Zen Fly Fishing: Fishing History Gallery

My mother gave me an album of my father's fishing pictures on a recent trip to Los Angeles. I was happy to see the picture of me with my first barred perch and my father with a stringer of them. It is great to be able to include them in this website. I didn't fish much in my youth because of school and other activities but I do remember each and every time I did fish. I won my first fly rod by guessing the daily catch out of one of the sports fishing services. I learned to cast and dabbled a little but didn't get crazy until I moved to the bay area in 1961 when I fished for trout on the North Fork of the Yuba, steelhead on the Kalamath River and locally in the San Lorenzo gorge, shad on the Yuba River, and striper along the SF/Pacifica beaches. As the fisheries declined, work became more of a priority and I didn't get back to fishing until after retirement. I actually started by fly fishing in local creeks, ponds and lakes. It wasn't until I started fly fishing the beaches in 2001 that I got fish crazy again...

This is me with my first barred perch around 1953 (about 13 years old). I still remember catching this fish and the trip vividly. My father surf-fished at night. I remember fishing with the light of a Coleman Lantern. It was mostly quiet but then a school moved in and everyone was catching fish. We were using sand crabs and light tackle. I remember the solid grab and finally pulling a large perch through the surf. My father caught a lot more perch than me as shown in the next picture but mine was the biggest.

My dad, Masato Yoshimoto, loved fishing! He ran a car repair business in the East Los Angeles area that he built up over the years to a good business. Keibo, my brother, eventually took over. I spent my Saturdays and summers working with dad until I started UCLA in 1958. He worked 6 long days a week for most of his career. His only recreation was fishing and he loved it. This was early in his fishing career. He eventually bought a boat and traded up - each bigger and better for fishing. Deep sea fishing became his passion and he got out as often as he could. He got to be quite a great fisherman as you can see in the following pictures.

My father caught a 33 1/2-lb Bluefin Tuna on a trip out of San Diego, CA on October 18, 1964. This fish won the jackpot for the trip. My dad was born in Seattle, Washington but was raised in Japan. He was the strong quiet type. He did not talk much but had a good sense of humor. You can see the great smiles that a great day of fishing brought on.

An epic trip for Pop Yoshimoto on a fishing trip in February 1967 out of San Diego to San Pablo Bay, Baja California. No - they didn't catch all those fish. Actually, 15 fishermen caught 68 black sea bass (from 75 to 245-lbs) and 45 yellowtail. he was there with his good friends: Sam Conzevoy and Harry Watnick. See them in the enlarged view of Pop Y and friends.

In October, 1967, Pop Yoshimoto caught this 43-lb white sea bass at Cortes Bank out of Pacific Sportfishing, Long Beach, California. Bob Daisy of Stanton, California is also shown with a monster 54-lb white sea bass. This picture was published.

Here's dad with a huge Yellowfin Tuna. He didn't record the weight but it must have been larger than 80-lbs. He doesn't have his usual big smile but he really looks proud.

I went out on Dad's last and biggest boat with him and my sisters: Yuki (Joyce Sato) and Ginny (Virginia Young). We launched out of Redondo Beach to fish for local species. The weather got really bad on the water. Yuki remembers that Dad fished even with the bad weather and that both Ginny and I got very seasick. Ginny remembered that I was getting sick on deck over the side. I must have been trying to fish - I don't remember. Yuki and Ginny stayed inside but were bouncing around inside the cabin and scared - actually hitting their heads on the ceiling from the boat bouncing up and down with the swells. They could see Dadís legs through the windows as he calmly walked around the boat as it rocked and bounced all over the ocean. Yuki said that we begged Dad to stop fishing and go back shore but he kept saying, "just one more, just one more..." He was a very, very avid fisherman! (and with all his hard work he never got to fish enough)
On the way back, I recall steep 30-foot swells that we would ride up and get dropped off of its peak. When I saw the movie "The Perfect Storm", I was reminded of the experience. I have vivid images of the swells approaching and riding up on it then looking at the deep valley we were dropping into with my dad at full alert at the helm and my sisters and I hanging on with white knuckles.

Questions or Comments Contact:
Glenn Yoshimoto
Los Gatos, California

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Last Revised: February 10, 2004 (revised the last story based in recollections of my sisters)
Published: December 26, 2003

This page © Copyright 2003 and 2004, Glenn Yoshimoto