Saturday, May 18, 2019

What's happening this week - 5/19

On Monday, in lieu of their monthly fly tying session, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold a special program on "Rod Building Basics". Time is 6:30pm.  Roger Breedlove will present on what goes into assembling a custom built fly rod, including the selection of blanks, corks, reel seats and more. Those participating in the club's rod building clinic on June 29th can order blanks at this meeting. 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. 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.

Also on Thursday, Pack & Paddle will host a free seminar on "Fly Fishing the World" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Alaska and Louisiana fishing guide Ron Ratliff will talk about various salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden in Alaska. John Williams will speak on a trip to a remote area of the Yucatan for bonefish, permit, snook and tarpon. Stephen and Lilly Outten will talk on camping and fishing creeks of North Carolina. Barret Bertucci will speak on a DIY bonefish trip to the Bahamas. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Starting Friday afternoon, it's the 10th annual "Bass On The Fly" fly fishing tournament at Lake Fork Marina in Alba, Texas. It's a CPR tournament with total length of five longest (5) largemouth bass with divisions for Boat and Kayak.  Entry fee is $70 and can be done online at www.ianglertournament.com or onsite Friday. Friday afternoon there's casting games, kayak demos, and from 2:00pm to 6:00pm is the annual Sunfish Tournament (optional $10 entry) followed by the Captains meeting and fishing report. Saturday is bass tournament day with weigh-in at 2:00pm followed by awards and door prizes. Proceeds go to Casting For Recovery and FFI Texas Council. For more info, go to www.bassonthefly.com.

On Saturday, it's the PAC Fly Fishing Journey kayak tournament out of PAC Kayak Rentals in Montegut. Captains meeting 5:00am, shotgun launch is 5:30am, weigh-in from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Entry fee $25. Heaviest stringer of two slot reds, with Sheepshead and Leopard Red side pots ($5 each). Fly fishing only, boat checks before launch. Human-powered paddle or pedal craft only. Sponsored by Fly Life Company, Chad Foster, Pack & Paddle and PAC Kayak Rentals. For more info, or to register, go to www.packayakrental.com.

Monday, May 13, 2019

What's happening this week - 5/12

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm. On the agenda: this week's upcoming Spring Catch-n-Eat marsh fishing trip out of Golden Meadow. The public is welcome. For more, 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. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:45pm, program at 7:00pm. On the agenda: Glen 'Catch' Cormier and Larry Offner will present on the "Magnificient Seven", easy-to-tie panfish flies. Catch will also talk about conservation issues in the FFI Gulf Coast Council. The public is welcome! For more, 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 for materials. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Beginners welcome! For more, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also on Thursday, Pack and Paddle will hold a "Fly Tying Happy Hour" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Bring your vise, tools, materials, and PnP will bring the beer from Urban South Brewing Company. This event is free and open to all tiers, non-tiers, and anyone who just wants to check out what others are tying. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another "Fly Fishing 101" session at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd.  Time is 8:00am to 10:30am. No fee, but pre-registration is required as seats are limited. Orvis FF101 is a one-day, 2.5 hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. To register, contact 225-757-7286.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Fly tournament options abound Memorial Day weekend

Competitive fly fishing is all the rage among the growing numbers of under-40 fly anglers nationwide.  And among some of us older folks, too. Taking a page from the kayak fishing community, these events combine comradery with learning experiences and shared knowledge, while doing what we all love most - actual fishing!

Well come Saturday, May 25th - the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend - regional fly anglers have options. Not one... not two... but three (!) tournament options to choose from.  Fortunately, only two are single-day events, the third is summer-long.

First off, Saturday kicks off the annual CCA STAR tournament. Once again, there's a Fly Fishing Division with two regional divisions, East and West. Each division will award a $1,500 gift card from Academy Sports + Outdoors to the fly angler who catches the heaviest speckled trout. Sponsored by Costa del Mar, the fly fishing division has been very competitive the last few years. To participate, an angler must be a CCA member -and- enroll in the STAR tournament (separate fee).  The STAR tournament continues through Labor Day. All rules can be found on www.ccastar.com.

Incidently, while other CCA states have a similiar tournament, only Florida has a Fly Fishing Division. Louisiana CCA members can participate in the Florida STAR if they have a Florida saltwater license and a Florida CCA STAR entry tag. Unlike Louisiana STAR, the FLSTAR is CPR (catch-photo-release) with an approved measuring device. Longest of each species wins. The species list is quite extensive: snook, seatrout, non-tagged redfish, tarpon, grouper, dolphin, and kingfish.

May 25th also is the 10th annual "Bass on the Fly" fly fishing tournament out of Lake Fork, Texas. The BOTF tournament is usually held the first Saturday of May each year, but was rescheduled this year due to the Bassmasters Elite tournament held that weekend on Lake Fork.  

BOTF is a CPR tournament with total inches for five (5) bass. Activities kick off on Friday with free casting clinics, product booths and kayak demos, and the Captains meeting and guide report at 6:00pm that evening. There's also a Big Sunfish tourney from 3:00pm to 6:00pm.  Saturday is the main event with lines-in after 6:00am and weigh-in  before 2:00pm. Categories include Boat and Non-Boat (kayak, canoe, float tube, bank, etc). The event is open to the public. Entry fee is $70 per person.

Registration and fish entry is through the iAngler app. Anglers who register prior to May 15th are automatically eligible for a drawing for a Sage Smallmouth rod.  Proceeds benefit Reel Recovery and the FFI Texas Council. For complete info, go to www.bassonthefly.org.

Also on May 25th, it's the inaugural "PAC Fly Fishing Journey" out of PAC Kayak Rentals in Montegut. This is a weigh-in fly fishing paddle/pedal tournament for two biggest slot reds ($25), with optional calcuttas for Big Red, Leopard Red, and Sheepshead ($5 each). Shotgun launch from the marina at 5:30am with weigh-in from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Food will be provided at the weigh-in for no extra cost. For more info, go to www.packayakrental.com and click on Fly Fishing Journal.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

What's happening this week - 5/5

On Wednesday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club and Masseys Outfitters will host the 2018-2019 Masseys Fish Pics Awards Ceremony at their New Orleans location on 509 North Carrollton. Time is 7:00pm (social) with awards at 7:30pm. The Fish Pics tournament is a free, months-long CP (catch-photo) tournament for BCKFC members hosted by Masseys, with Conventional, Fly Rod, and Youth Divisions. The Fly Rod division awards the most points based on total cumulative inches of redfish, speckled trout, and bass. For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.

