Food

Info on Fly fishing for stripers SF/Pacifica

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I surf fish but my friends fly fish strictly freshwater.  They have been hounding me to get them on the beach.  I have no idea what tackle they need to do it.  Saw a guy fly fishing the great highway this weekend and since the water has been amazingly flat I figure it couldn't be better time to let them try it out. 

 

Any suggestions on rod/reel/line/flys would be extremely helpful.  Also an idea of spots where they will have the room required to cast would be great.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A few suggestions -

 

There is a whole forum devoted to fly fishing. Generally, what is discussed for the east coast can be applied out here.

 

If you are fishing the beach, start by targeting surf perch. There are more of them within range, and once you get one, there tend to be a few more in the vicinity. 

 

Once you you have enough posts, reach out to Uncle Stu. He’s the resident fly guy. As you saw in the “Catch anything today forum” He’s had some good luck this week with his personal best striper.

 

Get good at reading the beach for structure. There is a lot of good information on the site pertaining to this. Possibly more than anything else, this is what drives success for us who are tossing lures, it will be even more important using a fly rod.

 

Edited by Alferd Packer

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Alferd thanks for the response.  Didn't even think about perch great point.  I definitely saw the PB that he pulled most impressive.  I have a pretty good eye fishing a long beach for what spots to hit.  Thanks again I'm heading over to the fly forum for some more info.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I am not a fly fisherman, but http://www.zenflyfishing.com contains great resources on perch fishing generally, but he is largely a fly fisherman and I assume his content on the subject will be similarly great.

 

The other resource I know of is Mark Won's http://surf-perch.net/.  Both websites are old but chock full of info.

Edited by TimS
I restored your post as the two sites do appear to not be commercial sites, my apologies

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Haven't ever caught a striper, though I fly fish the salt a ton.

I'm up in Washington and mainly fish Puget Sound, so we don't have surf per say but lots of wind and wave action.

The most valuable piece of equipment to me is a stripping basket, which is a great line management tool.

You could make your own out of a plastic dish pan or buy one ready to use like the Orvis or Linekurv.

 

I'm sure Stu will chime in as he as that pretty well dialed in down your way.

SF

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I made my stripping basket from a shopping basket and a bungee cord. I use an Airflo Sniper line, 3IPS sinking. 6w switch rod. I also spin fish quite a bit, because I don't like being shut down by big surf. I'm south of Big Sur and striper are NOT common down here by any means. I do lots of perch fishing. Barred perch run small in the summer and big in the winter, whereas stripers only appear in the surf between May and Sept. Welcome to the forum.

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On 8/14/2019 at 5:43 PM, Reel Outdoorsman said:

I am not a fly fisherman, but http://www.zenflyfishing.com contains great resources on perch fishing generally, but he is largely a fly fisherman and I assume his content on the subject will be similarly great.

 

The other resource I know of is Mark Won's http://surf-perch.net/.  Both websites are old but chock full of info.

I restored you post, my apologies :howdy:

 

TimS

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On 8/14/2019 at 2:43 PM, Reel Outdoorsman said:

I am not a fly fisherman, but http://www.zenflyfishing.com contains great resources on perch fishing generally, but he is largely a fly fisherman and I assume his content on the subject will be similarly great.

 

The other resource I know of is Mark Won's http://surf-perch.net/.  Both websites are old but chock full of info.

Outdoorsman great links I will have to take the time to delve into them.  Thanks

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On 8/14/2019 at 3:32 PM, Stonefish said:

Haven't ever caught a striper, though I fly fish the salt a ton.

I'm up in Washington and mainly fish Puget Sound, so we don't have surf per say but lots of wind and wave action.

The most valuable piece of equipment to me is a stripping basket, which is a great line management tool.

You could make your own out of a plastic dish pan or buy one ready to use like the Orvis or Linekurv.

 

I'm sure Stu will chime in as he as that pretty well dialed in down your way.

SF

Stonefish I have definitely relayed this to my friends and I believe they are going to try and go DYI initially.  Thanks for the reply.

