New Experiences

Maybe its just that i’m still young? More and more I just get so sick of seeing the same trout stuff online, i’m sick of drifting nymphs, or catching fish the same way in general. Right now, in fly fishing, all I want to do is try new things. Participating in every type of fly fishing for every species ever fly fished to, in one lifetime, is literally impossible. You just cant live long enough to do it, even with all the money in the world. Thats what I love so much about it.

Something brand new to me is surf fishing. This past weekend I took my family to Southern California. My three year old about killed over with excitement to meet the princesses at Disneyland. We had a great time and made lasting family memories. After Disney I knew we would have a day in the San Diego area and I wanted to fish from the beach. I’ve caught lots of different fish casting into the Pacific but i’d never fished a sandy, shoreline with crashing waves.
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It turns out there is an entire fishery build on just that. I did as much research as I could online then just hit the beach and fished. I parked the car, assembled my 8wt, tied on a small Clouser minnow as the lead fly and a fly I made up but is much like a Piconi’s prowler, and walked down the beach at Torrey Pines. I was barefoot, wearing only board shorts, a performance shirt, and a homemade stripping basket to hold all the line and keep it from getting swept out with the surging waves. I usually carry a bunch of gear and am clad in waders but this time it was just me, the flyrod, and the ocean.
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I was shaking with excitement even though I knew that my catch would probably be small. It was just a new experience in fishing that I was looking forward to so much. Fishing was slow for me with the big moon had the surf up a lot. Even with a shooting head, I was having a hard time getting flies out past the breakers. Some people showed up to fish and enjoy the beach as it got later in the morning. I saw a fellow fly rodder hooked up with something pulling hard. Turned out to be a nice guitarfish he had snagged.
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I started seeing these guitarfish in the shallow water. They are like rays and once they see you they scoot out to deeper water, flat to the bottom. I wasnt interested in snagging them and they didnt want to eat. I found this unfortunate lobster. Nearly dead and missing limbs.
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Then shared the beach with this guy.
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The fog was starting to burn off. But the surf stayed up. Some surfers showed up and I snapped a quick photo.
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I just kept casting and enjoying myself and finally hooked up with a Barred Surf Perch. Another species to the list. A new experience. These crazy little guys literally live in the white frothy water between waves. They are in very shallow water and somehow still find their food and avoid predators. I was happy and catching one of these was rewarding enough for me. Here’s to many more new experiences in fly fishing. Keep things fresh, improve, and don’t get stuck in a fishing rut.
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4 Responses to “New Experiences”

  1. Kirk Says:

    Congrats on hitting the beach! During my 4 years at UCLA I hit the beach quite frequently with my 6 wt. Those guitar fish can get annoytingly thick – sometimes you snag them on every cast. I “caught” (snagged) my largest (52″) on Santa Monica beach at about 11:00 on a Saturday. By the time I got it in my once deserted stretch of beach was quite populated, and I had my 5 minutes of Hollywood fame showing the fish to beach goers before letting it go.

    The surf perch are hit and miss and hard to predict. I would typically either do really well (15-20 up to 50 fish) or get skunked or close to it. As a bonus you occasionally hook into yellow finned croaker, corbina, California halibut, or a leapard shark, all of which pull much harder than the perch. It is certainly a different experience than throwing dry flies to trout.

    If you have time next time you’re in San Diego look into fishing San Diego Bay. I only got to fish it once, but had a great time catching spotted bay bass. The location is easy to find – under the Coronado Bay bridge!

  2. Kyle Says:

    Lots of great info Kirk! Good catch on the guitarfish! SaMo seems to be one of the better beaches. We will proabably hit it when we got to Huntington later this summer. I hear Carpinteria has lots of Leopards too.

  3. marilyn Heap Says:

    Kyle, I just found thiss fun post…..Looks like you had a great experience…..Love you so much and we are so proud of you. Thanks for being sich a great husband and father….

  4. SWYD Says:

    Thanks Grandma! My parents are in town this weekend. I’ll give them a big squeeze for you!

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