Bill Carnazzo is a California native, born on the Monterey Peninsula; his father emigrated from Sicily, and his mother was born shortly after her parents emigrated from there. His grandfather was a commercial fisherman in the waters of Monterey Bay. Bill grew up around fishing, and hung around at the Old Fisherman’s Wharf as a youngster. He fished on occasion with his grandfather, and on his own in the surf, on the rocks, and around the wharves. As a teenager, he became interested in fishing the coastal streams in the area for trout and steelhead-the Carmel River which at that time ran to the ocean all year round and supported huge steelhead; creeks such as Garrapata and others south of Monterey; the Little Sur and Big Sur Rivers; and the streams in the Los Padres wilderness area between the coastal and Salinas River drainages.
Bill has been fly fishing for nearly 50 years and guided for many years on the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, in and near Dunsmuir, California. He currently specializes in backcountry deep-canyon, hike-in fishing in the wilderness areas surrounding the community of Foresthill, including the upper Middle Fork American River drainage (which includes the upper Middle Fork itself, the Rubicon River, Long Canyon Creek, Wallace Creek, Duncan Creek, Deep Canyon Creek, and other backcountry streams), the North Fork American River and its numerous back country tributaries, and the North Yuba River. His guiding career began in 1995, and intensified in 2003 when he retired from his position as Chief Assistant City Attorney for the City of Sacramento. A master fly tyer who ties at many fly fishing shows, Bill has created many “fish catcher” fly designs, including October Caddis imitations such as Bill’s Stick Caddis. When not on the river or at the tying bench, Bill works part time at Kiene’s Fly Shop and teaches fly fishing at Sierra Community College. He also teaches advanced fly tying classes for Granite Bay Flycasters, Bill routinely conducts clinics on nymphing and pocket water fishing for groups, clubs, shops, and others. He presents programs at Northern California fly fishing clubs, concentrating on fishing backcountry venues, and short line nymphing techniques. Bill has authored numerous articles for California Fly Fisher magazine, and is the “At the Vise” columnist/fly tying editor for that magazine. He was a founding member of Granite Bay Flycasters, and has been club president twice. Bill lives in Foresthill, California, a mountain community northeast of Auburn, California, and has a home in Dunsmuir on the Upper Sacramento River.
Bill has fished many great waters, including most of the popular rivers in Idaho and Montana; the North Umpqua, Rogue, McKenzie, Metolious, Williamson, Grand Ronde, Deschutes, and other rivers in Oregon; virtually all of the main rivers in Northern California for trout and steelhead along with High Sierra streams, creeks, and lakes; in Labrador for giant brookies; in Manitoba for Lake Trout and and Northern Pike; in Alaska for salmon; and in salt water venues such as Loreto and La Paz in Baja California, and elsewhere in Mexico for both salt water species and Largemouth Bass in lakes near Mazatlan.