Sunday, July 21, 2019

What's happening this week - 7/21

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying session at the Independence Park 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.

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.

On Saturday, it's the annual "Masters Series" hosted by the North Louisiana Fly Fishers club.  Location is the Red River National Wildlife Refuge on Sunflower Road in Bossier CIty.  Time is 9:00am to 5:00pm. Cost is $40 and includes admission, lunch, coffee, refreshments.   A few tickets are still available at this time.  This year's special guest is Dave Hughes.  Hughes has studied trout streams and lakes, the natural foods on which trout feed, and the flies that trout eat. He has written numerous articles and columns for various magazines, and written over 20 books on these subjects.  His presentation will explore many of his findings.  For more info or tickets, contact Tom Bullock 318-393-7729 or Scott Irwin 318-469-0854.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

TFO unveils new fly products at ICAST

Temple Fork Outfitters is at ICAST in Orlando this week, with several new offerings for 2020 in the New Product Showcase. Three of which will interest our readers.

The Axiom II-X is a variation of last year's revamped Axiom series. It has the new Axiom technology paired with the fast-action tapers found in the TiCrX series. The Axiom technology embeds a double-helix of Kevlar that acts to buttress the rod's carbon base under compression. Axiom II-X rods deliver high energy for long casts with incredible tracking. They also absorb shock better, with faster recovery.

The NXT Black Label series is designed to make fly fishing simple and affordable. The kit includes a TFO Pro II medium-fast blank, either 5-weight or 8-weight, a matching cast aluminum NXT BLK II or III reel, a premium weight-forward floating line, and 20-lb Dacron backing.

The BVK SD series of reels is now one of the best reel values on the market. That's because TFO took the popular BVK, added a fully sealed drag system, and didn't raise the price!  The new drag also has a wider range of settings. Like the BVK, the BVK-SD is machined and anodized, and so good for saltwater use.

ICAST Best of Show winners announced

Click on above for larger image
Starting Tuesday evening, and continuing today at the first full day of the ICAST expo, attendees had the opportunity to exam and vote on their favorite new products in the event's New Product Showcase.  A couple hours ago, winners were announced - and some came as no surprise.

While the show this year is nearly all conventional tackle, there are several companies who sell fly tackle in attendance. There's also a strong showing of kayak and kayak accessory companies. Hobie has made the biggest splash of them all with their new Mirage 360 Drive, which will be available on certain PA models in 2020.

Because most fly fishing representatives, industry personnel, pro staffers, media, etc. are not present (will be attending IFTD later this year), the voting is probably a lot more skewed than during the past 6 years when IFTD and ICAST were combined. For that reason, I'm not putting much stock in the results of the fly products... yet. They may be excellent products, but I'll wait and see.

Here's a list of fly and kayak-related product winners only:
- Best Kayak Accessory - Hobie Mirage 360 Angler
- Best Technical Apparel Coldwater - Simms M G4Z Stockingfoot Wader
- Best Technical Apparel Warmwater - AFTCO Overboard Submersible Shorts
- Best Fly Fishing Accessory - Simms Dry Creek Z Sling Pack
- Best Fly Reel - Seigler Reels SF
- Best Fly Fishing Rod - St. Croix Imperial Salt
- Best Eyewear - Costa Water Woman

The ICAST 2019 Overall Best of Show winner will be announced on Thursday at 2:00pm.

Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend has been cancelled

Earlier today, Red Stick Fly Fishers Saltwater Chair Randy Leonpacher informed all attendees of this weekend's Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend that the event was cancelled due to a tropical disturbance that is expected to become Hurricane Barry by the weekend.

Just an hour ago, Randy made contact with the folks at Boudreaux's Motel in Leeville, the location for the Friday and Saturday evening activities. And where many of the attendees would be staying. They said that the road in Leeville is under water and they are unable to get to the motel!

