Re: New guy
Bob from Sierra Anglers is a great guy. He and his staff will set you right.
There is another shop in Modesto called Ed Crosby's Tobacconist. It is a cigar/pipe and fly fishing shop in one. Ed Crosby is a very helpful person, too. Ed's shop is an independent Orvis dealer.
Worst case scenario, you can go to Bass Pro in Manteca. You might get someone who might know something about fly fishing.