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Testimonials

Feedback From Clients and Peers

"After spending half of my life in the fly fishing industry it is easy to tell the people that have the gift of guiding and those that don't. Some people just breathe a deep love and passion for exploring the outdoors with fly rod in hand. I can personally tell you that Chuck is one of those people that has the gift. That is the reason he has been a great addition to the Cast Hope guide staff. He is the kind of guy that you want to be in the boat with from his laid back demeanor, to his work hard ethic, to his passion for life, to his passion for the outdoors, and his countless years of expertise. This guy has fished more spots across this country that I can only imagine in my dreams. If there is a fish in the water Chuck will know how to catch it. Whether its chasing trout, bass, or whatever other creature that swims with fins, I can guarantee that you are going to have a blast in his boat. To be honest isn't that what it is all about. Each one of us are trying to make a memory with a friend, family member, or loved one and there is no better way to make that memory happen than a day with Chuck Ragan. I am honored that we have Chuck a part of our guide staff and you would be lucky to get to spend a day in his boat."

- Ryan Johnston
Cast Hope - Executive Director
RJ's Fly Trips - Owner/Guide

"In a way I met Chuck Ragan nearly 18 years ago on the way to Deer Creek in Nevada County my senior year of High School. I was riding shot gun in my buddy Scott Catani’s early 90’s Ford Mustang to fish with our new Orvis Clearwater 5wts. Chuck’s voice hit me like a ton of bricks as I first heard Hot Water Music. The song “Position” blared through the car stereo forever changing my life. To say Hot Water Music and Chuck’s solo work has been a big part of my life would be akin to saying water and food are some what important to all organisms. I can only imagine how many drives to and from the river by myself and guides throughout the world Chucks music has been the sound track for.

I would not officially meet Chuck until I was much older. We connected through our mutual love for fly fishing the Lower Yuba River. The first day I spent with Chuck on the Lower Yuba River it was evident that the passion that fills Chuck music is not a singular passion, but a passion that flows through every fiber of his being. Whether it is chasing bass on his local reservoirs, trout on the Lower Yuba River, or sharing the outdoors with those that have not had the opportunities in life that he has through his work with Cast Hope; his love of the outdoors, the waters that flow through it, and the fish that live in them is not only evident, but contagious.

Chuck spends more time in the outdoors then anyone I know; guiding, fishing, hunting, and sharing the outdoors with his wife Jill and son Grady. I tend to think there are guys that take people fishing and then there are true guides…but then there is Chuck. Chuck has built his entire life around spending time outdoors doing what he loves while sharing it with anyone that he can. A day on the water with Chuck is to immerse oneself in this passion. Chuck is truly devoted to his craft, and one of the fishiest well rounded minds in fly fishing I have ever met. He has put in the hours, observed, practiced, and then put into action years of time on the water from California to Florida, from small high mountain streams to expansive salt water flats fishing for trout to trophy tarpon. He is one of the most patient, passionate, and hard working guides I know. A good friend of Chuck and mines ounce said, “Chuck is the real deal…I am a better person because I know, fish, and spend time with Chuck.” What more could any one ask for in a guide or a friend."

