Louisiana Fly Fishing

It's bassin' time. When water temperatures reach 55 to 65 degrees, bass move into the shallows looking for spawning areas. With an unusually cold winter, the lower end of that temperature range will be what to look for this year. Already some bass are clearing out beds in ponds across southeast Louisiana. When the bass do settle in, flycasters have an advantage. Lightweight flies can be tossed into skinny water without spooking fish, and can be moved very slowly thru the water. Keep the fly rod tip at the water... if any strikes come they will be very subtle and line slack will make them unnoticeable. Take a photo, post your report, but please release the females - their eggs are the future!

Fly Of The Month

Bassinator. Okay, so it's really a Briminator, but tied in larger sizes (2-8) it can be deadly on bass. Created by Tony Guzman of Fort Worth, there are many variations of this fly. The most common versions use the fuzzy feather of a pheasant or hen for the tail and the hackle feather of the same bird tied behind the bead-chain eyes. The body is dubbing extracted from the feathers, or animal or synthetic dubbing of your choice. With so many choices for materials and colors, the tier would be wise to tie only a few of each and test each out. Step-by-step instructions can be found on the WarmFly.com forum (search for 'briminator').

Featured Tackle

Ross FlyStik. Just a few years back, bass-rated fly rods were all the rage. These rods had a few things in common: they were all under the 8-foot length restriction defined for BassMaster-operated tournaments; they all had a more moderate action and a taper suited for heavier flies; they all had fighting butts even in the lower 5 and 6-weights. As it turns out, no pro bass anglers have yet converted to using fly rods - even on a partial basis. However these rods do have a strong following, especially among kayak anglers. Now that kayak bass fishing has taken off, expect the popularity of these rods to continue. The Ross FlyStik is where beauty meets brawn meets value. For $179, it comes in 4-piece configurations for 6, 8, and 10-weights. And with a lifetime warranty. For more info, go to www.rossreels.com.

Sunday, April 20, 2014
What's happening this week. Tuesday is Earth Day 2014. Here's wishing our planet a wonderful 4,542,388,291st birthday! Also on Tuesday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold a fly tying clinic at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:00pm. The clinic is open to the public. Bring your own tools if some, materials will be provided. For more info, go to www.kisatchiefly.org. On Wednesday, the East Jefferson Chapter of CCA will hold their annual banquet at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie. Doors open at 6:00pm, dinner 7:30pm, auction 8:30pm. Tickets are $65 per person ($40 spouse, $25 youth) and include 1-year membership, dinner, open bar. On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Whitney Bank branch on 1441 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. Also on Thursday, the CCA Bayou Chapter will hold it's annual banquet at the Houma Civic Center. Doors open at 6:00pm, dinner 7:30pm, auction 8:30pm. Tickets are $60 per person ($30 spouse, $25 youth) and includes membership, dinner, open bar. On Friday, the Union Parish Library in Farmerville will hold a "Kayak Fishing Clinic". More on that later. On Saturday, the Orvis store in Baton Rouge will celebrate their Orvis Spring Days, including a "Fly Fishing 201" clinic that morning (8am-10am) and a "Fly Fishing 101" clinic that afternoon (3pm-5pm). Both clinics are free, but registration is required as seats are limited. The 101 covers basic rigging and casting, while the 201 builds on the fundamentals thru on-the-water applications. Contact Alex at 225-757-7286 for more details. Also on Saturday, it's The Camp Fly Fishing School's "Advanced Workshop". More on that later. Also on Saturday, the Bass Pro Shop in Denham Springs will hold their monthly "Fly Tying Clinic" upstairs in the Conference Room. Time is 9:00am to 12 noon. There is no cost, and no registration required. Bring your own tools, materials will be provided. On Sunday, Louisiana holds it's official Earth Day Festival in downtown Baton Rouge. Time is 12 noon to dusk. There will be education and entertainment for the whole family. For more info, go to www.laearthday.org.

