Sunday, October 27, 2019

What's happening this week - 10/27

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Club members Carton Townsend and Robert Hughes will give a presentation on their excellent adventure out west last year, fishing several blue-ribbon waters. The public is welcome. For details, go to

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

On Wednesday, there's a Co-Ed Casting & Community Event hosted by Rip and Hoppers Adventure, Fly Fishers International, and other sponsors, and led by Jen Ripple and Heather Hodson. Location is next to Bayou Paddle Sports, corner of Florida Avenue and Moss Street in New Orleans. Session starts at 3:00pm and ends at 6:00pm. There is no cost. Participants looking to apply for the Bronze Casting Skills Challenge will be guided through the process. Sweetwater Brewing Company will provide adult beverages. For more info, go to

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

Friday thru Sunday, it's the 31st annual Toledo Bend Rendezvous at North Toledo Bend State Park. The largest and oldest fly fishing event in Louisiana of the Fall season features fly tiers from several states who gather for a casual weekend of fly tying. General public is invited for the day Saturday or for the weekend (inexpensive lodging available on premises) to watch tiers and learn.  $20 per day, $40 per family including lodging.  For more details, check out our post from October 16th.

On Saturday, it's the annual "Turkey Trout Throwdown" kayak fishing tournament out of Cypremont Point State Park. Hosted by the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club, this event is open to the public. Entry fee is $25. Target is heaviest stringer of 5 speckled trout. Artificial lures only. For more info, go to

Monday, October 21, 2019

Our picks of new products from IFTD 2019

There were a bevy of new products showcased at last week's International Fly Tackle Dealers trade show in Denver, Colorado.  While not as many as the last several years, there were some significant new entries.  Due to the show being much later this year - they broke from their merger with ICAST - many of the new products have already hit stores.  We couldn't make IFTD this year, but thanks to the wonder of the internet - and press releases - we kept our finger on the pulse of things. And identified at least 10 new products we think are worth mentioning to our readers.

Flymen Fishing Company - Shilton Reels

Under a new partnership, FFC will distribute South African-made Shilton Reels in the USA for the first time. Trusted by guides worldwide in some of the toughest fishing conditions, Shilton was previously unavailable to the USA market. The reels have a hard anodized finish and depending on series, utilize higher degrees of processed cork disc drag. Expect prices from $300 on up.
Simms - G4 Collection, G4 wading boots

If you're looking for premium quality in waders, jackets, and boots, then Simms has their new G4 collection with over 16,000 hours of field testing, lighter materials, greater comfort, durability and breathability, and extremely resistant to abrasion and punctures. Sounds great... but better be prepared for sticker shock. Prices for the jacket and waders range from $699 to $899. The wading boots will sell for $299 and come in Vibram or felt soles. IMO, spending a small fortune on waders is unnecessary, but never skimp on boots. Your feet will thank you later!  If the G4 Pro is as comfortable and durable as advertised, it might pay itself off simply by outlasting other boots twice as long.
Sage Payload fly rod

The Sage Bass Series has been replaced for 2019 with the Payload Series. Designed to cast big flies to big fish, these rods feature fast action tips transitioning to a more moderate butt that allows for relaxed casting and greater leverage when fighting big fish. The rods also feature Sage's HD-Konnetic technology.  Series ranges from a 8'9" length in 6 thru 9 weights along with 9'0" in 10 and 11 weights.  MSRP is $550. Blanks are also available.  All Payload rods are made at their factory in Bainbridge Island, Washington.

St Croix Imperial Salt fly rod

The new Imperial Salt is an extension of their Imperial series, using Sea Guide (R) PVD coated stripper and snake guides, premium-grade cork handle, and double coats of flexcoat to withstand the rigors of saltwater. They come in a beautiful aquamarine color. The rods use St. Croix's Integrated Poly Curve mandrel technology with SCIII carbon to make for a light, fast-action rod with quick dampening. Built in the USA, these rods come with St. Croix's 15-year transferable warranty backed by their Superstar Service. Models are all 9'0" in length, with weights ranging from 7 thru 12. MSRP is $340 to $370, depending on weight rating.

