Thursday, May 28, 2020

Tidbits Thursday

Marsh & Bayou Outfitters is moving. Founded by Ben and Chris Tiblier, M&B has been in business in the French Quarter of New Orleans since 2014, a local source for fly fishing products as well as for fly fishing guides. On Tuesday, MBO posted on their Facebook page that they've decided to move from the Big Easy to the Northshore. The new location will be 2800 Florida Street in Mandeville, with an opening sometime in July.

Date set for Lake Athens Fly Fishing Festival.  LAFFF was originally scheduled for the first weekend in April, but postponed due to the COVID19 outbreak. Now organizer Johnny Martinez has set a June 27th date. The event has been condensed into one day, with the Big Bass Challenge (tournament) starting at 7:00am, and awards presentation at 2:00pm. Other activities include casting instruction, casting contest, fly tying demos (including realistic tying by Fred Hannie), and a raffle to benefit Casting For Recovery. For more info, go to www.johnnyonthefly.com.

Online fly fishing and tying continues. Organizations, clubs, and fly shops are continuing to hold Zoom webinars and meetings at this time of social distancing. The Kisatchie and Acadiana clubs are holding a joint "Tying Tuesdays" each week. The clubs have announced continuation of this through June. Once regular in-person meetings resume, the clubs will continue to hold an online "Tying Tuesday" at least once, perhaps twice, a month.

Meanwhile, FFI has weekly Zoom webinars. Fly Fishers International has been holding various meetings each week. For example, this past week the FFI Tying Group did an online tying session, the Learning Center did a casting program with Molly Semelik, Jeff Currier continued his global fly fishing presentations with a program on "Big Fish of Canada", and the Conservation Committee continued their series of "Conservatin Conversation" with steelhead and cutthroat trout expert Dr. Richard Williams. These series and other presentations are posted on this webpage .  You do NOT need to be an FFI member to attend.

And then there's OFF THE WATER. Prior to the pandemic, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club had started doing a weekly Facebook Live program on Tuesdays at 8:00pm. The program features weekly guests on a wide variety of subjects, and cover topics from recent and upcoming tournaments, fishing locations and tips, fishing reports, tackle tips, and much more. It's also entertaining as well!

Speaking of kayak fishing. Check out this article by Melinda Martinez of the Alexandria Town Talk about kayak fishing in central Louisiana. The article features myself, Mark Elliott of H2GO Outdoors in Monroe, and Jerry & Kelly Maynor of Tioga. Martinez also mentions the Kayak & Canoe Fishing Tournaments Of Central Louisiana Group as well as Pack & Paddle of Lafayette.

Fishing reports. Great bream fishing continues across south Louisiana, especially in the Verrett-Palourde system. Recently bream have been bedding strong in central and northern parishes. Hotspots include Cane River, Lake Nantachie, Chicot Lake, Black River Lake, Caney Lake, Lake D'arbonne, and Cross Lake. Bass fishing on Toledo Bend in backwaters is good with frog patterns right now. On the coast, speckled trout have been hot in Golden Meadow and Hopedale, with some big fish being caught out west in Calcasieu on the south end of Big Lake. Redfish have been pretty solid everywhere except those areas affected by river water (fish are there but flies aren't as effective).


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Redington, Risen add new products to 2020

After this past week's new products posting, I received a couple of emails announcing more new items just released. Both from companies that target the budget and mid-priced market.

Redington Run fly reel - Let's face it, most freshwater fly fishing situations don't need a machined reel - which can cost hundreds. For example, the very popular Lamson Liquid and Orvis Encounter are not machined and sell for around $100. What they do have are very good centerline drag systems (conical and carbon disc) and appealing aesthetics. The new Run offers likewise. The carbon fiber drag is adjusted using an ergonomic knob. It comes in three color options (black, silver, burgundy) with a nylon reel case and a lifetime warranty. MSRP is $109.

Risen 23PS rods - Speaking of aesthetics, you normally wouldn't find high appeal in anything less than $500, but the new freshwater-targeted 23PS series does just that. For $289, you get a rod built on a fast-action IM12 Metallic Green blank, light green and silver thread wrappings, a nickel silver machined reel seat with green burl wood insert, and AAA-rated cork grip. The only negative is that the series is limited to five lengths/weights. The 23PS also includes Risen's lifetime warranty.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

While you were quarantining - five new products for 2020

Many non-essential businesses are beginning to reopen, including fly shops and other fly fishing related retailers. As they do, fly anglers might be surprised to find several new items arriving as we move into summer. These were products we expected to see in Spring, until the pandemic arrived.

