Sunday, October 15, 2017

Whats happening this week 10/15

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria.  Time is 6:30pm.  Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided.  For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Pius 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 Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club holds their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm.  Guests are welcome.  For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Wednesday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club will hold their quarterly meeting at Rockin Willys on 140 North Baronne in Pontchatoula. Time is 6:00pm. On the agenda will be the recent PAC Attack tournament and upcoming tournaments Trout Challenge and Fall N' Tide. For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.

On Thursday, CCA Louisiana will hold the annual STAR Awards Banquet at Live Oak Arabians on 6300 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge. Gates open at 5:30pm, dinner 7:00pm, awards 7:30pm, auction 8:00pm. Tickets are $50 per person ($35 spouse, $25 youth) and includes admission, dinner and open bar. For more info, go to www.ccalouisiana.org

Also on Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their annual Awards Banquet (in lieu of their tying session). The banquet will be held at Shane's Seafood and BBQ on 9176 Mansfield Road in Shreveport.  There will be numerous raffle prizes as well as a fly tying contest. For more details, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org or check their October newsletter posted in our Forum.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the second of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Frances Xavier Church Hall on 444 Metairie Road.  Time is 7:00pm.  Bring your tools, if none, a few sets are available for use during session. Materials are provided.

On Saturday, it's "Wild Things" celebration at Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on Highway 434 in Lacombe. Time is 9:00am to 4:00pm. There is no cost. Hosted by the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges, the event features speakers, live animals, demos on pirogue building and wildlife crafts. The Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers will be on hand giving fly tying demonstrations. Food and drink sales at Wild Things help FLWR support conservation and education projects.

Friday, October 13, 2017

2018 Calendar taking shape

In just two weeks, Hallmark Channel will begin showing non-stop Christmas movies and some radio stations will commence playing holiday music.  Yes, Christmas and New Years are almost here, lol.

And while there's still a few significant fly fishing activities left for this year, our 2018 Calendar page is filling up fast.  Here are just a few dates of notable events:
Jan. 20 - Cenla Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Festival
Feb 2-3 - Atlanta Fly Fishing Show
Feb 10 - Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival
Feb 16-17 - Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival
Feb 24 - Fly Fish Texas
Mar 3 - Red Stick Day
Mar 10 - Paddlepalooza
Mar 10 - Texas Fly Fishing and Brew Festival
Mar 15-17 - Louisiana Sportman Show
Mar 22-24 - Sowbug Roundup
Apr 6-7 - Lake Athens Fly Fishing Festival
Apr 7 - New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo
May 5 - Bass On The Fly

And there's more coming soon.
- Cane Country Fly Casters will hold a smaller version of their Natchitoches Fishing Expo sometime in February or March. 
- Mission Six will hold their 2nd annual "Fly Fishin For The Mission" fly fishing tournament in March or April
- North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their Masters Series in July.
- The kayak fishing clubs will schedule their 2018 tournament dates sometime in December.

As in the past, we submit a list of fly fishing events to annual calendar pages published in January, as well as in Louisiana Sportsman magazine and the Outdoors Wire.  The deadline to submit those entries is December 1st.

Also, the guidelines for having an event on our Calendar page remain the same for 2018.
- All in-state events related to fly fishing or kayak fishing.
- Any out-of-state, day-long or multi-day, fly fishing events within 8 hours of a population center
- CCA, LDWF and Bass Life events

Also, club meetings and tying sessions will be listed as they currently are. If date, time or location are changing, please notify us with corrections.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Olde Towne Fly Fishing Hangout tomorrow night

Olde Towne Fly Shop has been conducting fly tying clinics on the 2nd Thursday of each month at their store on 4009 Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell. Starting this month, owner Tristan Daire is expanding the format, calling it the "Fly Tying and Fishing Hangout".  There will still be tying, but also casual conversation and sometimes special guests. Time will be 6:00pm.

Tomorrow night's "hangout" will feature south Louisiana's Sam Collett, a team member of the Skinny Water Culture Collective. Sam will do a presentation on the ins and outs of taking a great photograph on the water. In addition, Tom Jindra - former FFI Certified Casting Governor and TFO Sales Rep - will be on hand with the new TFO Axiom II rod for folks to test cast. The rod has just come out to rave reviews (I got mine a month ago, and it's a great rod for the money!)

For more info, go to www.oldetowneflyshop.com

Winter 2017-2018 to be a cold one

The Old Farmer's Almanac just came out with their Winter forecast and they're calling for a much colder one than last year. It won't be colder than the historical average, though. And a large part of the eastern United States will experience milder-than-average temperatures. However, for north Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas it's going to be "cold and snowy".  Which may imply greater than average days or amount of the white stuff.  Southeast Louisiana will be milder and wet.

While The Almanac bases it's forecast on solar activity, more reliable scientific sources like Accuweather and NOAA are also predicting a much colder winter than last year. LDWF is hoping that it'll get cold enough to knock back salvania on several north Louisiana lakes. 

Sunday, October 08, 2017

What's happening this week 10/8

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building off 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 off Old Highway 1 in Natchitoches. Casting at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm. Glen 'Catch' Cormier will give a slide presentation on "What's New for 2018" covering new rods, reels, accessories, and kayaks that were showcased at ICAST. He'll also give a "State of the Sport" report. The public is welcome.  For more info, go to www.canecountry.blogspot.com.

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge off Sunflower Road in Bossier City. Time is 7:00pm. This month, club members will share fishing experiences from this past year, as well as discuss items of interest to the club. Also on the agenda: the annual NLFF Banquet on October 19th. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold 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 sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome.

Also on Thursday, Olde Towne Fly Shop will hold their monthly tying session at their store on 3675 Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell. Time is 6:30pm. Bring your tools, if none, a few sets available for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome! For more info, go to www.oldetowneflyshop.com.

Also on Thursday, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation (LWFF) will host its annual fundraiser, "A Wild Night", at Live Oak Arabian Stables on 6300 Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge. Time is 6:30pm. Tickets are $200 per couple. Local restaurants and caterers will provide food. LWFF helps support programs supported by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, but which are better served outside government agencies. For more info, go to www.wildnight.org.

On Saturday, Masseys Outfitters of New Orleans will hold a free "Kayak Demo Day" at Cabrini Bridge on Bayou St. John. Time is 10:00am to 3:00pm. Models include Hobie, Jackson, Native, Wilderness and others. For more info, go to www.masseysoutfitters.com.

