I’ve had many opportunities to fly fish the ocean off Pacific City as guest of several great friends who own dories. One of these boats is a new Terry Learned boat (The Fly Guy); one dates back to 1960 (the double ender Sea Breeze), and one is a 17970s era boat that was built by Paul Hanneman (a Kiwanda Klipper style boat that will probably be named the Clouser).
The Sea Breeze has been in Rob Perkin’s family from day-one and is equipped with a 15-horse Mercury outboard in a motor well. Launching and landing this double ender on the beach is a matter of two people rowing in synchrony. Two times rowing out and one time rowing in under Rob’s tutelage was super fun in easy seas. Fly fishing for silvers has ranged from sketchy on occasion, good on many days, and great on a few days this year (when the season was open) We usually managed to hook silvers on both the the cast and trolled fly, and yes, there were Kings out there ready to take our fly too.
Silvers and Kings are wonderful fun on the fly rod, and very accessible too. I am still surprised that so many experienced ocean anglers scoff at the idea of fishing effectively for black sea bass, lingcod, and salmon with flies. Oh well, salty fly fishing is indeed effective, it’s fun, and we’re helping open doors for folks who want to give it a try.
Never found anyone who didn’t have fun when they tried the fly in the ocean. Not so far anyway. And Albacore? Wow, those are beyond exciting fish on the fly rod.
Dory fishing is very personal, nothing at all like the big charter boat experience.
A dory offers fly fishing challenges in close quarters. Rob handles the boat navigation, fishes, catches fish, runs the motor, nets fish, works the fish box, and more. Me? I sit down much of the time, working the fly rod and casting from the seated position. I also try to take a few photos and always have a great experience. Day after day I return to the beach saying that I had my “best day ever” on the ocean. These BEST DAY classifications have little to do with numbers of fish – mostly they are about good friends, new ocean conditions experienced, new flies to fish, and a lot of new memories.
The boat’s captain must run the boat and fish at the same time, not easy – ever.
But the rewards are spectacular.
It is always good to get back safe to the beach each day. My most heartfelt thanks to all my friends for hauling me out to sea in their dories. I appreciate every opportunity to fly fish in the ocean.
Jay Nicholas September 2014