Taylor Revelation reels

For the last several years, Taylor Fly Fishing has become a major player in the direct sales market. The foundation of their business has been their attractive, lightweight and affordable machined fly reels. The new Revelation is a hybrid of their most popular models, the TYPE1, the Enigma, and the Revelation Z.  With a carbon-fiber stacked and sealed drag system, and with up to 15 pounds of maximum drag (7-9 weight model) the Revelation can be used in most freshwater and saltwater situations. That drag is adjustable to 3.5 rotations, allowing anglers to dial in to the exact setting. MSRP is $299.

Fenwick Fenlite Salt fly rod

Nano resin technology is only a decade old, and perhaps for that reason it's been reserved to rods costing $600 or more. But in the last year, we've seen the price point dropping. The new Fenlite rods offer the 3M Powerlux 1000 nano resin technology for only $349. What does nano-tech offer? A rod with incredible strength at a very light weight. The fast-action Fenlite Salt comes with AAA cork handle, machined anodized reel seat, and fighting butt.  All lengths are 9-foot, with line weights ranging from 7 thru 12.  Fenwick has a limited lifetime warranty on Fenlite rods for defects, and a service charge for accidental breakage.

Scott Sector fly rod

It's hard to imagine that Scott would make a better saltwater fly rod than their Meridian, but that's exactly what their rod designers have supposedly done. The new Sector series utlitizes their ReAct technology with new tapers and their new "Carbon Web". The Carbon Web technology improves torsional stability and durability by encasing the unidirectional fibers in a web of ultralight multidirectional carbon fibers. Uni encased by multi, got it?  According to Scott, this will reduce torsional forces for better tracking and reduce micro factures from stress and impact. Sector rods also feature all new CeRecoil stripping guides with super slick Zirconia inserts. All this great technology comes at a premium price - MSRP is $985.  All Scott rods are made beginning to end at their factory in Montrose, Colorado.

Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Infinity Salt fly line

Longtime readers know I'm not a huge fan of textured fly lines, even if they do add a wee more distance to long casts. So while SA has come out with their new Amplitude Infinity Salt textured line for 2020, they've also come out with a smooth version. It features their AST Plus slickness additivie for increased shootability and durability. It's also a half-weight heavy to turn over big flies on windy days. What's best about it is the extended head length... that means more accuracy and aerialization than those short shooting head lines.  Again, cutting edge technology comes a premium price. MSRP is $129.

Douglas LRS fly rod

While this rod was actually introduced late last year, this was the first year of it's "new" status at IFTD. Founded in 2014, Douglas rods have been near the top of several reviews, and from personally casting the Sky and DXF series, the hype is real. Sadly, their budget entry was well below the competition. Their new LRS Series hopes to change that. These fast-action, lightweight rods have much improved performance. LRS stands for lake-river-sea, which implies that they're built for all types of fishing, depending on rated weight.  The beautiful gloss blue blanks, carbon matrix reel seat, and accented grip and fighting butt (7-9 models) make for a great looking rod. MSRP is $249.
Fishpond Thunderhead Pouch

A fully waterproof construction similiar to other products in their submersible line, Fishpond's Thunderhead Pouch features a 1680D TPU coated nylon fabric and fully waterproof zipper. Large enough to slip in your smartphone or digital camera. Hypalon panels on the front and back can be used for attaching accessories or securing to wading belts, float tubes, or kayaks. Measures 11" long by 7" high by 2.75" deep (maximum expansion). Weight is 5 ounces. MSRP is $99.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

What's happening this week - 10/20

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.  This month the club will tie two simple but effective patterns for marsh fishing - the Clouser Minnow and the LaFleurs Charlie.  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

On Tuesday, the Orvis of Baton Rouge will host a "Beers with Hells Bay" reception at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Come meet the folks from Hells Bay Boatworks and check out their line of boats including the new Eldora Skiff. The event is free. For more info, call 225-757-7286.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at Building 500 in the Government Building Complex off F. Edward Hebert Blvd on the West Bank. 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

This Friday and Saturday, two clubs will hold their annual Fall fly fishing marsh trips. The Red Stick Fly Fishers will host their "Fall Catch-n-Eat" along the Highway 1 corridor, culminated by a fish and shrimp fry on Saturday night. The Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their annual "Marsh PAC Attack" out of Pointe-aux-Chenes. The group will gather for dinner on Friday night at a location TBA.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Make plans for Toledo Bend Rendezvous

Toledo Bend Rendezvous
November 1-3, 2019
North Toledo Bend State Park
Zwolle, LA

In October, 1989, members of the Pineywoods Fly Fishers (TX) and North Louisiana Fly Fishers (Shreveport) gathered for a weekend of camping, fly tying and fishing. The following year, the clubs rented the group facility at North Toledo Bend State Park, where the event is held to this day.   Rendezvous has expanded greatly since, with tiers from various clubs and states including Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and elsewhere.