On Thursday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold a weekday version of their "Fly Fishing 101" sessions at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 4:00pm. FF101 is a free one-day, 2.5-hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting.  No cost, but pre-registration is required as class size is limited. For details, call 225-757-7286.

This Saturday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Fly Tying Level 1" workshop at their Outpost back of the store on 601 E. Pinhook. Time is 9:30am. Cost is $20. FTL1 is a one-day, 2-hour clinic covering the basics of fly tying, including hands-on tying of two effective flies for Louisiana. Tools and materials are provided for use during the session. Class size limited, so pre-registration is required. To register, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Later on Saturday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Fly Fishing FUNdamentals" at their Outpost back of the store on 601 E. Pinhook. Time is 1:00pm. Cost is $40. FFFun is a one-day, 3-hour clinic covering the basics of fly fishing, with emphasis on gear, flies, techniques that work on Louisiana waters. Followed by hands-on casting session. Class size limited, so pre-registration is required.  To register, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also on Saturday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will hold their annual "Oak Point Classic" tournament at PAC Kayak Rentals in Pointe-aux-Chenes. Entry fee is $25 + $1.25 Paypal fee. Open to the public. Heaviest weight of 2 reds and 3 specks, with a heaviest trout calcutta. Also Leopard Red category. Artificial tackle only. Registration deadline 12 noon, Friday May 10th. Fishing time 6:00am (shotgun launch) to 3:00pm (sign in to weigh deadline). For more info, or to register, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

Monday, April 29, 2019

What's happening this week - 4/28

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to  www.pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com.

On Saturday, it's the 16th annual Paddlepalooza kayak fishing tournament. More on that later.

Also on Saturday, it's the 7th annual Cedar Lake Fly Fishing Tournament hosted by the Mississippi Coast Fly Fishers. Location is Camp Contributions Road in Biloxi. Time is 6:00am to 12:00pm. The tournament is open to all anglers. Entry fee is $30 and includes lunch from Your Mamaz House. Registration deadline is this Friday. Sign in morning of tournament at Camp Contributions. For more info, including tournament rules, go to this link.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Fishing 101" sessions at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 8:00am. FF101 is a free one day, 2.5 hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting.  No cost, but pre-registration is required as class size is limited. For details, call 225-757-7286.

There's never a loser at Paddlepalooza!

This Friday evening and Saturday it's Paddlepalooza XVI, the longest-running kayak fishing tournament in the country, and one of the three largest. It'll again be held out of Bridgeside Marina on Grand Isle. Hosted by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club, it kicks off with the Captains Dinner on Friday evening. Saturday is tournament fishing day. After the weigh-in, there's fish fry, awards, and a huge raffle. Entry fee is $60. Onsite registration is also available.

Fishing is confined to the Highway 1 corridor from Galliano to Grand Isle. The Cajun Slam category (heaviest combination of 1 slot red, 1 speck, and 1 flounder) offers the top prizes. There's also individual species categories, Youth Division, Ladies Division, the Leopard Red and Trash Bash Divisions. The latter two offer the chance for any skill level to win. The Leopard Red is a slot red (18" to 27") with the most spots. In the Trash Bash Division, bags will be handed out to willing participants to collect trash in the marsh. Bring back a bag of trash and be eligible to win.

Regardless of who gets prizes, there's never a loser at Paddlepalooza! That's because this event offers great comradery and great food - Friday night pastalaya and Saturday night fish fry - as well as nearly $10,000 in raffle prizes. There's kayak demos and plenty of information sharing on yaks and fishing techniques. What's more, the revenues from the tournament go to charity. 

For a complete list of rules, or to register, go to www.bckfc.org.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

What a wonderful Easter day! Hope you and yours are enjoying the great weather this weekend, after all the unsettled weather we've been through here in Louisiana the past month.

The ground has dried up enough for the kids to enjoy an Easter egg hunt without hip boots. Us adults are busy in the kitchen and outside on the grill. A true Cajun feast awaits at the Cormier homestead!

With all the fun, the reason for this day is not lost. We recognize the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who was sent to redeem the world.

We wish everyone a great day. And a reminder that, with many schools having Spring break this week, to take a young person fishing!

What's happening this week - 4/21

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the East Baton Rouge Main Library on 7711 Goodwood Blvd in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more, go to www.rsff.org.

Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Rapides Westside Library on Provine in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. With the good weather, the club will hold another of their casting sessions in the back lawn. The public is welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Lakeshore Marina and Fuel across from the Blue Crab Restaurant on Lakeshore Drive. Time is 7:00pm. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also on Thursday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another "Fly Fishing 101" session at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd.  Time is 4:00pm to 6:30pm. No fee, but pre-registration is required as seats are limited. Orvis FF101 is a one-day, 2.5 hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. To register, contact 225-757-7286.

Starting Friday and continuing thru Sunday, it's the Red Stick Fly Fishers' annual Spring outing to Lake Concordia near Ferriday for warmwater species. The highlight of the outing is the Saturday evening fish fry, featuring donations of freshly-caught bream and catfish caught by attendees. For more info, go to www.rsff.org.

This Saturday is the 3rd annual "Fly Fishin for the Mission" tournament  out of PAC Kayak Rentals in Pointe-aux-Chenes southeast of Houma. Friday is "Vets Fishing Day" along with fly tying, casting clinics, kayak demos, and more. Saturday is tournament day with Captains meeting at 5:30am, followed by shotgun launch. Weigh-in is 2:00pm to 3:00pm.  Format is two (2) heaviest redfish per team. Divisions include Boat, Kayak and Overall. Team format, entry fee is $100 per team with all donations going to the Mission Six charity, which aids veterans and other uniformed heros. For more details, or to register, go to www.mission6.org.