Here are the ones that we think will generate the most excitement:

Simms Dry Creek Z Sling Pack - Submersible packs aren't new. What's different with the DCZ is the TruZip, a 100% waterproof, self-healing zipper that isn't a tooth zipper. While the pack incorporates lots of interior room (enough for a laptop?), it also features a water-resistant exterior pocket for quick access to keys or wallet. What excites me most about the DCZ is that it comes in a gorgeous Pacific Blue color as well as the usual camo. After all, this is fishing not hunting. MSRP $229. 

Orvis Hydros fly reel (upgraded) - The Hydros is one of the best values in a mid-priced saltwater fly reel. The machined body is complimented by a sealed clutch-bearing drag and low startup inertia. For 2020, Orvis has reduced the weight while strengthing the top-end drag. It also comes in LSU Purple. What's not to love? MSRP for the Hydros IV (8-weight model) is $259. 

Cheeky Launch - Friends will tell you that I love my Cheeky reel. It's not just functional, but I love the simplistic style and color. Also a big positive: a narrow spool which eliminates line stacking. For 2020, Cheeky has replaced it's popular mid-priced Boost series with the Launch. Lighter and with improvements on their sealed carbon drag system, the Launch 400  (8-weight model) weighs only 6.8 ounces and comes in a beautiful light blue color (notice that I love blue). MSRP is $249. 

Sage Maverick - this is a new mid-priced saltwater rod series that replaces their Motive series. I had an opportunity to cast this new rod at a show back in December before it was even announced. I was blown away. Unlike the Motive, the 7-weight Maverick had no problem casting 90-100 feet of line on target. Not that I fish that far out, but that type of reserve power comes in handy at times. No problem casting 30 feet on target either. Now the question is, how does it fight a big red? Sage salt rods have always risen to the occasion there, and if the Maverick does, it'll be one of the best salt rods on the market at any price level. MSRP $550. 

Orvis Recon II - At the December expo, the Sage rep told me, "We're aiming for the Orvis Recon". The Recon has been in the top tier of every group review, e.g. "shootouts", often rating above premium rods costing twice as much. Orvis is not sitting on their laurels. For 2020, they've adapted their Helios 3 technology into the Recon. Now I like the Helios 3, but I don't think it's the best premium rod (some friends do). So for me, adding H3 tech to the Recon might not be an improvement. If Orvis successfully managed to keep the beloved Recon taper while injecting the Helios vibration reduction, then this rod will certainly remain king of the mid-priced rods. MSRP $549 for the 8-weight model.   

Sunday, April 19, 2020

More cancellations announced

Within the span of a week, two of the country's largest annual fishing trade shows have been cancelled.

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association announced that the 2020 International Fly Tackle Dealer Show (IFTD), scheduled for October 7-9 in Denver, is now cancelled.

Then last week, the American Sportfishing Association announced that the world's largest conventional fishing show, ICAST, once again scheduled for July in Orlando, is cancelled.

Previously, Fly Fishers International announced the cancellation of their annual Fly Fishing Expo set for July 21-25 in Bozeman, MT. Other major outdoors organizations such as NRA, Ducks Unlimited, and Pope and Young have cancelled their annual conventions.

With regards to regional fly fishing events, the latest cancellation is the FFI Southern Council Fly Fishing Fair. It was set to return in October as a mixed event, with a festival and tournament format. Also, last week, the annual Leeville Fly Fishing Weekend was also nixed. Hosted by the Red Stick Fly Fishers with participation of clubs in Louisiana and Mississippi, it was scheduled for early July.  A week ago, Ted Warren announced that the annual Bass On The Fly, set for Lake Fork in early May, was cancelled.

Between now and October only two events remain open for now.  The North Louisiana Fly Fishers Masters Series - set for the last Saturday in July.  And the LDWF's National Hunting and Fishing Day events on the last Saturday in September.

All club meetings are still off for the foreseeable future. A few have gone to video conferencing to hold meetings and tying sessions.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Virtual fly fishing in the time of social distancing

It's now evident that ALL fly fishing events - from beginner fly fishing and fly tying clinics to gatherings to tournaments - from now through April are cancelled or postponed. 

That doesn't mean that fly anglers can't get together across the internet. Virtual webinars and meetings via Instagram, Facebook Live, Zoom, and other internet platforms is at an all-time high as a result of social distancing guidelines.