As of now, there are no plans to reschedule this event. However, the club's 2019 Fall Catch & Eat is scheduled for the last Saturday in October. All those who signed up for the LFFW are encouraged to take part in this event.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

2019 RBFF Report: fly fishing continues growth

As is the case each July, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has released it's Special Report on Fishing. The 2019 Report will be part of the "State of the Industry" presentation at this week's ICAST in Orlando, Florida. It contains results from a comprehensive survey which targets angler participation in the previous year (i.e., the 2019 report covers 2018 participation) in the United States.

RBFF works with the Outdoor Foundation and a variety of market research and consulting firms in compiling the survey. The survey contains detailed information and trends on fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, geographic region and more.

The report also breaks down the participation by types of fishing, including fly fishing. And here, there's good news! Continuing a trend that began in 2010, fly fishing remains on the rise in America.

"Fly fishing has the fewest participants, but the number and percentage of participants has been increasing the most. Since 2016, the participation rate has increased by an average of 3.7 percent, and the number of fly fishing participants has jumped by an average of 4.5 percent."

"Also encouraging for fly fishing, the category had the highest rate of first-time participants. In 2018, 17.4 percent of participants were new to the category. In 2018, the number of fly fishing participants increased to 6.9 million participants, which was an all-time high for the activity."

By region, the highest number of fly anglers was in the South Atlantic (Maryland to Florida). Roughly 18.5 percent were from this region. Other top regions were Pacific (WA, OR, CA - 18.2 percent), Middle Atlantic (PA, NY, NJ - 15.2 percent), East North Central (WI, MI, IL, IN, OH - 12.5 percent) and West South Central (TX, LA, OK, AR - 11.4 percent).

Other continuing trends of fly fishing participation of the last decade continued in 2018.  Greater female participation, growing Hispanic participation, and a growing youth movement. In fact, the age group 25-34 now accounts for 19.1 percent of fly anglers in the U.S., with age group 35-44 second with 15.7 percent.

More evidence that fly fishing is strong among younger anglers - less than 25 percent of current fly fishers are 55 years or older. This is the lowest percentage of senior fly anglers in a decade.

Another interesting statistic from the survey was the level of participation among fly anglers. Over 98 percent identified themselves as either "avid anglers" or "would like to fish more". This indicates that the interest among participants is very strong and not likely to lose interest in the foreseeable future.

Monday, July 08, 2019

National Hurricane Center upgrades storm possibility for Gulf

We've been tracking reports of the possiblity of a tropical disturbance forming in the northern Gulf of Mexico later this week. As of 10:00am this morning, that possibility has been raised to 80 percent.

According to the National Hurricane Center, a trough of low pressure associated with a rare cool front over central Georgia is forecast to move south into the northeastern Gulf. Once it moves over the very warm waters of the Gulf, it's expected to strengthen. Gradual development is then possible.

By Thursday, the system will then likely move northward and westward. While the models show several different tracks, the most consistent place a landfall either just east of Slidell or south of Beaumont. Either location would result in a large amount of precipitation for south Louisiana. The other unknown is how organized the system will be when it lands - depression, tropical storm, or hurricane.

Attendees to the annual Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend this coming weekend will be notified if there is any change in plans.

Demystify publishes review of Shadow Assassin reel

We don't often link our news stories to other websites publications, but this is one we couldn't ignore. For the last few years, many of our readers who are on Facebook have seen the ads for Shadow Fly Fishing. They've asked about the fly reels, of which I've never seen one in person.

Shadow is a direct online retailer - not sold through shops or stores - much like Allen, Taylor and many others.  While they offer a variety of products, it's their two budget-priced fly reels that get most attention: the Assassin and the Gladiator. Both are bar-stock machined, with carbon fiber disc drag.

The Gladiator sells for $134 (currently on sale for $99). It claims a "water resistant drag". It comes in a few color options (gunmetal, red, green). But like many cheap reels, there's a low spool diameter to width ratio - the 7/8 model has a diameter of 3.46 inches and width of 1.18 inches. Still, it probably is satisfactory for marsh fishing.