Also this Saturday is the rescheduled "Marsh Bass Madness" kayak fishing tournament hosted by the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. This is a CPR tournament (TourneyX app) with target of five (5) bass with an 8" minimum. Fishing is from 6:30am to 2:30pm. Entry fee is $35. This tournament is open to the public. For more info, go to the LCKFC Facebook Page.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Registration open for Fly Fishin' for the Mission

Fly Fishin' for the Mission
Saturday, April 27
PAC Kayak Rentals
Pointe-aux-Chenes, LA
Saltwater fly fishing tournament
Two-person teams
Categories: Boat, Kayak, Overall
Stringer of 2 heaviest redfish
Sheepshead side pot

Now entering it's 3rd year, the Fly Fishin' for the Mission saltwater tournament has emerged as one of the most popular and fun fly fishing events in Louisiana! And it's for a great cause: to benefit the Mission Six nonprofit that is dedicated to help alleviating the effects of PTSD by providing benevolent support to our veterans and service men and women.

Things kick off Friday, April 26, with Donald Dehm and other members of the Floating Feathers Kayak Fly Fishing School providing free fly tying and casting instruction to veterans.

On Saturday, it's the tournament. After check-in of teams, an inspection of the kayaks and boats, there's the shotgun start and the fun begins! Part of what makes this a great tournament is the team factor. For kayakers, it means having to work different angles to insure you help your partner.

The list of sponsors keeps growing every year. Eddie and Lisa Mullen of PAC Kayak Rentals roll out the red carpet for this event. There's  exhibitors, food and kayak demos.

For the competitors, it's all good. While there are separate categories for Boat and Kayak, there's also an Overall where both groups compete against each other. Last year, boat anglers Shane Coleman and Mark Carline took 1st place Overall; the first year kayak team Kevin Andry and Catch Cormier took first. The awards are setup so that each team can only take one place. Last year, roughly one quarter of the teams were awarded.

For complete rules and to register, go to the Fly Fishin for the Mission webpage at mission6.org.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

What's happening this week - 4/14

With Easter this Sunday, no weekend events scheduled.

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm.  Bill Morrison will lead the group in tying Lance Egan's "Red Dart", and his own "Laser Bugger". Beginners are welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. 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. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at the Outpost building back of Pack & Paddle on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. The public is welcome.

Also 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.

Monday, April 08, 2019

What's happening this week - 4/7

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm. On the agenda: Gary Peterson will give details on his potential state record white crappie which he caught last week at Poverty Point. Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier, president of Kisatchie Fly Fishers and Conservation Director for the FFI Gulf Coast Council will discuss his KFF club and also some conservation topics. The public is welcome. For more, 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. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:45pm, program at 7:00pm. The public is welcome! For more, 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 for materials. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Beginners welcome! For more, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com6
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On Saturday, it’s the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club’s annual “Marsh Bass Madness” tournament out of Lacassine Pool. Entry fee is $35 paid thru TourneyX. Facebook Live Captains Meeting on Friday, April 12th at 6:30pm. MBM is a CPR tournament, best 5 fish stringer by inches. First cast at 6:30am, final photo submission 2:30pm. Check in and awards + door prizes at Cajun Grocery 3:00pm to 3:30pm. For more info, go to the LKFC Facebook Page.

Monday, April 01, 2019

Green New Deal: Harbor Freight edition

Global warming continues to be a hot topic, pardon the pun. Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, freshman congresswoman from New York, has offered a "Green New Deal" to address climate change. Sadly, it calls for the elimination of cows - an animal very close to my heart and to my apetite. Apparently farting cows are a major cause of greenhouse gases. Considering that 60 million bison roamed America in the 17th century, it must've been hellaciously hot back then!

I do believe we need to be good stewards of Mother Earth. So I'm offering my own "Green New Deal". It starts with a practical solution for keeping our environment clean. As a traveling fly tier, I've been using battery-powered lights for some time. But even batteries in high-lumen LED lights quickly dissipate - the average use time is about 3 to 5 hours. Then they get thrown in the trash, and on to the landfill where they leach their chemicals into the groundwater.

At the Little Mo Fly Fishing Fest, we ran into our old friend, David Chin. The former Monroe resident is a master at all things fly fishing, from tying impeccable flies to building gorgeous bamboo rods to catching fish. David was using a rechargeable Braun worklight to light up his tying area. The magnetic base of the light was held up by one of those magnetic pans used to hold screws, bolts, nuts, etc..  Both of those items came from Harbor Freight, he said.

So I went to my nearby Harbor Freight, and using a 20-percent off coupon, got that same light for just $32. It has two intensities, 390 lumen and 180 lumen. The 180 lumen is more than satisfactory for me and lasts a whopping 8 hours before needing recharge using a USB connection. But if you do need that extra boost in light, the high setting more than does the job! Best of all, using LED bulbs means it stays cool (us "old timers" who tied with incandescent lights appreciate this).

There were two problems. One is that the worklight doesn't fold down.  An inconvenience, as it would be nice to fold down to protect the light, as well as reduce the storage. So what I do is put it in a ziplock bag, and store it an angle in my box. Not ideal, but it works.

The other problem was more significant.

The light base plus magnetic tray pan is about 6 inches, high enough for some table vises. But if you use a pedestal base, that's too short. While I was at HF, I noticed these round magnets with a hole in the middle. I went back to the store, bought one of those. I then took one of my (too many) sealed drink cups, turned it over and drilled a hole in the middle of the bottom. Aligned the magnet hole over the cup hole and connected them with a screw. Now I have more than enough clearance, even for my Regal with a long base (it was originally a table vise).

This has worked out especially well. I took a tying bag and the accessory box (light apparatus included) with me on a recent weekend trip and the battery lasted the entire time. After getting home, put it on a charger and it's ready to go again.

No disposed batteries. A recycled drink cup that was destined for the trash. I might've even saved a cow or two.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

What's happening this week - 3/31

A light week leading up to one of the biggest fly fishing weekends of the year.

