Zen Fly Fishing: Spring/Summer 2002 Surf Gallery

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Glenn Y. with nice 2 3/4 pound Barred Perch caught early on June 27, 2002. The water that it was caught in is the area on his left. These are flats that wash over sand crab beds into a cut in the beach flowing south. It took a Grub Fly that was on dropper.
Jim T. with nice 2+ pound Barred Perch caught on July 18, 2002. This is the largest of his perch that we have a picture of so far. He has caught larger ones to 3 pounds since but no pictures. If you hit one spawner there might be others around and they may not stay around long so a picture may cost you other fish. This one took a FC Sand Shrimp Jr. - Jim's favorite fly.

Nozie I. with 3 1/4 pound Barred Perch taken in June 2002. Hey, where is the fly rod??? Well, we have our roots in grub fishing anyway. The best fly fishers I know are also great grub fishermen. I still wonder if the grub is better than any of the flies that have been developed. It is actually useful to have a good grub fisherman along while fly fishing so at least he can probe out further to see if fish are out of reach of flies. So far this year, Nozie has caught the biggest Barred Perch of the people that I fish with.
I caught my first Striped Bass on flies at from the surf on July 10 2002. : A fat, powerful 16-inch striper. I hooked it in a foot of water casting sideways into the clear water before the last breakers hit the sand. It was a thrill! I got a total of 19 perch to 1 3/4 pounds that day with a nice first light bite in the same area that the 2 3/4 pound perch was caught. I have a total of two this year the other was a 14-inch Striper. These were taken on perch flies. I'm waiting for a big one...

Doubles are a lot of fun! Sometimes you can feel the separate hits. With Barred Perch, the two fishes swim together more than with Stripers so the fight is more like a single larger fish. These are over 1 pound each so the effect is like that of a 2+ pound perch. These were caught in July 2002.
Triples are more fun! At times, I experiment with three flies when I am testing particular flies and occasionally I get triple hits. I've done this with stripers too - of course there is a limit to size that even 20-pound test leaders can take with stripers. The top fish is a Jack Smelt. This year on Monterey Bay beaches we caught quite a few large smelt. They are strong swimmers and give quite a battle. The others are funny looking perch (they resemble Piranha). These were caught in July 2002.

Caught on July 30 2002 in the middle of the day. I didn't know it at the time but it is a Calico Surfperch (Amphistichus koelzi). I'm holding my camera in my other hand (an Olympus D-520 Zoom) - it works well. I stopped by another beach after a slow day and found a few fat spawners on one of our favorite flats. This one is particularly fat and is still carrying little ones. This beach had flattened out and the structure disappeared but it looks like the perch are still there. The smaller ones are spawning now. Earlier we found perch to 3+ pounds.
Caught on August 5 2002 on my Surf Miki. It had been a very slow morning and I finally found perch really close so I backed up on the beach and started getting hits with 40 feet. It is always a thrill to feel the solid throbs of a large perch and seeing them take line in the surf zone but it is especially thrilling to catch them so close in.
A 2 pound, 13 inch Barred Perch caught on August 5 2002 on an FC Sand Shrimp Jr. It was a good day over all - this was one of 30 perch for me with most of them over 1 pound.
A 1 3/4 pound, 14 inch Barred Perch caught on August 8 2002 on an FC Sand Shrimp Jr. It was harder to find fish today but I found a nice school of larger fish in foamy water (see background in photo). Overall, it was a 30 perch day with 10 over 1 pound. 20 of them came out of this foamy water. It is rare to find a school in this kind of water.
This little perch was aggressive. It is not much larger than their birth size. I've snagged a few and recently (August 9, 2002) a friend snagged 4 small ones. This indicated to me that the surf zone at Sunset has tons of baby perch swimming around. The live birth part of spawning started a couple months ago at area beaches and the little perch are feeding and growing fast. There should be an abundance of 1-year old perch next year.
The biggest fish on our trip on August 12, 2002: 15 1/4 inches and 2 1/2 pounds. Caught it around 9:30 am at the south edge of the cut shown in the movie . A number of other large Barred Perch came out of this area at the same time. This is the longest and widest perch I have caught but it was a post-spawn female. It certainly would have been over 3 pounds pre-spawn. I got a total of 23 fish today. Much earlier at first light, my second cast resulted in a 13 1/2 inch 2 pound perch - a really nice way to start the day!
Jim caught the biggest fish on our trip on August 14, 2002: 14 inches probably 2 1/4 pounds. Caught it mid-morning in the beautiful water shown in the background - his first cast there. We were expecting more but it was a straggler. He had a total of 30 fish today with 12 on fly rod and 18 with his bait caster and grubs. He is great at beaches with heavy surf - he's got it figured out. My biggest was 1 1/2 pounds today and only caught half the numbers.
My biggest fish on August 23 2002: probably 14+ inches and 2+ lbs. We hit a nice persistent school of bigger fish to over 2 pounds today in foamy, turbulent flats shown in the background. I got a total of 21 Barred Perch today including the double in the next picture. Most of the fish were larger than 1-lb.
August 23 2002: A beautiful double (14-inches and 12 inches) came out the same school as the previous perch! The combined weight had to go over 4 pounds. They hit simultaneously and fought together - I thought I had my 4-lb perch. I got 5 nice ones out of this school.
My biggest fish on August 27 2002 was around 14 inches and 2 lbs on an FC Sand Shrimp Jr and was hooked in the foamy flats washing into one of the few cuts left. This one came in after the double below. I got a total of 20 Barred Perch today mostly on grubs and spinning rod (15). Most of the fish were smaller with only 5 bigger than 1-lb today. Fly fishing is getting tough because structure is going flat but I did catch all of the big ones on flies.
A strange double came out the same school as the previous perch! The ray was snagged and acted almost like dead weight. I snagged another one earlier too - almost dead weight again. The perch is a decent size. I only got 2 nice perch out of this school.

Questions or Comments Contact:
Glenn Yoshimoto
Los Gatos, California

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Last Revised: 27 August 2002
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