The Four Ws of Beach Fishing

The Four Ws of Beach Fishing

Ever heard the term, ‘You gotta put in your time…’

We’ve heard it too much. We would give you odds that it’s probably the most overused expression in flyfishing. But then again, there might be a reason for that.

In what we call the 4 Ws, waiting is one of the things that’s a required element. Waiting involves the expenditure of time so it must be true that this is part of putting in our time. The first wait for those of us who hope that Heaven is an eternity of coho beach fishing, is the long wait as this year’s season draws to a close and the rains and winds of a wet and stormy west coast winter keep us inside at the bench. Here we tie the old classics, the California Neils, the Beach Clousers and the baitfish and krill patterns that we’ve always relied on. We crank out the new patterns that worked some last year but need a little refinement. And we create new things with ideas that have taken root through some inspiration over the past season.

The second wait is on the beach. We arrive in the last days of summer and we wait. We wait to see what the tide is doing. We wait and we watch…the second W. We wait and watch. We watch for predators like seals and sea lions. We’re pretty sure they watch us too. We look to see if they are congregating somewhere down the beach where some fish might be working around some feed or sniffing a little spring of fresh water bubbling up through the gravel to tell them if they are getting closer to home. We look for feed like sandlance and juvenile herring, mysids and even salmon smolts that are regular food for feeding salmon. We watch the gulls and scoters who are chasing the same food source as the salmon.

We also walk. The autumn of the year for us is the best time of the year and a good walk along the beach is a wonderful tonic made better if a fly rod is in hand. We walk trying not to catch a toe on a barnacle crusted rock. We walk around old places and new. We walk across mud flats and flooded bays. Around boulders on beaches. Out on points and to estuaries where we watch and we wait.

And then we see something! Or do we? It’s hard to tell but was that a fold in the surface? Did we just notice the water bulge to the top as it was pushed by the broad flank of a coho as it turned to grab at something? We can’t be sure…

Now we wade. Carefully. We slowly enter the water only ankle deep to get close but trying not to startle what might have been what we are hoping for. We strip out line and lay it parallel to the beach, so we don’t dump an ill timed false cast into a group of hungry but ever cautious coho. We watch and wait until we can see that our awareness may just pay off because on the surface now, we see the definite Vs as a group of coho slowly glide to a place within our range. We lay out a cast, wait a moment to let them get closer to where we placed our fly and allow it to sink a little. Then we start our retrieve. And we wait and we watch.


But what rod should be used off the beach? 

Look no further than the Echo Boost Beach!

The Blaze Igniter – A Review of the Echo Boost Beach

"Sometimes, distance on the beach can mean the difference between your success and watching other, and sometimes better casters, hook up regularly. The Echo Boost Beach caught our eye awhile ago, so we brought one in to test it out.

Here is what we found out…

Opening the box, we were greeted with a comparatively long cordura case. The Boost Beach we chose was an 8 weight that’s 12’2” inches in length so the tube tends to stand out. It’s covered in your typical heavy-duty cordura fabric so it will wear well through lots of unpacking and packing. The tube is three sided which we prefer because not only does it not role around, like up to the front of the pickup box when it’s inside the truck canopy; it also means it can rest against any flat surface without falling and often taking a few more rods and cases with it.

The four-piece Boost Beach comes in a black partitioned rod sock with the same-coloured blue trim on the sock as accents key points on the wraps which we think is a nice touch. The blank is a black matte finish so doesn’t reflect sunlight which on those bright days when coho are particularly more skittish will help hide your approach.

The corks are pretty good quality with reinforced composites at the rub points and the bottom handle has a good-sized knob on the end so your hand won’t slip off. The guides are all stainless titanium steel which makes them robust against saltwater caused deterioration and the stripping guide is a low friction ceramic which helps generate line speed. The anodized reel seat is also designed for saltwater use. The guide wraps as mentioned have nice blue accent rings in the lower sections and all our protected under a healthy epoxy coat.

The Boost Beach comes in sizes 6 through nine. The six-weight comes in at 12-feet and is designed for a 230 grain line; the seven-weight is 12’1” and takes a 265 grain line; and the 8 and 9 weights are 12’2” and is meant for lines of 300 and 335 grains respectively. You can fudge 15 grains on either side of these recommendations. We fished an 8-weight with a Rio Outbound Short WF8F tipped with a Rio Intermediate Freshwater VersiLeader. This line comes in at 330 grains and it didn’t feel like it was underpowered in casting this slightly heavier than recommended line.

We also tried a Cortland Cold Salt Series Striped Bass Blitz in a WF9I which comes in at 305 grains and it cast equally as well. A line we cannot recommend for the Boost Beach is the OPST Commando Smooth in 300 grains. The heavy compact head of this line would not give us the required load to get a good loop as it was difficult to get the rod speed required to prevent the loop collapsing on the back cast and we also found that it landed heavily when we did get a decent backcast with the Smooth.

A couple of features we liked were that the rod gets great distance with less effort than single-hand and did especially well in a south-east wind. It takes a little getting used to in order to work the rod as Tim suggests: but it gives excellent results with little practice and effort. We also like the length. A long rod like this means that you won’t be snapping off as many flies on your backcast as the rod tip travels high above the plane on which you stand. We’re going to try a few other lines and hope to have other recommendations once we do.

The Echo Boost Beach is a great rod for our local beaches and would perform equally well in any environment where you’re fishing for saltwater species from the beach. It also comes with Echo’s Lifetime warranty."

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