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to  www.pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com.

Saturday is the first-ever New Orleans Fly Fishing Expo at the new Deutsches Haus on 1700 Moss Street (Bayou St. John) in New Orleans. Time is 8:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is free. Sponsored by the New Orleans Fly Fishers Club, the event will feature seminars, casting instruction and demonstrations, fly tying demos by some of the region's top tiers, exhibitors, raffles, gamblers draws. Plus special features like an "Outdoor Writers Roundtable", an Iron Fly Tying competition, and more. Some of the fundraising activities will benefit Casting For Recovery. The Fly Fishers International Gulf Coast Council (FFI-GCC) will also hold a  fundraiser to benefit the new fly fishing club at St. Micheal High School. For complete details of this event, including schedule and list of exhibitors, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.  For details on the FFI GCC fundraiser, go to www.gulfcoastcouncilffi.org.

Also on Saturday, the Orvis store in Baton Rouge will host the International Fly Fishing Film Festival at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Doors open at 5:00pm, with refreshments and snacks. Film begins at 6:00pm. Tickets are $15. The IF4 consists of short and feature length films from around the globe, showcasting the passion, lifestyle and culture of fly fishing. For tickets or more info, call the Orvis store at 225-757-7286.

Also this Saturday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Fly Tying Level 1" workshop at their Outpost back of the store on 601 E. Pinhook. Time is 9:30am. Cost is $20. FTL1 is a one-day, 2-hour clinic covering the basics of fly tying, including hands-on tying of two effective flies for Louisiana. Tools and materials are provided for use during the session. Class size limited, so pre-registration is required. To register, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also later on Saturday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Fly Fishing FUNdamentals" at their Outpost back of the store on 601 E. Pinhook. Time is 1:00pm. Cost is $40. FFFun is a one-day, 3-hour clinic covering the basics of fly fishing, with emphasis on gear, flies, techniques that work on Louisiana waters. Followed by hands-on casting session. Class size limited, so pre-registration is required.  To register, go to www.packpaddle.com

Also on Saturday, it's the 5th annual Lake Athens Fly Fishing Festival at Lake Athens Marina in Athens, Texas. This event features exhibitors, casting and tying demos, and a Big Bass Fly Fishing Contest. Admission is free, entry in the contest is $40 (pre-registration required).  All proceeds will benefit Project Healing Waters - North Texas Patriots Chapter. For more info, go to www.johnnyonthefly.com.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

What's happening this week - 3/24

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the East Baton Rouge Main Library on 7711 Goodwood Blvd in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more, go to www.rsff.org.

Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their annual "Spring Fishing Picnic" at Cotile Lake Recreation Area on Cotile Lake in lieu of their monthly meeting. Members are asked to RSVP.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Lakeshore Marina and Fuel across from the Blue Crab Restaurant on Lakeshore Drive. Time is 7:00pm. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also starting Thursday, and continuing thru Saturday, it's the 22nd annual Sowbug Roundup at Baxter County Fairgrounds in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Hours each day are 9am to 4pm. Admission is $5 and covers all 3 days, under 12 is free with parent. Sponsored by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers club, Sowbug features over 100 fly tyers from across North America and even Europe. There's also seminars, casting instructors, vendors, drawings, and auctions. A portion of the revenue goes to the NAFF Scholarship Fund. For more info, go to www.northarkansasflyfishers.org.

On Saturday, it's the Kisatchie Fly Fishers' annual "Fly Fishing 101" workshop at LDWF Booker-Fowler Hatchery in Woodworth. Time is 8:30am to 12:30pm. There is no cost, but pre-registration is required as seats are limited. Hands-on sessions cover the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another "Fly Fishing 101" session at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd.  Time is 8:00am to 10:30am. No fee, but pre-registration is required as seats are limited. Orvis FF101 is a one-day, 2.5 hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. To register, contact 225-757-7286.

Also on Saturday, it's the 72nd annual New Orleans City Park Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival. Registration is 6:00am to 8:30am at the Casino Building (Parkview Cafe). Fishing begins at 6:30am. Weigh-in at 11:00am. Entry fee is $10 adults, $5 kids 12 and under. Categories include Fly Fishing (Bass, Rio).  Also a separate kayak fishing tournament, "Boats on the Bayou" will be held. BOTB is limited to 100 kayaks, pre-registration required. For more info, go to www.neworleanscitypark.com/fishrodeo.html.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

What's happening this week - 3/17

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm.  Glen Cormier will lead the group in tying the Rosborough Hares Ear, a great fly for trout and bream. Beginners are welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. 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. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at the Outpost building back of Pack & Paddle on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. The public is welcome.

Also 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.

Also Thursday thru Sunday it's the Kisatchie Fly Fishers annual "March Brown" club trip to the Little Missouri River in southwest Arkansas.

On Saturday, and continuing Sunday, its the 3rd annual "Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival" at the Plano Center in Plano, Texas. Time each day is 9am to 5pm. Tickets are $20 per day, or $35 for the weekend. The festival will feature several nationally-renown speakers and instructors, including Jason Randall, Brian O' Keefe, Ed Jaworoski, Blane Chocklett, and others. There's also fly tying demonstrations plus special tying seminars led by Chocklett Matt Bennett, the "Realistic Master" Fred Hannie, and others. Some workshops are extra cost. There's also an IF4 film festival showing on Saturday evening. But what separates this great show from others is the "brew" part - several of the Lone Star state's best micro-breweries will be on hand for participants to enjoy. For more info, go to www.txflyfishingfestival.org.

On Saturday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will hold their annual "Marsh Madness" tournament out of Coco Marina in Cocodrie. Entry fee is $30, $5 more if fishing the optional calcutta. Tackle exchange tournament, heaviest 2 slot redfish. Calcutta for heaviest speckled trout. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

Also this Saturday, the BAM Bassin Kayak Fishing Club will hold its annual "Oxbow Classic" on Lakes Concordia and St. John near Ferriday. Entry fee is $40. First cast is 6:45am, last cast 2:00pm. Any public launch allowed. This is a CPR tournament, anglers will signup using TourneyX. Total length of five (5) bass. For more info, check out their Facebook page.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Orvis Baton Rouge to host IF4 on April 6th

We reported that the New Orleans Fly Fishing Expo is April 6th. Later that evening, there's another big fly fishing event up the river in Baton Rouge, when Orvis hosts the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4).