Here are just a few of the internet activities taking place:

Orvis has a new Instagram Live series featuring some of the industry's top guides, product experts and fly fishing gurus. Here is the schedule:

Techniques and Tactics with Tom Rosenbauer
LIVE on Instagram @OrvisGrandRapids @rosenbauert
Monday, March 30th -7:00pm CST
Tom Rosenbauer and Trent Jackson will discuss their favorite small-stream trout tactics and answer your questions.

Guide Speak with Josh Nugent of Out Fly-Fishing Outfitters
LIVE on Instagram @OrvisPlano
Tuesday, March 31st - 7:00pm CST
Josh Nugent, Owner and Guide at Out Fly-Fishing Outfitters in Calgary, joins Plano Fishing Manager Steven Palmer to discuss what makes the incredible fisheries in Calgary so unique.

Fly Tying with Bryan Eldredge, Falcon's Ledge Guide
LIVE on Instagram @OrvisSanAntonio
Wednesday, April 1st - 7:00pm CST
Grab your vice and join Falcon's Ledge Guide Bryan Eldredge and Landon Rowlett, Fishing Manager of Orvis San Antonio. Bryan will Tie his favorite Dry and Dropper while also discussing the best way to fish them.

Gear Talk with Shawn Combs and Ian Huang
Live on Instagram @OrvisBatonRouge
Thursday, April 2nd - 7:00pm CST
Join Shawn Combs, Rod and Tackle Product Developer (including the Helios 3), along with Ian Huang, Baton Rouge Fishing Manager, as they swap stories about the gear they're using to chase fish this spring.

Club online tying sessions
Zoom has extended some of the Pro features to the Free version during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Orleans and Kisatchie clubs are discussing using Zoom to conduct online fly tying sessions. Bill Morrison and Gene Taylor, Tying Co-Chairs for the KFF club, are estimating the first session within the next 8 days.  Because of the attendee limitation on the Free version, clubs will be restricting these sessions to "members only". 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Corona Virus cancellations and postponements - running update

On Monday, President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force issued new guidelines to help protect Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. These included avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people.  Later in the day, numerous state and local agencies, public libraries, private businesses, etc., announced closures of facilities where groups meet.  That resulted in yet more  cancellations and postponements of fly fishing and kayak fishing events.

This will be a running post of all activities which are posted, or have been posted, on our Calendar page. Please check back here often to get the latest as more announcements are posted daily.

Cancellations:
- Sowbug Roundup
- Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival
- Tri-Lakes Fly Fishing Festival
- New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo
- Fly Fish Texas
- Boats on the Bayou
- Kayak Fishing U. / March LKFC meeting
- New Orleans Fly Fishers March meetings
- Kisatchie Fly Fishers April meetings (no more March meetings)
- Fly Fishers International (FFI) National Expo
- Reel Recovery April retreats (including 1 in Louisiana)

Postponements (rescheduled for Fall 2020)
- Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club "Trout Challenge"
- Cenla Fly Fishing 101
- Lake Athens Fly Fishing Festival  

Monday, March 16, 2020

Event cancellations due to Coronavirus concerns

As mentioned yesterday, Spring is one of the busiest times of the year for fly fishing and kayak fishing events nationwide. But concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus have led health and government officials to promote "social distancing" as a means of containing the spread.

Starting this past Thursday, many state and local governments nationwide began ordering bans on large gatherings. On Friday afternoon, Louisiana followed suit when Governor John Bel Edwards issued an executive order closing all Louisiana public schools, banning gatherings of 250 or more, and postponing the state's April 4 presidential primary.

The immedate ban closed down the Louisiana Sportsmans Show for Saturday and Sunday. After a very low turnout on Thursday and Friday afternoon, the weekend closure was a serious economic blow for the many vendors.

The FFI Gulf Coast Council's first-ever Sweetwater Classic went on as planned at Percy Quin State Park in Mississippi. The tournament only had 44 attendees, well below the gathering limit. Disinfectant wipes were available for attendees.

However, just about every event planned for the next 8 weeks was cancelled over the weekend. Here is a list of fly fishing events cancelled or postponed across the region:

- TRWD Flyfest (TX)
- Sowbug Roundup (AR)
- Texas Fly Fishing & Brew Festival (TX)
- Tri-Lakes Fly Fishing Festival (MO)
- New Orleans City Park Big Bass Rodeo (LA)
- Fly Fish Texas (TX)

The Kisatchie Fly Fishers is looking at postponing their annual Fly Fishing 101, and Bayou Coast is considering cancelling their annual Paddlepalooza.  Club meetings are also under consideration for cancellations over the next month or two.

We'll keep everyone abreast of further developments.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

What's happening this week - 3/15

Nothing much. What normally is one of the busiest times of the year for fly fishing and kayak fishing events is looking sparser by the day. More on that later.

