Sunday, September 25, 2022

Rio Rodeo this Saturday

13th annual Rio Grande Rodeo
Saturday, October 1st, 2022

7:00am - on-site registration
7:30am to 12:30pm - fishing time
12:00pm - weigh-in deadline
Event site: No Wake Outfitters
1926 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA
Hosted by the New Orleans Fly Fishers Club (NOFFC)

The Rio Rodeo is the longest running freshwater fly fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast.   Target species is the wary Rio Grande Cichlid. All entry fish must be caught on flies and fly tackle. Categories are “Longest Rio” and “Most Rios”. Net proceeds from the tournament go to Casting For Recovery.

At this point, anyone not pre-registered can register onsite at No Wake Outfitters starting at 7:00am. The $15 entry fee includes lunch and refreshments.   

For complete details, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Friday, August 19, 2022

LDWF seeking exhibitors for NHF Day events

Established by Congress in 1971, National Hunting and Fishing Day - always the 4th Saturday in September - recognizes the many contributions that hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts have made towards sustainable use of natural resources and towards conservation of those resources. For 2022, NHF Day is September 24th.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that National Hunting and Fishing Day would again be celebrated at four venues across the state: Bodcau (Minden), Monroe, Waddill (Baton Rouge) and Woodworth.

LDWF is currently seeking exhibitors for each venue. Fly fishing and fly tying have long been part of the many activities, so clubs are being asked to register in Baton Rouge, Woodworth and Minden. There is no local club in Monroe, but anyone interested in volunteering for casting or tying demonstrations are encouraged to register for that venue.

For clubs ONLY, one member of each club is asked to register as an EXHIBITOR. All other club members who will be assisting are asked to register as VOLUNTEERS.  This is so LDWF can more easily organize the layout of the venue based on the exhibitor entries.

If no member of your club has been contacted, please email Kristi Butler at kbutler@wlf.la.gov for links to the Exhibitor and Volunteer signup forms. These forms are online and take about a minute to complete.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Registration for Rio Rodeo now up

13th Annual Rio Grande Fly Fishing Rodeo
Saturday, October 1st, 2022
7:00am – on-site registration
7:30am – 12:30pm – fishing time
Event site: No Wake Outfitters
1926 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA
$15 entry fee includes lunch and refreshments

Hosted by the New Orleans Fly Fishers Club, the Rio Rodeo is the longest running freshwater fly fishing tournament on the Gulf Coast.   Target species is the wary Rio Grande Cichlid. All entry fish must be caught on flies and fly tackle. Categories are “Longest Rio” and “Most Rios”. Net proceeds from the tournament go to Casting For Recovery.

The rodeo is open to all fly anglers.  Advanced registration must be received by mail by September 24th. Onsite registration is from 7:00am to 7:30am day of the tournament. Both onsite registration and weigh-in will be at No Wake Outfitters in Metairie. For complete details, and to download registration form, go to the NOFFC website at www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Vlahos' pompano recognized as FFOY

At their annual convention this past weekend, the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association recognized the "Fish of the Year" in both conventional and fly fishing categories.  This year's recipient in the "Fly Fish of the Year" category was Nick Vlahos for his 3.01 lb. Florida Pompano he caught while fishing out of Breton Sound. Ella Douglas of Thibodaux received the "Rod and Reel" honor with a 25.80 lb. Dog Snapper she caught while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Both fish are new state records.

Nick is a fly designer and commercial tyer, owner of Sandbar Flies. He's best known for his signature pattern, the "Sandbar Crab", but his Sand Flea, Sandbar Mullet, Marsh Mullet and Dock Light Shrimp have also reported to be excellent flies for a variety of marsh and nearshore species.

After his family moved to Georgia, the Baton Rouge native came back home to college at LSU. Here is where Nick began saltwater fly fishing out of his kayak. In the days when our forum was a huge part of the laflyfish.com website, Nick was a frequent poster, sharing many of his successes on the water.  

Since the 1940s, LOWA has curated the state fish records, maintaining the top 10 catches by weight of each species, fresh and saltwater. In the 1980s, under the guidance of Pete Cooper, Jr. and Bob Dennie, the Fly Fish Division was added.

Fly anglers who believe they've landed a trophy-sized fish (or for some species, even a decent sized fish) should check the LOWA Fish Records website.  Registration can be printed and mailed, or filled in online. Registration fee is $25.
 

Friday, July 29, 2022

AFR club to host Acadiana Fly Fishing 101

Acadiana Fly Fishing 101
Saturday, September 17, 2022

Time: 10:15am - 1:00pm
Lafayette Parish - East Regional Library
215 La Neuville Rd, Youngsville, LA
FREE and open to the public!

Hosted by the Acadiana Fly Rodders, the FF101 workshop is an opportunity to learn about fly fishing, or improve your knowledge and skill in various aspects of the sport. Topics will include tackle overview and terminology, equipment and accessories for freshwater and saltwater fishing, types of flies, hands-on practice of knots and leaders, and hands-on casting led by FFI-Certified instructors.

