Lee Haskin began his fishing career in the late fifties, at about 10 years old. Learning how to tie his own flies followed shortly, where he, at an early age, cast his creations to carp on his home waters, the Pajaro River, and as a teenager, fished side-by-side with his fly-fishing father, on trout waters throughout the California Sierras. However, in 1967 Lee caught his first striped bass at the mouth of the Pajaro River, just prior to moving to Long Beach to attend college. After settling in to college, Lee discovered the many saltwater species that would readily come to the fly. His primary target was the Bonita, found in the San Gabriel River, near the college.
After reading about Bob Edgley and his Blue Shark Fly Fishing in Monterey Bay, in the late 1960’s, Lee was focussed on catching yet another species on the fly. Many trips out of Capitola, CA yielded numerous Blue Sharks.
In the early 1970’s Lee began to fish San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay, with a primary interest in catching stripers with top water bugs. About that same time Lee and old friend and fishing buddy, Del Brown, (talk about good company!) began fishing the South San Francisco Bay for Stripers. Del and Lee fished from Coyote Point to Candlestick Park throughout the 1970’s. Then the Bay’s incredible striper fishing dropped off, and Lee concentrated his efforts, once again, on the San Luis Reservoir and O’Neill Forebay, targeting the flats and islands along Highway 156 on the O’Niell Forebay, and also, depending on the season, along the dam and many accessible coves, fishing from a float tube. Lee has fished these areas successfully since the early 80’s.
Lee enjoys telling the story of a great striped bass that he hooked in the O’Niell Forebay, and having no way to secure the monster, finally lost the fish after three attempts to grab the giant fish. The fish pictured here is a 39 1/2-lbs. fish that was hooked while fishing from his float tube, in the main lake, in the late 90’s.
Although Lee enjoys catching stripers throughout the year on his own flies, he is particularly fond of throwing his favorite gurgler patterns along the weed beds of the O’Niell Forebay.
In 2004 Lee made his first trip to the Yucatan, where he first tested a new fly, the Neutralizer. This fly was so successful that it now is a standard pattern for baby tarpon. Working with guides in Mexico, Belize, and the Bahamas, Lee created new fly patterns for each fishery, that have been proven over many years. Lee’s fly designs are specifically designed for inshore saltwater species like tarpon, permit, snook, redfish, and bonefish; as well as various freshwater species, like pike, large mouth bass, and trout. Lee’s Blog is filled with stories and pictures of his trips, and the flies and fish which make up his “fishing story”. http://leehaskin.blogspot.com