- Hogan Brown
Chico, California

"I have had the pleasure of knowing Chuck Ragan for a relatively short time. During that period I have gotten to know him as one of the truly special people in the fly fishing industry. I first met Chuck as an instructor for Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters Guide School. I am the Guide School Director and we were in need of a replacement for one of our drift boat guiding instructors. Due to the last minute nature of the situation, I did not have time to meet or talk with him prior to the day we were holding the class. I had to go solely on the recommendation of our other instructors which is normally not my standard procedure. We met the morning of class at the Sailor Bar boat ramp on the American River and from the first few minutes, my instinct and intuition told me that this was a great addition to our guide school staff. As I watched and listened to him teach and interact with our students that fact was reiterated again and again. I found him to be extremely knowledgeable and passionate about drift boat rowing and fly fishing. It was obvious that his only goal was to ensure that he developed his students into the best rowers, fly fishers, and stewards of the river that he possibly could during that eight hour day. No going through the motions for him. His passion was inspiring but it was his humble teaching style that most impressed me. I have been around the fly fishing industry for over twenty years and in that time I have met hundreds of guides and fly fishing professionals. Out of that large group of individuals there are few that are truly memorable. In a profession that at times can be full of ego and self- importance, the one common trait of those I remember and respect is a tremendous sense of humility and gratitude. The late Bill Lowe was one of those. Chuck is another that I can add to that list. I have had the opportunity to fish with Chuck and all of my impressions were reinforced. He is the exact same guy regardless of who he is with. The best part of fishing with him was not the fish caught but the conversation and fellowship we shared throughout the day. Seeing him help a young man on the river who was having a tough day (he stopped and gave him a few flies and advice) went right my core values and my view of how I think the world should be. The fly fishing industry gets better every day when guys like Chuck are out there representing us and spreading the message."

- Rick McGuire
Guide School Director, Instructor
Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters

"Last December as I planned my annual trip to San Francisco to see family, I was struck by the idea that maybe I should go a few days ahead of my wife and fish a day or two or three! After a little research for location and quality of fishing I settled on the Yuba River and gave Guide Hogan Brown a call on the recommendation of Lost Coast Outfitters. Hogan called me back and informed me that he was booked, but had a great guide that was available and that Chuck Ragan would be my guide for three days. While I’m sure that Hogan is a great guide, I feel very fortunate that he was booked as I could not imagine a better experience than I had with Chuck Ragan!

I am what I consider to be a seasoned fly fisherman and I have honed my craft in my home state of Michigan. I was really excited about fishing the Yuba, seeing new water and learning new techniques. What a great three days it was as we swung flies, threw dries at rising trout, drifted nymphs and Chuck even allowed me to strip some streamers, one of my passions! As someone who fishes 80-100 days a year, I know the importance of knowing your water. Chuck knew the Yuba like the back of his hand and his hand tied flies were the ticket for those wild California trout! Chuck certainly went the extra mile each day that we were on the water working hard to get extra shots at fish. Many times Chuck would row back upstream or walk the boat back upstream to put me in the best position to get a tug! I enjoyed our time together very much, the conversation was easy and enjoyable. Chuck’s laid back personality is perfect for a relaxing and enjoyable day on the water. I will never forget those three days on the Yuba with Chuck and plan to make it an annual trip! If anyone is looking for a great guide, casting instructor and river ambassador, Chuck Ragan is your guy!"

- John Lowman
Michigan

"I’ve been fortunate enough to fish with Chuck a handful of times over the past year and a half and can safely say that I have gained much more from each experience than just photo opportunities with sizeable trout and bass. Not only has Chuck been able to improve how I cast and rig my lines; he has given invaluable information on river structure, trout/bass habitats, and key pointers on the safe release of your catch coupled with countless other pertinent but often overlooked conservation tips.

From a terminal tackle perspective: If you need anything Chuck doesn’t have, you probably don’t need it. Every line type, leader, and fly you could possibly dream of is provided. All rods are in great shape and cast associated line perfectly. In addition to the tackle, both boats (float and motorized) are well stocked with any and all personal supplies (sunscreen, water, food, life vests) you may have forgotten.

Lastly, Chuck is just fun to fish with. There’s never a stall in conversation and you can tell he is genuinely excited to be out on the water sharing his knowledge and love for the sport. It doesn’t matter if you are new to fly fishing or have been doing it your whole life; you will have a damn fine time when you choose Chuck as your guide."

- Dan Costello
San Francisco

"Spending a day on the Yuba with Chuck was a memorable experience his knowledge and expertise on the river was on par with anyone I have ever fished with. His skills with a rod & reel rival his skills with a guitar and that is quite the compliment, fish with him and you will have memories that will last a lifetime."

- Kevin Lyman
Los Angeles

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