Sunday, March 18, 2007

Fly fishing the Oregon Coast: The pinnacle of Quixotic pursuit

Over the weekend, Alex, Wild Bill and I attempted fly fishing the Oregon Coast for groundfish. The weather seemed calm, the cabezon and ling were supposed to be in close and well, why not? If Ken Hanley can write about Fly Fishing Afoot in the Surf Zone, then there's a chance. Then again, I don't think there are any photos of anyone actually holding a toothy bottom dweller caught on the fly in the entire book... There is definitely $9 worth of info in this book, so I'd say buy it. But the author makes no bones about telling you, you gotta be crazy to do this -- especially when there are so many other fishing opportunities around.

From MattStansberry

We headed out to the Dublin House motel, a motel in Yachats, OR that bills itself as a fly fishing headquarters for the Oregon Coast. The Dublin House owners really need to spend more money on inventory and staff that know something about fly fishing if they plan on advertising themselves as a fly shop. Don't get me wrong, I like the fly shop idea and I like the fact that they underwrite NPR programming (which is where I heard about them), but they need to stock more than some dusty fly fishing decorations. I'm being a little harsh here, but gas is $3 a gallon in Oregon and if they would have answered their phone when I called, I might not have made the drive to Yachats.

From MattStansberry

We opted to fish the rocky points jutting out from Neptune State Scenic viewpoint. I can tell you that these were the most difficult fishing conditions I've ever experienced. The jetties were ultra burly lava rock covered in razor sharp barnacles. The waves were churning up debris, spraying up between the rocks, throwing slack into my fly line. And then there was the wind. The wind killed us. We spent about an hour or so flailing into the wind. Long enough to realize I'm out of my league -- long enough for Alex to break a toe. But still a good time.

We made a break inland to fly fish for late season winter steelhead --a pursuit only marginally more sane.

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