Rio Rodeo Recap

Yesterday was the New Orleans Fly Fisher's 9th annual Rio Grande Fly Fishing Rodeo at City Park in New Orleans. Despite the threat from Hurricane Nate barreling towards the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, and a citywide curfew set for 7:00pm last night, the event went on. A light drizzle greeted the roughly 35 participants for the first hour.  Afterwards, the rain disappeared for the remainder of the rodeo, although the wind picked up significantly.

Lots of bream and small bass were caught, as well as a decent number of rios in the 6 to 7 inch range. The big rios were absent, except for one caught by Steve Oliver of the North Louisiana Fly Fishers club.  Steve's big rio gave him 1st place honors, a TFO outfit, and bragging rights for the coming year.  We hope to have a full report posted in the forum soon.  Already looking forward to the 2018 Rio Rodeo! 

LDWF taking full fight to Bistineau salvania

At one time, Lake Bistineau was considered one of the five best fishing waters in Louisiana. That was before giant salvania invaded the lake. While salvania is found in nearly every lake in Louisiana, no other body of water (except possibly Caddo) has been ravaged so severely by this floating weed. For over a decade, LDWF has pursued a combination of spraying and drawdowns, but only limited success.

Back in June, the department introduced a third strategy - biological control. LDWF hosted a "Weevil Day" where they provided Bistineau property owners and other volunteers with 115,200 salvania weevils. The weevils have been very effective in consuming the weed, but can be subject to cold weather mortality. This particular batch consisted of weevils that have been bred to cold weather tolerance.

LDWF will continue to employ drawdown and chemical strategies when and where necessary. Currently the lake is under a drawdown since May 1st. Drawdowns quickly kill salvania, but also kill aligator weed which shields the tiny plants from chemical spray. It also helps oxidize shoreline sediments and revives shorelines as prime spawning areas.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

What's happening this week 10/1

On Tuesday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at Grace Presbyterian Hall on 415 Roselawn in Lafayette. Casting at 6:00pm, meeting at 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.

Starting Friday and continuing Saturday, it's the Southern Fly Fishing Fair at Vada Sheid Convention Center on the campus of Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Sponsored by the Southern Council of Fly Fishers International (FFI), the event is the Mid-South's premier fly fishing and fly tying show. There's seminars, fly tying demonstrations, exhibitors, film festival, workshops, and much more. On-site registration is available. For more info, go to www.ifffsoc.org.

Also on Friday, Olde Town Fly Shop in Slidell will host a "Hells Bay Boatworks Meet and Greet" at their store. Time is 1:00pm to closing time. Folks from Hells Bay will be on hand with several skiff models. Food and refreshments will also be available. For more info, go to www.oldetowneflyshop.com.

On Saturday, it's the 9th annual Rio Grande Fly Fishing Rodeo. More on that later.

Also on Saturday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will host their annual "Cajun Castaway" kayak fishing tournament out of Calcasieu Point Landing south of Lake Charles. The tournament is open to the public. Entry fee is $25. Artificial lures or flies only. Categories are Cajun Slam. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

This Saturday is the annual Rio Rodeo

The Rio Grande Rodeo is Louisiana's premier fly fishing tournament. Hosted by the New Orleans Fly Fishers, the target species is the Rio Grande Perch. Considered an invasive species by Wildlife and Fisheries, it's actually native to south Texas - the only American cichlid. However it was not found in Louisiana until pet store (and aquarium) owners began dumping the species into the maze of waterways in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. After the massive flooding of Hurricane Katrina, rios expanded their presence in the two parishes. However, they've not displaced bream species as once feared, perhaps being kept in check by the fact that largemouth bass find them to be easy, delicious meals.

Rios can reach up to 2 pounds in weight, but most average 8 to 12 inches.  Hooking one on a lightweight fly rod is like "fighting a wet cat".  For this reason, many participants will be using fiberglass rods or graphite rods in the 2 to 4 weight range.

This event is open to the public. Onsite registration begins at 7:00am Saturday. Fishing time starts at 8:00am. Weigh-in is at 12 noon. Entry fee is $10 with all proceeds going to Casting For Recovery. All entry fish must be caught on fly tackle using artificial flies. Lunch and refreshments will be available for participants. The registration and weigh-in will be at the intersection of Henry Thomas Drive and Palm Drive. For complete rules and maps of legal fishing areas, go to our Events Forum or check out the NOFF Facebook Page.

The October issue of Louisiana Sportsman is out

While most of the issue is dedicated to hunting - obviously - there's still a lot of great articles for anglers to enjoy.  Starting with my Fly Lines column, "For Pete's Sake", dedicated to our late friend and Louisiana fly fishing legend, Pete Cooper, Jr.  Half of the article details many of Pete's accomplishments, but the other half shares his secrets for catching Fall marsh redfish on the fly.  As always, there's my fly fishing forecast and upcoming events.  The expanded kayak fishing section continues, with columnist Chris Holmes explaining why October is "Prime Kayak Time". Chris also shares tourney winning tactics, new kayak gear, and upcoming events.  Also featured in the expanded yak fishing section are the "Best Bets for October" - locations and tactics for puddlers to insure success. 

Other featured columns this month:  Jerald Horst highlights channel catfish in his "Creature Feature"; Capt. Paul Titus gives us the pros and cons for touch-screen GPS controls in "Ask Capt. Paul"; Jerald and Glenda Horst share recipes from Janelle Folse where Cajun meets Italian in "The Seafood Bible"., Featured articles include:  "Taming the Beast" about targeting choupique by Jerald Horst; trolling for crappie by David A. Brown; and locating bass along submerged ditches by David A. Brown.  Also, solunar tables, tide tables and regional fishing forecasts.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

What's happening this week 9/24

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Meeting time is a half-hour ealier this month, 6:00pm. This is their annual "Fall Casting Session". The meeting is open to the public. Bring your rods, if none, the club has a few outfits for use during the session. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Orvis store on 7656 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tying tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome.

