“Ghost of the Coast” Sightfishing for Corbina with Glenn Ueda
At the Wilderness Club - July 17, 2018
In July we welcome a newcomer to the 7 –Club speaking circuit with an exciting and very timely program. Holder of multiple IGFA world records, please join guide/ instructor Glenn Ueda for an informative seminar on sightfishing for the coveted California Corbina in our local Southern California surf. Learn the basics including seasonal patterns, food sources, tidal cycles, structure recognition and approach, balanced rods reels and tackle, proper leader construction, and effective fly patterns. If you are already an avid bonefish or carp fisherman, or simply looking to try the wonderful world of surf fly fishing, this is for you! If not, there is no better time to get in on the summer action – the season is now.
With pajamas doused by foamy surf, I began my fishing career at age 5. Saturday was always for fixing cars to make ends meet but come Sunday we were hurling pyramid sinkers for barred perch off the many beaches throughout Southern California. We would catch our sand crabs below the old Redondo Beach pier and I can remember for my first contact with an especially large silvery fish. I yelled to my dad and all he could do was shake his head and murmur, “Oh, those are corbina.” At the time I did not understand the level of impact that these formative experiences would have almost five decades later. Years later and still relegated to spin fishing, I remember reading a fly fishing article in Sports Afield and soon found a burning need to explore the wonderful world of fly fishing. I even joined the dollar book club and bought “Trout Fishing” by Joe Brooks. Noting my extreme interest, my father obtained a fly rod and reel from one of his customers that just happened to work for Daiwa. I was in luck! The planets really began to align as a relative of a close family friend was none other than the president of the Long Beach Casting Club. I can still remember Mister Nakasuji picking me up at our home in Gardena on Tuesdays so that I might learn how to cast in that still beautiful pond. I have to say, even at age 10, my roll cast wasn’t all that bad! Initiated, I would spend hours at Alondra Park flogging the water but still catching bluegill, bass and crappie, and I would again peek into the future as these monstrous carp cruised nearshore. Now licensed, my friends I would venture up to the West Fork of the San Gabriel River and marvel at the beauty of these delightful natives. Saltwater still running through veins, my interest would shift almost entirely to larger game such as King Harbor bonito and yellowtail, and occasion I would take one on my trusty Fenwick Fenglass 108-9 that I hand built in high school. I still have that rod and it still works great! With an affinity towards the creative, I was soon commissioned by my dentist to custom wrap a complete set of Fenwick HMG fly rods!
Following high school, I wallowed at the local junior college until I enrolled in my first architecture class and it was then that I found something that moved my head and more importantly my heart. I then went on to Cal Poly Pomona where I obtained my Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1984. During those years, I rarely fished but made up for it during the summer on days when I wasn’t working shifts at Art’s Fishing Tackle and 22nd Street Landing. Upon graduation, I began a satisfying thirty-two year career with WLC Architects, a nationally recognized firm specializing in educational facilities. I was the twelfth person hired. Upon my retirement as a partner in 2014, our firm had grown from a single office to five statewide with over one hundred employees. I miss my second family and seeing the positive impact our facilities had on thousands of students throughout California.
I spent the better part of my 30’s and 40’s riding the San Diego-based long range boats where ten to sixteen day trips were the norm venturing deep into Baja Mexico for giant yellowfin tuna, speedy wahoo, colorful dorado and hard-pulling yellowtail. Though extremely fun, and with numerous two-hundred plus pound tuna landed on conventional gear, the trips however became almost routine. It was then that I sought something different. In 2007, my wife and I experienced Belize and our lives were changed forever. We stayed at El Pescador Lodge, caught tons of bonefish, and even visited Mayan ruins!
Since that first trip, I have had the good fortune of experiencing unbelievable fly fishing in some amazing places. They include domestic and international destinations; huge peacock bass in the Brazilian Amazon, giant trevally and triggerfish on Christmas Island, tailing bonefish in ankle-deep water on Andros Island in the Bahamas, insane tarpon and fussy permit in Belize, surfside snook on Sanibel island Florida, massive redfish in Louisiana, double-digit bonefish on Oahu, amazing smallmouth bass in Montana, huge mirror carp at world-famous Blackfoot Reservoir in Idaho, and of course, our own waters here in California. For 2018, I hope to add to the one hundred eight species landed thus far. As much as I enjoy travelling to out-of-state waters, most of my 200+ annual fishing days since retirement are spent pursuing our local species. I enjoy a variety of species including bonito and yellowtail at Catalina Island, coastal nighttime calico bass, carp in our local drainages, and of course, the coveted California Corbina. Enamored, I have obtained three IGFA world records for the aforementioned species. Such a worthy species, they exhibit many of the qualities that I enjoy most; extremely hard to entice, can be sightfished in very shallow water, readily available, and once hooked, fight well. Between trips, I enjoy fly tying and designed the Loco Moco, a versatile carp fly that has been used effectively throughout the United States as well in places as far away as Spain and Japan.
Coming full circle, I now enjoy sharing my passion for fly fishing by conducting store and club seminars throughout Southern California. A budding writer, I had my first article ‘Ghost of the Coast” recently published in California Fly Fisher. With numerous inquiries and always seeking new challenges, I launched “So Cal Flats Fishing Guide Service” in the spring of 2017. A resounding success, I learned as much about myself as my clients did about corbina. My mission is to have those that I guide learn not only the finer points of pursuing corbina but to also raise their awareness of access to public waters, many of which are walking distance from our home in Huntington Beach. My wife Mona along with our two dogs Kai and Mac have lived in “HB” since 2015.