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.