Sunday, January 14, 2018

What's happening this week 1/14

An interesting week. Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday, and two of the biggest in-state events of the Spring this Saturday. Also, keep an eye on the weather... the chance for wintry mix on Tuesday and Thursday across some parts of the state may cancel some activities.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Community Center in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.contrabandflycasters.net.

Also on Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session. The date is changed from the usual 3rd Monday because of the MLK holiday. Location is the Rapides Westside Library on Provine Place in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Dan Fromme will lead the group in tying the Indicator Fly. Beginners are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club holds their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. On the agenda: details on the 2018 CPR Challenge, tackle tips, fishing reports, and kayak launch location.  For more, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers holds the second of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Francis Xavier Church Hall on 444 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during this session. Materials are provided, bring $1 to cover cost of materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their biennial "Cenla Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Festival" at Kees Park Civic Center in Pineville. Time is 8:30am to 3:30pm. Admission is free. The event will feature seminars, casting instruction, exhibitors, and nearly two dozen of the region's top fly tiers. Lunch and refreshments will be available on site. The raffle and other fundraising activities will benefit The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, as well as the club's conservation program. Complete details can be found on the KFF website at www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Saturday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club will hold it's annual "Minimalist Challenge" out of Launch Leeville. The first qualifying event in the club's annual Angler Series is officially sold out - this is their only event where registration is limited. The limit of 125 was reached weeks ago. Fortunately, for those members who didn't register, the Series is setup so missing one or two Series events doesn't hurt qualifying for the Championship in December. It'll be interesting to see the results of Minimalist after this coming week of strong north winds and bitter cold.

New season for Buccaneers & Bones

With the new year comes the return of new seasons of several popular fishing and fly fishing shows on networks like NBC Sports, Outdoor Channel, Sportsmans Channel, Pursuit, and World Fishing Network. One of the most popular fly fishing shows remains Buccaneers and Bones, now entering it's 7th season on Outdoor Channel. New episodes are broadcast on Friday at 10am, Saturday at 3pm, and Sundays at 7am and 5pm. The show runs from January to June.

This season of B&B was filmed at Turneffe Flats in Belize and stars Tom Brokaw, Huey Lewis, Michael Keaton, Yvon Chouinard, Lefty Kreh, Jimmy Kimmel, Thomas McGuane, Jim Belushi, and a collection of the greatest saltwater fly fishermen in the world. The series celebrates the majesty of flats fishing while showcasing the work of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust to conserve and protect bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries through sound science.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

LDWF transitioning to new license system

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries is transitioning to a new recreational hunting / fishing license sales system starting the end of this month. On January 30th, all license sales will be down. Then on February 1st, and continuing until April 1st, retail locations will -NOT- be able to sell licenses while new equipment and training is implemented. All sales will have to be done through internet or at LDWF offices in Baton Rouge, Monroe, Opelousas, Lake Charles and Alexandria.

On April 2nd, vendor license sales will resume.

The new system will have numerous advantages. License holders will be able to reprint their licenses online at no cost. Users will be able to create a username and password to get information, including select boater and hunter courses.  Auto-renew options will also be available.

Here comes another arctic blast!

The winter of 2017-2018 is turning out to be true to predictions as one of the coldest in nearly two decades. The only one thrilled about this is Princess Elza from Disney's Frozen. Today's blast of arctic air will give us a repeat of the week after Christmas. Until next Friday, most of Louisiana will have much below normal temps - highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, with some teens across northern parishes. On Monday - Martin Luther King Holiday - we could warm up a bit. But that day also comes with the threat of wintry mix across north Louisiana.

Here's the good news... looks like we could have mild weather (by recent standards) for the weekend of the 20th. That's important because of two big events that day - the Cenla Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Festival in Pineville and the Minimalist Challenge kayak fishing tournament out of Cocodrie. The Cenla Fest, hosted by the Kisatchie Fly Fishers, kicks off the season's fly fishing activities, while Minimalist , hosted by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club, kicks off the kayak tournament season. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

What's happening this week 1/7/2018

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.rsff.org.

Also on Monday, the Cane Country Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at the Westside Baptist Community Center in Natchitoches. Time is 6:30pm. Guests are welcome!  For more info, go to www.canecountry.blogspot.com.

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge on Sunflower Road in Bossier City. Time is 7:00pm. Guests are welcome.

