In the previous blog post I stated this was a business trip for THW and that I was baby siting. I would try to balance babysitting with fly fishing. The trip turned out to be 1/3 fly fishing 1/3 eating and 1/3 family time.
We checked into the hotel and got a watermelon cooler from the front desk. Yum. Then headed to Cha Cha chicken. We heard about this spot on the Food Network. However when I saw the following segment it was the right side up.
Based on the above clip, I ordered the coconut fried chicken. It was not as I had expected. It was crunchy and tasty but no coconut flavor to it. Maybe its because I live across the street from a Korean fried chicken joint and my standards have been elevated. Its a BYOB eatery so I went across the street for s 6 pack of beer. The dipping sauces and sides were good and I had a full belly. We drove back to the hotel.
We ventured over to Santa Monica for the farmers market. I had hoped to be dropped off at the beach and wet a line.
We parked across the street from the farmers market and walked around. The produce was awesome. So fresh and local. Not only were there vendors, there were people cooking meals. We were able to sample all the great fruits and veggies and get a late breakfast.
Check out the fro on this bird
The selection of greens was outstaidning.
This is The Chargeman. Listen to him, he knows what he's talking bout. He likes crepes and whipped creme.
Off to the Santa Monica Pier. This is a group of volunteers that sets up crosses for service men and women killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. This lady was playing a wooden flute.
This lady had an outfit made out of hackle feathers!
Back to the hotel for a sundowner ( cocktail for watching the sunset )
Mothers Beach to wet a line. We by now have discovered free vodka drinks behind the hotel's front desk. BIL and I down two before we get a 3rd for the short walk. I have not fished the Pacific in a year so it was nice to be back in. I put on my waders and tossed out a tiny shrimpy clouser made with a bunny strip wing. I was distracted by all the birds: egrets, pelicans, gulls, ducks, merganser etc. I was stripping my line through the water when I felt a tug. I set the hook and pulled in the following:
A tennis ball with a mussel on it. Really? That was my first catch. I was using an 8wt switch rod with 10wt sink tip, a 30-20-10 pound leader.
Some dudes on paddle boards. Seein these things everywhere I goGary Bulla for information about fishing around LA. Small world, I used to share a cubicle with his sister Elizabeth when I worked at Booz Allen.
After an hours walk and a diminishing sun on the horizon, we get to some water. I spot something in the channel spouting water. Some sort of cetacean? Its as grainy as a loch ness monster shot but you can see the dark circle in the below pic. We hang a right and head straight to the beach. Its been about a 2 hour adventure so far.
I managed to get in a few casts and got one tug from a fish before it was too dark to fish. I got to fish at least for a few minutes so far. Our feet hurt from that long walk so we called THW who refused to pick us up. We called a cab and were amazed at how fast the direct route back was. Maybe a 2 minute drive ! The cab driver told us we were his worst customers of the day. That was not nice.
We head over to the classic California burger place. In -N- Out burger.
Just getting out of the car made me drool. The smell of onions and chow in the air. It was a rush.
I ordered a double double animal style with well done fries and a fountain drink (root beer). As for the baby lady, she just about ordered and ate everything. BIL ordered animal style fries. Steller.
A beautiful day. My plan is to get some breakfast and be dropped off where I had fished the night before. We head out to Santa Monica again to the street of Abbot Kiney.
I took a look at the map from the front desk. Lo and behold it was NOT TO SCALE which is why we though we could walk to the beach from the hotel.
Off we drove to Santa Monica for breakfast. We saw a line outside a little take out counter and lots of people sitting around on milk crates eating.
We had to park and find out what this place was. It was Gjelina. here are some of the pictures of what we ate. I ordered the egg sandwich and a biscuit with quince paste. Best biscuit I have ever eaten.
We grabbed some milk crates to sit on and watched the funny dogs and their owners pass by and grab some food and eat. It was a phenomenal breakfast.
THW scouting out the place
Plenty of feather merchants with all of the other chotchkeys and junk being sold.
There was a lot of equisetum growing all over Los Angeles.
David Alexandrou and he is really talented. His album which BIL purchased for the baby lady was highly produced and sounds great.
Joans on Third.
I got the pressed chicken sandwich with bacon and avocado.
And back to the hotel to take a break. BIL had to pack to fly back to San Fran. However he got to the airport and realized he forgot his keys to his car and house. So we left the hotel lobby sundowners and headed to LAX.
We called a friend 'J Bob' who went to UCLA and asked for a place to eat near by. He suggested the Manhattan Beach Brew Co.
FUCH’S OFFICE BURGER
USDA PRIME ground chuck topped with Gruyère and Maytag blue cheese, caramelized onions, Applewood bacon, arugula, Japanese tomatoes and a garlic aioli served on a toasted French roll.
There are a lot of crows in LA. I wonder if they have West Nile Virus.
Baby lady and I drove up to Malibu and to Leo Carillo State Park. Someone in the lobby told us to go there.
The drive up was awesome. I was looking for the house where the guys stayed in Entourage. I passed a Topanga Canyon, made me think of Boy Meets World.
At some point I want to do the entire length of the Pacific Coast Highway. I'll probably need someone else to do the driving so I don't drive off a cliff.
I was not familiar with the park so I purchased a $12 day pass. Turns out you can park on the Pacific Coast Highway and walk in. Oh well.
It was low tide. I parked baby lady in the sand next to me and made a bunch of casts. No luck. It was very pretty. If you didn't already know, I hate sand. I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible. We looked at the birds and rocks and some stuff that washed up on the shore. We then packed up the gear and walked up the coast. Baby lady probably had the best view of anyone getting their diaper changed that day.
We drove back and at least one of us was able to nap on the way to the Malibu Lagoon Park. According to the name and this image, the area was a lagoon at one time. The river has since broken through.
I found some piles of kelp along the shore that allowed me to cast above the waves. There was too much vegetation in the water to fish. We took pics and headed back to the hotel.
Water going out of the lagoon. It was once dammed up.
Hummingbird. I spotted some red flours before I saw the bird. Birds were the first organisms to see the red color of the light spectrum, pretty much any red flower is going to be bird pollinated.
Wednesday found us in Long Beach. We started fishing the lagoon without much luck. This is the spot where I caught that corbina in 2007.
For reference if you want to fish this spot, here is what you should look up.
I had to wake up the baby lady to show her my catch.
A bunch of helicopters started to hover above and it was really loud. Glad that I had finished eating by then.
I ordered a Firestone IPA and a Lagunitas Pils. Too many beer choices so I got what I can't get back here in Virginia.
I also like the club soda so I had one of those.
The beer menu. You thought I was kidding right. This is when I wish THW was there to enjoy some pints with me. I'm glad I've gotten into craft beers. It gives us one more thing to bond over and enjoy together.