Sunday, March 29, 2020

Virtual fly fishing in the time of social distancing

It's now evident that ALL fly fishing events - from beginner fly fishing and fly tying clinics to gatherings to tournaments - from now through April are cancelled or postponed. 

That doesn't mean that fly anglers can't get together across the internet. Virtual webinars and meetings via Instagram, Facebook Live, Zoom, and other internet platforms is at an all-time high as a result of social distancing guidelines.

Here are just a few of the internet activities taking place:

Orvis has a new Instagram Live series featuring some of the industry's top guides, product experts and fly fishing gurus. Here is the schedule:

Techniques and Tactics with Tom Rosenbauer
LIVE on Instagram @OrvisGrandRapids @rosenbauert
Monday, March 30th -7:00pm CST
Tom Rosenbauer and Trent Jackson will discuss their favorite small-stream trout tactics and answer your questions.

Guide Speak with Josh Nugent of Out Fly-Fishing Outfitters
LIVE on Instagram @OrvisPlano
Tuesday, March 31st - 7:00pm CST
Josh Nugent, Owner and Guide at Out Fly-Fishing Outfitters in Calgary, joins Plano Fishing Manager Steven Palmer to discuss what makes the incredible fisheries in Calgary so unique.

Fly Tying with Bryan Eldredge, Falcon's Ledge Guide
LIVE on Instagram @OrvisSanAntonio
Wednesday, April 1st - 7:00pm CST
Grab your vice and join Falcon's Ledge Guide Bryan Eldredge and Landon Rowlett, Fishing Manager of Orvis San Antonio. Bryan will Tie his favorite Dry and Dropper while also discussing the best way to fish them.

Gear Talk with Shawn Combs and Ian Huang
Live on Instagram @OrvisBatonRouge
Thursday, April 2nd - 7:00pm CST
Join Shawn Combs, Rod and Tackle Product Developer (including the Helios 3), along with Ian Huang, Baton Rouge Fishing Manager, as they swap stories about the gear they're using to chase fish this spring.

Club online tying sessions
Zoom has extended some of the Pro features to the Free version during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Orleans and Kisatchie clubs are discussing using Zoom to conduct online fly tying sessions. Bill Morrison and Gene Taylor, Tying Co-Chairs for the KFF club, are estimating the first session within the next 8 days.  Because of the attendee limitation on the Free version, clubs will be restricting these sessions to "members only". 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Corona Virus cancellations and postponements - running update

On Monday, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued new guidelines to help protect Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. These included avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people.  Later in the day, numerous state and local agencies, public libraries, private businesses, etc., announced closures of facilities where groups meet.  That resulted in yet more  cancellations and postponements of fly fishing and kayak fishing events.

This will be a running post of all activities which are posted, or have been posted, on our Calendar page. Please check back here often to get the latest as more announcements are posted daily.

Cancellations:
- Sowbug Roundup
- Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival
- Tri-Lakes Fly Fishing Festival
- New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo
- Fly Fish Texas
- Boats on the Bayou
- Kayak Fishing U. / March LKFC meeting
- New Orleans Fly Fishers March meetings
- Kisatchie Fly Fishers April meetings (no more March meetings)
- Fly Fishers International (FFI) National Expo
- Reel Recovery April retreats (including 1 in Louisiana)

Postponements (rescheduled for Fall 2020)
- Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club "Trout Challenge"
- Cenla Fly Fishing 101
- Lake Athens Fly Fishing Festival  

Monday, March 16, 2020

Event cancellations due to Coronavirus concerns

As mentioned yesterday, Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for fly fishing and kayak fishing events nationwide. But concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus have led health and government officials to promote "social distancing" as a means of containing the spread.

Starting this past Thursday, many state and local governments nationwide began ordering bans on large gatherings. On Friday afternoon, Louisiana followed suit when Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order closing all Louisiana public schools, banning gatherings of 250 or more, and postponing the state's April 4 presidential primary.

The immedate ban closed down the Louisiana Sportsmans Show for Saturday and Sunday. After a very low turnout on Thursday and Friday afternoon, the weekend closure was a serious economic blow for the many vendors.

The FFI Gulf Coast Council's first-ever Sweetwater Classic went on as planned at Percy Quin State Park in Mississippi. The tournament only had 44 attendees, well below the gathering limit. Disinfectant wipes were available for attendees.