On Tuesday, the Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs holds their monthly fly tying clinic. Time is 6:00pm. Bring your tying tools. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers holds their monthly meeting at Lakeshore Marina and Fuel, on 7840 Lakeshore Drive across from Blue Crab Restaurant. Time is 7:00pm. This month, Sean Gilthorpe will give his presentation on "Fly Fishing for Rio Grande Perch" as a primer for the club's upcoming "Rio Grande Fly Fishing Rodeo" on October 7. The public is welcome.

Friday and Saturday, it's the Red Stick Fly Fishers annual fall outing to Lake Concordia for freshwater species. The event culiminates with the Saturday night fish fry. For more info, go to www.rsff.org.

On Saturday, it's the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club's annual "PAC Attack" tournament out of Eddies Kayak Rentals in Pointe-aux-Chenes. The  tournament is open to the public. Entry fee is $20. Heaviest bag of three (3) slot reds wins. For rules and registration, go to www.bckfc.org.

LDWF adds new pond to Get Out and Fish!

The Get Out and Fish! program of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries seeks to increase participation by providing quality fishing and recruit new anglers. The program has added several ponds statewide to the program. The latest is Purple Heart Memorial Park in Ragley, at the intersection of highways 171 and 190. On Saturday, October 21st, LDWF will hold a tournament at the park. Time is 7:00am to 11:00am, with lunch and awards following. Prior to the event, 800 pounds of channel catfish will be stocked into the pond. Categories include Little Angler, Junior Angler and Adult Angler. Entry is free. The first 100 youth registrants (15 and under) will receive a goody bag. For more info, go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 FFI Gulf Coast Council award winners

Stephen Robert with FFI-GCC President Mike Jackson
At this past weekend's 4th annual Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Fair, the Gulf Coast Council (GCC) of Fly Fishers International (FFI) recognized several Louisiana clubs and individuals for their outstanding achievements this past year. The awards were presented by GCC Past President Kyle Moppert at Friday night's banquet.

Fly Tyer of the Year - Stephen Robert of Houma - awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the art of fly tying, through any combination of innovation, enhancement of the art, or education of others.

Club Community Award - Contraband Fly Casters - awarded to a club that has been very active outside its own membership, and as such, has made outstanding contributions to the community at large.

Club Fellowship Award - North Louisiana Fly Fishers - awarded to a club that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to its members through activities, and effective communication..

Education Award - New Orleans Fly Fishers - awarded to an individual or club has made oustanding contributions to passing along the art of fly fishing to others.

In addition to these Louisiana winners, Cody Wells of Destin, Florida was awarded Man of the Year for unusual devotion to the sport of fly fishing and contributions to the FFI and/or his club. Also Corbin Bennetts was awarded the Robert J. Marriot Scholarship Grant. Corbin is a graduate student working on red drum research at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab.

Again, congratulations to all these clubs and individuals.

SweatFest 2017 makes an encore appearance

It was 94 degrees today in central Louisiana. Or about 6 degrees above normal. After two weeks of below average temperatures - upper 70s and low 80s, with upper 50s and low 60s at night - the last several days have reminded us that we're still officially in Summer. This heat spell will continue thru Saturday, then we'll see a slight cooling early next week.

Despite the hot air temperatures, radiative cooling of waters continues. The surface temperature on Cotile Lake is 81 degrees. As I tell my local fishing friends, when the water dips below 80, better have your rods rigged and lures (or flies) ready! The most frequent response is, "As long as it's before hunting season". If it isn't that's fine - more fish for me!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What's happening this week 9/17

When it comes to the events we support - fly fishing, kayak fishing, conservation and youth - probably one of the busiest weeks of the Fall!

On Monday, the Cane Country Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at the Westside Baptist Community Center off old Highway 1 in Natchitoches. Casting at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome!  For more info, go to www.canecountry.blogspot.com

Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria.  Time is 6:30pm.  Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided.  For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Pius 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 Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club holds their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm.  Guests are welcome.  For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

Also on Tuesday, the Backpacker of Baton Rouge will host a free seminar on "Fall Redfish Action" led by kayak fishing experts Eric Fey and Brock Miller.  Time is 6:00pm.  There is no cost, and there will be free beer from Tin Roof Brewing Company.  Eric and Brock will discuss tactics including sightcasting, scouting on Google Earth, bait and fly selection, fly fishing tactics and kayak setup.  For more info, go to www.backpacker.com.

On Wednesday, Pack and Paddle of Lafayette will host another of their "Fly Fishing Hangouts" at their store on 601 East Pinhook.  This one is titled the "Where to Go Edition".  Time is 6:00pm. There is no cost.  Lafayette area fly fishing experts will discuss the best spots for local anglers to fly fish including Calcasieu, Cameron marsh, Henderson, and Pointe-aux-Chenes.  For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also on Wednesday, Backpacker of Lafayette will host a free seminar on "Fall Kayak Fishing Slam" at their store on 1916 Kaliste Saloom Road.   Time is 6:00pm.  There is no cost, and free beer will be provided courtesy of Cajun Brewing.  Kayak fishing gurus Brendan Bayard and Lance Burgos will discuss where to catch big speckled trout and elusive flounder.  There's also a sneak preview of the new Hobie Compass and a chance to win a kayak fishing trip for two to Pointe-aux-Chenes. For more info, go to www.backpacker.com.

On Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying workshop at the Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City.  Time is 6:00pm.  Bud Bethea will be leading the group in tying the Parachute Adams - a classic trout fly.  Bring your tools, if none, sets are available for use during session. Materials are provided.  Beginners are welcome.  For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the second of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Frances Xavier Church Hall on 444 Metairie Road.  Time is 7:00pm.  Bring your tools, if none, a few sets are available for use during session. Materials are provided.

Also on Thursday, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) will host a "Pint Night" at the Ale on Oak on 8124 Oak Street in New Orleans.  Time is 5:30pm.  Land Tawney, CEO of BHA, will discuss hunting and fishing issues, and the very important topic of water access rights in Louisiana. For more info, go to www.backcountryhunters.org.

On Saturday, it's National Hunting and Fishing Day.  More on that later.

Also on Saturday, and continuing Sunday, Rob Woodruff will conduct his annual "Entomology for Fly Fishers" in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  Cost is $75.  The course will cover various aquatic and terrestial insects of importance to fly anglers, with Sunday being an "on the water" collection and analysis, with matching to various types of flies.  For more info, contact Rob at 903-967-2665.