Unlike the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) - which has made several past showings in Louisiana - the IF4 is a stranger to these parts.  Like the F3T, the IF4 is a series of short films celebrating the sport of fly fishing, by chronicling epic trips, sharing the kinship of anglers and friends, and taking us to places we could only dream of.   If there's a difference between IF4 and F3T, it's that IF4 is more, well, international.

Orvis has exclusive rights to the IF4 in Louisiana, so this showing is it. There will be food and beverages at the event, much like there has been when Orvis hosted the F3T in the past.  All proceeds from this event will go to the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana.

Doors open at 5:00pm and the showing starts at 6:00pm. Tickets are $15 and seating is limited. To reserve tickets, drop in at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd or call 225-757-7286.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Jon Cave to headline 1st-ever New Orleans Fly Fishing Expo

New Orleans Fly Fishing Expo
Saturday, April 6, 2019
8:00am to 4:00pm
Deutsches Haus
1700 Moss Street, New Orleans, LA

In just four weeks, the New Orleans Fly Fishers Club will host their inaugural expo on the banks of historic Bayou St. John. The event will feature seminars, casting instruction, fly tying demonstrations, raffles, and much more.

Headlining the event will be Jon Cave of Oviedo, Florida. Jon is a nationally-renown author, photographer, lecturer and a USCG licensed guide. He's been a professional fly casting and fly tying instructor for over 25 years and runs the longest established fly fishing school in the South. He's a member of several advisory staffs, including Sage, Rio, Tibor, and Umpqua.

The NOFF club has released a tentative schedule of activities for this event. The Expo will begin with welcoming remarks from Expo Chairman A.J. Rosenbohm, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Fly Fishers International Chairman Tom Logan before kicking off the fun stuff.

Masseys Outfitters will also be on hand doing free kayak demos from 9:00am to 12 noon. There is also an "Iron Fly Tyer" competition - which is always fun for both tiers and spectators - with renown tiers Fred Hannie, Ted Cabali, and Joe Bandera as judges.

Two unique presentations are also on the agenda. One is an "Outdoor Writers Roundtable" featuring some of Louisiana top outdoor writers - C.T. Williams, J.P. Morel, Peter Scafaru, Chris Holmes, Eric Muhoberac, and Catch Cormier.  The other is a talk by Jon Cave on his famous Wobbler, the fly that kicked off the spoon fly revolution!

A complete schedule is available in PDF format by clicking here.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

What's happening this week - 3/10

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm. The public is welcome. For more, 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. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:45pm, program at 7:00pm. Ricky Yeldell, former LDWF Managing Biologist for Toledo Bend,  will be guest speaker. Although retired, Ricky keeps his finger on the pulse of all things Toledo Bend.  The public is welcome!  For more, 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 for materials. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Beginners welcome!  For more, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also Thursday kicks off the 40th annual Louisiana Sportsman Show & Festival  at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. The state's largest outdoor and boat show runs from 12pm to 7pm on Thursday and Friday, 9am to 7pm on Saturday, and 9am to 5pm on Sunday. Admission is $12 adults, $6 ages 6-12, and free for 5 and under. In addition to nearly two hundred exhibitors, the show features regular seminars, a kids fishing tournament, and much more. For more, go to www.louisianasportsmanshow.com.

On Friday evening, it's the start of Pack & Paddle's annual Spring Demo Weekend with a "Beer and Gear Social" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 5:00pm to 8:00pm. The social will feature kayak and fishing vendors, and feature various micro-brews from across the country. The event is free. There will also be drawings, including for a new kayak. Must be present to win.

Saturday, PnP will hold a free "Kayak Demo Day" at Vermillionville Pond in Lafayette. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. Boat company reps will be on hand, with the largest selection of kayaks for the year. New and existing models from Jackson, Hobie, Native, Bonafide, Blue Sky, Nucanoe, Wenonah, BOTE and others. For more, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Fishing 101" sessions at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 8:00am. FF101 is a free one day, 2.5 hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting.  No cost, but pre-registration is required as class size is limited. For details, call 225-757-7286.

Monday, March 04, 2019

BSA announces "Fishing For Scouts" updates

The Southern Region, Area 1 Boy Scouts Council has announced that their upcoming kayak fishing tournament has received a significant sponsorship, and cash prizes will now be awarded.  However, the tournament organizers are still looking for more kayak anglers (up to 75 allowed) to sign up.  These lakes are not public and for that reason, there are some VERY big bass, crappie and bluegill waiting to be caught!

Fishing for Scouts Kayak Fishing Invitational
Saturday, March 23, 2019
Avondale Scout Reservation
14434 LA Hwy 10, Clinton, LA

A fundraiser to benefit the Avondale Boy Scouts Camp. Kayak fishing will be on all 3 lakes, no bank fishing allowed. Catch and Release. Target species: bass, crappie, bluegill. Total of 75 kayaks accepted, with a maximum of 25 per lake. Sponsorship is per person fishing.

Schedule:
5:00am breakfast
5:30am lake drawings
6:30am fishing commences
12:00pm lunch
3:00pm fishing concludes
4:30pm awards and dinner

Each sponsorship includes:
- Friday overnight camping (bring your own gear)
- Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner
- beverages, snacks, prizes
- entry into tournament

Sponsorship levels:
- Bullfrog $75, 1 fishing spot in the event
- Bobber $100, 1 fishing spot + company logo on one lake
- Camp $500, helps sponsor a scouts experience for next summer, special banner will display Camp Sponsors individuals or companies
- Bluegil $1,200 - 1 fishing spot, special recognition as lunch sponsor, company logo on one lake
- Crappie $2,000 - 2 fishing spots, name/logo on 3 lakes, special recognition
- Bass $5,000 - 3 fishing spots, name on all printed materials, signs, and banner. Website recognition, other recognitions.

