He was one of a kind. He fathered the gurgle and soft hackle streamer. Here’s a great tribute to the unconventional sage of flyfishing, Jack Gartside by Phil Monahan. Click Here!
Woke up at 4:30 am yesterday to a sky full of stars and warm Santa Ana breezes. As I rode along the beach from Vista del Mar toward Redondo, the airplanes were descending into the offshore wind from the ocean and landing quietly onto the LAX tarmac. It was going to be an awesome, bluebird, sunny day with temps near 81 degrees in LA, in November. I met my fishing bud, John Whitaker and we launched out of Redondo Harbor to flat calm seas, heading south towards the PV peninsula, dodging the multitude of lobster pots like inshore land mines as we ran. We have a little honey hole that needed some attention and our window of opportunity with the clear sunny skies looming over the horizon was going to be short, so we did 22 knots and closed the time gap. Needless to say, we found some fish up closer to the beach than usual. Probably due to the swirling winds that had us a little confused. It was blowing 15 knots then laid down after an hour. The birds always find the bait first, and it was tight to shore. They were picking away as the waves slapped the steep cliff strew shoreline, so we moved in. The wind was crazy, blowing in all directions, it kept changing on us, but we managed to figure it out and drifted from a sandy bottom to rocky bottom, often getting hammered once we hit the reef on each drift. It was a fun 45 minute productive window before it all shut down like someone hit the switch. Flies of choice were flash tail clousers in olive/white, tan/orange and my sea foam, minty mac (a white sea bass killa) I also got a nice bass on one of my custom, rabbit tail sculpins with a sculpin fish skull head and weed guard. Pretty decent bite although short, with a quality fish on a awesome fall day in Southern California. Always fun bending a rod, thanks JW!
My good friend John Sherman hosted the 5th Simms Pro Day at the Sugar Barge on Bethal Island this past Saturday. It all took place on the door step of the massive California Delta and the event had a record turnout. There were over 140 registered Simms pros & ambassadors, both conventional bass anglers and fly angers present, including many Simms staffers from their Bozeman headquarters in Montana. It was quite the event and after party. Costa and Hatch both had displays. Simms and Hatch are represented by John in their respected California territories. Each manufacturer talked to us about their new product lines and the thinking /technology that goes into making their products superior. There were seminars on guiding, Simms products and manufacturing techniques, and using social media to help boost sales and your guiding business. It was my first attended Simms Pro Day, with a new family it’s been tough breaking away over the last four years, but I was glad to finally get there to see many old friends in the industry. I have fished the Delta many times in the past ten or more years. I took my friend Zino Nakasuji, he had never fished that area and I was excited for him to get the opportunity to land his first CA striper on the fly. Sherman arranged for us to fish with Ben Byng and his pal Steve Potter the morning of the event. It was funny when they saw OUR names on the email, Ben told his buddy Steve, “Hey we have a bunch of italians fishing with us, Zino & Quattrocchi, LOL. Little did they know Zino was Japanese. It’s HILARIOUS because I thought Ben was Vietnamese and he turned out to be caucasian, never judge a book by it’s cover, right? Anyhow we had a great time, lots of laughs and a very short window to fish due to the foggy delta conditions and the opening of bird season. Both Ben and Steve are monster fly tiers which made conversation easy, talking shop. The highlight of our morning was the great company we shared amidst the eery shotgun explosions and birds honking. Steve’s wife Linda had prepared an amazing Italian brunch which the guys kind of held a secret. After landing a few fish, it was time to take a break so Steve reaches under the seat and pulls out a woven basket that was covered full of freshly baked, focaccia bread. Then he busts out a large wooden wine box, slides open the cover to unveil four wine glasses, a bottle of vino and a plate of smoked cheese wrapped in italian prosciutto, are you kidding me? I am used to maybe a power bar, some nuts and a bottled water, if I am lucky. What an unexpected, but welcomed spread. I think Linda, who Steve said was of German descent, is in my book now as an honorary Sicilian. We felt like we were in the Brooklyn hanging out with the old gumbas from the neighborhood. Thanks to Ben and Steve for making our morning memorable and thanks to John Sherman for hooking us up with great people. We ended up with a handful of small stripers and a few black bass on fly, but it was the camaraderie, stories we shared and friendship forged that made our few hours together special, and thats what fly fishing is all about folks…
