A full-service gear and instruction shop, Leland Fly Fishing casts fledgling cod catchers into the heart of small-stream adventure with its introductory fly-fishing lessons. Each lesson acquaints amateur anglers with rod, line, fly, and fish during two hours of small-group instruction. Taught on the ranch's private trout lakes, the class covers basic terminology and strategy, as well as a seven-step technique progression to build the perfect cast for hauling in plaque-worthy piscean prizes and sunken mini fridges. Hands-on coaching ensures that each lure launcher leaves with an understanding of fly casting, fly-line construction, and leader tapering, laying a solid base for continued hours of self-practice. Students will be strapped with all the necessary equipment for their first round of line flinging and duck debating, and previously experienced bait pitchers are welcome to bring their own. Classes are held Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
U Threads facilitates the profession of love for alma maters with officially licensed products from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University. The contrast Cal Z cap proudly proclaims school allegiance while concealing forehead tattoos with its classic fitted back and raised, embroidered school logo ($22.99). Large and small craniums snuggle between the adjustable cloth buckles of the Stanford arched-logo cap ($18.99), and the Stanford swimming T-shirt declares specific sport membership with a simple pairing of school and athletic iconography ($14.99). Display the classic Cal script on a hooded sweatshirt ($39.99), a mug ($6.99), and a car flag ($15.99). Parents can convert children to familial fanaticism with youth shirts and baby clothes instead of only feeding them food shaped like the Stanford Tree.
Archers Joesph and Beth Snell opened Pacifica Archery as an all-purpose shop for shooters of any age. Now, the pairs stays busy supervising 15 lanes, scheduling lessons for various skill levels, and hosting league events. The Snells rent out equipment for visitors to use on the 20- and 10-yard lanes, whether they are students attending a seminar or competitors honing their form. The Snells cater to young enthusiasts with archery-development programs, which instruct 8- to 18-year-olds on the finer points of arrow-launching. The onsite pro shop furnishes patrons with long, recurve, and compound bows as well as shooting accessories. Channeling their own hunting expertise, the Snells stock camouflage gear and decoys in the shape of common game, including elk, turkey, and dartboards that have escaped from dive bars.
At the heart of Castro Valley sits Lake Chabot, a 315-acre drinking-water reservoir surrounded by miles of parklands and walking trails. At the marina, Lake Chabot Fishing Outfitters provides a complete assortment of bait and tackle, along with rod and reel rentals, boat rentals, and a café stocked with breakfast and lunch. Depending on the season, anglers can try different fishing methods to track down their desired targets. In the fall through the spring, spoon and fly fishers often reel in hungry trout, and summertime anglers are often successful with catfish, crappies, bluegill, and largemouth bass.
The Rosemarie wasn't always this pretty. The 55-foot long houseboat underwent a seven-month transformation in 2010, when she received canopied upper decks, granite finishes, a homey main salon, and other beauty marks that would almost certainly make her a frontrunner on a season of The Bachelor. Today, the now-luxurious Rosemarie glides gracefully around the California Delta under the direction of Captain Morgan, who has been boating those same waterways since the age of 16. He invites passengers onto his vessel for customizable adventures, some of which even last overnight. Others trips, meanwhile, operate on an hourly basis, including one that cruises up the Old River and beneath the risen Orwood Railroad Bridge.
To Jeff Putnam, fly-fishing isn't just a sport; it's also his work, his leisure, and a large part of his identity. He first pulled on fly-fishing gear at the age of 11, and at 16 began guiding fishermen through the trout- and bass-inhabited waters of Northern California. Since then, he's also worked as a fisherman's guide in Montana and Colorado and cast his line over waters as far away as Belize and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. During group and private lessons, Jeff demonstrates fly-fishing techniques before participants try them out themselves. With his guidance, they learn many ways to hook finned prey from streams and lakes, or to snag inflatable rafts from neighbor's swimming pools.