Thursday, December 12, 2013


One of the fastest growing areas of Flyfishing in Southern California over the past 13 years has to be Surf Flyfishing. There are plenty of good reasons for this growth : year around fishery, only requires 4-5 hours, Close to Home, chance of catching something large is very good & particularly this year (2013) not effected by a below average snowfall. Simply stated it's a lot of fun.

 I've been flyfishing the surf since the Mid 1980's and must say the early years were a slow learning curve because there where very few other Anglers doing it. My only sources of information where the few and far between articles by Nick Currcione in the various general fishing magazines.. i would greedily gobble up any information i could find.. and the rare occasion of meeting another Flyfisher in the surf then was a good day indeed as we compared notes and hopefully helped out one another..
This changed towards the mid 1990's as more anglers began realizing that the Surf was at their feet and available year around.. besides the fact that getting good at casting in the Surf equated being better on that once a year Trip to Montana or Alaska. the Integrated shooting head lines where most welcomed and made getting started easier for newbies in the Surf. Fly patterns evolved along as well.. instead of using Bonefish patterns or over sized colorful wooly worms, Original patterns designed specifically for the Southern California Surf began appearing and really producing in the Surf..
 I had  come up with a few patterns of my own and while they would produce the almost always agreeable Surf perch, the other species available, notably the elusive Corbina would often prove impossible.. So I kept at it, experimenting, trying new materials and adjusting them... Finally in late 2003 I came up with the RAZZLER........

HOOK :   Gamakatsu SS15, or any standard Saltwater hook, sizes #2 ~ #8

  Flo. Fire orange 140 Ultra thread or Fire Orange 6/0 Danville

Black Dazl eyes, sized to hook

  Tan over Hot orange Calf tail, slim amounts of each. two strands of UV Tan Krystal Flash
             Along each side of tail, Tail's length is equal to Hook shank.
Rear Half - Lagartun Mini Flat Braid, Hot Orange, Coated with Clear Cure Goo or similar .
              Front Half - Crustacean Tan Estaz
WING : Hareline Extra Select Craft Fur, Tan


While it might seem to be overly involved to tye, if You approach it as a "production Line" assembly, I assure you it will flow smoother..:
Step 1:  Tye in the Dazl eyes at a point just above the Hook point, secure they with Thread and then Super glue them.
Step 2:  tye in the Tail so it extends slight down the hook bend. tye in the Flat Braid and advancing the thread to just in front of the eyes, wrap the Flat braid forward and figure eight it around the eyes. tye off the flat braid right in front of the eyes and after cutting off the tying thread. coat the flat braid in the CCG and hit it with the blue Light to cure it.
Step 3: Tye in the Estaz and wrap it tightly forward towards the hook eye. tye off the Estaz and then add the Craft Fur wing.. tye off a small head and coat that with CCG (Clear Cure Goo) as well..

The Razzler is now complete. I always tye up at least a half a dozen at one time, using the Assembly line production method I can kick out the half dozen in a short time and be ready to go...

I liked the way the Pattern came out, so i tyed up a few more and brought them to the shop i worked at the time, Malibu Fish-N-Tackle and showed them the shop's owner Wayne Caywood. Wayne liked the look of the pattern and stated that "It would razzle the fish, it's a real RAZZLER".. so now it had a catchy name, time to start fishing it.
I was smart in realizing that I was not able to hit the beaches as much as I wished to , so I tyed up sizable amounts and gave samples to a number of locals who fished the beaches often . I knew they'd put the Razzler thru it's moves and quickly figure out of it was a Hit or miss.. of course it caught the almost always hungry Surf perch, but my concern was for the Elusive Corbina.. and soon enough reports came in that the willy "Surf Ghost" indeed found the fly to their liking.. additional outings of my own confirmed the effectiveness on Corbina, along with Halibut and in larger sizes, Leopard and Smoothhound Sharks. I was pleased that the Razzler was proving itself effective..
 Then more reports came in from Santa Barbara to San Diego about the effectiveness of the Razzler. Jerrold P. Shelton, in California Flyfisher, wrote often of the Razzler's effectiveness in the Surf along numerous So Cal beaches. I received numerous emails and PMs on the various Flyfishing Boards from Anglers who reported that the Razzler produced well for them. I felt really good that a pattern i came up with was producing so well for other Anglers.. During the "Corbina Time" from Mid May thru Mid August, when Corbina are in the surf in sizable numbers, the Razzler proved to be very effective on them..

Turns out the Razzler also works well for Bonefish. by merely switching the Dazl eyes for Black bead chain Eyes and thinning out the tail and wing , The Razzler produced Bonefish at Christmas Island, the Bahamas, the Yucatan and Florida- this was most interesting.
Gary Bulla told me that in larger sizes (#1/0) the Razzler worked great for Pargo and Cabrilla in the Sea of Cortez.. I caught Largemouth bass on the Razzler and eventually Carp. I even heard of Steelhead and most recently Sea Trout in Europe have shown their liking for the Razzler... and all I wanted was a successful Surf pattern for the Local beaches... I think I achieved that desire and then some...

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