The Assassin is definitely a notch up. It claims a "waterproof drag" with an amazing 20 pounds of drag strength!  It also promotes its use for saltwater. It comes in gunmetal or blue/black. The diameter/width ratio is much better - for the 7/8 model the diameter is 4.00 inches and width is 0.9 inches. This compares to many premium reels such as Galvan, Bauer, etc. It sells for $205, but currently on sale for $174.

As the article's author states, the discounts might indicate some new models or revisions of current models are forthcoming.

Want to know how the Assassin performed in real world testing?  Here's the link to the Demystify article.  CLICK HERE.

Sunday, July 07, 2019

What's happening this week - 7/7

One of the busiest weeks this summer, with several educational opportunities.

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at their new meeting location!  The club will now meet at the Adult Education Building at Broadmoor United Methodist Church on 10230 Mollylea Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm. On the agenda: strategies for redfish and speckled trout in the marshes from Galliano to Grand Isle, as well as preparation for this week's annual Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend.  The public is welcome. For more, go to www.rsff.org.

On Tuesday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold a free "Fly Fishing 102 - Trout Prep" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 4:00pm to 5:30pm. FF102 Trout Prep will cover the types of trout water, types of bugs and when they hatch, as well as rigging for dries, nymphs, and streamers. No fee, but registration is required. For more, call (225) 757-7286.

Also 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 Wednesday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold a free "Fly Fishing 102 - Sight Casting" clinic at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 4:00pm to 5:30pm. FF102 Sight Casting will cover the basics learning to spot fish and cast from the ready position, as well as fishing with a guide. No fee, but registration required. For more, call (225) 757-7286.

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.

Starting this Friday and continuing to Sunday, it's the annual Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend (formerly Grand Isle Fly Fishing Weekend). Hosted by the Red Stick Fly Fishers, this event brings together members of clubs in Louisiana and Mississippi (and sometimes elsewhere) for marsh fishing along the Highway 1 corridor. Shrimp boil Friday night, fish fry Saturday night. Registration is required, deadline is Tuesday. For more info, check rsff.org for details.

On Saturday, Pack and Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Spoon Fly Tying Class" at their store on 601 East Pinhook. Time is 9:30am to 11:30am. Cost is $20. Instructor Flip Siragusa will guide students in hands-on tying of an epoxy spoon fly similiar to the Waldner variety, one of the deadliest flies for redfish and other species. Seats are limited, so pre-registration is required. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold a "Fly Fishing 101" class at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 8:00am to 10:30am. Orvis FF101 is a one-day, hands-on clinic covering the basics such as tackle, rigging and casting. Seats are limited so pre-registration is required. For more, call (225) 757-7286.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

St. Croix to unveil new Imperial Salt at ICAST

We're just days away from ICAST, the world's largest conventional sportfishing trade show. And while Fly Tackle Dealer is no longer merged with this event (IFTD will be in October), that doesn't preclude ICAST from having several new fly fishing products in the New Product Showcase.

As mentioned before, several companies - St. Croix, Pure Fishing (Hardy, Fenwick), TFO and others - make both conventional and fly tackle. For this reason, attendees will see and sample their new fly products for 2020.

Among the fly products to be featured at ICAST will be the new St. Croix Imperial Salt fly rod series. Available in six weights from 7 to 12, all in 9-foot length, the fast-action Imperial Salt combines SCIII carbon with St. Croix's patented IPC mandrel technology. Components are designed to withstand the toughest marine environments, such as Sea Guide PVD coated stripper guides with zirconia rings.

Made in the USA at their Park Falls, Wisconsin, factory, the Imperial Salt comes with a 15-year transferable(!) warranty. It also comes with a rugged rod case. MSRP ranges from $340 to $380.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Dates set for many 2020 events

We're at the midpoint of this calendar year, yet most of next year's regional events have already been scheduled.  Here is a list of those events and dates:

January 18 - Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival
February 1 - Atlanta Fly Fishing Show
February 8 - Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival (Houston)
February 15 - Little Mo Fly Fishing Fest
February 22 - GRTU TroutFest (New Braunfels)
March 7 - Red Stick Day (Baton Rouge)
March 21 - Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (Plano)
March 28 - New Orleans City Park Rodeo & Big Bass Fishtival
April 25 - Fly Fishin For The Mission tournament
May 2 - Bass On The Fly (Lake Fork)

In addition, the New Orleans Fly Fishing Expo and an FFI Gulf Coast Council combination tournament/festival are in planning stage with dates soon to be announced.