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold their annual Spring Picnic at Cotile Recreation Area. The board decided to go forward since (a) only 30 members are signed up, and (b) this could be the last activity until May.

Tuesday's meeting of the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club special program with Brendan Bayard and Steve Lessard has been postponed to a later date.

Thursday the Acadiana Fly Rodders meeting is still on for now.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers 2nd session of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions is still on for now.

All fly fishing and kayak events for this weekend have been cancelled.

Monday, March 09, 2020

What's happening this week - 3/8

Another big weekend ahead. Keep in mind that with Daylight Savings Time, nearly all clubs will have casting practice prior to their meetings.

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 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm. Guest speaker will be Harry Blanchet, LDWF Marine Fisheries Director, who will present on the current status of speckled trout in Louisiana. 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.  Tom Bullock will give an updated presentation on UV Lighting and its applications for fly anglers. 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, and running thru Sunday, its the it's the 41st annual Louisiana Sportsmans Show at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. The state's largest outdoors show runs 2pm to 9pm on Thursday and Friday, 9am to 9pm on Saturday, and 10am to 6pm on Sunday. For a complete list of exhibitors, activities and seminars, go to www.louisianasportsmanshow.com.

On Friday, and continuing Saturday, it's the first-ever Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic fly fishing tournament and festival at Percy Quin State Park near McComb, MS. Hosted by the Fly Fishers International Gulf Coast Council (FFI-GCC), the event activities include: casting instruction and casting skills challenge, fly tying demos, Big Bream Contest (Friday afternoon) and the Sweetwater Classic Tournament (Saturday morning). The festival is FREE and admission to the park is free for attendees. The Big Bream Contest entry fee is $5 cash (winner take all), and the Classic Tournament entry fee is $25 (register via iAngler).  There's also a "One Feather Fly Tying Contest" on Friday evening, and an "Iron Fly Tying" contest on Saturday afternoon. For complete details and schedule, go to www.gulfcoastcouncilffi.org.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

What's happening this week - 3/1

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 Thursday, Pack and Paddle will hold a "Community Fly Tying Night - Lies, Ties & Dumbell Eyes" at their store on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. The event is free and open to the public.  Folks are encouraged to bring their vise and tools if they have them. If you're new, we have a few vises and tools we can loan. For details, go to www.packpaddle.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 5:30pm 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.

Also on Friday, it's the International Fly Fishing Film Festival at Orvis in Baton Rouge. More on that later.

On Saturday, it's the annual Red Stick Day fly fishing festival in Baton Rouge. More on that later.

Saturday, PnP will hold a free "Kayak and Fly Rod Demo Day" at Vermillionville Pond in Lafayette. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm.  There will be demo fly rods from Scott and TFO to test cast. You'll also be able to demo the amazing OneWheel. And of course, test out kayak and paddleboard models from Jackson, Hobie, Native Watercraft, Bonafide Kayaks, Hurricane Kayaks, Swift, NuCanoe, Wenonah, Bote Board and others. For more, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Baton Rouge to host IF4, Red Stick Day this weekend

Two major annual fly fishing events of the year are on the agenda for this weekend, both in Baton Rouge.

On Friday night, Orvis BR will host the International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet. Like the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) which Pack & Paddle hosted in February, 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.

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

On Saturday, across town at the LDWF Waddill Outdoors Education Center, it's the 26th annual Red Stick Day fly fishing festival. Hosted by the Red Stick Fly Fishers, this is the oldest and longest-running event of its kind in Louisiana.

Time is 8:30am to 3:00pm. Location of Waddill is 4141 Flannery Rd. Admission is free. A jambalaya lunch is offered for $7 along with free refreshments.

RSD has a proud history of featuring some of the biggest names in fly fishing. Louisiana's own Kirk Dietrich may well qualify for that honor, as he certainly is one of the top fly tiers in the country. His flies have been sold by Orvis for over two decades. Last year, his first book, "Tying Bugs: The Complete Book of Poppers, Sliders, and Divers" was released to rave reviews. Kirk will tie as well as give a presentation on making bugs.

Other presentations will be given by world casting competitor Jay Clark, an FFI Master Certified Instructor; "Preparation and Strategies for Coldwater Trout" by Orvis BR staff Alex Beane and Ian Huang, and "Kayak Fishing Strategies for Fresh and Saltwater" by veteran kayak fly anglers Catch Cormier and Mike LaFleur.