There's no planned activities, but plenty of fly tying, food, fly casting and fishing, with only a minimal fee to cover lodging and meals. The activities take place at the park's group facility, which features a commercial kitchen and dining hall, and lodging available for up to 150 people in 5 heated log bunkhouses (30 beds each). There's also a heated central shower and restroom building with nice night lighting on all the sidewalks and a large main log building with A/C, picnic tables and a large barbeque trailer.

Attendees can come for a weekend (lodging and meals included) or just for the day (Saturday). The event is open to the public.  For complete details, go to the Toledo Bend Rendezvous home page.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

What's happening this week - 10/13

* This week is the International Fly Tackle Dealer (IFTD) Show in Denver, CO.  The largest fly fishing trade show in the world, it's where most new products for the coming year are revealed.  However, this year being such a late date, many new products have already been exposed. For the first time in several years, we won't be attending IFTD. However, we will be reporting new products based on press releases.

On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at Broadmoor United Methodist Church inside the Adult Education Center. Location is 10230 Mollylea Drive in Baton Rouge. Casting practice at 6:30pm, meeting at 7:00pm. The public is welcome. For more, go to

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

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

On Thursday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders hold their monthly meeting at the Pack & Paddle "Outpost" building behind their main store on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at Building 500 in the Government Building Complex off F. Edward Hebert Blvd on the West Bank. 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

Starting Friday afternoon with the Captains meeting, and finishing with the tournament on Saturday, it's the 14th annual "Fall n Tide" kayak fishing tournament out of Cypress Cove Marina in Venice. Hosted by the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club, it's open to the public.  Fishing is along the Highway 23 corridor. Onsite registration is now in effect until 7:00pm Friday. Entry fee is $60 and includes tournament entry, Friday night dinner, Captains bag, Saturday fish fry,  and chance at over a hundred raffle items. There's divisions for Slam, Womens Slam, Youth, Seniors, Leopard Red, and largest red, speck, and flounder. For more info, go to

On Saturday, Pack & Paddle will hold their annual Fall Kayak Demo Day at Vermillionville Pond in Lafayette.  Time is 9:00am to 12 noon. This is a free event. While PnP does individual demos per advance request throughout the year, this is one of the few events where folks can come try their boats out with no advance notice.  They'll have their widest array of kayaks available, including the new 2018 redesigned Hobie Outback.  Also, monster deals on some 2018 demo models.  For more info, go to

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

SweatFest 2019 still going strong, but not for long!

Every year, we claim September is the last full month of SweatFest. Usually there's at least one cool front - usually in the middle of the month - that brings longterm relief from high heat and humidity.  .  The cool front metric is the number of nights where the low temperature is at or below 60 degrees here in central Louisiana. We typically have at least two such nights in September. 

For the second year in a row, by those definitions, we had no "cool fronts" in September. In fact, according to the KSLA-TV (Shreveport) weather center, this past month was the hottest September on record with an average of 83.7 degrees.  The historical average is 78.8 degrees.

Likewise, meteorologist Scott Pilie of WGNO-TV in New Orleans posted on Facebook that this September was the hottest on record for the Crescent City with an average of 85.3 degrees.  It was also the driest on record with total precipitation of 0.19 inches!

While radiative cooling - due to shorter days and longer nights - has slightly reduced water temperatures, it hasn't been enough to reoxygenate waters. Low dissolved oxygen is the main reason why freshwater fishing - outside of river systems - continues to be subpar. Cooler water temperatures are also the trigger for mass migration of speckled trout into coastal marshes.

The good news is that SweatFest may come to an end next Monday... at least over most of the state. Here in the Alexandria area the forecast calls for highs Monday and Tuesday in the low 80s and lows in the upper 50s! 

The bad news is that we're going to have some unusually hot next few days before the front, with near-record highs. If you're fishing the Rio Rodeo in New Orleans this Saturday, best bring an extra bottle of water or sports drink.