Also on Saturday,  Mission Six is hosting a bass fishing tournament to benefit the Holden Volunteer Fire Department whose funds were hit hard in the rescue operations of last August's great flood.  There's a kayak division, and entry fee for that division is $30.  Format is CPR (catch-photo-release).  Jambalaya plates will also be sold at the weigh-in.  Cash payouts for all divisions.  For more info, go to www.mission6.org.

This Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day

Established in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day recognizes the contributions of America's hunters, anglers, and other outdoors enthusiasts and is celebrated on the last Saturday of September each year. Here in Louisiana, NHF Day is celebrated annually at four venues - Bodcau, Monroe, Baton Rouge, Woodworth - with close to 15,000 attendees. Making it one of the largest outdoors events in the state. Each venue has a long list of activities and exhibitors. Many of the activities are geared towards youth, and there's even food and soft drinks provided at no cost in an effort to get families to come out.  The Waddill, Bodcau and Woodworth venues will feature fly fishing, casting and tying thanks to the Red Stick Fly Fishers, North Louisiana Fly Fishers and Kistachie Fly Fishers. Admission to each venue is free for all ages. Time is 9:00am to 2:00pm. For more details, check out the post in our Events Forum or go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Backpacker, Pack and Paddle seminars next week

As previously mentioned, Pack and Paddle has greatly expanded their fly fishing selection beyond TFO rods and reels to also include products from Sage, Redington, Rio and a wide variety of fly tying tools and materials. The Lafayette store has also been holding a series of events geared toward fly anglers known as "Fly Fishing Hangouts". The third edition of these will take place next Wednesday, September 20. The "Where To Go Edition" will focus on places to fly fish around the Acadiana area. Keith Richard will cover Henderson, Ron Begnaud on Calcasieu and Cameron Prarie Refuge, and the fourth location will be south of Houma. The event is free, and kicks off at 6:00pm. Refreshments will be served.

The previous evening, Tuesday, September 20, Backpacker of Baton Rouge will also be offering a free seminar at their store on Jefferson Highway. It starts at 6:00pm. Two of Louisiana's top kayak anglers - Eric Fey and Brock Miller - will be discussing fall marsh redfish tactics. Eric is also an accomplished fly angler and fly tier and will also talk about fly fishing for marsh reds. Other topics include: Kayak and gear setup, Sightcasting, Scouting on Google Earth, and more. There's also free beer from Tin Roof Brewing Company. Attendees can register to win a kayak fishing trip for two. Backpacker is also hoping to have the new Hobie Compass in store for this event. 

Complete details on these can be found on our Calendar page.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What's happening this week - 9/10

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building in Baton Rouge. Casting outside beginning at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm.  The meeting is open to the public.

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

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the first of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St Frances Xavier Hall on 444 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tying tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome.

Also on Thursday, the Ponchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Olde Towne Fly Shop in Slidell. TIme is 6:30pm. Bring your tools, if none, sets are available for use during session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome.

Starting Friday, and continuing thru Saturday, it's the 2017 Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Fair at the Civic Center in Ocean Springs, MS.  The event is free and open to the public.  Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Council of Fly Fishers International (FFI), the event will feature dozens of top fly tiers from across the region and beyond.  There are also free casting clinics and workshops.  Also, loads of raffle and auction items that help support GCC Conservation partners including the Gulf Coast Marine Research Lab.  The Friday evening dinner and auction will feature one-of-a-kind items and several guided trips.  For complete details, go to www.gulfcoastfff.org.  Or check out the Events Forum posting.

On Saturday, the Backpacker in Baton Rouge will hold a free Paddle Demo Day at BREC Wampold Park on Stanford near the LSU campus. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Models include Hobie, Wilderness, Perception, KC Kayak, Mad River, Yolo and others.

Wilsons honored by Fly Fishers International

At the 52nd annual Fly Fishers International (FFI) awards banquet on August 2nd, Terry and Roxanne Wilson of Bolivar, Missouri, were presented with the prestigious Dr. James A. Henshall Award.  This award represents extraordinary achievements in conservation of warm water fisheries.  Previous award winners have included Dave Whitlock, Lefty Kreh, Tom Nixon, Larry Dahlberg, Bob Clouser, Tim Holschlag and others.

The Wilsons have authored several books on warmwater fly fishing, have created several well-known flies, including the "Bass Bully", and have given, and continue to give, presentations across the country on their favorite realm of our sport. But they're not one dimensional - they also happen to be editors of Southern Trout Ozark Edition magazine.

Many Louisiana fly anglers have met Roxanne and Terry as they've presented to several state clubs as well as at a couple of the FFF Gulf Coast Expo events held in Lake Charles.  They've also been fixtures at the annual FFF (FFI) Southern Fly Fishing Fair each October in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Hurricane Irma smashing south Florida

As of this writing, the eye of Irma - the 2nd major hurricane in a month to hit the Gulf Coast - is making landfall in Deer Key and approaching Marcos Island on it's path up the west coast of Florida.  Our prayers and wishes go to the those affected by this storm.  As the red lines on the image on left show, hurricane force and gale force winds will extend across all of Florida as it moves north, then northwest towards east Tennessee before changing to a northeasterly course.  While Irma won't bring nearly as much rainfall to the Southeast as Harvey brought to Texas, the tidal surge will do much more damage. Those who have frequently fished the southwest coast of Florida (as we have) know that most of the communities in Marcos, Naples, Fort Myers Beach, Charlotte, Venice, and Sarasota are built on canals just a few feet above sea level.  It's almost a given there'll be major saltwater flooding in these areas.  One of my guides in the area joked, "There's going to be a lot of good snook holding structure" after the storm.  I think that positive is going to be outweighed by a LOT of negatives!  As for effects on the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts... it doesn't appear there'll be any if projections hold true.  We're not out of hurricane season yet!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Next weekend is the Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Fair

The 4th annual Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Fair will be held Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, at the Ocean Springs Civic Center in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Council - Fly Fishers International (FFI), it features free presentations, casting lessons, beginner classes, tying demonstrations, auctions and raffles, and more. It's open to the public.  And best of all, it's FREE!

The GCC consists of FFI clubs and members in Louisiana, Mississippi, south Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.  While the majority of attendees are FFI members or members of FFI clubs, this family-friendly event is open to the public.  Beginners and youth are enouraged to attend.