Kayak Fishing in north Louisiana? Yes, it's just as popular here in central and north Louisiana as it is in the southeastern part of the state. In recent weeks, I've seen at least one other yak (more times multiple yaks) out fishing every place I've been - Chicot, Indian Creek, Toledo Bend, Cane River, Caney Lake, Kincaid, Cotile, Valentine - to name a few. The quarry is mostly bass, bream or crappie, but there's a few puddlers who target stripers on Claiborne. Until last year, the only tournaments in Louisiana were saltwater. But then the formation of the Bayou Pirates club in northwest Louisiana has since led to a couple of bass tournaments. Now the D'arbonne Kayak Club - a consolidated club of both recreational and anglers based in the northeastern parishes - is set to hold their first tournament sometime in June. In preparation for this event, DKC, the Union Parish Library, and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is presenting a "Kayak Fishing Forum" at the UPL branch on West Jackson Street in Farmerville this Friday, April 25th. Time is 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Guest speaker will be Adam Harbuck, a member of the Wilderness Systems Pro Staff. The session will cover the basics of kayak fishing, gear, accessories and more. There will also be a "Snacks for the Yak" with attendees judging the best snack entry. Also on the agenda is Brandon Jennings of the Bayou State Crappie Assassins to talk about the June tournament on Lake D'arbonne. As a followup to this clinic, on Saturday April 26th there will be an on-the-water demo on Lake Darbonne from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Location will be at Lester's on the Lake.

The Camp Fly Fishing School Advanced Workshop that will be held this Saturday is one of the most popular and respected casting clinics held in the country. This comes from folks who have been to similiar camps out west and in the northeast. Not bad for a school located in Breaux Bridge, famous for crawfish and far away from any trout waters. But it's all about the instruction, and owner Keith Richard - himself a Federation of Fly Fishers Master-Certified Instructor - has assembled a great staff of certified instructors over the years. For the $150 fee, the Advanced Workshop offers an all-day instruction (8:00am to 5:00pm) on casting efficiency, specialized casts, and handling various fishing situations. As well as lunch, refreshments and handouts. One day won't get you to double-hauling like Lefty Kreh, but it will give you the necessary tools to someday be as good as Lefty. Well, close to being as good as Lefty (nobody is as good as Lefty). For more info, go to www.thecampflyfishingschool.com.

The 106th American Casting Association National Tournament will be held August 4th-9th at Bendabout Farms in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This event features the world's greatest casters - both fly and spinning - challenging for titles in distance and accuracy categories. Steve Rajeff has dominated the fly event over the years, having won 35 consecutive times. His record for the single-hand casting category is a whopping 234 feet! Guest registration is only $15 and registration forms are available on the ACA website at www.americancastingassoc.org.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014
It's 39 and breezy this morning in the Alexandria area, making for a wind chill below freezing. A freeze warning has been issued tonight for parts of northeast and east central Louisiana, with a frost warning for most areas north of Opelousas. Icepocalypse may be over... somewhat... but we're still dealing with unusual cold. It couldn't happen at a worse time - this week's full moon would be an ideal time to hit big redears that will be spawning. If you read my column in this month's Louisiana Sportsman ("Shellcracking the Code"), you'd know that for anyone seeking a state fly rod record for chiquapin, aka shellcrackers, aka redears, this moon is the time to do it. How will this record-breaking cold affect the spawn? Your guess is as good as mine.

Registration has begun for Destination Texas Fly Fishing Expo. This is the first "conclave" held by the newly formed Texas Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers (IFFF). It will take place June 12-14, Thursday-Saturday, at the Civic Center in New Braunfels. Same exact location that the IFFF Gulf Coast Council held it's most successful and popular conclave. In addition to great local attractions, food, and fishing opportunities, New Braunfels is a short drive to San Antonio with it's numerous attractions, such as The Alamo and Seaworld. The Expo itself offers a wide array of programs, workshops, fly tying demonstrations, numerous vendors, casting clinics, and much more. Thursday will kick things off with casting instructor workshops and CCI qualification testing. Friday kicks off the full activities. The tying workshops include sessions with Fred Hannie, Fred Dupre, Bruce Sublett, Mike George and others. Casting sessions cover beginner to saltwater, taught by CCIs such as Mike Hawkins, Diane Blair, Stacy Lynn and others. Seminar speakers include Lefty Ray Chapa, Billy Trimble, Rob Woodruff, and many others. In addition to the usual activities, there's a Women's Breakfast on Friday morning, the Fly Fishing Film Tour on Friday evening, a Youth Breakfast on Saturday morning, and the Awards Banquet on Saturday evening. For more details, or to register, go to www.txflyfishexpo.com.

