California Surf Fishing with Al Quattrocchi
Did you know that you don’t have to make a four or five hour drive to find great fly fishing in southern California? In fact, we have the largest saltwater pond right outside the door in our own back yard? The Pacific coast of California is an amazing and mysterious ecosystem that beckons to be explored with fly rod in hand. And we are going to see and learn all about it this month with a true expert.
Al Quattrocchi has been fishing the surf on three coasts of America for more than forty years. His presentation, which could be titled “Fly Fishing the Surf in Ten Basic Steps,” will demystify this challenging environment and invite you, as well as show you, how to explore our largest fly fishing resource totally on your own.
Al (known to almost everyone as Al “Q”) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. There, early in his childhood, he developed his love for saltwater fishing while living in Sheepshead Bay, once home to the largest commercial fishing fleet operating in the U.S. As a teenager he spent his formative saltwater fishing years on party boats, piers, bridges, beaches and jetties in and around Sheepshead Bay as well as Breezy Point, Rockaway and Jamaica Bay.
After moving to California in the late seventies to attend college, Al was inspired to switch from plugs to the fly rod. Here he began his fly fishing journey after years of reading articles written by saltwater fly fishing luminaries such as Joe Brooks, Lefty Kreh, Frank Woolner, Bob Popovics, Lou Tabory and our own Nick Curcione.
Al lectures and presents programs to many fly fishing clubs and fly shops in southern California. He founded the “One Surf Fly,” an event which he created to help promote his favorite sport along the SoCal coast. Al also created the “Double Haul Ball,” which is a free, educational and collaborative effort put forth by local fly fishing friends and Federation of Fly Fishers certified casters and is held once a year at the historic Long Beach Casting Club. Al and good friend Conway Bowman (of “Bowman Bluewater” and “Fly Fishing the World” fame) both host the Carp Throwdown at Lake Henshaw, San Diego each June. This Orvis sponsored event is mainly a sight-fishing tournament for carp-enthusiasts and has been widely recognized across the country. The tournament is timed around the hopper hatch so anglers can experience dry fly sight-fishing for cruising carp.
Al’s articles and fly patterns have been published in Fly Fishing in Saltwaters, Fly Tyer, California Fly Fisher and Saltwater Fly Fishing magazines. He is currently on the pro tying staffs for Umpqua, Tuffleye and Enrico Puglisi. His Beach Bug pattern is one of the best selling SoCal surf flies in Umpqua’s Surf Fly Series. Al’s other commercial Umpqua patterns include Qs Corbina Candy, Qs Thin Lizzie and the Qs Ghost Whisper.
As an avid fly angler, fly tier, artist and photographer, Al continues to draw inspiration from the sea. He hopes to expand his passion and love of saltwater fly fishing through teaching and mentoring one angler at a time through “The Fly Zone,” a comprehensive program he and his friend (and Wilderness Fly Fisher member) Jim Solomon created to help anglers learn to be better fly casters.
Al resides in Westchester, California with his wife Janet and daughter Quinn. He is a creative director at Tornado Creative, the award-winning design agency located in the historic Helms Bakery in Culver City.
Al’s fishing blog can be found at: https://alquattrocchi.wordpress.com