For those looking to improve their fly casting skills, the GCC Fair offers the largest contingent of FFI Certified and Master Certified instructors of any event on the Gulf Coast.  Also, Boy and Girl Scouts have the opportunity to work on their Fly Fishing Merit Badge.

The Friday night casual buffet and Awards Dinner will be held also at the OSCC. It will feature an auction rich with prizes including art, fly tackle, guided trips, award winning fly plates, and much more. Along with the day raffles, proceeds will benefit the Gulf Coast Marine Research Lab, and conservation projects within the council boundaries of Louisiana, Mississippi, south Alabama and Florida panhandle.

This will be fourth GCC event named as the "Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Fair".  Prior to  Texas separating from the Council, the GCC held five events named as the "FFF Gulf Coast Expo".  It also should be noted that earlier this year, the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) changed their name to Fly Fishers International (FFI).


Complete details - including a schedule of events and programs - can be found on the GCC website at www.gulfcoastfff.org. 

Monday, September 04, 2017

Whats happening this week 9/3

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

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew and Pub in Abita Springs. Conversation and dinner ordering (optional) at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome.

On Friday, Pack and Paddle will hold another of their "Fly Fishing Hangout". More on that later.

On Saturday, the Backpacker of Lafayette will hold a Paddle Demo Day at Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm.  No cost.  Models include Hobie, Perception, Wilderness, KC Kayak, Yolo and more. Subject to weather, check their Facebook page or call 337-406-8754 to confirm.

Fly Fishing Hangout this Friday

This Friday, September 8th, Pack and Paddle will hold another of their "Fly Fishing Hangout" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The event is free. According to owner John Williams, this event will be part of the "Sage, Redington, and Rio Factory Tour".  The three companies are part of Far Bank Enterprises.  PnP recently expanded their fly fishing offerings to include all three product lines - plus fly tying materials.  Reps from the three companies will be on hand with rods loaded up for testing. There will also be fly tying, grilled hot dogs, and beer. As well as discounts and door prizes. The event is free.  For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Weather news

This has been a very active tropical season.  Our continued prayers and wishes for our friends in southeast Texas in the aftermath of Harvey, but keep in mind that many folks in southwest Louisiana were also adversely affected by extremely heavy rainfall.  And now it appears that Hurricane Irma is headed for Florida and possibly may skirt into the western Gulf Coast.  It's been a hot and wet summer, but relief is on the way.  A cool front will move across the state tomorrow and bring more Fall like temperatures and humidity.  But even without the front, radiative cooling has begun - water temps are already down to the upper 70s.   This means more active feeding by bass (on schools of shad), crappie, and one of our favorites, redear (aka, chinquapin).  On the coast, this cooler water will accelerate the inshore migration of speckled trout and bring big reds back into the ponds.  Fall prime time is almost here!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What's happening this week - 8/27

Some of these activities may depend on what happens with Hurricane Harvey and whether it's trajectory takes it over Louisiana the early part of the week. Please check the websites listed.

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library on 5416 Provine in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Guests are welcome. www.kisatchiefly.org

Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying session at the Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome. www.rsff.org

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting. Time is 7:00pm. Location TBA. Guests are welcome. Check out their Facebook page.

Saturday is the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club's annual Speck-n-Redfish Cup. It's open to the public. Entry fee is $25. The format is as follows: you can fish anywhere in Louisiana public waters. Bring your fish to Pack and Paddle in Lafayette before 5:00pm Saturday. Food will be served. Heaviest stringer of 4 fish (max 2 slot reds, max 2 specks) wins. www.lafayettekayakfishing.com

Harvey continuing to wreak havoc

We're all tropically depressed for our friends along the Texas coast. Hurricane Harvey came in Friday morning as a Category 4 storm, the first  major hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland since 2008.  While the wind damage was significant, it's the extremely heavy rainfall that has captured the attention of the nation. Over 22 inches of rain has fallen in 3 days in some counties, with as much as 44 inches possible before Harvey moves on. That's more than Victoria gets in an average year!  The photos coming out in the media and on Facebook are awful reminders of previous flood related disasters here in Louisiana. Our experiences with Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and the tropical depression of last August, will likely get repeated with folks from Beaumont to Baffin Bay and further inland. According to all the forecasts, Harvey is unlikely to move much over the next 3-4 days. The latest models seem to be divided - the remnants of Harvey will either move into northeast Texas / northwest Louisiana and into Arkansas, or move due west towards El Paso.

Pack and Paddle expands its fly fishing lines

Pack and Paddle in Lafayette is known for having the largest selection of fishing kayaks in Louisiana. They've also been carrying conventional and fly tackle for several years, although the fly tackle has been limited to TFO rods, reels, lines and locally tied flies.  Back in July, the store added a good selection of fly tying materials with emphasis on warmwater and saltwater patterns. Now, owner John Williams has announced that they'll be carrying Sage, Redington and Rio products. On Friday, September 8th, PnP will hold another of their "Fly Fishing Hangouts". Time is 5:00pm to 8:00pm. They'll have several activities planned, but the main theme will be the "2018 Sage, Redington, Rio Factory Tour". The Sage trailer will be on hand loaded with rods, reels, and lines - including the new Sage HD and Foundation rods - for folks to try out. Reps from all three companies will be on hand to answer questions. Fly tiers will also be on hand to demonstrate their favorite patterns for Louisiana waters.  The event is free. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

The September issue of Louisiana Sportsman is out

LAS magazine is available at sporting good stores and convenience stores across the state and parts of southern Mississippi. This month's issue is highlighted by the new expanded coverage of kayak fishing. Paddles 'N Puddles columnist Chris Holmes states, "In keeping with the growth and interest in the sport, over the next few months Louisiana Sportsman is expanding it's coverage of everything kayak fishing related.". In addition to his monthly feature, Chris will tell readers the best places to go, what activities are happening, product feature highlights, and more. Needless to say, we're all very excited about this! Speaking of excitement, my Fly Lines column is the annual tackle review from the IFTD Show in July. Readers tell me this is one of their favorite articles each year. Once again, I list my "Best of the Best" in rods and reels in each price category. Other columns of interest: In "Creature Feature", Jerald Horst asks where all the pompano have gone; Jerald and his wife Glenda spotlight Liana Aspirion and her favorite dishes including a Crawfish Monica and Barbecue Shrimp. Jerald also has a couple of feature articles, one on finding and exploiting trout migration during September, and another on dock shooting for crappie. As always, there's also Solunar Tables, Tide Tables, and regional fishing forecasts.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

