Fly fisherman travel from all over the world to target salmon, trout, and steelhead in the northern part of the state while saltwater fly fishing in southern California is almost unheard of.
Fishing 12wt rods paired with 650 grain shooting heads is the norm here in SoCal. The Calico Bass is an inshore and island species that lives tight to structure and is pound for pound, one of the hardest fighting fish I’ve encountered.
Bobby Harrison, Alex Cady and I took advantage of the sheet glass conditions and the uncrowded oceans during the super bowl and made the run to our favorite spot, Catalina Island. This island is part of the Channel Island of California Archipelago that is situated about 25 miles off the coast of Orange County. The level of difficulty and effort to access this island keeps the fish populations healthy and plentiful. On any given day, you can find yourself alone fishing pristine water, targeting a myriad of fish.
Catalina Island is known for its giant Calico Bass, year around Yellowtail and tanks for White Sea Bass. Low and slow was the ticket for this winter morning. It’s rad to see their personalities change as the water warms and cools. The colder months are for experimenting with bigger flies, landing less fish but the ones you do land are usually a larger grade. We stayed tight to the beaches, threw our arms out and absolutely crushed it.
Targeting Calico Bass on the fly is still a work in progress. Producing bites and landing fish in the 5 pound range is something we as fly anglers, are very happy about. ‘Who’s going to land the first ever 10+ pounder?’
This post was contributed by Kameron Brown, you can find him on Instagram @kameronbrow
Photography by Bobby Harrison @_bobby_harrison_
Shoutout to Alex Cady a salt water guide working at “The Fly Stop” in San Diego – https://www.theflystop.com