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San Francisco Bay Fly Fishing Report

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Kevin DeGulis reports on 4.12.18

The Bay

As all weather apps falsely implied that it would be a rain-soaked weekend in the Bay area, LCO ambassador Jon Ng woke up Saturday morning to perfect blue skies. Taking advantage of the surprising weather, he decided to head down to Crissy Field for some surf fishing. Jon was especially excited today, due to the fact he finally received his “dream surf setup”. This setup included a Sage X 796 Fly Rod, Spectrum Max 7/8 reel, Airflo Sniper Type 3, and Redington Palix boot foot waders. Admiring new gear can be amazing but also distracting…Jon didn’t realize he forgot an essential item for the surf until he hit the water….no stripping basket… Jon decided to go for it anyways, wrestling waves, lines, and line management, he was finally able to get out a 75-foot cast. While retrieving very close to shore something attacked his grey clouser.  Right away he knew it was something large but one characteristic seemed off. The fish would take long pauses in the fight, sinking almost to the bottom, with sudden hard runs in between. It ended being a large halibut–a nice delicious surprise. 

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Typically Jon’s fly fishing experience has been catch and release. But then again, most of the time he doesn’t fish for keeper Halibut. Knowing that the day wouldn’t get much better than that, Jon headed back to his apartment in Lower Haight and called up some friends for a feast.

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Monday Morning, around 0900: Christmas came early to Lost Coast Outfitters. Our BOTE inflatable stands up paddle boards came. I could barely think clearly with the boards staring at me all of Monday. Tuesday, George gave me the green light to test out the paddleboards with LCO teammate Ben Engle. Leaving North beach at 1600, we made it to Richardson Bay by 1630 with zero traffic! 

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Not knowing anything about the inflatable boards, naturally, I read the directions; it was actually much easier than one would think. Always read the instructions! Unfolded the board, pumped it up and I was off. Left Ben at shore saying “I guess I’ll see you later”, setting my sights on the entire bay. After about an hour and a half sightseeing and blind casting, I started to see bait busting a mile away from me. Quickly I paddled and paddled, as I reached my destination I couldn’t believe my eyes. Boil after boil, V’s in the water as stripers were in hot pursuit of herring. At one point I saw a striper fully out of the water going after some very large bait breaching the surface. So overwhelmed I couldn’t decide where to even cast. I adjusted my paddle board and began to cast at moving V’s in the water boom as soon as my fly hit the water I was on. 

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So excited I was hooked up  I didn’t realize that the striper was taking me on a Nantucket sleigh ride, pulling the paddleboard in every direction. I finally got the beast to land, a good size fish that probably just made its way from the delta.
This experience opened my eyes to how much fun this fishery can be, chasing stripers down via paddleboard is, to say the least, addicting. Always bringing new opportunities and places to go, I am very excited about Christmas coming early to LCO. 

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