What's happening this week 8/13

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. Dirk Burton will give a presentation on fly fishing in the Atchafalaya Basin. Guests are welcome. On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters will hold their monthly meeting at St Paul's Lutheran Center on East Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Among items on the agenda is this Saturday's Contraband Fly Fishing Expo. Guests are welcome. Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will hold their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on 601 East Pinhook Road. Time is 6:00pm. Guests are welcome! On Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly workshop at the Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm. Tom Bullock will be demonstrating a new way to tie an old favorite, the soft-hackled wet fly. Beginners are welcome. Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers will hold the first of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Francis Xavier Hall on 444 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners are welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided. Also on Thursday, the CCA Sugar Chapter will hold their annual banquet at the Cade Community Center in St. Martinville. Doors open at 5:30pm, dinner 7:00pm, auction 8:00pm. Tickets are $65 per person ($35 spouse, $25 youth) and include dinner, open bar, one-year membership, more. For more info, go to www.ccalouisiana.com.

This Saturday is the 13th Contraband Fly Fishing Expo

Hosted by the Contraband Fly Fishers, Tom Nixon Chapter club of Lake Charles, the event will be held at the VFW Hall Post 7321 on Highway 171 north of Moss Bluff. Time is 8:30am to 4:00pm. Admission is free. Like most conclaves, there's fly tying demonstrations, seminars, casting clinics and demos, silent auction, raffles, exhibits, food and refreshments. This event always features two of the best realistic tiers in Louisiana - Fred Hannie and Lee Robinson. Well worth watching them tie their unique flies. For more on this event, go to www.contrabandflycasters.net.

Fishing during the solar eclipse

On August 21st, all of North America will observe an eclipse of the sun. A large swath of the United States will get to observe a phenomena that only happens a few times a century - a total solar eclipse. That swath will stretch from Charleston, South Carolina to Lincoln Beach, Oregon. Here in Louisiana, we'll be treated to an 80 percent shading of the sun (at max). Don Kirk of Southern Trout magazine is asking anglers who might be fishing during the eclipse to report back what effect it has on trout. Already on Facebook, there are anglers planning to fish reds and speckled trout that day and see what effect it has. Likewise, I'll probably be checking out the effects on bass and crappie during the eclipse. It'll be interesting to see what results are posted from all these varied sources.

Results of the 109th ACA Championships

The 109th American Casting Association Championships were held the last week of July in San Jose, California. The ACA consists of clubs and members throughout North America, and annually holds several casting competitions with categories for spin, fly, and spool. In the 1-Hand Fly Distance, Steve Rajeff once again won the Men's category edging out his longtime rival Henry Mittel, 227 feet to 219 feet. In the Senior Men, Keith Sharp set a new national record with 188 feet. In the 2-Hand Fly Distance, Mittel edged out Rajeff, 283 feet to 272 feet. Donna O'Sullivan won the Womens with 161 feet, while Keith Sharp won the Seniors Division with 204 feet. Perhaps the most presitigous fly category is Anglers Fly Distance. Here in the Men's Division, it was Mittel edging out Keith Pryor 179 feet to 154 feet, with Rajeff in 3rd place with 152 feet.  Youth casting sensation Maxine McCormick won the Intermediate Division with 127 feet. Donna O'Sullivan took Womens with 87 feet, while Elaine Gong took Senior Women with 99 feet. Keith Sharp edged out Ed Tamson in Senior Men, 135 feet to 125 feet. In Dry Fly Accuracy, Steve Rajeff won the Mens with a perfect 100 score, while Mike Miller took Senior Mens with 96, Beth Statt took Womens with 93, and Elaine Gong took Senior Women in a cast-off after tying with Alice Gillibert. Maxine McCormick took Intermediate with a 97 and Micheal Han took Juniors with a 90 score. For complete results, go to www.americancastingassoc.org.

Hardy Ultralight duo shines at ICAST/IFTD

Two new products from Hardy for 2018 received rave reviews at ICAST/IFTD. Their new Ultralight fly rod is made from their proprietary Sintrix 440 material. In the hand, their 4-weight was one of the lightest rods I've ever held, rivaling that of the Sage X. On the IFTD Demo Day casting pond, it made for a nice, delicate presentation up close, but surprisingly could boom out to 60 feet without much effort. Initial offerings will be in 2 to 5 weights with lengths from 8'8" to 9'9". MSRP will hover around the $700 mark. A rod that light needs a complimentary reel. The Hardy Ultralite MTX reel got my vote for Best Freshwater Reel in the New Product Showcase. It's stunning beauty aside, this reel uses a carbon fiber and machined aluminum frame to reduce weight, while maintaining a powerful carbon-fiber drag with 340-degree adjustable setting and no start-up inertia. This reel will match great with any of the new lightweight premium trout rods now taking the market. Sizes range from a 3-5 to 7-9 with MSRP from $429 to $499.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Jackson Cruise FD is coming!

One of the surprises at this year's ICAST was a prototype of the new Jackson Cruise FD kayak.  It's sibling, the Jackson Coosa FD came into the trade show as a "new model" and was featured in the New Product Showcase even though it was unveiled at Outdoor Retailer last year.  The Coosa FD recently arrived at Jackson dealers everywhere and has been a smash at the demo days.  The "FD" stands for "Flex Drive", Jackson's patent-pending system that uses a unique articulating system for both deep and shallow navigation. A daggerboard protects the 3-blade propeller allowing for navigation among stumps and other underwater structures, and even into shallow water. While the propeller system is what makes this boat special, the Coosa FD has retained many of the features of the paddle version.  Likewise, in creating the Cruise FD, Jackson has opted to retain the cleaner layout design that fly anglers and less-hardcore conventional anglers loved so much about the paddle Cruise.  The Cruise FD will not be as long and wide as the Coosa FD, so likely not as stable.  And of course not as featured.  But it will be less expensive - likely $1999 compared to $2999.  That alone will likely make it a big seller.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

What's happening this week 8/6

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Time is 7:00pm. Guest speaker will be Jeff Guerin, guide on the Little Missouri River and other Ouachita Mountain streams in southwest Arkansas. Jeff will update the club on the current state of the fishery, plus other news regarding the Little Mo. Guests are welcome! On Thursday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Olde Towne Fly Shop on Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell. Time is 6:30pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets available for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome! On Saturday, the Backpacker store in Lafayette will conduct a "Paddle Demo Day" at Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. Brands include Hobie, Wilderness, Perception, KC Kayak, Yolo and others. Please confirm if weather arises by calling 337-406-8754 or checking the Backpacker Facebook page.

