Guide to the Surf Fly Fishing
San Diego Surf Fishing Flies
Blessed with more coastline that you can fish in a lifetime, fly fishing anglers in southern
California and San Diego can get hooked up and bent with just a few San Diego surf fishing flies. As with
anything you can have as many variations and colors and patterns as you can buy or tie, but here are a
few patterns and what they imitate that will almost always get you in the ball game.
Sand Crab imitations are some of the most popular patterns you will see fished in the San Diego
surf. Extremely prevalent and a favorite of most species, try fishing various sand crab patterns in sizes
#2 thru #8. Some favorites are the Merkin, Permutation, and Swimming Crab. Fish these crab patterns
in short twitches on the bottom.
Shrimp imitations are always a major go to as well. Fish these similar to how you would a crab
and focus on some of these more popular patterns: Sugar, Saltwater, and Ultra shrimp patterns are
among favorites. Common sizes are often size #2 thru #6.
Baitfish patterns should be carried at all times. As far as San Diego surf fishing flies go, a Clouser
should be at the top of most any fly fisherman’s list. If we were to be forced to pick a color, chartreuse
and white would be hard knot (pun intended) to tie on. A chartreuse and white Clouser is also ideal in
our bays as well. In addition to the Clouser Minnows, Gummy Minnows, Deceivers, and Wounded
Baitfish are also great go to fly patterns.
All the above patterns can be considered ideal San Diego surf fishing flies that we use at our fly shop. If in the area, and all
you have are some more standard patterns and conventional bonefish patterns, do not be afraid to get
them wet. Patterns such as Crazy Charlies, Gotchas, and Mini Puffs, which are all known deadly patterns
on the flats, are all more than suitable to catch fish here as well. What you have be sure to put to use,
and get your line wet in the San Diego surf, it holds some of the best kept secrets in fly fishing.