On Wednesday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club holds their quarterly meeting at Masseys Outfitters Mid-City location on 509 North Carrollton. Social starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. On the agenda: 2017 Fish Pics Awards, updates on 2018 tournaments including Paddlepalooza (March). Guests are welcome! For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers holds the first of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Francis Xavier Church Hall on 444 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during this session. Materials are provided, bring $1 to cover cost of materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also on Thursday, Olde Towne Fly Shop will hold their monthly tying session at their location on 3675 Pontchartrain Drive. Time is 6:30pm. Bring your tools if you have some, otherwise a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more info, go to www.oldetowneflyshop.com.

On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Tying 101" sessions at their store on Bluebonnet. Time is 1:00pm. FT101 is a free, one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic on the basics of fly tying. Materials and tools are provided. Class size is limited, so pre-registration is required. Other dates available. For more info, call 225-757-7286.

LDWF Warns of Potential Fish Kills

Last week's arctic blast brought some of the coldest weather since 1989. Back then, several days of continuous sub-freezing temps resulted in widespread kills of redfish and speckled trout. On Friday, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries addressed concerns of another fish kill.

"Typically water temperatures below 40 degrees for any more than a day begin to cause problems for spotted seatrout, whereas red drum are slightly more tolerant and will begin to experience problems in the mid-30s,” explained LDWF fisheries biologist Jason Adriance. “The rate at which the water cools is also important. If fish have a chance to acclimate and move, the potential for survival is better.”

It's been an abnormally cold season since early December, and that may be the saving grace for specks. Even so, there's been very few trout caught by the handful of anglers who went out the last couple of days. Even though it's believed they're stacked up in holes. On the other hand, redfish catches have been off the charts. Many limits were caught yesterday in just a couple hours.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Welcome to 2018

First off, wishing all our LFF Community and their loved ones the best wishes for a safe, healthy, and prosperous year ahead. May your flies get victimized early and often by various piscatorial predators! And may there be many great fishing stories to tell - even if some are borderline truth.

As you can see from the Calendar page, there are many great activities coming up this Spring for those of us who pursue fish on the fly and/or from a paddlecraft.  Orvis of Baton Rouge has kicked off their Saturday educational sessions, which currently are scheduled through the end of February. These include "Fly Fishing 101", "Fly Fishing 201" and "Fly Tying 101". These one-day, 2-hour sessions are free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Dates and times can be found on our Calendar page.

The new year also brings the start of regional events, including the biennial Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival (Jan. 20), the Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival (Feb. 10), Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival (Feb. 17), Fly Fish Texas (Feb. 24), Red Stick Day (Mar. 3), among others. Then there's the ever-popular Fly Fishing Film Tour at the Orvis store on Friday, February 23rd. This event has sold out the last five years. It's a great time, so be sure to get tickets early!

As for kayak fishing events, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club's annual kickoff tournament - Minimalist Challenge (Jan. 20) - is already booked up on alloted registrations. Fortunately, their premier event - Paddlepalooza (Mar. 10) - has no such restrictions.  All the dates for BCKFC and Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club tournaments are set.  Other kayak fishing events this Spring include "Boats on the Bayou" (Mar. 24) held in conjunction with the New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival. Also look for numerous kayak demos starting in March, featuring several new boats including the Bonafide models, Hobie Compass, Jackson Cruise FD and Coosa FD.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Just as predicted - a hard, cold winter

When sneaux blanketed a large portion of the state earlier this month, some thought it was an anomaly.  But with exception of a few mild days, areas north of Highway 190 have been colder-than-normal.  In fact, the mean average daily temperature for December has been anywhere from 3 to 10 degrees below normal. Compare that to last December when the mean average was several degrees above normal. 

For those of us who have lizard blood, Christmas Eve brought us a new level of misery.  It's been hard cold  - today's high was only 42 degrees. The forecast for the next 10 days here in central Louisiana calls for highs ranging from 34 to 50 degrees, and lows ranging from 18 to 28. In other words, it'll be freezing every night, and several days only above freezing for a couple hours!  There's also a good chance of frozen precipitation across most of north and central Louisiana for New Year's Day.

We're not even taking into effect the 15-20 knot winds and the wind chill effect! Brrrr!

I checked the water temperature in the lake yesterday and it was 52 degrees. That's 9 degrees colder than same time last year. Again, that's surface temperature where the warmest water is found. Most of the depths in 20 to 30 feet are likely close to 40 degrees.