Speaking of IFFF, our good friend Ms. Pat Smith will be inducted into the Trout Nature Center Hall of Fame on April 26 on the campus of Arkansas State University - Mountain Home. As such she will join the ranks of other TNC-HOF members such as Dave Whitlock, Joan Wulff, Forrest Wood, Steve Wilson, Tom Schumuecker and others. A darn good group to be with! Fellow FFFers may know that Pat was past managing director of the IFFF Southern Council and very active in other organizations such as Friends of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery and Trout Nature Center Task Force. She has also been an active force in her local club, the North Arkansas Fly Fishers, which put on the Sowbug Roundup, the largest club conclave in the country. Pat was very instrumental in helping Buzzy Burns and myself help put together the organizational aspects of the Gulf Coast Council during it's formative period, and getting it recognized by the Federation. She's also been a great ambassador to our sport. For all this, we say "You Go, Girl!" and congratulate Pat on this great honor.

Monday, April 14, 2014
What's happening this week. The week before Easter Sunday is always a quiet one... on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Wildlife and Fisheries building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. Tuesday is Federal Tax Day. Arguably the worst day of the year. Also on Tuesday, the Contraband Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at St. Paul Lutheran Church Community Center on East Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Fly tying starts at 6:00pm, with meeting at 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club holds their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on Pinhook Road in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Special guest speaker will be Ben "Fishtaco" Roussel, member of the Jackson Kayak Fishing Team, who will talk on Sight Fishing For Reds. Ben has been very active in both kayak tournaments and the flyfishing community, successful in both, and his website and videos have received national recognition. Should be a great time. Guests are welcome. On Thursday, the CCA Livingston Chapter holds it's annual banquet at Forest Grove Plantation in Denham Springs. Doors open at 6:00pm, dinner at 7:00pm, auction 8:00pm. Tickets are $60 ($30 spouse, $25 youth) and include 1-year membership, dinner, open bar, door prizes. For more info, contact Julie Grunewald at julie@ccalouisiana.com. Also on Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold the 2nd of their monthly fly tying sessions at the Whitney Bank branch on Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners are welcome. Also on Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly workshop at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm. Erik Dilts and Frank Harmon will be teaching knots and rigging for fly fishing. The workshop is free and open to the public. On Saturday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Fishing 101" workshops. Time is 8:00am to 10:00am. This 1-day, 2-hour clinic covers the basics of fly fishing and fly casting. Once instruction is completed, attendees will receive in-store savings as well as free electronic membership to the FFF. The clinic is free, but registration is required as class size is limited. For more info, contact Alex Beane at 225-757-7286.

HB 1082 would increase saltwater license fee from $5.50 to $13.00 if passed. The bill is being sponsored by Representative Stuart Bishop of Lafayette, and has the support of CCA-Louisiana. The bill would take the increase of $7.50 per saltwater license and deposit it into a special fund - the Saltwater Fish Research and Conservation Fund. That fund would be used for the newly implemented Louisiana Recreational Creel Survey. On WWL radio program, "The Think Tank", last Friday, acting host Don Dubuc interviewed LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina and CCA Executive Director David Cresson. Pausina explained that the reason for this new funding is because Louisiana will no longer participate in a federal program which provided LDWF with the monies for surveys, but at the same time, didn't allow Louisiana to receive any of the information it provided. Pausina also went on to say that his staff could do a much better job without federal oversight, and could give fisheries managers the data they need to manage for optimal fishing. The immediate reaction has been that a majority of coastal anglers oppose the increase, and Dubuc believes (and most of us agree) that it's a trust issue. So-called "dedicated funds" have been usurped by the Jindal Administration to help balance the general fund. What guarantee would we have that this new fund wouldn't be raided as well? Cresson went on to say that the bill has specific wording to prevent that, but even so, there is an existing law which allows the state to take up to 15-percent of any unused monies in a given year. Cresson stated that the solution to that problem is to spend all the money collected for that year. How do we feel about the proposed increase? Given that it will allow LDWF to no longer deal with incompetent federal agencies, AND give our fisheries managers the data we need, we support it 100 percent... provided the language of the bill makes it "Jindal proof".

