participants in each.  Participants will leave after the final session with a net ready for final sanding and finishing at home, followed by attachment of the webbed net bag. Cost for materials will run between $30 and $50 depending on the net style and options selected.  Purchasing a similar net in a fly shop costs between $125 and $200.   Five workshops are conducted from January through April in a member’s woodshop in Orangevale.  This activity is normally limited to 25 members per year. **
  • Knot Tying:   A series of workshops covering all the knots needed to connect everything from the reel to the fly, and then some.   Being able to tie the knots quickly and properly will greatly improve your fly fishing success. There’s a $10 charge to cover printing costs of the extensive course book provided to all participants.**
  • Try Float Tubing: This on-the-water experience, usually at Fuller Lake, will introduce members to lake fishing using a float tube or pontoon boat. It’s a “try before you buy” opportunity where other members and the club loan you the necessary gear to see if float tubing still water is for you. Also a great way to check out various flotation devices, fins and other gear for comparison before you buy.
  • Tenkara Fishing Classes & Workshops: These activities will introduce members to the Tenkara method of fly-fishing from Japan, which uses only a rod, line, and fly. The 2 to 3 hour sessions cover care of the equipment, casting, fly presentation strategies, Tenkara flies, and problems that might be encountered. Tenkara is the ideal setup for anyone looking for an intuitive and fun way to fly-fish, something to take along on a backpacking fishing trip or to teach kids the art of fly-fishing, without the complexities. These particular events are  limited to 5 members at a time. **

** Denotes a class that meets one of the requirements of the Golden Trout Award Program.