With that in mind, it's NOT a good idea to be out on the water right now. Bank fishing is the way to go, even though that's rough. Now is a really good time to be tying flies. Or watching some bowl games. But if you're dead set on fishing from boat or kayak, make sure to read up on hypothermia and take all precautions.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Merry Christmas!

This marks the last week of activities until after New Years. So starting tomorrow, we'll be on break. If something does comes up, it'll be posted in the forum or on our Facebook page.

So here's wishing a most blessed Christmas for all our friends! Hope everyone finds something under the Christmas tree they can use for their piscatorial pursuits in the coming year.  And let's not forget the reason for the season: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.".

What's happening this week 12/17

Monday's Red Stick Fly Fishers fly tying session has been CANCELLED.

On Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club holds their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. In addition to a holiday celebration, the club will also give out awards for their Angler of the Year and CPR Challenge. Also, announcement of their 2018 tournament dates. For more, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

Also on Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Community Center in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.contrabandflycasters.net.

On Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying workshop at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm. Beginners are welcome.

Now is the time for all good fly tiers...

To come to the aid of their favorite clubs and causes. January marks the beginning of "conclave" season, those 1-2 day events, often sponsored by clubs, that feature programs, fly tying demos, casting demos, exhibitors, and more. All are open to the public, and most are free.

While these events serve to promote our sport and educate novices and advanced anglers alike, they also raise money for special causes.  In addition to offsetting the cost of the event, raffles, silent auctions, and other fundraising at these events support local charities, and/or conservation and educational projects.  Even the growing number of fly fishing tournaments raise money for special causes and can use donations.

The most popular items in raffles are boxes of flies.  With cold, wet weather forecast the next two weeks, and with the holidays, take this opportunity to tie flies for the season ahead. And as you do, put a few aside for donation to one or more events.  A box of 6 to 10 flies makes a great raffle item!  If your skill is unique, then that donation will likely go to a Gamblers Draw or silent auction.

Check the LFF Calendar out for upcoming events. Make plans to attend at least one this winter/spring, and if you tie flies, donate at least a box or two of your flies. Thanks!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's happening this week 12/10

On Monday, the Cane Country Fly Casters will meet at Westside Baptist Community Center in Natchitoches, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, will hold their annual Christmas party.

Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their annual Christmas gathering at the Wildlife and Fisheries building in Baton Rouge.

Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their annual Christmas gathering at Tunks Seafood Restaurant on Lake Kincaid in Gardner.

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Social hour starts at 6:00pm, club business at 6:45pm, meeting afterwards.

 On Thursday, Olde Town Fly Shop on 3675 Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell will hold their monthly tying session. Time is 6:30pm. Bring your tools, if none, the shop has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome!

The Great Blizzard of December 8th - is more to come?

A few months back, we mentioned that the Old Farmers Almanac was predicting a colder than normal winter, with above-normal snowfall for the Deep South. While many may have dismissed the OFA forecast, several climatologists were predicting likewise.

Sure enough, Friday turned out to prove them right. Significant amounts of snow fell across Louisiana, as far south as Houma. Some parts of the Northshore area reported up to 8 inches of accumulation. It was the most "sneaux" we've seen in many years.

Now here's the interesting part... ALL of the forecasts predicted the most likely snowfalls to occur between mid-December to early February. So we're not even in the peak forecast period yet.

The most likely scenario for sneaux in our state is a combination of (1) the jet stream dipping deep into south Texas,  (2) Gulf moisture streaming from the southwest at the upper levels, and (3) a blast of arctic air.  All three were in place this past Friday. The first two factors look to remain in place for the next couple months. Which means that any blast of cold air could bring more white stuff for some part of our state.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

What's happening this week 12/3

On Tuesday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at Grace Presbyterian Hall on 415 Roselawn in Lafayette. Times is 6:30pm. Guests are welcome.

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Gathering at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm. Guests are welcome.

On Saturday, it's Fishing Tackle Unlimited of Houston's annual Inshore Expo at their Katy Freeway Store. TIme is 9:00am to 5:00pm. There's no cost. Seminars include Plugging for Big (Speckled) Trout, Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country, and Fly Fishing in Cuba. There's also fly tying and casting. For more info, go to www.fishingtackleunlimited.com.