For more complete information, including rules and contact info, CLICK on this link.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

What's happening this week - 3/3

Mardi Gras is this Tuesday. Have fun and stay safe!

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to  www.pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com.

Saturday is the 10th annual "Trout Challenge" kayak fishing tournament hosted by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club. Fishing anywhere in St. Bernard Parish (Reggio, Delacroix, Shell Beach, Hopedale). Fishing start 5:45am, weigh-in 2:00pm at Last Stop Food Mart. Heaviest total weight of 10 speckled trout. Entry fee is $30, open to the public. For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.

Also on Saturday, Masseys Outfitters of New Orleans will hold a free Kayak Demo Day in front of the new Deutsches Haus on Bayou St. John. Time is 10:00am to 3:00pm. Boat brands include Hobie, Jackson, Blue Sky and Bonafide. While at the demo, feel free to hop inside Deutsches Haus for a cold German beer, warm pretzel or other snack and relax. Weather permitting, check the Masseys Facebook page for updates.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

What's happening this week - 2/24

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. For the program, members of the club's Coldwater Committee will lead a discussion on "Gearing up for coldwater fishing" with emphasis on Arkansas and Oklahoma trout waters. The public is welcome. For details, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying session at the Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. For more, go to www.rsff.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Lakeshore Marina and Fuel across from the Blue Crab Restaurant on Lakeshore Drive. Time is 7:00pm. On the agenda: the club's upcoming expo on April 6th, fishing reports, Big Year contest and more. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Also on Thursday, Pack and Paddle will host a seminar "Secrets of Successful Kayak Tournament Fishermen" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Presentors will be Steve Lessard, two-time Hobie World Champion, and Brendan Bayard, IFA Angler of the Year, Hobie AOY, and multiple BCKFC tournament champion. This year's format is different in that the session will be divided into four special topics. Admission is free.  For more details, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Saturday is the Red Stick Day fly fishing festival in Baton Rouge. More on that later.

Also on Saturday, Pack and Paddle will hold another "Fly Tying Level 1" clinic at their store on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 9:30am to 11:30am. Cost is $20. Covered will be fly tying tools and how to use them, followed by hands-on instruction on tying two flies effective for Louisiana. For details, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Red Stick Day this Saturday

This Saturday is the 27th annual "Red Stick Day" fly fishing festival, which this year returns to the LDWF Waddill Outdoors Education Center on 4141 North Flannery Road in Baton Rouge. Time is 8:30am to 3:30pm. Admission is free.

Hosted by the Red Stick Fly Fishers of Baton Rouge, Red Stick Day is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in Louisiana.  Originated by the late Lynn Tolleson, a founding member of the club, the event has featured some of the biggest names in fly fishing such as Gary Borger, Jason Borger, Ed Jaworoski, Chrystal Murray, Craig Mathews, Nick Curcione and others. In recent years, it's featured some of the rising stars of our sport, such as Zach Matthews and Ben Roussel.

Red Stick Day also routinely features some of the most renown tiers in the country, several of whom have been featured in books and magazines. Those include Fred Hannie, Kirk Dietrich, Ted Cabali, Ron Braud, Ed Lash, Bob Lemay, Bill Laminack, and others.

The casting sessions have featured headliners as well as Fly Fishers International Masters and Governors level instructors.

This year's lineup of speakers include: trophy speckled trout master Vic Tedesco, Tennessee tailwater trout guide Jim Davis, and Orvis travel expert Ian Huang. Conducting the casting clinic is Jay Clark, an FFI Master Instructor, member of the U.S. Casting Team, and world casting competitor.

While the programs, fly tying demos, and casting sessions appeal to both beginners and experts, many attendees enjoy the great food, comradery, and fishing on premises. There's also one of the largest raffles of any event in the Southeast, which raises money for the club's various educational and conservation projects.

For more info, including a schedule of activities, go to the Red Stick Fly Fishers website at www.rsff.org and click on "Red Stick Day".

Acadiana Fly Rodders news

The Acadiana Fly Rodders held their February meeting this past Thursday at their new meeting location, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette. Keith Richard thanked PnP owners John & Becky Williams for the generous use of their facility. He also thanked Bob Tabbert, Beverly Vidrine and Rick Latiolais for their work in guiding the club the past year.

Newly elected officers for 2019 are Keith Richard (President), Rick Latiolais (Sec. Treasurer), Jay Clark and Flip Siracusa (Program Co-Chairs). Several activities are being planned for the year, as well as topics for meeting programs. The club will also continue their support of Reel Recovery.

Keith also mentioned that his website www.TheCampFlyFishingSchool.com now has over 65 instructional videos reviewing fly fishing and fly casting. It's a free resource to anyone to use.

The Acadiana Fly Rodders meet every third Thursday of the month at Pack & Paddle in Lafayette. Meeting time is 6:00pm.

Monday, February 18, 2019

What's happening this week - 2/17

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 Mop Fly and the Squirmy Wormy. Beginners are welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. 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. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at the Outpost building back of Pack & Paddle on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. The public is welcome.

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 Friday thru Sunday is Troutfest 2019 annual fly fishing festival at Lazy L&L Campgrounds in New Braunfels, TX. Sponsored by, and benefitting the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited. Friday evening is the banquet, Saturday and Sunday are Expo days. One of the largest fly fishing events in the South, featuring fly tying, exhibitors, casting clinics and demonstrations, and much more. For more info, go to www.grtu.org.

On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Tying 101" sessions at their store on Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 2:00pm. FT101 is a free one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Pre-registration is required as class size is limited. For more info, call 225-757-7286.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

What's happening this week - 2/10

A very busy week ahead...

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. The public is welcome. For more info, 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. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:45pm, program at 7:00pm. 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 for materials. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Beginners welcome!  For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, it's the 17th annual Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival at the Municipal Building in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, celebrating southern Arkansas' year-round trout water and fly fishing in general. Cost is $5 per person or $10 per family. Programs, tying demonstrations, exhibits, retailer tables, biologists "State of the River" presentation and more. Saturday evening is the annual "Fly Draft". Sunday morning at 10:30 is the "Can You Taken It" casting clinic on the river. Cost of the casting clinic is $5, registration at the event. For more info, go to www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com.

