Zen Fly Fishing: Crazy Water Photo Sequence

This area used to be a nice cut that is south of large flats that have an abundance of sand crabs. The cut channels water offshore and the schools of fish work the drift that flows off of the flats.

Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

This picture is slightly north of the ones that follow (note the cloud patterns to align the photos). It shows the large foamy flats beyond the deeper cut that flows to the left. The cut is a trough that angles out to deeper water. At times today, the cut would show up and other times the swell patterns and currents would change. The dark area in the foreground is wet sand.

This is to the south of the first picture. You can see irregular patterns in the breakers caused by swell interactions. The inside edge of the trough would also reflect waves back. There is a steep drop off just into the water line. The swells today would cause the water level to recede to this point and several waves later the whole areas would be flooded. As well, you would be out of the water then all of a sudden be waist deep in water with strong hydraulics. The backwash was strong and the beach steep - care was essential.

This is the same area that has been flooded. Swells from different distant storms (northern and southern hemisphere) interact and result in periods water gets pushed much further up on the beach. To fish that properly and safely, you need to move in to cast and move back to safety with water push up. The current is flowing to the south so casting upstream will drift your fly over holding water.

Here water has receded again. At time currents are such that you can stop retrieving during the backwash and wait for the next push to resume your retrieve.

Periodically, the waves would come in sideways (from the right or left) that interact. This shows the area flooded again with waves coming from the left. Sometimes, they would come from both directions and collide.

Here the water has receded again. This sequence gives you an idea of how challenging our winter conditions can be. With spring conditions, you find many cuts that always look like the first picture.

Questions or Comments Contact:
Glenn Yoshimoto
Los Gatos, California

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