Hey Glen welcome to the board. You may want to check out some of the stuff in the FAQ section and browse some past threads on the forum too. As far as you questions go,
1. Leyland is a pretty well respected fly shop in San Fran, and they offer intro fly fishing instruction, including casting lessons on the casting pools at Golden Gate Park
About Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters
2. There are tons of options for gear depending on your budget, ranging from beginner outfits for 100 (for rod, reel, line) to high priced rods/reels that run into big bucks that could cost upwards to 1,300 bucks to put a top of the line outfit together. But I think you're wise to look for something that will be good to get started, but also something that you can grow into as your casting improves. You might want to consider something like:
Rod: Sage Launch 9’ 5 weight (four piece for easy airline travel) at around 245 bucks,
Reel: Lamson Konic size 2.0 at around 129 bucks
Line: Good quality floating weight forward taper like a Rio Grand, to match rod ( i.e. 5 weight line for 5 weight rod) about 70 bucks
Again, there are a lot of other rods and reels that will fit the bill, and there are many good choices at different price points, whatever your budget. I’d recommend you take a casting class before you buy, and test out a few different rods during and after the class. (if you take a class make sure you can arrange to borrow gear when you book it.)
3. A good fly shop can help you set up here with fly patterns and rigging. One of the advantages of buying from a fly shop (as opposed to a big box store) is that you can take advantage of their expertise
4. Leylands and the very respected The Fly Shop in Redding CA THE FLY SHOP - FLY FISHING EQUIPMENT, GUIDE SERVICES, AND INTERNATIONAL FLY FISHING TRIPS
offer on-water instruction, and you may want to consider a guided trip to get you started after you practice some casting. The Fly shop has schools that are worth looking into as well. As a “stream reports section that can tell you what is going on in No CA streams.
I’d also highly recommend doing a search for local chapters of Trout Unlimited or for clubs affiliated with the Federation of Fly Fishers. These groups offer informative meetings, casting clinics, group trips and in the case of the FFF, you can do a search for certified instructors by clicking on the “Casting Certification “ tab.
Here a link for TU Council/Chapter Search | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries
And for FFF Locate a Club
Good luck, keep asking questions -- lot's of folks her that can help you get off to a good start.