Saturday is the 7th annual "Sheepy" fly fishing tournament out of Hopedale Marina. Registration deadline has passed.

Also on Saturday, Orvis BR will hold a "Fly Tying 101" clinic at their store. Time is 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Orvis FT101 is a one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Materials and tools provided. There is NO cost, but pre-registration is required as class size limited. For more info, call (225) 757-7286.

Also on Saturday, it's the annual Fly Fish Texas at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. Time is 8:30am to 4:00pm. Programs, fly tying demonstrations, casting demonstrations, exhibitors, fishing on premises. All Fly Fish Texas activities are free with regular paid admission to the center. For a complete list of activities, go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us and click on the "Fly Fish Texas" link.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

What's happening this week - 2/3

On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Abita Brew Pub on 72011 Holly Street in Abita Springs. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:30pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to  www.pbasinflyfishers.blogspot.com.

On Saturday, it's the 27th annual Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival in Houston.  Location is Bethany Christian Church Community Center at 3223 Westheimer.  Time is 8:30am to 3:30pm. Admission is charged.  Hosted by the Texas Fly Fishers, this event features the largest group of fly tiers of any event on the Gulf Coast, with anywhere from 70 to 100 tiers. It also features one of the great names in fly tying, and this year's special guest is deer hair specialist Pat Cohen. In addition to tying demos, there are several seminars during the day, as well as casting instruction. For more details, go to www.texasflyfishers.org.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Tying 101" sessions at their store on Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 2:00pm. FT101 is a free one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Pre-registration is required as class size is limited. For more info, call 225-757-7286.

Acadiana Fly Rodders have a new meeting date, location

One of the oldest fly fishing clubs in the state, the Acadiana Fly Rodders of Lafayette have had a steady decline in membership over the past decade.  Hoping to reverse that trend, the club has taken advantage of Pack & Paddle's offer to use their adjacent "Outpost" venue as a new meeting location. In addition, the club has a new meeting date - the 3rd Thursday of each month.

At the recent Fly Fishing Film Tour, AFR president Bob Tabbert thanked John Williams, owner of Pack & Paddle, for his support. The January meeting was held at the new location and date, and according to Bob, had a very good turnout.

Two other clubs currently use PnP as a meeting location: the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club and the Louisiana Paddle Club.  It also hosts the annual TreesAcadiana meetings.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Kisatchie National Forest waters temporarily open

On Friday, President Trump signed House Joint Resolution 28, which provides short-term fiscal appropriations to fully fund all branches and departments of the government through February 15th. It ended the partial government shutdown that affected several agencies, including the U.S. National Forest Service.

Shortly after the bill was signed, the Kisatchie National Forest offices began re-opening several recreation areas that had been closed. Many of the lakes and ponds in these areas were inaccessible during the shutdown, but will be open now until February 15th - or longer if Congress and the White House come to terms.

Those waters include Valentine Lake, Fullerton Lake, Kisatchie Bayou, Caney Lakes, Corney Bayou, Corney Lake, Stuart Lake, Anderson Pond, Blue Hole, and Twin Lakes. In addition, NFS boat launches and fishing piers at Kincaid Lake are now reopen.

Bank and non-motorized anglers in northwest and west-central Louisiana were delighted at the news. Below average temperatures and much higher than normal rainfall has affected many lakes in these areas,  resulting in muddy to stained water and sluggish fishing. By contrast, most of the KNF waters have fairly decent water.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

What's happening this week - 1/27

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Guest speaker will be Jeff Regnart, former biologist and Director of Commercial Fisheries for Alaska Game and Fish, who will present on "Fly Fishing Alaska". Public 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. Bring your 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 Friday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will host the 2019 Fly Fishing Film Tour at their store on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Social hour starts at 5:30pm, with films starting at 6:30pm. A limited number of tickets are still available for $15. F3T is an annual event featuring anywhere from 8 to 12 independent films selected from dozens of entries, celebrating the sport of fly fishing adventure worldwide. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Tying 101" sessions at their store on Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 2:00pm. FT101 is a free one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Pre-registration is required as class size is limited. For more info, call 225-757-7286.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Fly Fishing Film Tour coming to Louisiana February 1st

What's the most fun you can have and not be fishing?  It's watching the Fly Fishing Film Tour, of course!

The Fly Fishing Film Tour is a collection of independent short films highlighting the adventure and conservation aspects of our sport. Shot across the US, Canada and around the world, these films celebrate fly fishing in all it's splendor.  F3T is shown at select venues across the country, which each  year bringing new adventures, new spectacular scenery, and new fascinating stories.

On Friday, February 1st, the 2019 edition of F3T makes its first, and possible only, showing in Louisiana. Pack and Paddle in Lafayette will host the event at their store on 601 East Pinhook. Doors open at 5:30pm for social with beer and snacks. The films kick off at 6:30pm. Along with the films there will be door prizes.

Tickets are $15 in advance and at the door. Tickets are available at Pack & Paddle or can be purchased online at the F3T website. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

What's happening this week - 1/20

Of course, today everyone will be focused on the big game taking place in the Superdome. Geaux Saints! 

On Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm.  The group will tie two flies, the Dragon Tail Streamer and the Christmas Tree. 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.

Also on Tuesday, the Contraband Flycasters will hold a rescheduled monthly meeting (postponed from last week) at St. Paul's Lutheran Community Center in Lake Charles. Fly tying and social start at 6:00pm, with meeting at 7:00pm. Voting for club officers and rainbow trout fishing at Purple Heart Park in nearby Ragley. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.contrabandflycasters.net.

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.

On Saturday, it's the annual Orvis Baton Rouge "Travel Day" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free. Meet and speak with representatives of Orvis-endorsed lodges and fly fishing guides from across North America and the Caribbean. Programs on the hour. For more info, go to www.orvis.com/baton-rouge.

