photo courtesy of Justin McGruder
photo courtesy of Justin McGruder
Well, I just got back from a week long, family vacation in San Francisco, got to work and started to plow through all my emails when i stumbled onto this cool email from Justin McGruder. This made my day and is why I love to fly fish and share my experiences with others… WTG Justin, so happy you will be able to pass this wonderful gift of fly fishing forward, you made me proud!
I just wanted to take a second and thank you for always being so willing to share you insights and knowledge to us aspiring fly fishers. I really have enjoyed following you and all your adventures over the years. I remember clearly back in ’08 I created my Fliflicker account and reached out to the community to help me get started. You were the first to hit me up, you gave me your number and we briefly spoke and you welcomed me to the fray. I also hit up your photo shop class years ago at your work I believe. Man the more I think about it, you have been a huge factor in my growth over the years, from fishing, tying flies and photography. I can’t begin to thank you enough for that.
Anyway I really wanted to share a few pics from this weekend down in Oceanside. We are here for a week on vacation. My son Bruce is 13, and really starting to get into fly fishing. We have been Bean hunting everyday since we have been down here. We’ve seen dozens more than I have ever seen in the last 10 years down here. I was able to get out early before the weekend crowds and I got lucky and stuck one just south of the Oceanside pier. I was so stoked they are so much fun on a fly rod! Bruce has had a few good shots (you can see in the 2nd picture he was close) but no grabs yet. After I got one I put down my rod and I am just working with him. I have to admit, it is so much fun passing on the passion to someone else, and as many did for me I can now begin to pay it forward. Al I just wanted to say thank you and share a bit of my story, feel free to share if you’d like. Oh yea Bruce was asking about tying flies so were going to try to ty up some of your Holy Moley’s I was the one who hit you up for a step by step. Keep up the awesome work Q!
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… #corbinapatrol
Jimmy showing me how it’s done. This fish ate the fly in inches of water. Photo by Al Quattrocchi
Photo by Al Quattrocchi Another one chewing gum.
The Qman get one to eat. Photo by Jim Solomon
The beach isn’t always flat. We came up on a nice cut and Jim being the fisherman he is, looked at me and said I am putting on a clouser. We had seen egrets and white bait dimpling on the surface. He tossed into the seam and bang , landed a nice yellowfin croaker. photo by Al Quattrocchi
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…
I will be doing a series of Fly Shop fly tying dates this year on behalf of my good friend Enrico Puglisi and his wonderful fly tying materials, which I will use to demo five basic baits we use in Southern California. I will be doing a altered version of the surfin merkin (sand crab), a squid, anchovy or sardine, bluegill and shad. Hope you can come by and heckle me, lol. This is the first of four dates. The dates are below:
Shop Enrico Puglisi products.
Saturday, May 26th at the Orvis Pasadena Fly Shop from noon to 3pm
Saturday, June 23rd at the Fly Stop, San Diego from noon to 3pm
Sunday September 16th ate The Fisherman’s Spot, from 12 to 3pm
Saturday, October 13th at Marriotts Flyfishing from noon to 3pm
photo courtesy of Larry Acord.
There are still a lot of nice fish around. Me and my friend Jim farmed a few this morning, but they ate the fly and were easily cast to and sight-cast as these fish worked along the beach. The upcoming negative weekend tides starting on Sunday morning should get them going early in the am. If you haven’t put a corbina on your tick list, I would get out there sooner than later as the summer window will slowly begin to close as we approach the fall.
Fellow angler and good pal, Larry Acord showing us how it’s done this morning by sight casting to and landing this beautiful early morning corbina. We were fishing a new area that has been holding some big fish. This fish was tailing in shallow water when Larry made a nice cast and watched her chase down his fly (razzler) He set up on her and let her make a long run. After adjusting his drag and taking his time she was slid up on the beach. She was revived and released to taunt other corbina anglers in the future, like me! LOL… It’s been great fun fishing with my friends and watching them land corbina, which are tough fish to fool on flies….. Nice one Larry!
another nice corbina fair hooked on a sparse grizzly hackle fly by the master, Glen Ueda. Photo by Jim Solomon
We had fish all around us for about forty minutes, last friday during the corbina magic hour. There were some bruisers mixed in. I threw everything at them, got bumped three times but had nothing to show for my effort, however I looked to my right to see my pal, Glen, rod bendo as this fish took off for the outer trough. It was another beauty on the fly! Simply Awesome!
this is the pic of the day…
A twenty five inch corbina landed by our angling buddy and guitar hero , Bernard Yin. photo by James Dwyer.
|ˌpərsəˈvi(ə)rəns| nounsteadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success: his perseverance withthe technique illustrates his single-mindedness | medicine is a field that requires dedication and perseverance.