RSD also features fly tying demonstrations by some of the region's top fly tiers including Mark Pinsel, Ted Cabali, Ron Braud, Kyle Moppert, Mike Jackson, Steve Oliver, Ray Boudreaux, Ron Foreman and Kenneth Breaux.

Then there's the huge raffle with many one-of-a-kind items. Monies from the fundraiser go to the club's educational initiatives.

For complete info, including schedule of activities, go to www.rsff.org and click on "2020 Red Stick Day".

Sunday, February 23, 2020

What's happening this week - 2/23

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.

Tuesday is Mardi Gras. Your last chance to enjoy king cake in 2020.

On Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Casting outside on the lawn begins at 5:00pm. Carlton Townsend will lead a presentation on "Rigging & Tactics for Coldwater Trout", with emphasis on upcoming club trips to the Little Missouri River. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Wednesday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Calcasieu Parish Extension Office, 7101 Gulf Highway in Lake Charles. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

On Thursday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Rapides Parish Extension Office, 300 Grady Britt Drive in Alexandria. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Crab Trap Room across the parking lot from the Blue Crab Restaurant. Guest speaker will be Randy Richter who will present on fly fishing in the Amazon. Randy has made many trips to South America to chase various species in the Amazon River, including the notorious peacock bass. He will outline travel arrangements, equipment, flies, etc. that are necessary to make a trip to the Amazon successful. NOFF will also raffle off a 7-weight TFO fly rod at the meeting. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, LDWF will hold the final meeting in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Lincoln Parish Library, 910 North Trenton Street in Ruston. Time is 1:00pm (afternoon). Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

What's happening this week - 2/16

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Rapides Westside Library on Provine Place in Alexandria. Bill Morrison will lead a tying techniques clinic prior to the regular session, starting at 5:30pm. The regular session kicks off at 6:30pm. This month, the group will tie the A&W Emerger followed by the Bluegill Belly Bean. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Church on 1620 East Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to their Facebook page.

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. Visitors are welcome. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

On Wednesday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue in Metairie. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

On Thursday, LDWF will hold another in its series of statewide public meetings on the future of speckled trout management at Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second Street in Slidell. Time is 6:00pm. Conservationists are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and fill out a BLUE card to comment at the end of session and voice support for a 14" minimum size regulation.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at the River Ridge Public Library on 8825 Jefferson Highway. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Bring $1 for materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Starting Friday and continuing thru Sunday, it's Troutfest 2020 at Lazy L&L Campgrounds in New Braunfels, Texas. Sponsored by Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited is a fly fishing banquet and exposition to raise funding to conserve, protect and restore the cold tailwater fishery below Canyon Dam, the southernmost year-round trout fishery in the USA. Seminars, fly tying demonstrations, casting clinics, Kid Fish Pond, vendors and much more.  For more info, go to www.grtu.org.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Time for fly anglers to fight for conservation!

Tonight kicks off the first of 8 public meetings hosted by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on the future of speckled trout management. The meetings are in response to biologists studies that show that seatrout are overfished, and changes are necessary in order to recover the stock.

Some of the responses I've seen on Facebook give new meaning to the word "stupid". Some of the very same folks who said that the Calcasieu limit of 15 was implemented despite the "science", and we should've listened to the biologists, are now saying the science is unreliable, the biologists are not always right and no changes should be made. Honestly folks, you can't make this sh*t up!

Regardless, it points out that there will be resistance to tighter limits. Those of us who support conservation MUST be at these meetings and make our voice heard. I hate to say this, but there are a good number of fly anglers who either don't care about speckled trout, or give conservation lip service. Therefore those of us who DO LOVE to fly fish for specks must carry the burden.

The chart says it all. We need a 20% savings in the spawning potential ratio. This means a 14" minimum size limit with either a 15 or 20 daily limit.

Personally I strongly support 14/15 - 14 inch minimum size and 15 fish daily limit. This will get us back above the conservation target in the least amount of time and keep us safely above that target for the foreseeable future. 

For meeting dates and locations in your area, check out our Calendar page.

What's happening this week - 2/9

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 www.rsff.org.

Also on Monday, LDWF will begin the first of several public meetings on the future of speckled trout management, with a meeting at the North Branch Library on 4130 West Park Ave in Gray. Time is 6:00pm.

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, LDWF will hold a public meeting on the future of speckled trout management at LDWF headquarters on 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 6:00pm.

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, LDWF will hold a public meeting on the future of speckled trout management at the Lafayette City Council Chambers on 705 West University Avenue. Time is 6:00pm.

This Friday is Valentine's Day. Do something special for the one you love and take them fishing!

