Friday, January 21, 2022

Fly fishing events highlight Spring calendar

Based on the number of events for Spring 2022, its clear that Omicron variant of Covid-19 isn't scaring anyone from getting back to some semblence of normal.  And we couldn't be happier!

When it comes to fly fishing, Spring is event season across the deep South. These events can vary in type from large commercial expos like the Atlanta Fly Fishing Show to club festivals like "Red Stick Day" to fly fishing tournaments like the “Fly Fishin For The Mission” to hybrid events like the “Sweetwater Classic” to purely educational events like “Fly Fishing 101” hosted by the Kisatchie Fly Fishers.

Here is a list of Spring 2022 events either in Louisiana or within a days drive from a population area inside our state.

Jan. 29 (Sat) – 4th biennial CENLA FLY FISHING & LIGHT TACKLE FESTIVAL, Kees Park Center, Highway 28 East, Pineville, LA. 8:30am – 3:30pm. Free admission. Presentations, fly tying demos, casting clinics, exhibitors and more. $5 lunch available. Benefits Food Bank of Central Louisiana. Hosted by Kisatchie Fly Fishers club. Website: www.kisatchiefly.org.

Feb. 4-5 (Fri-Sat) – ATLANTA FLY FISHING SHOW, Infinite Energy Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth, GA. 9am – 6pm. Admission $15/$25, military $10. Largest fly fishing show in the South. FFI will host the Learning Center, with casting and fly tying instruction free to show attendees. Website: www.flyfishingshow.com.

Feb. 12 (Sat) – 29th annual Dr. ED RIZZOLO FLY TYING FESTIVAL, Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Rd, Houston, TX. 8:30am – 4:30pm. The largest fly tying event on the Gulf Coast features over 80 tiers as well as seminars and vendors. Featured guest tier: Jerry Coviello. Adults $10, students and seniors $5, children free. Hosted by the Texas Fly Fishers club. Website: texasflyfishers.org.

Feb. 26-27 (Sat-Sun) – 5th annual TEXAS FLY FISHING & BREW FESTIVAL, Mesquite Convention Center, Mesquite, TX. Nationally known fly fishing authors, professional guides, expert casters, fly tiers from across the country, dozens of exhibitors. Microbrew sampling. Website: txflyfishingfestival.org.

Mar. 5 (Sat) – 26th Annual RED STICK DAY, Waddill Outdoor Education Center, 4142 N Flannery Rd, Baton Rouge, LA. 8:30am – 3:30pm. Free admission. Seminars, tying demos, kayak demos, casting clinics, food, refreshments. Hosted by Red Stick Fly Fishers. Website: www.rsff.org.

Mar. 11-12 (Fri-Sat) – 2nd annual SWEETWATER CLASSIC, Percy Quin State Park, McComb, MS. Free admission, bass tournament entry $30. Fly tying demos, casting clinics, seminars, raffles, Big Bream Contest (free), CPR big bass tournament with categories for boat/kayak and bank fishing, plus Slab Master (largest crappie). Hosted by FFI Gulf Coast Council. Website: www.ffigcc.org.

Mar. 24-26 – 25th annual SOWBUG ROUNDUP, Baxter County Fairgrounds, Mountain Home, AR. 9am – 4pm, each day. Admission $10 for all 3 days, adults with kids under 12 free. Largest fly tying event in the country, over 150 tiers. Seminars, fly tying clinics, vendors. Special guests Dave & Emily Whitlock. Hosted by North Arkansas Fly Fishers. Website: www.sowbugroundup.org.

Mar. 26 (Sat) – 73rd annual NEW ORLEANS CITY PARK FISHTIVAL & BIG BASS RODEO, New Orleans City Park, New Orleans. 6:30am – noon. Fishtival free, Rodeo entry fees: adults $10, kids $5. Fly Fishing category. Also fly casting and fly tying by New Orleans Fly Fishers Club. Hosted by LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Website: www.neworleanscitypark.com/big-bass-fishing-rodeo-and-fishtival

Apr 29 (Sat) – FLY FISHING 101, Booker-Fowler Fish Hatchery, Forest Hill, LA. 8:30am to 12:30pm.  Free to the public, pre-registration required, limited seats. Basics of fly fishing and casting with hands-on instruction. Hosted by Kisatchie Fly Fishers. Website: www.kisatchiefly.org.

May 4-5 (Fri-Sat) – 13th Annual BASS ON THE FLY TOURNAMENT, Lake Fork Marina, Lake Fork, TX. Free admission, tournament entry fee $70. Free casting clinics, kayak demos, casting contests, Sunfish Tourney ($5), CPR bass tournament has categories for boat, kayak. Entry fee entitles participants to door prize drawings. Charitable event is endorsed by the Texas FFI Council. Website: www.bassonthefly.org.

June TBA – 2nd annual BIKES & BUGS, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, AL.  8:00am to 1:00pm.  No cost, but registration requested.  Anglers will pedal and fly fish their way around the park’s Lake Shelby in pursuit of bass, bream, and anything else that bites.  Open to all lady anglers, equipment and bikes available for use.  Hosted by FFI Women Connect and FFI Gulf Coast Council.  Website: www.ffigcc.org.

June TBA – 10th annual CEDAR LAKE FLY FISHING TOURNAMENT, 12056 Cedar Lake Rd, Biloxi, MS. 6:00am to noon. Registration fee $25. A bluegill tournament, flies and fly tackle only. Sign-in required on morning of tournament. Hosted by Mississippi Coast Fly Fishers. Website: www.gcflyfishers.org.

As always, please continue to check our Calendar page for more details on each of these events, and for any new events that may come up.

Monday, January 03, 2022

LWFC Commission to vote on menhaden regulation

This Thursday, January 6th, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will vote on a proposal to enact a 1/4 mile buffer zone for menhaden harvest.  According to its author, the intent of the regulation is to avoid user conflict between recreational anglers and commercial pogey boats.

CCA Louisiana, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and other conservation groups point out this proposal was put forward by the menhaden industry itself and is unacceptable. The overwhelming majority of spawning of inshore and nearshore species takes place in the littoral zone, which in Louisiana is at least a mile out or more.  In addition, this area contains greater concentrations of menhaden – needed for the high protein requirements of spawning fish.  

While all parties would much prefer a one-mile buffer, the Commission is highly unlikely to accept that wide a buffer.  For that reason, they are asking for an amendment for a 1/2-mile buffer.

CCA and the FFI Gulf Coast Council are asking their members and other conservationists to petition the Commission to amend the Notice of Intent (NOI) to a minimum of 1/2 mile. To do so, email your comments to comments@wlf.la.gov before Wednesday at 2pm. You may also make your comments on Thursday, 9:30am at LDWF Headquarters in Baton Rouge.