Labor Day Stripers – A big one like last year…


After a marathon two days at Disneyland with Gina,  I managed to get up this morning at 5 AM to give O’Neill Forebay a ride on Labor Day.   The winds really laid down all weekend and I couldn’t resist a still morning.  I was hoping for some topwater and when I arrived at 6:30,  there were many small fish chasing bait.  A couple years ago this time of year,  I remember schools of fish right up against the shore at daybreak in the big lake.  I threw a crease fly for a bit but gave up pretty quickly with no blowups.    The lake is less than 20 percent right now and I just can’t see fishing it till I recognize the shoreline again.  I haven’t heard much news from the lake fishermen.   The last three weeks have been very good at the Forebay.  The weed lines are productive even though there are few large schools on the fish finder these days.

I fished my small rattled yellow clousers behind a size 2 pulse disk and managed over 15 fish with a a half dozen keepers.    While fishing the weed lines around the island,  I hooked and landed a 26 inch fish casting parallel with the weed line about a foot out.  It was a memorable hit.  As I stripped the fly in ,  I could feel the pulse disc vibrate with each strip.  About half way to the boat, I stripped and didn’t feel the vibration of the disc. The fish must have come up from behind , gulped the fly and swam towards me.  It felt weird with no pulse so   I stripped again quickly to catch up with the fish  and set on the best fish of the day.   I really like the way the pulse disc feeds back to the stripping hand. You can tell how the fly is working and you can vary the speed of the strip with some tactile feedback.

I got off the lake at noon because the jet skiers and wake boarders came out to celebrate Labor Day.    It got crowded and really hot by noon but surprisingly at 8:00,  not that many boats started fishing early. I usually avoid Holidays,  but the last couple years,  I managed some big fish on the holidays even with the craziness on the lake.  In fact, a year ago, on Labor Day, I got my biggest forebay fish of the year (2014)  and again this year on Labor Day 2015- a 6 lbr.   That is an unlikely and  weird coincidence.  Maybe the big fish get excited when the the boats wip up the water!  There were lots of flyfishermen on the lake today as well.  Prams and canoes in the  152 trench and Mederous Flats.   I saw some nice fish caught in the flats by the Canoe flyfisherman.


James Matson of Brinefly Innovations has a winner product.  I am convinced that my luck at San Luis and and the O’Neill Forbear has improved with the use of these discs.  I am beginning to feel naked casting a fly without one and when I’m fishing with another person in the boat.  I try to test them by taking mine off.   If you see me at the lake and want to try one,  feel free to come over and Ill be glad to give you some to try.




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6 thoughts on “Labor Day Stripers – A big one like last year…

  1. Meng,
    What size pulse disc do you use (or recommend) for a 1/0 clouser? 2/0 ? and 3/0?
    You do a great job with your videos and website.
    Hope to see you out on the forebay someday.


    • Ive used them on both and they seem to work equally well. The jig hooks move about the same but the hook rides up and seems to be more weedless. I am, however tying my clousers on straight eyed hooks these days.

  2. Did you or one pf your relatives win a box of poppers at one of the Striperfest BBq’s ? If so, how did they work ? Trying to get some feed back.



    • Funny you should ask Leo. My Cousin Wayne Syn and my two nephews Mathew and Michael won lots of raffles prizes one year because Wayne bought(donated) nearly $5000 dollars to Striperfest thru raffle tickets for the kids and prize donations. He caught so much grief for winning so many raffle prizes that Dan changed the rules of the raffle. Needless to say he hasn’t attended a Striperfest since but continues to donate prizes as owner of Orland Outfitters. Your Poppers are legendary!

  3. Hi Meng,

    I also couldn’t resist the low wind forecast this morning and was out in my canoe again fishing the weedbeds between the freeway overpass and the islands. Sort of an odd pattern today – I only consistently found fish right in the lanes between the weeds at depths of 4 to 8 feet, nothing doing in more open or deeper water. No fish as nice as the 26-incher you picked up, but several keeper size that put me on the reel and lots of action. Today’s fish also tended to bury themselves in the winds after a hookup more than is typical. The bite went really dead around 10:00 AM but picked up again at noon. That caused me to overstay my welcome a bit, however, so I ran into pretty slow holiday traffic starting before Casa de Fruta and persisting up through Morgan Hill.

    I’m curious how the pulse disks work in really weedy water like I was fishing today. Seems like they might tend to collect weeds but maybe that shields the fly so it could be a benefit. I’ll have to give them a try soon.

    Thanks for the reports!

    Best regards,


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