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On 8/15/2019 at 9:20 AM, Uncle Stu said:

I made my stripping basket from a shopping basket and a bungee cord. I use an Airflo Sniper line, 3IPS sinking. 6w switch rod. I also spin fish quite a bit, because I don't like being shut down by big surf. I'm south of Big Sur and striper are NOT common down here by any means. I do lots of perch fishing. Barred perch run small in the summer and big in the winter, whereas stripers only appear in the surf between May and Sept. Welcome to the forum.

Stu this is great perfect info for my buddies, I think they are going to try your stripping basket. 

 

Also since you mention being for down south a bit I will be in Carmel last weekend of September and was curious if there is any spot on Carmel Beach that may be good for perch?  Or is just find a good looking hole and try it?

 

Thanks  for the great info.

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Food,

 

Here's the set up I'm using in the SF surf

 

7-8wt rod  fast action (stiff 6wt works well for perch)

Lead core shooting head with a mono running line  (it's a pretty dated system but works well for me)

3ft 20lb stiff mono leader looped to the shooting head and tied direct to the fly

DIY stripping basket (imo if you don't have this you're out of the game)

Standard striper flies 4-6" 

Standard perch flies

 

 

Some tips I can offer

If your friends only have fresh water experience,  I'd suggest they go to the casting ponds or lawn and really get dialed in casting the bigger gear and a stripping basket strapped around their waist. The surf is no joke and now add in back casts,  wind, hand lining etc.....

 

If they've no sinking line experience,  they'll need to practice this (bringing line to the surface with roll cast then pull for back cast and shoot)

 

Make sure the first few strips are into the stripping basket.  If they miss the basket (which is really easy to do)....the surf will drag out the line and now a new can of worms just got open.

 

They won't need to throw the whole line.  They just need to get their fly into the strike zone.  Knowing the strike zone is from what others have said about structure.

 

Focus on the structure they see and that is forming in front of them.  It seems like blind casting but if they've read the structure correctly...it's more like target practice with timing.

 

They'll need to pick their days carefully.  Smaller to medium surf will make it easier to hit targets.

 

Stripping is going to be aggressive but if they keep in contact with the fly they should be ok.

 

If they've no surf experience,  when they hook up,  back up onto dry sand and fight the fish without the distraction and danger of the waves.  Use the final wave push to land the fish.

 

There are going to be sets of waves where the water recedes quite a bit.  They'll be tempted to rush out with the water to get that extra few feet on their cast so they can reach their target.

Tell them not to do this because the following set of waves will put them in am extremely dangerous spot.

 

Watch their back cast.  People are fine. But it's the dogs that will come into your casting zone and sometimes chase your fly.  

 

Tell them not to worry about perfect loops in the surf.  There are too many variables to consider and fight against. As long as they know their gear and can cast it well,  they'll can put themselves in the game.

 

And final tip.....keep at it.  The first few trips are going to be humbling.  It's going to test their casting and line management skills but once all that is dialed in they'll start hooking up.

 

Have fun and good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Snapoffmode, thanks for all the great info.  One has saltwater experience but from a boat which he understands is totally different.  He has used weighted lines though and the heavier rods.  We are thinking of starting in the Bay or possibly Carmel/Monterey to avoid the bigger swells.  Thanks again you've been a huge help.

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On 8/19/2019 at 11:55 AM, Food said:

Stu this is great perfect info for my buddies, I think they are going to try your stripping basket. 

 

Also since you mention being for down south a bit I will be in Carmel last weekend of September and was curious if there is any spot on Carmel Beach that may be good for perch?  Or is just find a good looking hole and try it?

 

Thanks  for the great info.

 

I've wanted to try Carmel Beach, but I never have done so. I can't say more than that because this forum has guidelines against spot burning. Google Maps is your friend whenever you scout a new area. I always look for structure that creates rips, channels and troughs that attract fish. 

 

I can say that late Sept is not prime season on the Central Coast. Others may disagree, but in my experience this is when the stripers disappear and the bigger spawning perch have not yet arrived. Most likely you will be hooking small perch at that time of year. That said--small perch can be a ton of fun on a smaller fly rig like 5w or 6w, with nonstop action on a changing tide. 

 

 

Edited by Uncle Stu

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23 hours ago, thebayway said:

Welcome. This book might be useful:

 

Fly Fishing the Pacific Inshore: Strategies for Estuaries, Bays, and Beaches by Ken Hanley

 

Tight lines!

Awesome I'll take a look at that, thanks.

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