Monday, October 22, 2018

Bull reds running wild at Grand Isle

This past Friday and Saturday, the IFA Kayak Tour National Championship was held out of Grand Isle. The objective of this saltwater-based tournament series is to earn highest points based on a daily catch of biggest redfish and biggest speckled trout. Because the format is CPR (catch, photo and release), there is no slot limit restrictions on reds. So bull reds are not only acceptable, they're targeted.

The 38 qualifying competitors had no trouble catching bull reds behing Grand Isle. According to several Facebook posts, HUNDREDS of bull reds were caught by contestants. All on artificial lures (tournament rules). While none were caught on fly rod, prospects for fly anglers should be really good until it gets too cold.

As is often the case this time of year, many of the late spawning bulls will move to the backside of barrier islands and even into the lower marshes.  It's not uncommon to find these redzillas in shallow water areas in places like Hopedale, Port Sulphur, Leeville, Weeks Island, and Lafitte.  Targeting them on fly is not only challenging, but once hooked, a long, epic battle is guaranteed!

Back to the IFA championship... winning his unprecented fourth title was Benton Parrot of Spanish Fort, Alabama who frequently fishes Louisiana waters. Benton's two biggest reds were 43.00 and 41.375 inches, and two trout were 17.00 and 19.00 inches. Other top five finishers were Aaron Clay, Scott Bienvenu, Matthew Vann, and Fil Spencer. Biggest red was Spencer's 44.25 inches - which based on conversion was approximately 35 pounds!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

What's happening this week - 10/21

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Cabelas in Gonzales. Time is 7:00pm. This month, the club will be tying tube flies. Bring your tying tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more info, go to www.rsff.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Lakeshore Marina and Fuel on 7640 Lakeshore Drive. Time is 7:00pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Sunday, Pack & Paddle will hold their annual Fall Kayak Demo Day at Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm.  This is a free event. While PnP does individual demos per advance request throughout the year, this is one of the few events where folks can come try their boats out with no advance notice.  They'll have their widest array of kayaks available, including the new 2018 redesigned Hobie Outback.  Also, monster deals on some 2018 demo models.  For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com

Sunday, October 14, 2018

What's happening this week - 10/14

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm.  This month, the group will tie the Surface Seducer Double Barrel Popper. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Beginners are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Church on 1620 East Prien Lake Road 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 on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. On the agenda: upcoming tournaments, CPR Update, tackle tips, and fishing reports. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd 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 the session. Bring $1 for materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

This weekend, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will have their annual "Marsh Invasion" outing at Pointe-aux-Chenes. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Saturday, it's the annual Fall Wildlife Celebration at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge on Teague Parkway in Bossier City. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. Among the various activities and exhibitors, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will be participating, doing fly tying and fly casting demos and lessons. For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

Also on Saturday, Masseys Outfitters of New Orleans will hold a "Hobie Demo Day" on Bayou St. John just past the Cabrini Bridge. Time is 10:00am to 3:00pm. Boats available for testing include: Hobie Pro Anglers 12 and 14, Compass, Compass Duo, and the new 2019 redesigned Outback. Weather permitting, check their Facebook page for updates.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Make plans for Toledo Bend Rendezvous

Toledo Bend Rendezvous
November 2-4, 2018
North Toledo Bend State Park, Zwolle, LA

What is Rendezvous?  It's the oldest, pure fly tying event east of the Rockies, currently celebrating its 30th year. Tiers from Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and elsewhere get together at North Toledo Bend State Park for a weekend to fish and tie flies. There's no planned activities, but plenty of fly tying, food, fly casting and fishing, with only a minimal fee to cover lodging and meals.

The activities take place at the park's group facility, which features a commercial kitchen and dining hall, and lodging available for up to 150 people in 5 heated log bunkhouses (30 beds each). There's also a heated central shower and restroom building with nice night lighting on all the sidewalks and a large main log building with A/C, picnic tables and a large barbeque trailer.

Attendees can come for a weekend (lodging and meals included) or just for the day (Saturday). The event is open to the public.

Held the first weekend of November each year, the Toledo Bend Rendezvous (aka Southern Fly Fishers Rendezvous) is co-sponsored by the IFFF Texas and Gulf Coast Councils.  For complete details, go to the Toledo Bend Rendezvous home page.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

What's happening this week - 10/7

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. For details, go to www.rsff.org.

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Gordon Shaw  will  be  talking about  the  differences  in  fiberglass  fly  rods.  They  are  making a comeback!  Casting lessons during the social gathering at 6:00pm, meeting starts at 6:45pm and presentation will begin at 7:00pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers will hold the first of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at St. Francis Xavier community building on 444 Metairie Road.  Time is 7:00pm.  Bring $1 to cover materials. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Beginners welcome!  For details, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

This Saturday's PAC Fall Fly Classic tournament has been cancelled.

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.

Also on Saturday, it's the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club's annual "Cajun Castaway" tournament out of Lake Charles. Hosted by the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club, this event is open to the public. Entry fee is $25, and can be paid online via their website. Artificial lures only. The single category is Cajun Slam (combination of one each of slot red, speckled trout and flounder 12 inches or longer). There's an optional $5 calcutta for flounder. Boundaries are Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes, public access only. Weigh in will be at Lake Prien Park. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.