Several clubs also have dates set for club fishing trips for first half of 2020. Among them are the Red Stick Fly Fishers annual trips to Lake Concordia and Spring Catch-n-Eat (marsh), and the Kisatchie Fly Fishers annual "March Brown" and "Cinco de Trout" coldwater trips.

Please check the Calendar page for updates. As these become available, we will post.

Monday, July 01, 2019

What's happening this week - 7/1

With Independence Day on Thursday, a very light week ahead.

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, 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, hands-on 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.

Also on Saturday, Orvis BR will hold a "Fly Tying 101" clinic at their store. Time is 3:00pm to 4:30pm. Orvis FT101 is a free one-day, hands-on clinic covering the basics of fly tying. Materials and tools provided.  No cost, but pre-registration is required as class size limited. For more info, call (225) 757-7286.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Last week to renew your fishing license

Louisiana annual fishing licenses for 2018-2019 expire this Sunday at midnight, after which you'll need a 2019-2020 license. The new licenses became available on June 1st, and are good from the time of purchase thru June 30 of 2020.

Licenses can be purchased in several ways: (1) online at https://la-web.s3licensing.com, (2) at local license vendors, and (3) at LDWF offices in Baton Rouge, Opelousas, Lake Charles, Pineville and Monroe. Acceptable methods of payment made online are Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

For residents, the basic annual license (covers freshwater only) remains at $9.50.  Saltwater license is an extra $13.00. Persons 60 years of age or older qualify for the special "Senior Fish/Hunt" license that covers all fishing, basic hunting, big game, and WMA use. Members of the military also get discounts on saltwater license, combined fish/hunt license.

As for non-residents, the basic stamp is $5.00 per day, with saltwater stamp $17.50 per day (total $22.50 per day). For frequent visitors to our state, the annual license might be a "cheaper" option. The NR season basic stamp is $60.00 and saltwater $30.00 for total of $90.00.

A word of advise.  Be aware that LDWF Enforcement gives out more tickets during the first week of July than any other week of the year. While a good number are for license violations, they also do boat safety checks. So be sure to check for PFDs, fire extinguishers, lights, and any other safety items on your boat or kayak before taking to the water.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

What's happening this week - 6/23

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Guest speaker will be Tom Konvicka, chief meteorologist for KALB-TV, who will talk about weather-related topics of interest to anglers. 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 Independence Park 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.

On Wednesday, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers will hold a "Pint Night" at Tin Roof Brewing Company on 1624 Wyoming St. in Baton Rouge. Time is 5:30pm. Attendees can learn about the latest on public access issues in Louisiana. For more info, go to www.backcountryhunters.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.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

ICAST, IFTD, EFTTEX: The countdown to 2020 products begins now

We're a month away from the largest fishing trade show in the world.  But this year, it won't include most fly fishing products.

For the first time since 2012, the International Fly Tackle Dealers (IFTD) show will not be merged with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades (ICAST).  The American Fly Fishing Tackle Association (AFFTA), which hosts IFTD, made the decision last year to once again do it's own event. IFTD will be held in Denver on October 16-18. The decision to split was no surprise, but the date was. Before the merger, IFTD was traditionally held in August.

ICAST still has considerable relevancy to fly anglers. First, there are several companies that make both conventional and fly tackle, so it's likely we'll see new fly rods and reels from those companies.  Second, about two-thirds of the exhibitors at ICAST deal in products that span tackle choices. Those product lines include clothing, kayaks, waders, electronics, shoes, books, cutlery, artwork, coolers, sunglasses, and MANY more!

