Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Just as predicted - a hard, cold winter

When sneaux blanketed a large portion of the state earlier this month, some thought it was an anomaly.  But with exception of a few mild days, areas north of Highway 190 have been colder-than-normal.  In fact, the mean average daily temperature for December has been anywhere from 3 to 10 degrees below normal. Compare that to last December when the mean average was several degrees above normal. 

For those of us who have lizard blood, Christmas Eve brought us a new level of misery.  It's been hard cold  - today's high was only 42 degrees. The forecast for the next 10 days here in central Louisiana calls for highs ranging from 34 to 50 degrees, and lows ranging from 18 to 28. In other words, it'll be freezing every night, and several days only above freezing for a couple hours!  There's also a good chance of frozen precipitation across most of north and central Louisiana for New Year's Day.

We're not even taking into effect the 15-20 knot winds and the wind chill effect! Brrrr!

I checked the water temperature in the lake yesterday and it was 52 degrees. That's 9 degrees colder than same time last year. Again, that's surface temperature where the warmest water is found. Most of the depths in 20 to 30 feet are likely close to 40 degrees.

With that in mind, it's NOT a good idea to be out on the water right now. Bank fishing is the way to go, even though that's rough. Now is a really good time to be tying flies. Or watching some bowl games. But if you're dead set on fishing from boat or kayak, make sure to read up on hypothermia and take all precautions.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Merry Christmas!

This marks the last week of activities until after New Years. So starting tomorrow, we'll be on break. If something does comes up, it'll be posted in the forum or on our Facebook page.

So here's wishing a most blessed Christmas for all our friends! Hope everyone finds something under the Christmas tree they can use for their piscatorial pursuits in the coming year.  And let's not forget the reason for the season: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.".

What's happening this week 12/17

Monday's Red Stick Fly Fishers fly tying session has been CANCELLED.

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. In addition to a holiday celebration, the club will also give out awards for their Angler of the Year and CPR Challenge. Also, announcement of their 2018 tournament dates. For more, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

Also on Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran 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.

On Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying workshop at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm. Beginners are welcome.

Now is the time for all good fly tiers...

To come to the aid of their favorite clubs and causes. January marks the beginning of "conclave" season, those 1-2 day events, often sponsored by clubs, that feature programs, fly tying demos, casting demos, exhibitors, and more. All are open to the public, and most are free.

While these events serve to promote our sport and educate novices and advanced anglers alike, they also raise money for special causes.  In addition to offsetting the cost of the event, raffles, silent auctions, and other fundraising at these events support local charities, and/or conservation and educational projects.  Even the growing number of fly fishing tournaments raise money for special causes and can use donations.

The most popular items in raffles are boxes of flies.  With cold, wet weather forecast the next two weeks, and with the holidays, take this opportunity to tie flies for the season ahead. And as you do, put a few aside for donation to one or more events.  A box of 6 to 10 flies makes a great raffle item!  If your skill is unique, then that donation will likely go to a Gamblers Draw or silent auction.

Check the LFF Calendar out for upcoming events. Make plans to attend at least one this winter/spring, and if you tie flies, donate at least a box or two of your flies. Thanks!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

What's happening this week 12/10

On Monday, the Cane Country Fly Casters will meet at Westside Baptist Community Center in Natchitoches, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, will hold their annual Christmas party.

Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their annual Christmas gathering at the Wildlife and Fisheries building in Baton Rouge.

Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their annual Christmas gathering at Tunks Seafood Restaurant on Lake Kincaid in Gardner.

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Social hour starts at 6:00pm, club business at 6:45pm, meeting afterwards.

 On Thursday, Olde Town Fly Shop on 3675 Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell will hold their monthly tying session. Time is 6:30pm. Bring your tools, if none, the shop has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome!

The Great Blizzard of December 8th - is more to come?

A few months back, we mentioned that the Old Farmers Almanac was predicting a colder than normal winter, with above-normal snowfall for the Deep South. While many may have dismissed the OFA forecast, several climatologists were predicting likewise.

Sure enough, Friday turned out to prove them right. Significant amounts of snow fell across Louisiana, as far south as Houma. Some parts of the Northshore area reported up to 8 inches of accumulation. It was the most "sneaux" we've seen in many years.

Now here's the interesting part... ALL of the forecasts predicted the most likely snowfalls to occur between mid-December to early February. So we're not even in the peak forecast period yet.

The most likely scenario for sneaux in our state is a combination of (1) the jet stream dipping deep into south Texas,  (2) Gulf moisture streaming from the southwest at the upper levels, and (3) a blast of arctic air.  All three were in place this past Friday. The first two factors look to remain in place for the next couple months. Which means that any blast of cold air could bring more white stuff for some part of our state.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

What's happening this week 12/3

On Tuesday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at Grace Presbyterian Hall on 415 Roselawn in Lafayette. Times is 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.

On Saturday, it's Fishing Tackle Unlimited of Houston's annual Inshore Expo at their Katy Freeway Store. TIme is 9:00am to 5:00pm. There's no cost. Seminars include Plugging for Big (Speckled) Trout, Fly Fishing the Texas Hill Country, and Fly Fishing in Cuba. There's also fly tying and casting. For more info, go to www.fishingtackleunlimited.com.