By , June 15, 2009 2:35 am

“Serendipity”. A ten dollar word that translates to roughly, ” I had no freakin’ idea that would turn out so totally awesome”. It’s a word to use when you want to throw a kink in the stereotype that brownliners are a step down on the flyfishing/intelligence hierarchy. It is also how I would d escribe our day on the water this past Sunday.

About 3:30 in the afternoon we headed off to La Mirada park to try our luck among the hard core catfish fisher-folk and the innumerable kids that were hurling enough lead at the lake to make it feel like a beach assault. We hop-scotched between the families feeding the predatory ducks, squeezing in just close enough so as not to appear too predatory ourselves but near enough to piggyback on the chum line being laid down by all the two and three year olds emptying their bags of cheetos into the lake. The wind was steady and made for a slight chop on the water,  which was good for stealth but bad for anything other than casts made to the East. Our slow but fruitless dance around the lake was interrupted only to give a short lakeside instructional session to a ten-year old who nearly stove in the back of my head with the cannonball he was using for weight.

We had just about decided to move to another lake when my 8 foot, 5-weight “dinked”.  I honestly thought I had snagged some algae but played in the line anyway. Sure enough, I had managed to hook up with quite possibly the smallest large mouth bass on the planet. Exhausted from the battle, I forgot to snap a photo but it wouldn’t have a mattered much anyway unless you use a hi-def,=2 0home-theater sized screen for a computer monitor. Still a fish is a fish and it boosted our spirits just to know that we could, in fact catch a fish in an urban lake even amid the barrage of live fire lead and rooster tails.

Knowing that retreat is an effective and honorable strategy, we opted to head over to Laguna Lake, which despite it’s name, is located in the middle of Fullerton — about fifteen minutes away. Now, old-timers who haven’t been there in the last three years or so will hear you say Laguna Lake and simply burst out laughing. Laguna lake recently underwent a multi-million dollar make over and it’s once again a decent place to fish. Prior to the fix up though, the place just stank. The water resembled hospital jello and you didn’t have to fish, you just had to walk along the shore and scoop up dead carcasses from underneath the ducks that lined the shore like day workers at Home Depot.000_0011

Now, it is a different story.The place is clean, the number of ducks is regulated, the water flows in a cleansing circular pattern thanks to a series of pumps and jets and there is plenty of space to make decent back casts around most of the lake. Plus you can park along the street for FREE. A good number of families were already set up along the shore mostly bait fishing.  We headed over to a clump of rushes that had produced for us in the past and we begin fishin’. Almost immediately we began pulling in small bluegills.  ; As we split off in different directions, we each continued to haul in bluegill after bluegill. At one point, my cell phone went off while I was playing a ‘gill and the ID indicated that Sean was calling me.  I answered, thinking something was wrong. “Dude, switch to a small dry. You won’t be sorry.” I did and I wasn’t. All told, when it finally got too dark to see what we were doing, we counted close to a hundred bluegills and green sunfish caught and released between the two of us.

And that is what you call serendipity.



  1. Bob says:

    Nice report! Been flyfishing there since it reopened. I use it as a place to practice casting and new fly patterns that I tie when I can’t get to the streams. Next time you go there try the ant patterns! The gills love them, and, the bass really like a nice big, #12 Pheasant Tail.
    Love your site!

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