While we won't be attending ICAST (we will be at IFTD), we'll be monitoring the show highlights on various sites and Facebook and spotting the products we find most interesting to readers.

However, there's another show to consider and it's being held this week. The European Fishing Tackle Trade Assocation Expo (EFFTEX) is taking place in Brussels. Several fly companies are on hand revealing new products for 2020 (which will be available to retailers this Fall).

Temple Fork Outfitters will have an updated NXT outfit, featuring a new reel, new rod, and new (better) line. Also, a beefed-up version of the popular Axiom II rod, called the Axion II-X, offered in heavier line weights.  The BVK reels are being updated with a sealed drag system.

Sage looks to be replacing their BASS series fly rods. The new PAYLOAD rods are being promoted as capable of delivering big flies and heavy lines. It'll feature a powerful tip, transitioning to slower butt to allow a more relaxed casting stroke, and for more leverage when fishing fish. The sad news is that these rods will all be longer than the 8-foot lengths of the BASS series, even up to 9-feet, 2-inches!  Rod weights will range from 6 to 11. MSRP will be $550.

Sage is also introducing the Trout LL Series. This looks to be an updated version of the legendary Lightline Series of two decades ago. Newer KonneticHD technology matched with classic tapers.  The rods will feature a mahogany blank and the Sage Super Grip. Weights will range from 3 through 6, with lengths from 7'9" to 9'0". MSRP will be $800.

Rio has several new fly lines at EFTTEX, but the one that will interest readers the most is their new Technical Trout line. I say that because unlike some of the newer freshwater lines that have copied upon saltwater tapers (short, heavier heads) the Tech Trout lines will have a long head and back taper to improve loop stability and long range control. Think of fishing the Wall Hole at the Little Missouri River. MSRP will be $79.

Monday, June 17, 2019

What's happening this week - 6/16

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Rapides Westside Library on Provine Place in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm.  Bill Morrison will lead the group in tying the Goober Bug, a simple but effective freshwater fly for bass and trout. Beginners are welcome. Bring your tying tools, if none, the club has 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 Wednesday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold a weekday edition of "Fly Fishing 101" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet Blvd.  Time is 4:00pm to 5:30pm. No fee, but pre-registration is required as seats are limited. Orvis FF101 is a one-day clinic designed to introduce the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. To register, go to this link or call 225-757-7286.

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 Friday, Pack & Paddle will hold a "Fly Tying Happy Hour" at their store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm to 8:00pm. This free event is open to all tiers of all levels. Bring your tools and materials and tie. Or just come and watch, or talk fishing. Pack & Paddle will provide the beer from Urban South Brewing Company. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Sunday, June 09, 2019

What's happening this week - 6/9

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: fly fishing the Highway 1 corridor and this month's annual Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend.  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.com.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

What's happening this week - 6/2

A reminder that with National Fishing and Boating Week, Louisiana's free fishing days are this coming Saturday and Sunday. Both residents and non-residents can fish fresh or salt June 8-9 without needing a license.

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, Ship to Shore in Lake Charles will hold a free "Kayak Demo Day" at Prien Lake Park. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. Weather permitting. The Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club will also be on hand to discuss kayak fishing and kayak rigging. For more info, go to their Facebook page.

Also on Saturday, Masseys Outfitters of New Orleans will hold a free "Kayak Demo Day" at Deutsches Haus at 1700 Moss Street on Bayou St. John. Time is 10:00am to 3:00pm. Subject to weather.  For more info, check their Facebook page.

How all this river flooding will affect fishing

Bonnet Carre Spillway. Photo from USACE.
The Mississippi and Red Rivers drain over two-thirds of the United States. Since 1831, when steamboat captain Henry Miller Shreve cut a shortcut in the Mississippi at Turnbull's Bend, the Mississippi and Red / Atchafalaya have been separated. The Mississippi wants to take the shorter route through the Atchafalaya, which is why in 1950 the Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the Old River Control Structure.

The longer path of the river has its own consequences. In years of extreme high water, the Mississippi gets bottled up - the water simply cannot exit fast enough into the Gulf of Mexico. The levees built to contain the river were meant to withstand weeks - not months - of inundation.