However, just about every event planned for the next 8 weeks was cancelled over the weekend. Here is a list of fly fishing events cancelled or postponed across the region:

- TRWD Flyfest (TX)
- Sowbug Roundup (AR)
- Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (TX)
- Tri-Lakes Fly Fishing Festival (MO)
- New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo (LA)
- Fly Fish Texas (TX)

The Kisatchie Fly Fishers is looking at postponing their annual Fly Fishing 101, and Bayou Coast is considering cancelling their annual Paddlepalooza.  Club meetings are also under consideration for cancellations over the next month or two.

We'll keep everyone abreast of further developments.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

What's happening this week - 3/15

Nothing much. What normally is one of the busiest times of the year for fly fishing and kayak fishing events is looking sparser by the day. More on that later.

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their annual Spring Picnic at Cotile Recreation Area. The board decided to go forward since (a) only 30 members are signed up, and (b) this could be the last activity until May.

Tuesday's meeting of the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club special program with Brendan Bayard and Steve Lessard has been postponed to a later date.

Thursday the Acadiana Fly Rodders meeting is still on for now.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers 2nd session of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions is still on for now.

All fly fishing and kayak events for this weekend have been cancelled.

Monday, March 09, 2020

What's happening this week - 3/8

Another big weekend ahead. Keep in mind that with Daylight Savings Time, nearly all clubs will have casting practice prior to their meetings.

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at Broadmoor United Methodist Church inside the Adult Education Center. Location is 10230 Mollylea Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Guest speaker will be Harry Blanchet, LDWF Marine Fisheries Director, who will present on the current status of speckled trout in Louisiana. The public is welcome. For more, go to www.rsff.org.

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:45pm, program at 7:00pm.  Tom Bullock will give an updated presentation on UV Lighting and its applications for fly anglers. The public is welcome! For more, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers will hold the first of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Francis Xavier community building on 444 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Bring $1 for materials. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Beginners welcome! For more, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also on Thursday, and running thru Sunday, its the it's the 41st annual Louisiana Sportsmans Show at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. The state's largest outdoors show runs 2pm to 9pm on Thursday and Friday, 9am to 9pm on Saturday, and 10am to 6pm on Sunday. For a complete list of exhibitors, activities and seminars, go to www.louisianasportsmanshow.com.

On Friday, and continuing Saturday, it's the first-ever Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic fly fishing tournament and festival at Percy Quin State Park near McComb, MS. Hosted by the Fly Fishers International Gulf Coast Council (FFI-GCC), the event activities include: casting instruction and casting skills challenge, fly tying demos, Big Bream Contest (Friday afternoon) and the Sweetwater Classic Tournament (Saturday morning). The festival is FREE and admission to the park is free for attendees. The Big Bream Contest entry fee is $5 cash (winner take all), and the Classic Tournament entry fee is $25 (register via iAngler).  There's also a "One Feather Fly Tying Contest" on Friday evening, and an "Iron Fly Tying" contest on Saturday afternoon. For complete details and schedule, go to www.gulfcoastcouncilffi.org.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

What's happening this week - 3/1

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to  www.pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com.

On Thursday, Pack and Paddle will hold a "Community Fly Tying Night - Lies, Ties & Dumbell Eyes" at their store on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.  Folks are encouraged to bring their vise and tools if they have them. If you're new, we have a few vises and tools we can loan. For details, go to www.packpaddle.com.

On Friday evening, it's the start of Pack & Paddle's annual Spring Demo Weekend with a "Beer and Gear Social" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 5:30pm to 8:00pm. The social will feature kayak and fishing vendors, and feature various micro-brews from across the country. The event is free. There will also be drawings, including for a new kayak. Must be present to win.

Also on Friday, it's the International Fly Fishing Film Festival at Orvis in Baton Rouge. More on that later.

On Saturday, it's the annual Red Stick Day fly fishing festival in Baton Rouge. More on that later.

Saturday, PnP will hold a free "Kayak and Fly Rod Demo Day" at Vermillionville Pond in Lafayette. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm.  There will be demo fly rods from Scott and TFO to test cast. You'll also be able to demo the amazing OneWheel. And of course, test out kayak and paddleboard models from Jackson, Hobie, Native Watercraft, Bonafide Kayaks, Hurricane Kayaks, Swift, NuCanoe, Wenonah, Bote Board and others. For more, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Baton Rouge to host IF4, Red Stick Day this weekend

Two major annual fly fishing events of the year are on the agenda for this weekend, both in Baton Rouge.