On Saturday, it's the 15th-ever Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival at the Community Center in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. This popular event celebrates southwest Arkansas' premier year-round trout fishing river and features between a dozen and two dozen fly tiers from across the Ark-La-Tex. There are also programs, vendors and exhibitors. That evening is the annual "Fly Draft".  The event concludes on Sunday with an on-the-river casting clinic. For more info, including list of tiers and programs and schedule, go to www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

What's happening this week - 2/2

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 Thursday, the Orvis Baton Rouge store will hold a weekday edition of "Fly Fishing 101" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet. Time is 4:00pm to 5:45pm. FF101 covers the basics of tackle and rigging, with hands-on fly casting. There is no cost, but seats are limited so pre-registration is required. For more info, contact Orvis BR at 225-757-7288.

On Thursday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will hold a "Community Fly Tying Night" at their store on 601 E. Pinhook. Time is 6:00pm. The event is free and open to the public. Bring your vise and tools if you have them, if not, PnP has a few sets for use during the session. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com.

On Saturday, it's the 28th annual Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival in Houston.  Location is Bethany Christian Church Community Center at 3223 Westheimer.  Time is 8:30am to 3:30pm. Admission is charged.  Hosted by the Texas Fly Fishers, this event features the largest group of fly tiers of any event on the Gulf Coast, with over 60 tiers. This year's special guest is Gunnar Brammer. For more details, see our January 28th post, or go to www.texasflyfishers.org.

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Gunnar Brammer headliner at Feb. 8th tying festival

Hosted by the Texas Fly Fishers of Houston, the Dr. Ed Rizzolo Fly Tying Festival features the largest group of fly tiers of any event on the Gulf Coast, with over 70 tiers from several states. Once again, it'll be held at Bethany Christian Church Community Center on 3223 Westheimer. Admission is $10 adults, family $15, students & seniors $8, and children under 12 free.

In addition to the tying demos, there are also several seminars during the day, there are also exhibitors, and demo casting. A barbecue lunch is available for a nominal cost.

Each year, TFF brings in a prominent name in fly tying as their headliner. This year's special guest is Gunnar  Brammer  of  Duluth,  Minnesota, one  of  fly  tying’s  most  amazing  young  tyers. Gunnar specializes in designing  and  tying  predator  flies  for  all  big game  species,  with bait fish patterns ranging from 3-inch bass patterns all the way to 14-inch beast-styled musky patterns, to offshore flies.  If  you  would  like  to  learn  more about Gunnar along with his patterns and impressive style of tying, visit his website at www.streamersbygunnar.com

Monday, January 27, 2020

What's happening this week - 1/26

On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly general meeting at Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Casting outside on the lawn begins at 5:00pm. Clint Crowe of the Acadiana Fly Rodders and Reel Recovery Louisiana will speak to the club about Reel Recovery and their annual retreat in April. Guests are welcome. For more info, 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.

Friday and Saturday it's the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia. This is the largest fly fishing show in the South, and will feature over 200 presentations by some of the biggest names in the sport and regional experts. Along with numerous vendors and fly tiers. For more info, go to www.flyfishingshow.com.

On Saturday, Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will host the 2020 Fly Fishing Film Tour - in conjunction with one of their "Fly Fishing Hangouts" - at their store on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. The Hangout kicks off at 3:00pm with complimentary snacks, brews, and soft drinks. There's casting games at 3:00pm, and an Iron Fly Tying competition at 4:00pm. At 5:00pm, the film festival kicks off. A limited number of tickets are still available. For more info, read our writeup of January 21st, or go to www.packpaddle.com.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will host a "Fly Tying 101" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet. Time is 2:00pm to 4:00pm. FT101 covers tools, materials and techniques of fly tying. Students will tie a couple basic flies to take home. To register, go to the Orvis BR Calendar page.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

LDWF announces public meetings on speckled trout management

* Please note updated times and locations *

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced dates for public meetings to be held on spotted seatrout (speckled trout) management. The most recent stock assessment indicated spotted seatrout are overfished and undergoing overfishing and changes are necessary in order to recover the stock.

The slide to the left was part of the presentation given by LDWF biologists at the January meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. It shows that speckled trout spawning stocks have been on the decline since 2010, and below both the conservation target (yellow line) of 14 percent since 2012, and the recruitment threshold (magenta line) of 10.2 percent since 2013.  It also shows what various savings in the spawning biomass or potential ratio (both had similiar graphs) would result in.