Another hot issue that CCA is involved with. If you go to www.ccalouisiana.com (or click on the link on the right column of this page), you'll find a number of topics involving red snapper. FYI, the latest in this debacle - the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has set the 2014 recreational red snapper season in federal waters to just 11 days, the shortest season in history. This is the outcome of a federal district court ruling where the Environmental Defense Fund and a group of commercial snapper fishermen sought mitigation for overharvest by recreational anglers the last several seasons. Realize that an overharvest can occur because everything is based on estimates. And even then, the "over" is only a small percentage of the total. Doesn't matter to the feds, though. What was expected to a 40-day season has been cut to near nothing. CCA argues - as does just about everyone that fishes red snapper - that the resource is plentiful... almost to the point of being a nuisance. Of course, as it was with alligators and cormorants, the feds have a hard time accepting that a species has recovered. Nobody is requesting that we go back to the bad old days of loading up boats with red snapper. In fact, CCA would like to keep the 2-fish limit but just expand the number of days season. Oddly, this ruling comes just weeks after a commission on saltwater recreational fisheries management spoke to Congress in favor of revisions to the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act that would give better data and give greater leverage to recreational anglers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014
What's happening this week. On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Time is 7:00pm. Guest speaker will be Christy Graham, biologist with Arkansas Fish and Game Commission, who will present on trout management in Arkansas tailwaters. Guests are welcome. On Wednesday, the CCA Acadiana Chapter will hold their annual banquet at the Boustany Center in Lafayette. Doors open at 5:30pm, with dinner 7:00pm, auction 8:00pm. Tickets are $60 per person ($30 spouse, $25 youth) and include 1-year membership, dinner, open bar and more. For more info, contact Julie at julie@ccalouisiana.com. On Thursday, the CCA Northshore Chapter will hold their annual banquet at the Castine Center in Mandeville. Time and ticket prices same as the Acadiana event. Also on Thursday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at 200 Mariners Plaza in Mandeville. Time is 7:00pm. For more details, contact Colin McCormick at 985-264-3448. Starting Friday evening and the main event on Saturday, it's Paddlepalooza XI kayak fishing tournament out of Leeville. More on that later. Also starting Friday evening with the main event on Saturday, it's the 5th annual Caddo Conclave. More on that later. Also starting Friday and continuing thru Sunday, it's the Red Stick Fly Fishers annual spring trip to Lake Concordia for bass, bream, catfish, stripers and whatever else will eat flies. Culminates with the fish fry on Saturday evening. For more details, go to www.rsff.org.

There's never a loser at Paddlepalooza! There are 3 "majors" held each year in Louisiana, with respect to kayak tournaments. That's almost half of all major tournaments in the USA. The largest is "Ride the Bull", also the largest kayak tournament in the country. P-Palooza may not be as big, but last year's record participation of 262 place it in the top four as well. Why so popular? Low entry fee ($50), with each participant treated to two meals (Friday night jambalaya and Saturday night fish fry), along with captain's bag, t-shirt, and chance at over 200 raffle prizes. And yes, a chance to win a kayak or cash prizes by catching a "Cajun Slam" - combination of largest slot red, speckled trout and flounder. There's individual species awards as well as Ladies and Youth divisions. In addition to all that, it's an event with great comradery, and a chance to share and learn rigging and fishing tips and techniques. A portion of the net proceeds go to charity as well. It's not too late to enter. For details, go to www.bckfc.org.

The Caddo Conclave this weekend takes place at beautiful Caddo Lake State Park in Karnack, Texas, just over the border on the Texas side of Caddo Lake. In fact, your Louisiana fishing license is good at CLSP. Co-hosted by the North Louisiana Fly Fishers and East Texas Fly Fishers, this event is a bit more informal than some club conclaves. For example, Friday is a fishing day, with a pot luck supper that evening. On Saturday, breakfast is provided by the NLFF club, and lunch is provided by the East Texas Fly Fishers. Like most conclaves, there's fly tying demos, vendor tables, and presentations. This year's presentations include "51 Best Places to Fish in the Ark-La-Tex", "UV Light: Why it is important and how to use it in your flies", "Epic Fly Fishing Overnight Trout Fishing", and "Ideal Warmwater Flies for Bass and Panfish". Also, TFO will be on hand as well as Jackson's Kayak Team so folks can demo TFO rods and Jackson kayaks. Registration is $10 per person, or $20 per family. For more info, contact Mike Hawkins at 903-736-1887.

