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Club Outing- Kelsey Bass Ranch


Date: April 28-29, 2018*

Location: Kelsey Bass Ranch 

Cost: $215  


We will be fishing with Wilderness Fly Fishers and Guy Jeans will be available for guiding.

Kelsey is a 125 acre isolated, private catch and release fishing lake filled with trophy size Florida Largemouth Bass. The lake is perfect for float tubing, wading or shore fishing.

Minimum $215.00 for two days fishing (Saturday & Sunday) which includes the cost of
Saturday night's BBQ. For an extra $100 per day you can also fish Friday or Monday. For
an extra $200 you can fish both Friday and Monday. (Note: You can make the decision
about the additional days after you arrive.) Non-fishing companions are welcome and may
come along for just $15. (Cost of the BBQ.)

Kelsey ranch is near Snelling, CA, about 20 miles north of Merced. Set your GPS for
7400 Merced Falls Road, Snelling, CA 95369. It will take you to the ranch entrance.
(Kelsey is about a five hour drive from LA.)

We have permission to camp next to the lake on a lovely park-like peninsula surrounded
by prime angling. (Nearest motel = 35 minutes.)

Note: There is no potable water. It can be hot, so bring more water than you think you need. 

Please email Chiaki: if you have any questions or to sign up for this outing.


What kind of gear do I need?
An 8 weight rod is a good choice. Gives some extra leverage when you need to horse a fish out of the weeds. That said, 6 weights work well, too. Last time I fished almost exclusively with my sixes.

As far as lines, a floating line is the one you will likely use the most. Add a sink tip and you are good for any situation. (I’ve had good luck with a 10’ sink tip. The lake is only about fourteen feet on average.) A level or tapered leader with a 12-15lb tippet. Use a loop knot like a non slip mono or Fordyce loop. (See Tight Lines Fly Shop best loop knot video on YouTube.)

You will also want to have waders. The water is surprisingly chilly.

Can I use something besides a float tube?
Pontoon boats, prams, canoes, etc. are all acceptable. Electric trolling motors are okay. Kelsey is a ‘no wake lake’ so boats with gasoline engines have to go real slow. Wading and fishing from shore are also good ways to go.

What kind of flies will I need?
Fly size doesn’t seem to matter: Top water poppers or deer hair flies. Frog patterns work well. Ditto baitfish patterns like gummy minnows or matukas. Also leeches, woolly buggers, crawdad, dragonfly and damsel patterns. Often it pays to fish with a very slow retrieve. Like so slow you think the hook will rust before you get it back.

What kind of camping gear will I need?

  • Tent - Mostly for privacy. If you don’t own one, or can’t borrow one from someone, you can rent a tent (and other camping gear) at A-16, REI, Sport Chalet, etc.
  • Bedding - Sleeping bag or blankets, pillow, foam sleeping pads.
  • Ice Chest(s)
  • Water - Bottled for both drinking & washing
  • Lighting - Lantern, flashlight, etc.
  • Cook stove - We usually do a cold breakfast & lunch and something simple for dinner. (Except for Saturday night when we all contribute a side dish.) More than likely you can ‘borrow’ a burner to heat something up.

Stuff you don’t absolutely need, but is nice to have:

  • Camp Chair
  • Cot
  • Camp Table
Earlier Event: March 17
Hockey Day
Later Event: May 19