On Friday night, Orvis BR will host the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet. Like the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) which Pack & Paddle hosted in February, the IF4 is a series of short films celebrating the sport of fly fishing, by chronicling epic trips, sharing the kinship of anglers and friends, and taking us to places we could only dream of.   If there's a difference between IF4 and F3T, it's that IF4 is more, well, international.

Doors open at 5:00pm and the showing starts at 6:00pm. Tickets are $15 and seating is limited. All proceeds go to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.  To reserve tickets, drop in at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd or call 225-757-7286.

On Saturday, across town at the LDWF Waddill Outdoors Education Center, it's the 26th annual Red Stick Day fly fishing festival. Hosted by the Red Stick Fly Fishers, this is the oldest and longest-running event of its kind in Louisiana.

Time is 8:30am to 3:00pm. Location of Waddill is 4141 Flannery Rd. Admission is free. A jambalaya lunch is offered for $7 along with free refreshments.

RSD has a proud history of featuring some of the biggest names in fly fishing. Louisiana's own Kirk Dietrich may well qualify for that honor, as he certainly is one of the top fly tiers in the country. His flies have been sold by Orvis for over two decades. Last year, his first book, "Tying Bugs: The Complete Book of Poppers, Sliders, and Divers" was released to rave reviews. Kirk will tie as well as give a presentation on making bugs.

Other presentations will be given by world casting competitor Jay Clark, an FFI Master Certified Instructor; "Preparation and Strategies for Coldwater Trout" by Orvis BR staff Alex Beane and Ian Huang, and "Kayak Fishing Strategies for Fresh and Saltwater" by veteran kayak fly anglers Catch Cormier and Mike LaFleur.

RSD also features fly tying demonstrations by some of the region's top fly tiers including Mark Pinsel, Ted Cabali, Ron Braud, Kyle Moppert, Mike Jackson, Steve Oliver, Ray Boudreaux, Ron Foreman and Kenneth Breaux.

Then there's the huge raffle with many one-of-a-kind items. Monies from the fundraiser go to the club's educational initiatives.

For complete info, including schedule of activities, go to www.rsff.org and click on "2020 Red Stick Day".

Sunday, February 23, 2020

What's happening this week - 2/23

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying session at the Independence Park Library on 7711 Goodwood Blvd in  Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more, go to www.rsff.org.

Tuesday is Mardi Gras. Your last chance to enjoy king cake in 2020.

On Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Casting outside on the lawn begins at 5:00pm. Carlton Townsend will lead a presentation on "Rigging & Tactics for Coldwater Trout", with emphasis on upcoming club trips to the Little Missouri River. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Wednesday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Calcasieu Parish Extension Office, 7101 Gulf Highway in Lake Charles. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

On Thursday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Rapides Parish Extension Office, 300 Grady Britt Drive in Alexandria. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Crab Trap Room across the parking lot from the Blue Crab Restaurant. Guest speaker will be Randy Richter who will present on fly fishing in the Amazon. Randy has made many trips to South America to chase various species in the Amazon River, including the notorious peacock bass. He will outline travel arrangements, equipment, flies, etc. that are necessary to make a trip to the Amazon successful. NOFF will also raffle off a 7-weight TFO fly rod at the meeting. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, LDWF will hold the final meeting in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Lincoln Parish Library, 910 North Trenton Street in Ruston. Time is 1:00pm (afternoon). Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

What's happening this week - 2/16

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Rapides Westside Library on Provine Place in Alexandria. Bill Morrison will lead a tying techniques clinic prior to the regular session, starting at 5:30pm. The regular session kicks off at 6:30pm. This month, the group will tie the A&W Emerger followed by the Bluegill Belly Bean. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Church on 1620 East Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to their Facebook page.

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. Visitors are welcome. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Wednesday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue in Metairie. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

On Thursday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second Street in Slidell. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at the River Ridge Public Library on 8825 Jefferson Highway. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Bring $1 for materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Starting Friday and continuing thru Sunday, it's Troutfest 2020 at Lazy L&L Campgrounds in New Braunfels, Texas. Sponsored by Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited is a fly fishing banquet and exposition to raise funding to conserve, protect and restore the cold tailwater fishery below Canyon Dam, the southernmost year-round trout fishery in the USA. Seminars, fly tying demonstrations, casting clinics, Kid Fish Pond, vendors and much more.  For more info, go to www.grtu.org.