I was recently asked by my friend, Bob Popovics to sketch up a few of his most inovative fly patterns for some tee shirts he will use to help promote his new book soon to be released entitled, “Fleye Designs” I can’t wait to get me hands on this new book, it should be out the beginning of next year. His last book is now a classic entitled, Popfleyes, and I consider it to be the bible for saltwater fly tying. If you tie flies and haven’t seen that book you are living in a cave. Bob is my mentor as a fly tier and ever since I met this man over twenty years ago, he has been one of the most generous people I know, always willing to help me better my game as a person and fly fisherman. I felt honored to be able to represent these patterns with my drawing style mainly because I know them so well personally tying them and watching Bob tie them over the years. I though I would share some of the thinking and sketching process here. I should be receiving my first two samples soon, the rear floating squid and the beast. The ultra shrimp and schoolie should be on deck… I think these shirts will be available for sale at the Tuffleye booth during the Somerset Fly Show in New Jersey the end of January…
It was an early 3 o’clock alarm that began the day, Me and John Whitaker carpooled south to meet our good friend Rich Kanner at Newport Landing. A forty minute, 5 mph motor through Newport Harbor to the bait receiver, we loaded a mixed scoop of sardines and anchovies and off we went headed for an hour run straight to Catalina. Light wind and calm sea made the crossing a breeze. I never get tired of seeing that large rocky mountain appear out of the grey light as you get close to Catalina, a welcome sight. Rich had me pumped up since he got into some big yellowtail the prior week on bait and fly up to 17 pounds. On our first stop we had a party boat to the south, banging big yellows with many seals all around them, so they picked up the hook and left, we decided to do the same. The next stop we witnessed the same party boat doing a number on these nice grade fish, often four or more rods getting bent at once. We watch a couple of anglers handing these fish off to the mates to land, they were getting their asses kicked. We threw the hook. I threw long and sunk out my fly, immediately got picked up and the fish took off like a bat out of hell straight down, unbuttoning me on the fall. Good sign were were in the right place. We threw the hook, Rich flipped out a dine and got picked up, fought the fish like a pro and I gaffed it after a 10 minute battle. Fresh hamachi is a good thing. We steadily picked away at small calicos, bonita. The smaller fish around the boat often attract the larger fish, so patience is a virtue, and then after sinking out his fly, Rich got the right kind. The fish took off and ran right. I gave him the right of way, as he fought the fish towards the bow. I followed him with my camera. The fish went for the anchor line and Rich immediately made a great move by threading the rod under the anchor line and over as the fish stayed free. He was in for an epic battle, the rod bending straight to the butt section. He was using a 10 weight with forty pound tippet, not messing around with these bad ass fish. Fifteen minutes later we got color and she spiraled to the surface where John was waiting with the net, she barely fit. She weighed a solid fifteen pounds and was caught on a black/white clouser tied on a Gamakatsu heavy jig hook. Rich proved himself to be the yellow slayer…he didn’t give that yellowtail an inch, an awesome catch on a fly rod and a fun day spent with fishy friends…
Really cool futuristic underwater carousel opens on August 2oth
this is a really cool product. I just got mine a week ago and love it for wash downs after surf fishing… Check out the website and video RinseKit
it holds about two gallons, doesn’t require batteries or compressed air, just fill it up with your garden hose, throw it into the back of you car and your good to go. Retails at $89. Here’s the ticket, go to Sport Chalet, if they are out of them, special order it, they will ship it to your home for free.
Bluefin Tuna and Tuna Fillet-at-Sea Regulation Changes
Effective July 30, 2015, the following regulation changes are in effect for bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis):
Subsection 27.65(b)(11) – FILLETING OF FISH ON VESSELS.
(b) Fish That May be Filleted: No person shall fillet on any boat or bring ashore as fillets any fish, except in accordance with the following requirements: …
(11) For all species of tuna filleted on any boat or brought ashore as fillets south of a line running due west true from Point Conception, Santa Barbara County (34° 27′ N. lat.) each fish must be individually bagged as follows:
(A) The bag must be marked with the species’ common name.
(B) The fish must be cut into six pieces with all skin attached. These pieces are the four loins, the collar removed as one piece with both pectoral fins attached and intact, and the belly fillet cut to include the vent and with both pelvic fins attached and intact.
Check out my new article on sight-casting for corbina in California Fly Fisher on news stands now…it covers all the basics you will need to know to get you into your backing.