Sunday, January 14, 2018

What's happening this week 1/14

An interesting week. Martin Luther King Holiday on Monday, and two of the biggest in-state events of the Spring this Saturday. Also, keep an eye on the weather... the chance for wintry mix on Tuesday and Thursday across some parts of the state may cancel some activities.

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.

Also on Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session. The date is changed from the usual 3rd Monday because of the MLK holiday. Location is the Rapides Westside Library on Provine Place in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Dan Fromme will lead the group in tying the Indicator Fly. Beginners are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

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. On the agenda: details on the 2018 CPR Challenge, tackle tips, fishing reports, and kayak launch location.  For more, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers holds the second 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 a few sets for use during this session. Materials are provided, bring $1 to cover cost of materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their biennial "Cenla Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Festival" at Kees Park Civic Center in Pineville. Time is 8:30am to 3:30pm. Admission is free. The event will feature seminars, casting instruction, exhibitors, and nearly two dozen of the region's top fly tiers. Lunch and refreshments will be available on site. The raffle and other fundraising activities will benefit The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, as well as the club's conservation program. Complete details can be found on the KFF website at www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Saturday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club will hold it's annual "Minimalist Challenge" out of Launch Leeville. The first qualifying event in the club's annual Angler Series is officially sold out - this is their only event where registration is limited. The limit of 125 was reached weeks ago. Fortunately, for those members who didn't register, the Series is setup so missing one or two Series events doesn't hurt qualifying for the Championship in December. It'll be interesting to see the results of Minimalist after this coming week of strong north winds and bitter cold.

New season for Buccaneers & Bones

With the new year comes the return of new seasons of several popular fishing and fly fishing shows on networks like NBC Sports, Outdoor Channel, Sportsmans Channel, Pursuit, and World Fishing Network. One of the most popular fly fishing shows remains Buccaneers and Bones, now entering it's 7th season on Outdoor Channel. New episodes are broadcast on Friday at 10am, Saturday at 3pm, and Sundays at 7am and 5pm. The show runs from January to June.

This season of B&B was filmed at Turneffe Flats in Belize and stars Tom Brokaw, Huey Lewis, Michael Keaton, Yvon Chouinard, Lefty Kreh, Jimmy Kimmel, Thomas McGuane, Jim Belushi, and a collection of the greatest saltwater fly fishermen in the world. The series celebrates the majesty of flats fishing while showcasing the work of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust to conserve and protect bonefish, tarpon, and permit fisheries through sound science.  

Friday, January 12, 2018

LDWF transitioning to new license system

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries is transitioning to a new recreational hunting / fishing license sales system starting the end of this month. On January 30th, all license sales will be down. Then on February 1st, and continuing until April 1st, retail locations will -NOT- be able to sell licenses while new equipment and training is implemented. All sales will have to be done through internet or at LDWF offices in Baton Rouge, Monroe, Opelousas, Lake Charles and Alexandria.

On April 2nd, vendor license sales will resume.

The new system will have numerous advantages. License holders will be able to reprint their licenses online at no cost. Users will be able to create a username and password to get information, including select boater and hunter courses.  Auto-renew options will also be available.

Here comes another arctic blast!

The winter of 2017-2018 is turning out to be true to predictions as one of the coldest in nearly two decades. The only one thrilled about this is Princess Elza from Disney's Frozen. Today's blast of arctic air will give us a repeat of the week after Christmas. Until next Friday, most of Louisiana will have much below normal temps - highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, with some teens across northern parishes. On Monday - Martin Luther King Holiday - we could warm up a bit. But that day also comes with the threat of wintry mix across north Louisiana.

Here's the good news... looks like we could have mild weather (by recent standards) for the weekend of the 20th. That's important because of two big events that day - the Cenla Fly Fishing and Light Tackle Festival in Pineville and the Minimalist Challenge kayak fishing tournament out of Cocodrie. The Cenla Fest, hosted by the Kisatchie Fly Fishers, kicks off the season's fly fishing activities, while Minimalist , hosted by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club, kicks off the kayak tournament season. 

Sunday, January 07, 2018

What's happening this week 1/7/2018

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries building on 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 in Natchitoches. Time is 6:30pm. Guests are welcome!  For more info, go to www.canecountry.blogspot.com.

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

On Wednesday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club holds their quarterly meeting at Masseys Outfitters Mid-City location on 509 North Carrollton. Social starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. On the agenda: 2017 Fish Pics Awards, updates on 2018 tournaments including Paddlepalooza (March). Guests are welcome! For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers holds 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 a few sets for use during this session. Materials are provided, bring $1 to cover cost of materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also on Thursday, Olde Towne Fly Shop will hold their monthly tying session at their location on 3675 Pontchartrain Drive. Time is 6:30pm. Bring your tools if you have some, otherwise a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more info, go to www.oldetowneflyshop.com.

On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Tying 101" sessions at their store on Bluebonnet. Time is 1:00pm. FT101 is a free, one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic on the basics of fly tying. Materials and tools are provided. Class size is limited, so pre-registration is required. Other dates available. For more info, call 225-757-7286.

LDWF Warns of Potential Fish Kills

Last week's arctic blast brought some of the coldest weather since 1989. Back then, several days of continuous sub-freezing temps resulted in widespread kills of redfish and speckled trout. On Friday, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries addressed concerns of another fish kill.

"Typically water temperatures below 40 degrees for any more than a day begin to cause problems for spotted seatrout, whereas red drum are slightly more tolerant and will begin to experience problems in the mid-30s,” explained LDWF fisheries biologist Jason Adriance. “The rate at which the water cools is also important. If fish have a chance to acclimate and move, the potential for survival is better.”

It's been an abnormally cold season since early December, and that may be the saving grace for specks. Even so, there's been very few trout caught by the handful of anglers who went out the last couple of days. Even though it's believed they're stacked up in holes. On the other hand, redfish catches have been off the charts. Many limits were caught yesterday in just a couple hours.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Welcome to 2018

First off, wishing all our LFF Community and their loved ones the best wishes for a safe, healthy, and prosperous year ahead. May your flies get victimized early and often by various piscatorial predators! And may there be many great fishing stories to tell - even if some are borderline truth.

As you can see from the Calendar page, there are many great activities coming up this Spring for those of us who pursue fish on the fly and/or from a paddlecraft.  Orvis of Baton Rouge has kicked off their Saturday educational sessions, which currently are scheduled through the end of February. These include "Fly Fishing 101", "Fly Fishing 201" and "Fly Tying 101". These one-day, 2-hour sessions are free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Dates and times can be found on our Calendar page.

The new year also brings the start of regional events, including the biennial Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival (Jan. 20), the Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival (Feb. 10), Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival (Feb. 17), Fly Fish Texas (Feb. 24), Red Stick Day (Mar. 3), among others. Then there's the ever-popular Fly Fishing Film Tour at the Orvis store on Friday, February 23rd. This event has sold out the last five years. It's a great time, so be sure to get tickets early!

As for kayak fishing events, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club's annual kickoff tournament - Minimalist Challenge (Jan. 20) - is already booked up on alloted registrations. Fortunately, their premier event - Paddlepalooza (Mar. 10) - has no such restrictions.  All the dates for BCKFC and Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club tournaments are set.  Other kayak fishing events this Spring include "Boats on the Bayou" (Mar. 24) held in conjunction with the New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival. Also look for numerous kayak demos starting in March, featuring several new boats including the Bonafide models, Hobie Compass, Jackson Cruise FD and Coosa FD.