Updates on FFI Council Events

Mid September and early October are the times for a pair of fly fishing expos hosted by regional entities (councils) of Fly Fishers International (formerly Federation of Fly Fishers). The Gulf Coast Council - comprised of FFI clubs and members in Louisiana, Mississippi, south Alabama and northwest Florida - will hold their annual "Gulf Coast Fly Fishing Fair" on Friday and Saturday, September 15 and 16. Location will be the Ocean Springs Civic Center in Ocean Springs, MS. Admission is free, as well as casting lessons and programs. Many of the best fly tiers from across the region and even other parts of the country will be demonstrating their flies. Last week, FFI-GCC released an event poster to clubs and on Facebook (shown in image on left). The full size version can be seen on Facebook. Meanwhile, the Southern Council of FFI announced info on their annual expo - to be held October 6th and 7th at the Vada Sheid Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas. The Southern Council consists of clubs and members across Arkansas, Oklahoma, western Tennessee, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Several Louisiana clubs were once part of this council, and a good number of state FFI members continue to attend "Southern Conclave". Unlike the GCC expo, Southern charges a $10 admission and certain workshops require a fee. For this reason, they have advanced registration forms on their website at www.ifffsoc.org. Banquet tickets, raffle tickets and conclave pins can also be purchased in advance.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

August is here, and that means...

1. The last full month of SweatFest 2017 - the one festival no one likes to celebrate. We had a tiny taste of early fall weather over the weekend, but the heat and humidity are back. We had several days last August with heat index over 110. So stay hydrated and limit your time outdoors if possible. August is also the start of the peack of hurricane season. I know you all love to hear that! Remember it doesn't necessarily take a "hurricane" to inflict great damage. Last August's tropical depression caused the greatest flood damage in Louisiana history. Enough bad news, let's go good.

2. Football is here! Saints are practicing for their first pre-season game against the Browns on August 10th. College teams started practice yesterday. Several teams have their first game on August 26th. UL-Monroe starts the state schedule against Memphis on the 31st (Thursday night game).

3. The last full month for CCA STAR.  The summer-long tournament ends on Labor Day. Typically, August is a tough month to catch big trout on fly or from kayak, but with conditions around Vermillion Bay and Calcasieu improving from heavy freshwater influence this Spring, the Southwest and West Divisions are starting to produce bigger trout.

4. The Contraband Conclave.  Officially labeled as the "Contraband Fly Fishing Expo", it will be held Saturday, August 19, at the VFW Hall on Highway 171 north of Moss Bluff. Like most conclaves, there's casting clinics, fly tying demonstrations, seminars, exhibitors, and raffle and silent auction items. More details can be found at www.contrabandflycasters.net.

5. Ride the Bull.  The world's largest kayak fishing tournament, the 7th annual Ride The Bull will be held Saturday, August 26, out of Bridgeside Marina on Grand Isle.  Activities start on Friday afternoon with the Captains Dinner and meeting, followed by the Calmwater Film Festival and live music.  Then on Saturday at 7am, anywhere from 500 to 700 kayakers, canoeists, or whatever floats without a motor, will spread out in Caminada Pass in hopes of catching a redfish over 10 pounds.  For more details, go to www.ccalouisiana.com.

Jason Borger's new book

Jason Borger has a new book on casting, entitled "Nature of Fly Casting: A Modular Approach". For those who don't know, Jason was the fly casting advisor and double to Brad Pitt in the movie "A River Runs Through It". He's been a featured speaker in recent years at the Red Stick Fly Fishers "Red Stick Day" and at the FFI Southern Fly Fishing Fair (conclave). His latest work is "Single-Handed Fly Casting". According to Jason, if you buy his book you'll get "A bunch of paper. Some ink. Several decades of fly casting instruction experience and research (with actual scientist types). And lots of drawings of me.".  Joking aside, Jason's book has been anxiously awaited. According to a press release, the author uses concepts developed through years of observing the ways people learn about fly casting. MSRP will be $60.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What's happening this week 7/30

On Tuesday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at Grace Presbyterian Church on 415 Roselawn in Lafayette. Time is 6:30pm. Guests are welcome. On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers holds their monthly general meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Time is 6:00pm. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com. On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold an "Advanced Casting Course". There are three (3) two-hour sessions: 11:00am, 2:00pm, and 4:00pm. Each session has a limited class size so pre-registration is required. There is NO cost for each session. The class will focus on improving basic casting skills to the next level. To register, call 225-757-7286. Also on Saturday, the Backpacker of Baton Rouge will hold a free "Paddle Demo Day" at BREC's Wampold Park on Stanford Avenue adjacent to University Lake. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. Models include Hobie, Wilderness, Perception, Mad River, YOLO, and others. In case of inclimate weather, check their Facebook page to confirm, or call 225-925-2667.

The August issue of Louisiana Sportsman

Louisiana Sportsman magazine, August edition, is now available in sporting goods and convenience stores across the state and parts of southern Mississippi. For fly anglers, there's a rare double treat this month. In addition to my Fly Lines column, Jerald Horst has an article, "Poppin' Bugs for Bream". Jerald features Northshore fly angler Todd Schultz who enjoys casting small hard-bodied poppers and foam spiders in Bayou Castine and other northshore waters. The Fly Lines column - "Mission Accomplished" - is all about the first active saltwater fly fishing tournament in Louisiana in 8 years, this past June's "Fly Fishin' for the Mission" tournament held out of Pointe-aux-Chenes. In his "Paddles N' Puddles" column, Chris Holmes tells us why the life you save might be your own when wearing a personal floatation device (PFD). Chris gives several options for PFDs depending on season and kayak use. In his "Creature Feature" column, Jerald Horst tells us why "Tripletails are triple threats". The "Seafood Bible" column features crawfish and crabmeat pasta and Tiger Salad. Feature articles include: "Sight fishing for Marsh Reds" by David Brown on taking reds in skinny water; "Night Moves" by Jerald Horst on night fishing for bass; and several more. As usual, there's Newsbreakers, solunar tables, tidal charts, and regional hotspots for August.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide revised