Winter 2019: news of it's demise was premature

A week ago everyone was saying what a mild winter we're having, and that Spring would be here early.  My poor lizard blood - which can't take cold very well - was hoping they were right.  Especially after having a great speckled trout trip to the marsh - and reading of many others!

As if outraged by those comments, Mother Nature has responded with a swift kick to our collective groin. The polar vortex that has descended upon us in Louisiana this weekend led to the cancellation or postponement of several fishing events including the very popular Minimalist Challenge kayak tournament.  Sadly, it's the first of a trio to come over the next two weeks.

For most parishes north of Highway 190, we can except several days of highs in the 40s over the next two weeks, with 1-2 slightly warmer days between fronts. Lows will be in the 20s and 30s. Things will be slightly warmer on the coast.

Low air temperatures bring low water temperatures and that negatively affects the metabolism of fish.  But the real problem is the wind associated with these systems.  A second look at the forecast revealed that we're in for breezy conditions over the next 15 days.

Let's hope the weather service's accuracy - or lack thereof - continues and this prolonged cold spell doesn't happen.  But if it does, I'm prepared.  Just bought another box of hooks and looking forward to tying up more flies for the season ahead.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

What's happening this week - 1/13

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. The public is welcome. For more info, go to www.rsff.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 calendar of tournaments, 2019 CPR Challenge, tackle tips, and fishing reports. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 1st 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.

On Saturday, Orvis BR will hold a "Fly Tying 101" clinic at their store. Time is 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Orvis FT101 is a one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Materials and tools provided. There is NO cost, but pre-registration is required as class size limited. For more info, call (225) 757-7286.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Largest annual fly tying expo coming Feb. 9th

Click on image above to enlarge
We're now one month away from one of the biggest and oldest fly fishing events in our region. Hosted by the Texas Fly Fishers of Houston, the Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival features the largest group of fly tiers of any event on the Gulf Coast.  The festival will once again be held at Bethany Christian Church Community Center on 3223 Westheimer. Admission is $10 adults, seniors $8, family $15, under 18 $5, and free for Scouts.

In addition to anywhere from 70 to 100 fly tiers demonstrating their favorite patterns,  there are also several seminars during the day. There are exhibitors, including rod companies and demo casting. A barbecue lunch is available.

Each year, TFF brings in a prominent name in fly tying as their headliner. This year's special guest is Pat Cohen. With a background as a graphic designer and tattoo artist, Pat started tying flies 10 years ago and has ascended to one of the most recognized deer hair tiers in the world. His innovation in patterns as well as tying tools is not limited to deer hair either. As an angler, Pat is well accomplished at hooking up on largemouth, smallmouth, pike and carp. He's a member of numerous pro teams, including Epic Fly Rods, Peak Vises, Cortland Lines, Jackson Kayaks, to name just a few.

Pat was featured guest at the Lake Charles expo in July. Many who saw him then are looking forward to seeing him again in Houston. Mark the date - that's Saturday, February 9th.  

Sunday, January 06, 2019

What's happening this week - 1/6

On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Gathering starts at 6:00pm, meeting at 6:45pm, program at 7:00pm.   Mark Trombetta  will  give  a  presentation  on  fishing  Belize.   For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

On Saturday, Pack and Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Kayak Rigging Seminar and Boat Show" at their store on 601 East Pinhook. Time is 11:00am to 2:00pm. The event is free. Several boat owners with rigging experience for both conventional and fly fishing will be on hand. During the event, a 2019 Outback will be rigged for a fishfinder as demonstration. Also, new 2019 models from a wide range of kayak companies will be on display. Free beer and grilled burgers and dogs will be available. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also on Saturday, it's the 2nd annual Select-A-Fly Challenge at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas. Time is 7:30am to 3:30pm. Entry fee is a $40 donation (extra mulligan fly $20). A friendly competition for stocked rainbow trout benefitting the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. Nice prizes including TFO rods. This event was rescheduled from December. For more info, go to the TPWD TFFC page.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Fishing 101" sessions at their store at 7601 Bluebonnet. Time is 8:00am to 10:30am. Orvis FF101 is a one day, 2.5 hour clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting.  It includes hands-on rigging and casting instruction. There is NO cost, but pre-registration required as class size limited. For more info, call (225) 757-7286.

Later on Saturday, Orvis BR will hold a "Fly Tying 101" clinic at their store. Time is 2:00pm to 4:00pm. Orvis FT101 is a one-day, 2-hour hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Materials and tools provided. There is NO cost, but pre-registration is required as class size limited. For more info, call (225) 757-7286.

Friday, January 04, 2019

What's happening this weekend - 1/4

Two activities happening this weekend, both at Pack & Paddle in Lafayette.

On Saturday (tomorrow), they'll host a "Fly Tying Level 1" at their store on 601 East Pinhook. Time is 9:30am to 11:30am. Cost is $20. Covered will be fly tying tools and how to use them, followed by hands-on instruction on tying two flies effective for Louisiana.

On Sunday, PnP will host "Fly Fishing FUNdamentals" at their store. Time is 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Cost is $40. This clinic covers the basics of our sport, including gear, flies, rigging, knots and basic casting.

Pre-registration is required as class size is limited to five (5) students. For more info or to register, call 337-232-5854 or go to www.packpaddle.com.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

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

To come to the aid of their favorite clubs and causes. Spring is "conclave" season, those 1-2 day fly fishing 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.

All of these events hold raffles, silent auctions, and other fundraising activities. Part of the revenue is used to offset the cost of the event, allowing for free admission to the public.  The rest of the proceeds go to the club's educational goals, conservation projects, and/or some local charity.

The most popular items in raffles are boxes of flies.  With cold, wet weather forecast the next few weeks, 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, please donate at least a box or two of your flies. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Welcome to 2019

First off, wishing all our LFF Community and their loved ones the best wishes for a safe, healthy, and prosperous year ahead. For my fellow fly flingers - may your loops be tight and your flies get victimized often!  For my fellow kayak anglers - may the waters be calm and your butts stay dry! And to all my fellow anglers - 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.  Hope to see some of you at one or more of these events... or on the water!