Peninsula Fly Fishers

October Stillwater Striped Bass Fishout

  • October 16, 2021
  • 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM
  • O'Neill Forebay, Santa Nella, CA
  • 2


Registration is closed

Stillwater Striped Bass Fishout -- O'Neill Forebay

Come join us to learn and enjoy fly fishing for striped bass at the O'Neill Forebay!  The Forebay is part of the State Water Project and is an ideal striped bass fishery (with also some largemouth bass) within a very reasonable 1.5 - 2 hour drive of the SF Peninsula.  

Last year we had a full turnout for this fishout and we expect the same this year. Registration opens Friday, Sept. 17.

The fishout includes a BBQ lunch with sausages, hot dogs, chips and drinks.  We will have some soft drinks and water but feel free to bring your beverage of choice.

NOTE: We are also holding another Forebay fishout on Saturday, Nov. 20.  If you are interested in that fishout but also register for this fishout, we encourage you to wait one week to give others who are not registered for this October fishout to do so for the November fishout.

The Forebay is an equaliziing area for water brought in from the California Aquaduct, before it is pumped up to the much larger San Luis Reservoir for storage. This pumping and subsequent releases from the lake back into the Forebay creates a slight current that is ideal to put stripers into a feeding mode.

Did you know that the state sport fishing striped bass record fish (67 1/2 lbs) was caught in the Forebay?

For those who have not fly fished for stillwater striped bass or the Forebay, we recommend watching the video playback of local striper expert Bill Scharninghausen's Sept. 2020 presentation to PFF on stillwater stripers on the fly. (PFF member login required to access presentation.)

At the start of the fishout, Elmar will provide an overview of the basic techniques for fly fishing the Forebay for those who have not fished it before.


  • Bring your own float tube or pontoon and fly fishing gear. 
  • Not recommended for beginning fly fishers.  Should have experience casting shooting heads and/or fast sinktips.
  • Must have a life preserver or PFD with you on the water. 
  • Have at least one wader belt secured around your waist.
  • Be in reasonable physical condition as you'll need to kick or row to locations on the water to find fish, sometimes against a mild wind.


The Forebay and the larger San Luis Reservoir are susceptible to high winds, although in the fall they are usually milder than in the summer.  Nevertheless, we will monitor wind conditions and notify attendees if we need to reschedule.  The weather in that area is very dynamic and can change quickly.  We will also monitor conditions closely during the fishout. 


Click here to view, download or print the O'Neill Forebay Fishout handout.      

REQUIRED GEAR (Will be updated in more detail at the November Workshop.)

  • Rods -- 7-9 wt single handed rods
  • Lines -- Fast-sinking shooting heads (Bill likes an integrated shooting head of 250-300 grains for a 7wt rod).  You can also bring an intermediate full-sinking line for shallower areas.
  • Leaders/tippets -- 15-20 lb straight mono, no tapered leaders needed
  • Flies -- Clousers, Deceivers and other baitfish patterns.  Bill will cover these in October.
  • Clothing layers to cover everything from warm weather to cool, windy, and rain.
  • Bring a folding chair to sit on during our BBQ lunch.


  • The maximum attendance is eight (8) anglers. 
  • The minimum attendance is six (6) attendees to hold the fishout.
  • Attendance is limited due to the nature of the fishout. 
  • We will monitor weather and wind conditions prior to the fishout.  The fishmaster will communicate with attendees if there are changes to the fishout (or it must be rescheduled) due to weather.


Elmar Jakoby, PFF Treasurer

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