Despite the Bonnet Carre Spillway having been opened twice (and still open) along with other diversions, the Ol' Muddy is beyond stressed. Some flow is also being diverted through the Old River Control Structure into the Atchafalaya. But the Red River that feeds the Atchafalaya is itself at the highest level in many years.

That leaves one option left - opening the Morganza Spillway. The Spillway has only been opened twice in history, and was scheduled to open today but has been postponed to this Thursday. The Morganza diverts water into a broad plain containing forests, fields, camps and some homes. The delay will allow extra time for landowners to move livestock and belongings.

The water that flows into the Morganza eventually empties into the Atchafalaya Basin, putting more stress on Morgan City where the basin flushes back into the river. A barge will be sunk on Bayou Chene as a dam to prevent back-flooding in the Lake Verret, Belle River and Stephensville areas - although that will also result in higher water in those waters because water levels will be raised by the "dam".

So everyone is asking, "What will be the impact on fishing in areas affected by the rivers?".  The following is speculation, based on past situations.  Nobody really knows what the weather - and rivers - will do.

The live oxbows such as Old River Morganza, Old River Vidalia, Yucatan, Mary Crawford and Deer Park Lake will be a waste of time until the Mississippi gets down to under 25 feet on the Baton Rouge gauge.  But then expect a brief spurt of outstanding fishing! 

The Pontchartrain Basin has already seen a large impact from the Bonnet Carre. Freshwater fishing across the basin - from Highway 51 canals all the way to Shell Beach near Lake Borgne - is the best in many years. Redfish and sheepshead - which don't mind freshwater - continue to be fairly good. Speckled trout fishing has taken a big hit in Pontchartrain itself, but the edges of Lake Borgne and beyond have been very good as the trout have congregated eastward in avoidance of the river water.

Once the water starts to go down, we should see outstanding catches of bass, bream, and crappie in the Atchafalaya Basin. And also in the Verret Basin. Probably late June through July.

One area that will be a bust this summer will be Cypremont Point. It typically takes 2-4 weeks after the Atchafalaya hits it's summer low mark before the Point begins producing decent numbers of speckled trout. That could well be as late as August.

The worst fear on every anglers mind in south Louisiana is that once the rivers get down, we'll get a hurricane that will knock the fishing prospects back further.

Monday, May 27, 2019

ACA National Casting Championships coming this summer

Maxine McCormick at age 12.
The American Casting Association will hold it's 111th annual National Casting Championship July 31st - August 4th at the Pasadena Casting Club in Pasadena, California. Most of the top casters in the world - both fly and conventional - will be on hand to compete for distance and accuracy. Among the many events are Single Hand Distance, Two Hand Distance, Trout Accuracy and others.

Some of the records set at the ACA Nationals include 1-Hand Fly Distance men's of 243 feet (Steve Rajeff, 2009) and women's of 155 feet (Pamela Peters, 2006). The 2-Hand Fly Distance men's record is 294 feet (Henry Mittel, 2011) and women's record of 179 feet (Pamela Peters, 2010). Anglers Fly Distance records include men's of 190 feet (Rene Gillibert, Steve Rajeff), and women's of 150 feet (Alice Gillibert).

And then there's Maxine McCormick. The 15-year-old from Portland, Oregon, is the youngest world champion in fly casting history. She's become a rock star of our sport, featured in a variety of newspapers, magazines and national news. Considered America's top female fly caster, at age 12, she set the junior record for Anglers Fly Distance at 122 feet. Last year, at the World Championship in England, she took the two-handed distance casting title with an incredible 189-foot cast.

Young McCormick isn't just a distance champion. In the Trout Fly Accuracy competition, she has the second-highest score in history, at any category. Her 99 point performance in 2016 is second only to five men who tied with a perfect 100. And all five are casting world champions - Steve Rajeff, Tim Rajeff, Henry Mittel, Chris Korich and Zack Wilson.