No action is being taken at this time.  The Commission indicated it would like to hear public input before considering management changes.  LDWF’s biological opinion is that a 20% reduction in harvest is needed in order to recover the stock by 2025 or sooner, but there are a range of options that can achieve that goal.  From the standpoint of Fly Fishers International Gulf Coast Council (FFI-GCC),  the best management goal is one that takes us above the conservation target in the least amount of time.

Management change options recently presented to the LWFC in early January 2020 included:
- creel limit only changes
- minimum size limit changes only
- combined creel and minimum size limit changes
- slot limit only changes
- combined slot limit and creel changes.

Below is a list of meeting dates and locations.  All meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m., except the meeting in Ruston, which will begin at 1:00 p.m.

- Monday, February 10 – North Branch Library, 4130 West Park Ave, Gray
- Wednesday, February 12 – LDWF HQ, Herring Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge
- Thursday, February 13 – Lafayette Council Chambers, 705 West University Avenue,  Lafayette
- Wednesday, February 19 – East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie
- Thursday, February 20 – Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second Street, Slidell
- Wednesday, February 26 – Calcasieu Parish Extension Office, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles
- Thursday, February 27 – Rapides Parish Extension Office, 300 Grady Britt Drive, Alexandria
- Saturday, February 29 – Lincoln Parish Library, 910 North Trenton Street, Ruston

LDWF is partnering with Louisiana Sea Grant to use interactive voting technology at these public hearings in response to a survey that will be given at the meetings.  LDWF will also be sending out an email survey identical to the survey that will be administered at public meetings.

For more information, please contact Jason Adriance at 504-284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Fly Fishing Film Tour coming to Lafayette February 1st

The 14th annual Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) is coming to Louisiana twice this year, with the first stop being at Pack & Paddle in Lafayette on Saturday, February 1st. P&P will also hold one of their now-famous "Fly Fishing Hangouts" that afternoon prior to the showing.

F3T is a collection of independent short films highlighting the adventure and conservation aspects of our sport. Shot across the US, Canada and around the world, these films celebrate fly fishing in all it's splendor.  F3T is shown at select venues across the country.

The tour is more than just great fishing adventures, epic takes and spectacular scenery. For example, three of this year's many films focus on conservation and community:
- “Common Tread”, a story where fly fishing is the glue that holds several generations of a Texas family together through the loss of a beloved family member.
- "Project Rainbow", the story of how a dedicated group of anglers and researchers worked to save the Gunnison River from whirling disease.
- "Time", profiles Lefty Kreh and Flip Pallot, who both taught and inspired thousands of anglers.

In addition to the film showing, Pack & Paddle will host their Fly Fishing Hangout starting at 3:00pm with complimentary snacks, beer, and soft drinks. There's a "MarshMan Sharpshooter Casting Competition" at 3:00pm, and an "Iron Fly Tying Competition" at 4:00pm. At 5:00pm, the film festival kicks off.

Tickets are $15. Tickets are available at Pack & Paddle or can be purchased online at their website at www.packpaddle.com. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged as the event is limited to 60 tickets and has sold out the last two years. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

More Rainbeaux Trout coming tomorrow

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will be stocking seven ponds around the state with 2,300 pounds of rainbow trout on Tuesday, January 21st. The effort is part of the department's "Get Out and Fish!" community fishing program. The program is designed to provide good bank fishing for all ages.

The ponds to receive trout are: Oil and Gas Park (Jennings), Southside Regional Park (Youngsville), Girard Park (Lafayette), Burbank Pond (Baton Rouge), Sid Hutchison Park (Walker), Zemurray Park (Hammond), and Joe W. Brown Park (New Orleans).

A week ago, LDWF stocked 2,100 pounds in several other ponds involved in their GOAF program. Back in December, Baton Rouge Recreation (BREC) Department stocked five parish ponds with rainbow trout, and Ascension Parish stocked Lamar-Dixon in Gonzales with trout.

The trout are a coldwater species and rarely survive past March. However by then almost all of them have been caught and taken out. The daily limit is four (4) fish per person. Anglers 16 and older must have a Louisiana license when fishing any public waters.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

What's happening this week - 1/19

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 www.rsff.org.

On Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Church on 1620 East Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Fly tying and discussion at 6:00pm, meeting at 7:00pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.contrabandflycasters.net.

Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club holds their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on 601 East Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Visitors are welcome. For more info, go to www.lafayettekayakfishing.com.

