Local News

Travel California’s ‘trout highway’ at Fly Fishers’ meeting

By From page A14 | March 22, 2013

Greg Vinci shows off a colorful rainbow trout. Courtesy photo

Greg Vinci shows off a colorful rainbow trout. Courtesy photo

The Fly Fishers of Davis will host Greg Vinci on Tuesday in a program called “Highway 395 — California’s Trout Highway.” The group meets to swap fish stories at 7:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Harper Junior High School, 4000 E. Covell Blvd. Monthly meetings are free and open to newcomers and guests.

The eastern Sierra Nevada is home to lots of fly fishing waters. Vinci’s presentation begins at the East and West Carson rivers and covers the best fly fishing waters along Highway 395 down to the Owens Gorge. Among the waters visited are the East Walker, West Walker, Rush Creek, Upper Owens, Hot Creek, McGee Creek, San Joaquin and Owens Gorge.

Growing up in Southern California during the 1950s and 1960s, Vinci looked forward each year to his annual fishing trip to the Sierra Nevada with his dad. Because he had so few opportunities in Southern California to fish for fresh water fish such as trout, trying to do so became a passion. When he moved north to attend college in Sacramento, he found himself living in a college dormitory that was only 75 yards from one of the most prolific steelhead waters on the West Coast.

“It was the first time in his life that all the stars were aligned, as within that 75 yards there existed everything that was important to him at the time — a place to live, a swimming pool, a dorm with about 200 coeds and trophy trout fishing,” a news release said.

In the 23 years that Vinci has been in the fly tackle industry, his career has taken him down diverse paths. In 1989, he started Sierra Pacific Products, which became one of the major wholesale distributors in the fly tackle industry. Vinci developed several best-selling product lines that are still being sold today.

He sold the business in 2010 and since then he has been able to re-establish a relationship with his first loves — writing and photography — which can be now seen in many fly fishing and outdoor magazines such as Fly Fisherman, American Angler, Flyfishing & Tying Journal, Salmon & Steelhead Journal, Northwest and Southwest Fly Fishing magazines, California Fly Fisher, Sierra Heritage and Runner’s World.

He also has kept his foot in the door of the fly business, by continuing to develop fly tackle product lines on a consultancy basis for clients in the fly tackle industry. In 2011, his product Insta-Set Indicators was selected by Field & Stream magazine as the best fly tackle accessory of the year.

One of his most recent endeavors has been to develop the California-FlyFishing.com website, which is a portal to California’s most popular waters. As a signature fly tier for Umpqua Feather Merchants, he has developed fly patterns that can be found in most fly shops around the country.

Local residents who are interested in learning to fly fish are invited to attend Tuesday’s meeting and ask about the group’s introductory and intermediate fly fishing courses. The club is also working on a program for young fly fishers (under 16).

For more information, call Lowell Ashbaugh at 530-797-6722 or visit www.dcn.davis.ca.us/go/ffd.

Enterprise staff

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