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

Guide to San Diego Surf Fly Fishing

San Diego Surf Fishing


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 fly fishing scene. Extremely prevalent and a favorite of most species, try fishing various sand crab patterns in sizes #2 thru #8.  Some our favorite San Crab Fly patterns are the Pink Surfing MerkinGrey/Pink Surfin Merkin and Orange Crobina Crack. Fish these sand crab patterns in short twitches on the bottom. 

Ghost Shrimp fly patterns 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 aramong favorites. Common sizes are often size #2 thru #6.  A few of our favorite ghost shrimp fly patterns are the Orange Ghostly ShrimpRootbeer Beach Bugger and Pink/Orange Clouser Minnow.


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 San Diego Fly shop. If your 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 Polar Vortex, 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.