Well, going in, I knew this wouldn’t be the easiest of fisheries to tackle. Open exposure to the Pacific Ocean, head winds of considerable strength and spooky fish, all of them for the most part.
I just spent nearly 2 weeks in the greater Los Angeles area presenting our wonderful state of Washington and the multitude of fly fishing opportunities to the areas fly fishing clubs. I had a great time meeting everyone from local fly shop owners to well traveled anglers and gaining some insight into the differences of the many clubs in the region.
My favorite part of the trip however was fishing some of the local beaches for everything from halibut and corbina to golden barred surf perch and Leopard Shark. Without question, this region, like many others in this great country we live in are WAY over looked by most fly anglers.
Reasons for this oversight are pretty obvious, extremely tough line management conditions, non mainstream species and the usual suspect, access.
I completely respect those who have no interest in fishing the beaches but knowing that these beaches are one of southern California’s biggest attractions, why not add fly fishing to an inevitable visit to them.
Admittedly the surf perch above doesn’t exactly put up a whale of a fight but fishing a crab pattern on the sandy bottom also has the ability to locate hard fighting corbina and halibut up to 26 inches or larger. Should you find yourself in the Malibu or Santa Barbara area though, definitely come prepared for something you will need long pliers to release, Leopard Shark. These monsters can get clear up to 4 feet long or larger and are regularly within casting distance from many of these SoCal beaches. While I didn’t find one myself, check out a new friends website as he landed a nice one just before my presentation at his club.
I would travel here just to do this, it is that much fun but I also am darn happy I don’t have to guide it as this is tough work! Next time in the area, bring a rod and don’t just settle for the same old trout trip, get out and explore!