Even so, from all reports McCormick has been working on her distance. Now that she's a lot taller, stronger and more refined, there's every reason to believe she will break the women's mark of 150 feet set by Alice Gillibert in 2004 at the upcoming Nationals in July.  You can bet the world will be watching.  

Sunday, May 26, 2019

What's happening this week - 5/26 (updated)

With Monday being Memorial Day, some scheduled activities will be adjusted.

On Tuesday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers will hold their monthly fly tying session at the East Baton Rouge Independence Park Library at 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 Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. The public is welcome. For details, 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.

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, 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.

Arkansas increases funding for trout fisheries

For the thousands of Louisiana fly anglers who enjoy the fantastic coldwater trout fisheries of our neighboring state to the north, there's good news and bad news.

First, the bad news. Recently signed into law, Act 886 of the Arkansas General Assembly increased the cost of the annual trout stamp from $5 to $10 for residents. In accordance, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission last week passed a price increase of $10 to $20 for non-residents. It was the first increase in the trout stamp in 16 years.

The good news is that the increase will be used for better trout management, to maintain and improve trout hatcheries, and increase trout stockings in some waters, such as the Little Missouri River in southwest Arkansas.

Currently all AGFC hatcheries are in need of renovation, and the Spring River hatchery that provides stockings for the Little Missouri and other rivers is running at only 50 percent of historical production.  The increase will also help to fund improved fish habitat and increase angler access areas. 

Free fishing days start next weekend

This coming weekend kicks off National Fishing and Boating Week, a celebration of the importance of recreational boating and fishing in America. Most states, including Louisiana, have designated "free fishing days" either the first weekend or second weekend in June.

Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity to try out fishing for the first time. Or, if you're willing to travel, to partake of fishing in another state without having to purchase a license. Some states may have certain restrictions. For example, you might be able to fish freshwater for free, but still have to buy a saltwater permit or trout permit. So please check before making plans.

Louisiana's free fishing weekend is June 8-9. You can fish fresh or salt over these two days without needing a license.

Adjacent states:
- Alabama, June 8 (both fresh and salt)
- Arkansas, June 7-9 (beginning noon June 7th)
- Mississippi, June 1-2 (both fresh and salt)
- Texas, June 1st (state parks are always license-free with admission)
- Oklahoma, June 1-2

For a complete list of free fishing days in all states, go to www.takemefishing.org. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Welcome to SweatFest 2019!

The Summer soltice may not be until June 22nd, but seasons in Louisiana are always a few weeks early. Memorial Day weekend is the start of "90-90-90"... 90 days of 90 degree high temperatures and sometimes humidity up to 90 percent. Enjoy the June breezes because come July they go away and the sweating kicks up a notch.

The weatherman doesn't have to work hard this time of year, except when the occasional tropical storm pops up. This year, the National Hurricane Center and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center are calling for a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season. That means to expect between 9 and 15 named storms (winds 39 mph or higher).  Of those, anywhere from 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds 74 mph or higher), and 2 to 4 major hurricanes (winds of 110 mph or higher). 

By contrast, in 2018 there were 15 named storms, of which 8 became hurricanes, and 2 became major hurricanes.  None hit the Louisiana coast. Tropical storm Gordon in early September came closest, hitting the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

With SweatFest, comes an emphasis on summer safety. Summer sun and heat brings many dangers to anglers. Heat stroke is the number one threat. Bring an ice chest or cooler tote bag with water and/or sports drinks to stay hydrated. The sun itself is a threat, but does its damage over time. Skin exposed to high UV radiation months can lead to skin cancer. Protect your skin by putting on a high-SPF waterproof sunscreen before you get on the water. Wear long sleeve breathable shirts, a rim cap or a bill cap in conjunction with a gaitor (buff). Always were some type of cover for your feet.

Also be aware that thunderstorms can be a daily occurence in summer. At the first sign of towering  cumulus clouds, start making your way back to the launch (especially if you're in a kayak). Lightning can strike from eight miles away, so waiting for lightning to approach is not a smart option!

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.