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We Couldn’t stop at just flies. now carrying everything but the fish!

Fly Fishing Patterns

Mission Bay Shore Style

Fly Fishing Mission Bay

  What to do when you have great tides but you have to go to work around 11 that morning. What to do, what to do. I know what to do! I’ll go hit up Mission Bay from the shore for a few hours. So I grabbed my 6 wt. with a Floating Outbound Short rigged with 12 foot leader and a Brown/white Clouser Minnow. With the good tides I decided to try a new area that I have not fished before. As I looked over the new water I saw rocks and eel grass with a little bit of current but there was no baitfish in the shallows. I still wanted to give the new area a try even though I didn’t see much life. I covered the water fairly quickly with only one miniature spottie to show for my efforts. The conditions were just too good for the amount of action I was getting so I decided to make a move to another area that I know holds fish. Sure enough on the first cast, before I even stripped any line in, I get ripped, and just like that the first fish of the morning on the line. It was a spotted Bay Bass that was just under legal size. I was able to land more 7 fish in just under an hour. As the sun started to break through the marine layer the fishing started to slow down. The sun started to really burn through so I decided to call it a day. The go to color was brown or tan with a little bit of orange or red. Try using the #2 Orange Ghostly Shrimp, #4 Root Beer Foxy Clouser, #1/0 Deep Angel Hair Minnow or the #1/0 Gray/White Clouser minnow. Tight Lines

Night Patrol at the Break Wall

calico bass fly fishing

 Its that time to get back on the graveyard shift. This time I took two of my friends, Kesley and Alex, to help give me a hand. The ride out to the wall was almost glass. I had to motor around for bit before I found the right conditions of tide and push. Alex made his first cast and wwaaaammm.  The skunk was off the boat with a nice Calico just like that. We kept picking up fish here and there. Then I made a couple of fly changes to yellow and the fish were all over mellow yellow. I lost count of how many doubles we had that night. Mainly Calico Bass from 1 to 3 pounds with a few decent Sand Bass mixed in with the Calicos. Then I felt a solid THUMP and I knew I had a good fish. Little did I know how big she was till I came tight to her. Then the battle in sued, I was holding on to the line as tight as I could with out trying to give her any line. I was able to hold off the first surge and get a few quick strips in. Then came the second and third surge.  When I let some line slip on one of the surges I thought she got me into the rocks but I got lucky. Finally I was making some headway and got her to come to the surface. As soon as we got the light on her our jaws dropped at the size of this Calico. Into the net she went and on to the scale. She tipped the scale at 7 pounds. What great night to be on the water with good friends. 

Lake Barrett Bass Opens for Fishing

Lake Barrett Fly Fishing Opener Bass & BlueGill

Saturday was the opener for one of the best bass fishing lakes in Southern California, Lake Barrett.  Maybe one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country.  It has a pure strain of Northern Black Bass that love to eat anything that swims, flies, or crawls.  This is the one place where fishing is, well, ........easy!  But getting an opportunity to fish this lake is anything but.

   In order to fish here, you must be one of the very fortunate ones to acquire a ticket thru ticketmaster.  This can be like trying to get front row seats when Jay Z comes to town.  It's pretty much safe to say, that if you don't click "purchase now" at exactly 12:01am, you can forget about fishing here.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but after all, it is California.
 Eric Warner, a photographer who shoots for the Drake Magazine and Fly Fish Journal, was one of the lucky ones to score tickets to this amazing fishery.  He invited one his buddies, Nick, and myself to come spend the day with him fishing and documenting the journey of the trip.
 When the gates opened at 5am, there was a mad dash to the boat dock for the closest available rental boat.  After getting all the gear loaded into the boat, we made our way as fast as you can in a boat with an 8 horsepower motor, to the very first cove we found with a rocky shoreline and the wind blowing into it.  Immediately upon arrival, we could see the bass pushing shad literally up onto the shoreline.  It was so intense that a foam line started to form from where all the mayhem was taking place.  In less than 5 casts, the first fish was brought to the boat.  That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day.  Although we caught way too many fish to count, there was still a certain way you had to feed them.  Since the bass had the shad pinned along the shoreline, your fly had to be placed on dry land, then stripped back into the stick-ups where the bass were waiting in ambush.  That was a distance of only about 3 feet from the bank.  After that, it was pick up and cast again.  Only if you didn't loose your fly in the bushes, or to a fish that wrapped himself and the leader like a snake around the bushes. Flies that represented sunfish and shad with a weed guard attached to them, were the only thing necessary.  
At about high noon, when it was close to 100 degrees, and without a breath of wind, the fast and furious action came to halt.  We decided to break out the spinning rods and bobbers, and relive our childhood memories, by catching the very first fish that got us into this sport.  That's something that is truly sentimental to me, and I will never forget my roots.  We continued to fish for a few more hours, catching some of the biggest panfish that exist on this planet.
Pan Fish San Diego Fishing
   All in all, it was a truly remarkable day.  We might not have won the lottery, but at least we got the ticket! 

(all photos by Eric Warner) Check out more info on the fishery at - SDfish
Lake Barret Fishing report Opener

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