Also on Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Rapides Westside Library on Provine Place in Alexandria. This month's pattern is the Guides Choice Hares Ear. Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during the session. Materials are provided. Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Crab Trap Room on 7840 Lakeshore Drive. Time is 7:00pm.  Guests are welcome. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, it's the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club's annual Minimialist Challenge out of Leeville. The 120 slots have already been filled. For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

What's happening this week - 1/12

A big week ahead!  Starting with the College Football National Championship Monday night. Our LSU Tigers take on defending champions Clemson in the Superdome. Obviously, all meetings for Monday night have been cancelled or moved back one week. This weekend also marks the kickoff of the "Events Season" with events in Pineville, Baton Rouge and Lake Charles.

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 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 www.acadianaflyrodders.org.

Also on Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at the Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm. Visitors are welcome to come and learn the basics of tying, and even tie a particular fly. For more info, go to www.northlaflyfishers.org.

Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions at the River Ridge Public Library on 8825 Jefferson Highway. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners welcome. Bring your tools, if none, the club has a few sets for use during the session. Bring $1 for materials. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

Starting Friday, and continuing thru Sunday, it's the Central Gulf Coast Boat & RV Show at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Admission is $10 for adults and free for youth 15 and under. The Contraband Fly Casters will be exhibiting and demonstrating fly tying. For more info, including show times, go to www.centralgulfcoastboatrvshow.com.

On Saturday, it's the 3rd-ever Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival at Kees Park in Pineville. More on that later.

Also on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold their annual  "Travel Day" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 10:30am to 2:00pm. Admission is free. Meet and speak with representatives of Orvis-endorsed lodges and fly fishing guides from across North America and the Caribbean. For more info, click here.

Make plans for Cenla Festival this Saturday!

Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival
Saturday, January 18, 2020

8:30am to 3:30pm
Kees Park, 2450 Highway 28 East, Pineville, LA
FREE admission!

In even-numbered years, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their biennial Festival, a celebration of the light tackle lifestyle. While the majority of the event is fly fishing, there's also some elements of light tackle spinning and casting for bass, crappie, redfish and speckled trout.

On tap are seminars on bass fishing Toledo Bend, fly fishing the Little Missouri River (Arkansas), and fishing from kayaks for freshwater and marsh. Over 20 fly tiers and jig makers from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi will be demonstrating their craft.

Fly casting. Saturday morning, FFI Master Certified instructor Jeff Ferguson will lead a casting presentation followed by coaching. That afternoon, Jeff, Roger Breedlove and Chris Perkins will lead a "Casting Skills Challenge" open to all attendees. If you're an FFI member, it's a chance to earn your casting accomplishment pin.

There's also several exhibitors and a huge raffle and Gamblers Draw. The event is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Central Louisiana, and the KFF club's conservation initiatives.

A pastalaya lunch will be served along with choice of tea, lemonade or bottled water for just $5. 

For complete details, including schedule and list of tiers, go to www.kisatchiefly.org.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

What's happening this week - 1/5

* Please note that for 2020 some club meeting dates and locations have changed.

On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the first of their twice-monthly fly tying sessions.  Their 2nd Thursday fly tying session is held at St. Francis Xavier church hall on 444 Metairie Road in Metairie. Time is 7:00pm. Bring your tools, bring $1 for materials. If no tools, the club has a few sets for use during the session. For more info, go to www.neworleansflyfishers.com.

On Saturday, Orvis in Baton Rouge will host their "Fly Fishing 101" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet in Baton Rouge. Time is 8:00am to 10:00am. There is no cost. FF101 covers tackle, basic rigging, and basic casting. Participants will receive special offers on equipment. To register, go to the Orvis BR Calendar page.

Also on Saturday, Pack & Paddle will host a "Fly Tying Level 1" at their Outpost behind the store on 601 East 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.  To register, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Later on Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will host a "Fly Tying 101" at their store on 7601 Bluebonnet. Time is 2:00pm to 4:00pm. FT101 covers tools, materials and techniques of fly tying. Students will tie a couple basic flies to take home. To register, go to the Orvis BR Calendar page.

Later on Saturday, PnP will host "Fly Fishing FUNdamentals" at the Pack & Paddle Outpost on 601 East Pinhook. Time is 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Cost is $40. This clinic covers the basics of our sport, including gear, flies, rigging, knots and basic casting.  To register, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Welcome to 2020

2020 - Cajun Year of the Gator
First off, wishing all our LFF Community and their loved ones the best wishes for a safe, healthy, and prosperous year ahead. 

For my fellow fly flingers - may your loops be tight and your flies get victimized often! For my fellow kayak anglers - may the waters be calm and your butts stay dry! 

As you can see from the Calendar page, there are many great activities coming up this Spring for those of us who pursue fish on the fly and/or from a paddlecraft.  Hope to see some of you at one or more of these events... or on the water!