Flyfishing in the kelp [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Flyfishing in the kelp

06-07-2004, 06:17 PM
Moved from OR to the bank of the Monterrey Bay here in Santa Cruz. I've had only marginal success and to be honest only marginal effort in flyfishing in the kelp forests with a fly. I have caught lots of fish with spin tackle bounced off the 30' bottom.

I now have a better boat for exploring this rich fishing resource. Does anyone have any fly, presentation, and line type advice for this approach in these waters?

Thanks in advance for any help!

06-08-2004, 08:01 AM
I guess it depends on the species... but the most effective kelp fishing I have ever witnessed was by the PNW gang for coho salmon on the Straits between Vancouver Is. and the Olympic Peninsula. Leland Miyawaki ties a beach popper ( that slides over the kelp and incites rioutuos takes from salmon feeding among the underwater forests.

The surprise for me was that we often think of the species as being more active deeper, but over the kelp they are very surface oriented.

Might be a useful thing for your fishery?

06-08-2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by juro
I guess it depends on the species...

That would definitely get the heart pumping. Only wish our bay were as prolifically stuffed with salmon as the sound. Though I imagine a sea bass would respond the same. Thanks for the info and the link. I'll tie a few up and look for surface feeding.

North Island
06-09-2004, 12:22 AM
Q-surf dude,

Santa Cruz is one of my favourite towns. I was there alot as a young canuck. Iv'e been waiting on this post to see what would come out. Up here my first approach on kelp is to treat as any other kind of structure. I will work the edges around the kelp bed with bait fish patterns and various density full sink lines ranging from clear intermediate to t-8. Look for avenues into the forest. If you cast too directly into the kelp it's been my experience you will lose alot of flies.

Always watch for bait sign. Schools of bait fish, eupahasid shrimp, [krill], most obviously, but don't miss the minor signs like seabirds and other predators. Focus your effort on these high possibility areas

Once you do hook up do your best to turn the fish from the kelp bed. The fish instinctively will head for cover. [my experience] The first few moments, I find, are when most fish are lost.

I think we all do what we feel will best raise the level of our recreational experience, whatever the activity may be. Different people have different preferences. I don't think being dedicated to the discipline of fly fishing and fly fishing only makes me an elitist. It only makes me happy.

Cheers N I

06-09-2004, 11:19 AM
Thanks for that N.I. Yeah, S.Crz. isn't exactly "hell" (except for the distance to the nearest good trout waters...).

I will be focusing more on flyfishing out there now that I finally have a boat conducive to that. One good thing about my previous fishing exploits out there is that I've located some productive bottom structured areas to focus on.

The wind's been howling every day lately, but that comes with Spring/early Summer. Really looking forward to the more calm late Summer/Fall.

Hopefully I'll be reporting some success stories back...