Santa Lucia Fly Fishers enjoyed a good bite of Barred Surf Perch at Toro Creek beach just North of the Morro Bay City limits on Saturday, November 8. Taking advantage of a 6:30 high tide, club President Lew Leighter, Peter Van Hest, 6 other members, and yours truly Andy Malovos enticed the perch with a variety of flies. After about 2 hours of fishing, we caravanned up to the mouth of Santa Rosa Creek in Cambria. In contrast to the mild conditions at Toro Creek, the ocean at Santa Rosa Creek was choppy and there was a strong Southerly current running. We caught a few fish but the bite gradually shut down after about an hour, however; we did manage to co-exist with a large group of surfers. We caught and released about 30 fish in the 6-9 inch range mostly from the Toro Creek beach.
On Monday November 24, We enjoyed a good morning of perch fishing at Toro Creek beach. The bite was on at dawn, slowed at about 8AM and picked up again at 845AM. We were done at 10 AM. We caught and released about 20 fish. The surf was a little bigger- 4--5 foot waves early but they flattened out by 9AM.
BACK TO WINTER CONDITIONS
The Pacific Ocean reminded us who was in charge in December. Our impromptu fish outs were met with wind, choppy surf, kelp and murk. However, on Monday, December 22, I was able to take advantage of a lull between storms and catch 8 perch just north of our usual fishing location at Toro Creek beach. Between Christmas and New Years Day, I checked out several other locations between Cambria and the Hearst Castle area and was able to catch fish.
Don’t forget, STEELHEAD season is on here. Check the DFG website. I am not a Steelhead fisherman, but I will get SWFR members pointed to the right place if we have a club saltwater surf trip planned for the winter ‘09 season.
GETTING THE WORD OUT-IMPROMPTU TRIPS
Since winter ocean weather changes so frequently, SLFF utilize impromptu trip s on 2-3 day notice , once tide, and bite are good, l notify Lew Liechter SLFF President who puts out my E-mail to all club members. We phone club members who don’t have E-mail. Outings are mostly early morning affairs on both week days and weekends. We get from 6-12 members out to the beach for our impromptu trips. Have breakfast when your through! Wives are happy to get the old retired guys out of the house!
9 foot 8-9wt rods. I use a Cortland 444xrl weight. Forward Sinking type 6 integrated line and carry a spool of Yozuri 12pd test clear fluorocarbon line to make 6 ft. leaders. In winter conditions, I cut the leader down to 3 feet to better control the fly. I use an Orange Bristle Worm fly tied on a #6 hook. Check Garybulla.com and look at his surf fly's. You can buy the Bristle Worm or get the tying instructions. I have caught almost all my perch on red or orange flies in sizes 4&6. The Razzler is also very effective. For warmth I wear ski pants underneath my chest waders. I also wear a Nylon kayak style pullover with a hood. The pullover is secured with a nylon safety belt. I wear a ventilated stripping basket around my waist for line control. On my feet are Stearns neoprene bootys secured with Velcro gravel guards. Don’t forget sunscreen and Polaroid glasses, and your fishing license clipped to your outfit. After each outing, I wash my equipment off at home and then clean my line with # 303 Aerospace Protectant. The spray protects against UV rays and makes the line slick and easy to cast.
Cast over the on- coming breakers. Keep your line straight and rod tip in the water while retrieving your line and stay vigilant for the on-coming breakers. Perch will usually attack the fly. Point your rod at the fish and walk back to the dry beach to extract the fish with your forceps/pliers. If you are getting lots of bites but no hookups try a smaller fly. Fish in a group or with a partner for safety and never take your eyes off the ocean. If the waves are getting chest high or the surge is the pushing your line erratically it is time to do something else like eat lunch, hiking, or go to a movie.
Weather: Surfline.com or your own favorite.
Garybulla.com Site has a great discussion board in fly fishing the surf and other pertinent info.
Fliflicker.com loads of info on all aspects of the sport. Read “ Perch Academy” by Ken Hanley
Zenflyfishing.com Glen Yoshimoto’s site- great source all things perch fishing.
Pacific extremes.com Ken Hanley’s site
For the best training experience take a beach class from Gary Bulla and Ken Hanley. Usually offered in the Spring in Santa Barbara.
FLY FISHING THE PACIFIC INSHORE- Ken Hanley
By Andy Malovos