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Saltwater Angler’s Guide to Southern California

There isn't much about fly fishing in this new guidebook -- the author, Jeff Spira, is a former commercial fisherman whose notion of fly fishing seems to be using flies with conventional tackle or baiting them with strips of squid -- but there is plenty of useful information about where to fish in Southern California.

October 3, 2001
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Review by Steve Raymond

Wilderness Adventures Press
45 Buckskin Road
Belgrade, MT 59714
Softcover; $26.95

There isn’t much about fly fishing in this new guidebook – the author, Jeff Spira, is a former commercial fisherman whose notion of fly fishing seems to be using flies with conventional tackle or baiting them with strips of squid – but there is plenty of useful information about where to fish in Southern California.

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Areas mentioned include the coastlines of Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, the offshore and Channel Islands and the outer banks. Each rates a separate chapter, complete with maps (including locations of kelp beds and piers), a chart showing the monthly availability of various fish species and lists of local tackle shops, accommodations and other services. Other chapters cover the main species available, with black-and-white illustrations of each.

Spira needs to file down the barbs of his prose. (Sample paragraph: “While there has been a core of hardcore saltwater fly fishermen in southern California for many years, the recent explosion of fly fishing has taken the sport from somewhat of an oddity here in southern California, to commonplace.”) However, as we’ve said often in this space, you don’t buy guidebooks for the quality of their English; you buy them for information. This one has plenty.

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