If you enjoy World Fishing Network then good news! WFN is having free preview in April on all cable and satellite services. There are a number of good fly fishing shows on WFN, and the new kayak fishing show with host Jim Sammons is being heavily promoted as it premiers this month.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
What's happening this week (belated version). On Tuesday, the Acadiana Fly Rodders host their monthly meeting at Grace Presbyterian Church on Roselawn Blvd in Lafayette. Meeting time is 6:30pm with casting prior at 6:00pm. Guests are welcome. Also on Tuesday, the CCA Livingston Chapter hosts it's Spring Fishing Seminar at Aqua Marine in Denham Springs. Time is 6:00pm. There is a $5 donation requested, with women and kids free. Food and beverages provided. Speakers include captains Dudley Vandenborre, Frank Dreher, Steve Shook, Vern Ledoux, and Greg Schlumbrecht. For more info, contact Nolan Reynerson at 225-952-9200. On Wednesday, the Baton Rouge CCA Chapter holds it's annual banquet at Parker Coliseum on the campus of LSU. Doors open at 5:30pm, dinner at 7:00pm, auction 8:00pm. Tickets are $60 per person ($30 spouse, $25 youth) and include membership, dinner, open bar, door prizes, and more. Also on Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at The Beach House Bar and Grill on 124 Girod in Old Mandeville. Time is 6:00pm. Guests are welcome. On Thursday, the CCA Plaquemines Chapter holds their annual banquet at Belle Chasse Auditorium in Belle Chasse. Time is 5:30pm, with dinner at 7:00pm. Tickets are $60 per person ($30 spouse, $25 youth) and includes membership, admission, dinner, open bar, and more. On Saturday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers will hold a "Fly Fishing 101" at the LDWF Woodworth Outdoors Center in Woodworth. Time is 8:30am to 12:30pm. There is no cost, and registration can be done prior to the event. Hands-on topics include tackle and other equipment, knots and leaders, and casting basics. For more info, contact Catch Cormier at 318-793-5855. Also on Saturday, the Orvis store in Baton Rouge will hold a "Fly Fishing 201" course. Time is 8:00am to 10:00am. There is no fee, but registration is required as class size is limited. The 201 course is designed to apply casting and rigging skills to on-the-water situations. Along with a few more casting techniques to improve your chances of catching fish. To register, contact Alex Beane at 225-757-7286. On Sunday, Baton Rouge Recreation (BREC) will host a "Kayak Fishing Clinic" at it's Greenwood Park in Baker. Time is 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Cost is $5 per person. Members of the Hobie Fishing Team will present tips and guidance for fishing, including on-the-water paddling demos. Ages 8 and older only. For more info, call 225-272-9200 extension 435.

Congrats to Gale Rhodes who won the New Orleans City Park Bass Rodeo and Fishtival "Fly Fishing Division" on Saturday with a 1.94-pound bass. Other winners included Robert Meyers in the Adult Bass with a 5.48, Joseph Finger in the Youth Bass with a 4.59 fish, and Team Stop, Drop and Reel with a total of 0.64 pounds in the Rio Grande Division. That low a weight tells me that we may have had a cold kill this winter or the appearance of the rios has been delayed because water temperatures remain below normal. New this year, the "Boats on the Bayou" was a kayak tournament on Bayou St. John with live weigh-in. The division drew 89 participants. Winners were Steve Neece with a 1.57-pound speckled trout, Ian Wiggins with a 3.42-pound bass, and Joseph Grande (no relation to Rio) with a .25 bream.

The state of California has determined that tying flies can lead to cancer. If you tie flies, you often get discouraged. When you get discouraged, you take up smoking. When you smoke, you get cancer. Don't get cancer, quit tying flies! By the way, it's April 1st!

