guiding & fly tying

a fine selection of california surf flies

Al Q with a nice fat surf corbina.

Fly Fishing the surf can be one of the most difficult ways to fish, period! I really enjoy being able to help people transition into the surf fly fishing game. I believe that if you learn the correct methods of fly fishing the surf, you can do it anywhere in the world and not be frustrated. I have close to forty years fishing the beach.

To inquire about taking a surf fly fishing class or a private fly tying lesson please email Al Q at:
alq@tornadodesign.la Most surf outings will have to be arranged for the early am on the weekends, (2 hr. 0r 3 hr. packages available) , 2 hr. private fly tying classes can be arranged at night during the week or on the weekends.

Al Q is also available for fly fishing club slide presentations: Intro to Surf Fly Fishing, Sight fishing for Corbina, or Inshore Calico Bass fishing. He is also available for club fly tying presentations.

17 Comments

17 thoughts on “guiding & fly tying

  1. andy stillitano

    Hi Al,
    Great web page, enjoy reading it all, can you please tell me what wt rod, how long should the leaders be, what type. do use any tippet what type also, I live down near RAT BEACH, do u think I should try my hand for beaners here,or come up to your neck of the surf. appreciate all your help.
    thanks Andy.

    • ondafly

      Andy:
      I use a 7 to 9 foot leader. You can taper it if you like.
      I usually use 12 lb tippet. These fish in the surf are not leader shy. I fish a 7 weight, 9 footer. You can use a 5 or 6 wt in the summer when the wind is down and the surf is calm. Rat Beach has had a fair amount of fish a month ago, I haven’t been there recently but I do have some buddies still catching fish there.
      Get our there and snoop around, if you don’t see any fish, look else where, that’s what I do till I find fish. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  2. andy stillitano

    Al, I have to pick your brain a bit ok, I take it u are using straight mono? I have some maxima chameleon is that ok for leader stuff and do u have the lbs, for the length of the leader for tapering both types of material.
    We all know u like art, maybe u can draw a sketch,how cool.
    thank’s. Andy

  3. Al Quattrocchi

    i use seaguar florocarbon because it is abrasive resistant,(a consideration when you are pulling flies through sand) maxima is good line,should be fine, just check your leader for abrasion from time to time. these fish are not leader shy in the surf. tapering is simple and will help turn the fly over, i use 20#(4.5 foot) to 12# (2.5 to 3.5 feet) or 20#(4foot) to 12# (3 feet) to 8#(2 feet) i prefer to use improved blood knots (stronger) but if you wish to use triple surgeons knots they are quicker to tie and work fine. good luck!

  4. andy stillitano

    Thanks Al,
    that really clarify’s leaders for me, can I use it for other types of fishing in the surf & do u use shooting heads at any time.
    Andy

  5. Al Quattrocchi

    yes, i make my own shooting heads or use outbound t-11 or t-8 intergrated heads off the beach.

    • Rick Reda

      MR. AL Q.—–WANTED DESPERATELY TO HIT THE MINUS TIDE LAST WEEK BUT GOT SIDE-TRACKED BY A REFINANCE. AM GOING THIS WEEK HOWEVER. I KNOW I MISSED A GREAT OPPORTUNITY. BUT I STILL HAVE HIGH HOPES OF THIS YEAR BEING MY FIRST BEAN! THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR INPUT.

      YOUR FRIEND——RICK

      • ondafly

        rick:
        the fish have seemed to be off to school and have left the beach…i will give it one more shot this friday…

  6. David Glanzman

    Hi Al,

    I’m the guy who caught the largest fish (a 22.5 in halibut) at the One Surf Fly event yesterday. I apologize for forgetting to get your card before I left Marriott’s. (I was distracted by all the cool gear!)

    I’d like to chat sometime about other surf fishing opportunities in SoCal. Also, I have a photo of me with the fish I can send you if you’d like it for your web site.

    Best,
    David

  7. mark miller

    Mark Miller
    I’m new to fly fishing and have only been doing it for 6 months in rivers for trout. I’m heading to the beach for a week and want to do some beach fishing. I have a 9ft. 5wt. sage rod and was wondering if my freshwater floating line is fine and also what leader I would use for that set up. thanks for the help.

    • ondafly

      Mark:
      No floating line! You can use your 5 weight setup, I would put get a 175 grain intergrated shooting head for your five weight. Make sure you tell them to cut back the head to 27 feet. You can go to your local fly shop and have them set that up for you on a spare spool, they can attach this line to your backing
      The leader system would be a straight piece of 12 pound test, looped to you flyline with a surgeons loop, for the terminal end, use a loop knot to your fly, google non-slip mono loop!. Flies to start with: #4s clousers olive/white, tan/white, Q’s beach bug…Make sure you bring a stripping basket, this is very important to help manage your line. During the summer months in California, you do not need waders and can wet wade. have fun! Send me some pics if you catch something…

  8. Scott Richards

    Wondering if you can provide recipe for pink surfin merkin, I am a first timer for the club meeting for San Diego Fly Fishers last Monday, was very impressed with your knowledge and video/slide show. Am headed down to Strouds Tackle and don’t know what supplies to buy to tie this fly to use in the surf for beans

  9. hey there al, got some good action this morning at newport beach just after the tide turn. i had a leopard on a beach bug. lost it, but it was pretty exciting to have the rod bent. i’m still looking and trying to learn how to find the corbina…
    thanks again

    • ondafly

      Hey Cory, the water temps really dropped this past week, which has made the corbina less active, there are still some fish around but your odds drop when they are not apex feeding for sight casting. The early morning grey gloom doesn’t help in seeing them either. We need sun and warmer water! There’s lots if food!

  10. Hey Al,
    Great Slide show last night at the Deep Creek Fly Fishers Club Meeting, finally after all these years I meet someone tuned into surf sight fly fishing for Corbina!
    Growing up in the South Bay we spent our Summer evenings hooking up in the surf. I have tried to explain it to people and they just stare at you?
    Anyway, you guys have it dialed and have done some extensive work on the sport from sighting, structure and fly’s…and its all right there in your backyard. Gonna have to come join you someday when I get time and relive that experience.
    Thanks for all your dedication and hard work bringing this exciting form of Fly Fishing to share!

    • ondafly

      Hey Steve, it was really fun visiting your club! Glad you enjoyed it!

      • Al,
        Contact me so I can hook you up with one of your own Golden Trout Lanyards to try out. We can make you up a “South Bay Special”
        Dang I miss Surf Fly Fishing

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