One of the best new books at IFTD was "The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide" by Tom Rosenbauer. You're probably saying, "This isn't a new book". You're correct - it's the first revision in 10 years. Fly fishing is a dynamic sport. Much has changed since Dame Juliana Berners wrote the definitive book on our sport in 1496. But there have probably been more changes in our sport in the last decade than any decade previously and a lot of that has come from a combination of the internet, competitive angling, the rise of kayak fishing, and rod technology. The book is well illustrated, and includes sections on tackle selection, casting and presentation, flies and techniques for various fresh and saltwater species. The 408-page book is available thru the Orvis store in Baton Rouge and sells for $24.95.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What's happening this week 7/23

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Cabelas in Gonzales. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners and public invited. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided. For more info, go to www.rsff.org. Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. This month, Catch Cormier will do a presentation "New Products for 2018" relative to fly fishing and kayak fishing from the recent Fly Tackle Dealer / ICAST trade show in Orlando. The public is invited. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org. On Tuesday, the Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs will hold their monthly fly tying clinic. Time is 6:00pm. Please bring your tying tools. If none, a few sets available for use during the session. Materials provided. On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Lakeshore Marina and Fuel across the lot from Blue Crab restaurant. Time is 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. On Saturday, the Orvis store in Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Fishing 101" sessions. Time is 8:00am to 10:30am. There is no cost. FF101 is a free one-day, 2-hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. For more info or to register, call 225-757-7286. Also on Saturday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their annual Summer Workshop at the LDWF Woodworth Education Center in Woodworth. Time is 8:30am to 1:00pm. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Kudos to the North Louisiana Fly Fishers!

Yesterday the North Louisiana Fly Fishers held their annual "Masters Series" event at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Approximately 60 folks showed up to listen to George Daniel, 2-time National Fly Fishing Champion and author of books on nymphing and streamers. George started with an excellent casting seminar before the heat set in. He followed up with a couple of slide presentations on his specialty areas. Then finished with a tying demonstration in which he tied five easy-to-tie but very effective nymph patterns. Congrats to Rex White who won a Cabelas CZN rod the club was raffling off for the event. According to organizers Scott Irwin and Tom Bullock, the 2018 Masters Series is already in discussion and a few names are being considered

National Hunting and Fishing Day in planning stage

National Hunting and Fishing Day is September 23rd. Although it's still two months away, planning has begun for Louisiana's celebration of this national event. Established by Congress in 1971, NHF Day - always the fourth Saturday in September - recognizes the many contributions that hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts have made towards sustainable use of fish and game, and towards conservation of waterways, forests, and other natural resources. In Louisiana, NHF Day is celebrated at four venues in Baton Rouge, Woodworth, Minden and Monroe, with average attendance nearly 10,000. Each venue has a wide range of activities and exhibitors. Fly fishing and kayaking are popular at the Baton Rouge, Woodworth, and Bodcau events thanks to the participation of local fly fishing and kayak fishing clubs.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

What's happening this week 7/16

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Beginners are welcome. On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters will hold their monthly meeting at St Paul's Lutheran Center on East Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Among items on the agenda is next month's Contraband Fly Fishing Expo. Guests are welcome. Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will hold their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on 601 East Pinhook Road. Time is 6:00pm. Among the items on the agenda is this weekend's LA1 Slamboree. Guests are welcome! On Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly workshop at the Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm. Jerald Lewis will be leading the group in tying a Slow Sinking Spider. Beginners are welcome. Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers will hold the 2nd of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Francis Xavier Hall on 444 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners are welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided. Starting Friday, and continuing thru Sunday, it's the Louisiana Sportsman Show - New Orleans edition. The state's largest and longest-running outdoors show has added a second venue. In addition to the March venue at Lamar-Dixon in Gonzales, the second show returns to it's roots at the New Orleans Convention Center. Times are 2:00pm to 9:00pm Friday, 9:00am to 9:00pm Saturday, and 10:00am to 6:00pm on Sunday. Numerous exhibitors and seminars. For complete details, go to www.louisianasportsmanshow.com. On Saturday, it's the 5th annual North Louisiana Fly Fishers Masters Series. More on that later. Also on Saturday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will hold their annual "Highway 1 Slamboree" out of the Leeville Public Launch. Entry fee is $35. Categories include Cajun Slam (slot red, speck, flounder 12" or longer), and Leopard Red. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com. Also on Saturday, the Orvis store in Baton Rouge will hold a "Fly Fishing 101" clinic. Time is 8:00am to 10:30am. FF101 is a free, one-day course designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. Class size is limited, so pre-registration is requested. To register, call 225-757-7298.

5th annual Masters Series this Saturday

Hosted by the North Louisiana Fly Fishers, the "Masters Series" is an annual seminar which brings in one of the biggest names in our sport to share their knowledge and expertise. This year's event will be held at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge off Sunflower Road in Bossier City. Time is 9:00am to 4:00pm. Tickets are $40 and include presentation, lunch and refreshments. Seats are limited. As of this writing, only a few tickets were still available. This year's special guest is George Daniel, author of "Dynamic Nymphing" and 7-time member of the USA Fly Fishing Team. Having competed at a high level in international competition, Daniel is considered one of the best fly anglers in America. He will be doing a casting presentation, a fly tying demo, and a program on various fly fishing techniques designed to catch more, bigger trout. For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org or contact Scott Irwin at 318-469-0854.

Another hectic IFTD / ICAST

This past week your intrepid reporter was in Orlando for International Fly Tackle Dealer Show (IFTD) held in conjunction with ICAST, the world's largest sportfishing trade show. While there were lots of new fly fishing products, as well as new fishing kayaks, it wasn't nearly as many as each of the last two years. But that's not to say it was a "down year" by any stretch. Readers will be delighted to hear that for 2018, the quality of rods and reels in the mid-priced range are stellar. With mid-range tackle so good, the rod companies had to up their game in the premium category to justify the higher prices - and they've done just that. It all keeps getting better! We tested over three dozen rods, took over 40 pages of notes, and collected over 60 publications on new and existing products!  Once again, we summarize our findings - and best products overall - in the Fly Lines column of the September and December issues of Louisiana Sportsman.