Sunday, October 01, 2017

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.