Jeff Putnam

Sacramento, CA

Fly fishing is the adventure into our own soul to help us understand our place on Earth

Waters you call home

American River, Klamath River, Mcloud River

Funny Fact

As a kid I flushed my tropical fish down the toilet to raise aquatic insects (that wouldn’t be eaten) to study them for fly tying… until my mom walked my room during a caddis hatch and thought they would eat her clothes. After lots of explaining the bugs got to stay.


At eleven years of age Jeff traded in his spinning rod for his first fly fishing outfit and started fishing many trout-filled streams in the Sierra Mountains. It was not long before fishing challenging gin-clear spring creeks, emerald green coastal steelhead rivers and fertile lakes all over the Western U.S. that Jeff realized fly fishing was more than just a sport. Jeff began fly tying commercially at 13 and started guiding fly fishermen on Northern California's waters as early as age 16. He is a F.F.F. Certified Casting Instructor both CI.and THCI. He was the 5th person in the world to pass the double handed certification test.

Since then Jeff has worked many positions in the industry including retail fly shop sales, manufactures rep, fly fishing guide in California, Montana and Colorado and fly fishing instructor. Jeff has also been fortunate to have traveled to some top fly fishing destinations around the world in search of the ultimate fly fishing experience including the Dean River for monster steelhead, Tsiu River in Alaska, tropics of Belize for tarpon and Christmas Island for bonefish.

Jeff appears in a series of instructional fly fishing videos DVD’s including the first 3D fly fishing video and provides seminars and presentations for fly fishing expos, angling groups, fly fishing clubs, fly shops, fly fishing manufacturers and corporate groups. Jeff also is a manufactures equipment consultant. He runs his own fly fishing school and assists individuals and groups on fly fishing travel and outfitting. Jeff enjoys fishing local waters for any species he can catch on a fly rod and possesses a true angling passion for spey fishing for steelhead, catching rising trout on light rods and searching the saltwater flats.

Personal beliefs on fly fishing

It’s way beyond just catching fish… fly fishing is the adventure into our own soul to help us understand our place on Earth, our lives and this incredible moment.

Species you specialize in

Steelhead, Trout, Shad and Striped Bass

Preferred fishing method

Swinging Spey

Favorite RIO Line

(This is the toughest question to answer) RIO Scandi


I’ve tried the rest and they don’t compare and I can always find a RIO line that’s very specific to my needs.

Favorite Knot

(I think there’s a joke here but I’ll try to contain myself) The Eugene Bend Knot

Special Rigging Techniques

When swinging for steelhead or other large fish, eliminate the tippet knot by tying your fly directly to the end of the leader. This will eliminate a weak link that can easily break during the grab.

Best Fly Fishing Tip

Continue to improve your casting skills.