There is no cost.  Refreshments will be provided. If you have equipment, it's advised to bring it. Otherwise, the club will have several sets of rods and reels available for use during the workshop.

AFR president Flip Siragusa noted, "We've seen the success of similiar workshops in Alexandria, Baton Rouge and elsewhere. It's not only brought new people into our sport, but also brought new members to clubs. For example, the Kisatchie club grew from a couple dozen members to over a hundred member families in a few years thanks to their Fly Fishing 101 clinics."

For this reason, the Acadiana club is encouraging family participation in this event. Attendees can optionally sign up as AFR members at a special discount rate of $10 (family membership).

Pre-registration is required. To register, go to the AFR website at www.acadianaflyrodders.org and click on "Fly Fishing 101". There you will find a link to the registration form, as well as complete details about the event.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

2022 RBFF Report: slight decline, but fly fishing gets younger

As been the tradition for the past 12 years, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation - along with the Outdoor Foundation - released its annnual look at fishing participation in the United States just prior to this week's ICAST fishing trade show. The 2022 Special Report on Fishing details participation trends in overall fishing, saltwater fishing, fly fishing and other areas of our sport based on licenses, surveys, tackle sales and many other datapoints from the previous year (2021).

Overall, more than 52 million Americans ages 6 and over went fishing in 2021. This was a four percent decline from the historic high in 2020, and yet still one of the highest numbers ever. Also of interest, women composed 37 percent of participants, the highest number ever.

With regards to fly fishing... participation in 2021 also declined four percent from the historic high of 7.8 million in 2020. The 7.5 million fly anglers is still significantly higher than anytime since records have been kept.

There's more good news. The majority of 2020 participants who lapsed were in the older age groups. This was offset by nearly 17 percent newcomers to fly fishing, mostly under age 35. Almost 60 percent of all fly anglers are now age 44 and under.

Diversity. Female participation continues to grow. About 19 percent of female participants were first-timers, compared to 16 percent of male participants. Conversely, the numbers of black and hispanics continue to be low at 8 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Income and education. Fly fishing continues to be favored by those with higher income and with some college or college degree. Seventy percent of fly fishers have annual income of $50k or more, while 60 percent have at least one year of college or higher.

Demographics. Once again, the South Atlantic region (Virginia to Florida) had the highest number of fly anglers, representing 20 percent of the total. This was followed by the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific regions, at 17 percent.  Our region - Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma - had 10 percent of all participants, or about 750,000 fly anglers. 

Friday, July 08, 2022

News from the New Orleans club

Charles Miller, secretary of the New Orleans Fly Fishers, recently posted an update on Facebook regarding upcoming club activities and events. Most, if not all, are open to the public.

Saturday, July 16th - the NOFFC will hold a casting clinic at LaFreniere Park on the big lake near the concession stand, weather permitting.  Casting will start at 9:30 am. This is a great opportunity to learn or polish your casting skills. If you know of someone who would like to learn how to fly cast, please feel free to invite them as this clinic is open to the public.

Saturday, July 30th - the club's monthly fly tying class will be held at No Wake Outfitters located at 1926 Airline Drive. Time is 10:00am. A.J. Rosenbohm will teach the class. Please bring $2 to give to the instructor to cover cost of tying materials. Beginners are welcome!

Saturday, October 1st - the 14th annual Rio Grande Rodeo returns after a hiatus last year due to Covid concerns. This is the longest running fly fishing only tournament on the northern Gulf Coast. The target species is the Rio Grande Perch, the only cichlid native to North America. However, not being native to Louisiana, it's been branded as an invasive species. This year the rios are showing up in good numbers. More details will be sent out later this summer.

Saturday, January 21st - the 2nd biennial New Orleans Fly Fishing Expo will be held at St. Christopher the Martyr school gymnasium. The venue will allow for casting instruction regardless of the weather. Committees are being organized, and more details to come. If it's anything close to the last NOFF Expo, it promises to be a great family-friendly event for both beginners and experts!

Charles also reported that the club will kick off their 2nd Big Year Tournament.  This is a "mixed bag" CPR contest where the goal is to catch as many different species on fly tackle. The Big Year kicks off August 1st and will end on July 31st, 2023. Look for details and contest rules coming up on the club website at www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Louisiana free fishing days June 11-12

This coming weekend kicks off the 20th anniversary of National Fishing and Boating Week (June 4th-12th), an annual celebration of the importance of recreational boating and fishing in America. Most states, including Louisiana, have designated "free fishing days" either the first weekend or second weekend in June.

Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity to try out fishing for the first time. Or, if you're willing to travel, to partake of fishing in another state without having to purchase a license. Some states may have certain restrictions. For example, you might be able to fish freshwater for free, but still have to buy a saltwater permit or trout permit. So please check before making plans. 

For 2022, Louisiana's free fishing days are Saturday-Sunday, June 11-12.  Here are the free fishing days for neighboring states:
Alabama - June 11
Arkansas - June 11-13
Florida - June 11-12 (freshwater only)
Mississippi - June 4-5, July 4th
Texas - June 4

For a complete list of free fishing days in all states, go to www.takemefishing.org.