How to get started in surf fly fishing - Photo courtesy Kevin Greene

Photo by Kevin Green

How to Get Started in SoCal Surf Fly Fishing

The “How to” aspects of surf fly fishing may seem daunting at first, but chin up! Here are some resources to help you get started. And don’t forget – nothing beats time on the water! Get out there and fish!


Flies, Sand and Surf blog

FliFlicker Discussion boards

Gary Bulla’s fly-recipes web page – a conventional gear site, but a great resource for up-to-the minute reports : “Light Tackle Surf Fishing” – A great general intro. Craig Smith also has a great intro article on their Fly Fishing Forum, but you must be a website member to view it.

Surf Fly Fishing Primer & TipsA great intro by Craig Smith on the forum


Books by Ken Hanley

  • Fly Fishing the Pacific Inshore
  • Fly Fishing Afoot in the Surf Zone

Fly Fish the Surf – by Lee Baermann – The matching book!

California Fly Fisher magazine and Southwest Fly Fishing magazine run SoCal surf fly fishing articles on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for back issues, if you can find them.

A Guide to Southern California Beach Fishing – a downloadable brochure put out by the California Department of Wildlife (don’t laugh, it is actually a good CONCISE guide to fishing the surf. It even has a paragraph on fly-fishing!)

Fly Fishing the Surf – by Angelo Peluso (just Atlantic coast info, but useful for SoCal fly fishers)


Most fly-fishing shops in the Southern California area (Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, San Diego, and even Kernville!) offer surf fly fishing classes. Please call them for updated class schedules

The Fly Zone – personalized instruction by Jim Solomon, FFI master casting instructor, and Al Quattrocchi, IGFA record holder and licensed guide. Whether taking an exotic salt/freshwater trip or fishing local surf, Jim and Al will give you the tools you need to succeed.

Gary Bulla – one of the masterminds behind the original SoCal Surf Rendezvous, is available for group or individual instruction on SoCal surf fly fishing. Contact him thru his website:

Glenn Ueda – offers personalized coaching on your surf fly fishing  techniques. Glenn holds several world records for corbina on the fly, so he knows whereof he speaks! (951) 203-1405,

Surf Guides

Several of the fly shops in the Southern California area offer guided surf trips through the store. Following are some independent guides that offer surf fly-fishing trips.

Lee Baerman: (805) 486-8226,

Jeff Priest: (310) 489-6131,

Eric Rangel: (805) 524-2064,

Solis on the Salt: Contact Solis on the Salt

  • Jeff Solis: (858) 531-1436
  • Scott Donaghe: (619) 742-5888