Fly Fishing the Northern Sierra with Jon Baiocchi
Many of us tend to forget how big a state California is and how varied and diverse this large, 800-mile+ north-south land mass really is. Most of know about the eastern Sierra (the area around Mammoth, the Owens River, etc.) and we have recently learned details about the southern Sierra, with the Kern River, its North Fork, South Fork and Isabella Lake. But what many are not aware of is the gorgeous country and the great fishing that can be found in the northern Sierra. Well, this month that is all going to change. We’ll be seeing a presentation about fly fishing on three different waters -- two rivers and a stillwater -- that are all exciting, all lovely and all filled with great fish. We’ll be focusing on Plumas and Sierra Counties where we’ll learn about the pristine watershed of the North Fork of the Yuba River, the designated “Wild and Scenic” Middle Fork of the Feather River and the amazing Lake Davis. And our guide will be the perfect person to show and teach us about these wonderful fisheries. (And remember, these places are not that far away from our homes in southern California.)
Jon Baiocchi has been fly fishing and tying flies since 1972, and is a California licensed fly fishing guide, published author, innovative fly tier and talented educator who gives fly fishing presentations to clubs and expos across the state. Born in San Jose in 1965, Jon’s dad, Bob Baiocchi, moved his family to Paradise, California (in the foothills of the northern Sierra near Chico) in 1967 to be closer to prime fly fishing and to raise his family in northern California’s spectacular forests. Bob Baiocchi was inducted into the Federation of Fly Fishers Hall of Fame in 1999 and is remembered as one of the leading (if not the leading) fly fishing educators, environmental conservationists and water rights experts of the last 25 years. Obviously, Bob was a major influence in helping Jon hone his fly fishing skills at a very young age.
In 1991, Jon moved to Colorado to pursue a career as a professional snowboarder. He competed at the national level, starred in feature films, (such as the strangely-named The Hard, the Hungry and the Homeless) and worked with manufacturers in their research and development programs. When this snowboarding career ended, Jon moved back to California in 1997 and started fly fishing full time. He is now based in Nevada City and guides, lectures and teaches year round.
Jon is excited about coming to southern California and giving us all a visual tour about a few of his “home” waters. He’ll show us great fly fishing opportunities and how to take advantage of them. We’ll learn about the gear to use, exactly where to go, including where the access points are, the entomology in the areas and how to approach the fishing during all four seasons. We’ll see wonderful photography (including beautiful flora and fauna), maps and diagrams that can set us up for great adventures. We will also be given insider tips and current information such as the origin of the spectacular Hexagenia mayfly hatch at Lake Davis that just “popped” into existence two years ago. The biomass of this lake makes it one of the healthiest and most productive fisheries in our state.
Jon’s enthusiasm for our sport is contagious and, combined with his straightforward and simple approach to teaching, gives students the skills needed to be successful on all types of water. Sharing knowledge with others is of the greatest importance to him and to see others progress and reach the next level in fly fishing, as he says, “fulfills his life.” Jon’s philosophy on fly fishing is: Keep it simple, be confident in your presentation and, most of all, have fun. His favorite game is stalking and sight fishing to large trout in shallow water, whether on a river, or a stillwater. You can learn more about Jon by going to: