summertime baby tarpon…


photo courtesy of Alejandro Hernandez, Owner/guide of Campeche Tarpon

Date: August 11th through 18th, 2018
Let’s fish baby tarpon together! Me, Enrico Puglisi and Alejandro Hernandez of Campeche Tarpon are hosting a fun week of fly fishing the mangroves for baby tarpon in Campeche, Mexico.


From Left: Enrico Puglisi, Alejandro Hernandez, and Al Q

We encourage you to bring your vise and fly tying tools because, the master, Enrico Puglisi and myself will be demonstrating various, deadly tarpon patterns every night before dinner. Enrico will be furnishing fly tying materials for all of us to use.
I am trying to keep this week to a group of 8 anglers. Two anglers/one guide per boat.
We have some spots available. If you are interested, please email me directly @ and i will provide a pdf with the details of the trip.  A fun trip for those starting out in saltwater fly fishing. Really looking forward to this one. Tight lines

-Al Q





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Qs “Holy Moley” sand crab…


I will try to do step by step, got a lot going on this summer, LOL The Holy Moley is a pretty easy pattern to tie, that’s why i like it so much. The original way I tied it is using a Gamakatsu SL11-3H or Diaichi 200R hook. I am trying these new 60 degree jig hooks from Umpqua, they are super sticky. Still need to field test them, so stay with the longer shank Gamas for now, I know they work.  I don’t like to fish complicated flies. It tracks well and sits up high in the sand allowing the Corbina to track it easily. It is narrower and taller than the standard “Surfin Merkin” which is in my opinion one of the best Corbina patterns originated by my buddy Paul Cronin. All the Ep fibers are stacked on top of the shank like a Joe Brooks, high tie. I like to strip this fly fairly quickly with no pauses.  I have had had some epic outings this year with the Holy Moley,  I hope you give them a try and send me some pics of your Corbina with Holy Moleys stuck to their faces…


-Al Q

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when a plan comes together…

This morning it seemed to all come together for me. I am a believer that if you pay your dues, the universe will throw ya a bone once in a while. lol  Last night, I observed the tides and paid close attention to the water table. It was perfect for the area I was looking to fish. I wanted one to two feet of water to be in a spot where I knew the sand crabs would be and the fish had to crawl to reach them. It was going to be an early deal but that works perfect for a working-class guy with a family and short opportunity. The magic window was going fall between 5:45am and 7am. I was ready, got the equipment ready and got down to my spot in the early light, there was no-one around, it was perfect. As I walked along the beach I saw tell tale sign of nervous water and v wakes working in low light. I stayed way back on the beach. My third cast came tight and I had my first bean on the sand. The action didn’t stop until around 6:30, when it was over I looked back and realized in a forty five minute window, I had landed 5 faired-caught beans, lost two fish to user error (didn’t strip hard enough as they came straight at me) and released another that was foul-hooked under the belly. The moral of this tale…its better to be lucky than good and always better to be it the right spot so you have the chance to be lucky… #corbinapatrolAlQ_beanage

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summer time in bean land…

The water temps hit the magic mark and the beans are crawling. In the last two days, my buddy Jon Nakano and I landed 8 fish on fly. Four a piece. We each had a few bust off as well. This morning for kicks Jon busted out the spin reel and landed another four within a forty five minute window on live crabs. Pretty sick sight fishing. I have been fishing a slightly different fly pattern than the standard tied surfin merkin I usually fish with confidence.  The surfin merkin is wide, they can be trimmed but overall flat in nature. I am making my EP sand crabs a little slender, more of a tear drop shape and taller in profile by stacking the fibers in a hi-tie style and they are getting eaten pretty well, so as they say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, I am staying with it. I got one fish a week ago on a white, the others all on grey and pink. Grey and pink work equally the same, i have no preference. Size 6 hook. Use a thin wire hook to stick em. My advice for beginners is don’t give up, this is a hard game, one if not the toughest in flyfishing. I have been on it for over twenty years and it still drives me crazy. Spend more time walking and looking for groups of fish, they are your best shot, if you haven’t gotten one on fly yet. Make the cast count, anticipate their next move, think like a corbina, watch the nervous water…and try to continue to breath…lol

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confessions of a bean machine…

This morning me and my buddy Jim fished one of our favorite local spots. There were no other anglers around except for a few football players doing drills in the sand. We had an idea where some fish were going to be, given we have been tracking them the last few weeks. It is all about getting enough water on the flat so they could get up and over onto the secondary sand crab flats. We fanned out, Jim sat in the honey hole, I went north looking for signs of life. On the way back, I see Jim’s rod bent, so I scurry back to take his pic. The flat had filled in. He landed a beautiful bean and had her on the sand. I took a few pics and began to fish. He waved me in and said there was a mystery pod, working very shallow, right at the edge of the waves, to fish right there and not to cast to far. I saw some dimpling on the surface which indicated fish but never saw a back, fin or tail. I changed my fly from grey to pink. Made a soft cast as the wave began to push water over the flat and continued to strip the fly until it hit dry sand. On the second cast just before the fly was a foot from coming out of the water a bean rushed and ate, she shook her head as to say WTF! I saw the whole take, it was sweet. Just as Jim predicted, she ate right on the doorstep. I landed her in short order, we high-fived, Jim took a nice pic and off she went back with her friends…

Moral of the story, it is always refreshing to fish with a buddy that doesn’t have an ego, willing to call ya in when the fish were working right in front of him. He wished my fish on me. I wouldn’t have gotten a fish this morning if Jim didn’t show his experience and sportsmanship. I didn’t have to write this, but I feel it is important because this used to be a normal occurrence. Something changed. I see anglers today, that only care about how many they caught and will throw over your back to catch them. If you hook a fish they run right up to where you are and start casting before you even land your fish. That wasn’t the case this morning. I will take one fish, out of kindness, to forty.  It should be fun not competitive.  Thanks Jim! Tight lines and have fun out there…


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thank ya Fly Stop…

I made the pilgrimage down to San Diego this past weekend to tie a few flies for my friends at the Fly Stop. The topic was EP (Enrico Puglisi) style flies tied with Enrico materials using Enrico’s techniques. My goal was to try to keep it simple and less intimidating for new fly tiers. I have caught fish on all the patterns we tied and I tried to do salt and freshwater, a little something for everybody. We did a Bluegill, Calamari, Sand Crab (Q version), Sardina/Anchovy hybrid & a weighted or loaded Shad. Good times, with some old and new friends. Thanks to the Fly Shop for hosting me. I come to San Diego frequently to visit family, so if anyone would like to fish the next time I am down, please let me know? Tight lines…


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smackdown in bean town…

I love those days when the wind is down, the swell is dead flat and the sun lights up the water like your in the Bahamas fishing for bonefish in a swimming pool. You can spot Corbina all lit up, a half a mile a way. NOT!!!!

Sunday’s early morning session was crazy with rain, wind, no sun, choppy surf.  Even though conditions were not favorable, our Corbina posse landed seven fish, which is an above the average Corbina count, given this fish’s ability to drive you crazy and have lock jaw often… we had a small swell but the wind tended to foam up the beach making sight fishing pretty difficult, so what do ya do? You can go home and curl up in bed or you can tough up and spend more time searching and less time standing around waiting for something to happen. The moral of the story? Study the beach, walk! Once we located fish in one particular area the boys put a hurt on them. Tod who went through a long fishes streak, hooked five and landed three. It can be done, I have seen this scenario played out before. This game is about perseverance, don’t get frustrated. the more time you put in on the beach the more the rhythms of the beach become apparent. Watching these fish work the surf line is for me just as cool as catching them. Be one with the bean! The anglers that catch them  consistently are usually in areas where the corbina are most of the time. Finding those areas is what separates the average weekend warrior with the seasoned veterans. Even on beaches with no structure the fish spread out but there will be a small seam or slight depression or sand crab bed that will concentrate more fish in a particular area. This is what we look for, it is prime real estate in bean town baby.  Tight lines

-Al Q

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EP day with Al Q…


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pic of the day…


A beautiful corbina landed by our friend and fellow fly angler,  Mark Flo at one of our local beaches a few days ago on a pink surfing merkin. Photo courtesy of Mark Flo.

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Well, another Carp Throwdown is in the books. A total of 36 anglers competed in a fun, action packed field of wading and boating divisions. Special thanks to all of our sponsors, volunteers and The Fly Stop. We had a tie in the batting division this year, with each boat team scoring 90 points so we did an old fashioned shootout. We tossed a coin to see who went first and then each angler had three tries at a target that was seventy five feet away. Closest shot for each angler was scored and was averaged with their team mate’s best score. Matus and Dustin went first and on his first cast, Matus landed the fly 4 inches from the target which gave his team the lowest overall average, taking the title from last years’ winners, Tod and Brian Suttle, putting them in second place. Jon Hart wielding a Tenkara rod in the Wading Division and coming off a victory at the Lake Isabella Carpfest with his Tenkara rod just a few weeks ago, scored back to back wins with 89 points for first place. He broke one Tenkara rod but got it done! His partner in crime, Celine Bayla came in second with 80 points. Best Trash fish went to Lesley Smith with two catfish on fly, totaling 25 points. Good fun on Henshaw, great camaraderie in a family-like setting. Great raffle benefitting our veterans of Project Healing Water of San Diego. Doesn’t get any better than this for me! Here’s a few iPhone pics…will post more as they come in on CarpThrowdown website.

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when the jackarandas are in bloom…


the corbina begin to loom….photo by Ken Harada

We are starting to see some good activity on our local beaches,  the stage has been set, water is still a little cool, i like it up near 70, lots of sand crabs and the fish are staging in troughs. I believe the next minus low tide will have fish all over our beaches providing the water warms a little. Here’s a nice Corbina our friend Jim Solomon just landed on a properly placed vicinity cast.

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