Grand Isle Tsunami? This is no April Fools joke... According to an article in NOLA.com, researchers at the National Weather Service predict that if part of the edge of the Mississippi Canyon sloughed off into it's depths, it would send a wall of water 15 feet high across Grand Isle. And unlike a hurricane, residents and visitors would only have an hour's notice. The good news is that this event occurs only about every 1,000 years. The bad news is that we're due. But as long as the trout are biting, who cares?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Decisions, decisions. Fishing is exploding all over Louisiana right now. Reports of big bass are coming out daily here in the Cenla area, and further south in Laccasine. Last weekend's Redfish Rumble had a bass component to the "stringer" weigh-in, and there was no difficulty in finding or catching bass around Delacroix. There was no difficulty in catching redfish either... at least for some. Oddly, some good catches of speckled trout were caught around Delacroix - even with all the river water pouring in. Hopedale fared better on specks. Good catches of specks on topwater also came from Golden Meadow, Leeville, Pointe-aux-Chenes and Dularge. Out west, the same was true for Big Lake, with even kayakers doing nice stringers in Prien and Charles. Complicating the decision process as to where or what to fish... sacalait have moved into the shallows at Saline-Larto, Toledo Bend, and Chicot. And there's been hot white bass action on the upper Sabine near Logansport. Did we mention that chinquapin are biting good in Lake Bouef and Millers Lake. I've been catching more and more each day on Cotile fishing only an hour here and an hour there (still too busy to get a solid trip in... maybe next week). Whatever "decision" you make, there's little chance it'll be a bad one.

Add Orvis Fly Fishing 101 and Backpacker Boat and Tent Show to the list of activities this weekend. On Saturday, the Orvis store in Perkins-Rowe in Baton Rouge will hold another of their free "Fly Fishing 101" classes. Time is 8:00am to 10:00am. Registration is required, as class size is limited. No worry if the class is full, the class will repeat itself on April 19, April 26, May 10, and May 31. Also, the store is offering "Fly Fishing 201" classes on April 5, April 26, May 17, and June 7. All classes are 8:00am to 10:00am, except on April 26th when the FF101 class will be from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. As stated, all these classes are free. For more info, or to register, contact Alex Beane at 225-757-7286. Also on Saturday and continuing Sunday, The Backpacker will hold their annual "Tent and Boat Show" at both locations in Baton Rouge and Lafayette. On Sunday, Backpacker in Baton Rouge will do a free workshop on "GoPro Video Editing 101" conducted by Tyler Hicks. Time is 11:00am to 1:00pm. Among the topics are preparing your GoPro, how to use the app, how to capture great footage, how to use GoPro Studio editing and template and more. For more info, go to www.geargut.com or email Tyler at tylerh@skibackpacker.com.

Last weekend's Sowbug Roundup had a special guest. Sowbug is held annually in Mountain Home, Arkansas, and is hosted by the North Arkanss Fly Fishers. It's the largest club conclave in the country, running 3 days and featuring over 130 tiers, numerous presentors and nearly 50 exhibitors. Many of the best tiers in the South and from around the country come to this event. However, this year the tier getting the most attention was one who hasn't been to Sowbug before. In fact, he's only been tying for less than a year! That's because Tradd Little is only 11 years old. In fly tying, like in music or art, child prodigies are often the subject of intense interest - and scrutiny. But in the short time he's been tying, he's mastered nymph patterns. According to an article in the Baxter Bulletin, Tradd lives in Greenville, South Carolina, and his patterns - neither of whom are big into fishing - brought him to Sowbug upon recommendation from folks at Little River Outfitters in Townsend, Tennessee. We expect to see Tradd again either at the FFF Southeastern Fly Fishing Expo in May or back in Mountain Home for the Southern Conclave in October.

Sunday, March 23, 2014
What's happening this week. On Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. For the program, Catch Cormier will talk about "Fluff Butts and How to Fish Them". The public is invited. Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly fly tying session at Orvis in Perkins-Rowe in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. The session is open to the public. Bring your tools, materials provided. If no tools, the club has some to use during the session. On Tuesday, Pack and Paddle in Lafayette will host a free "Fly Fishing 101" seminar by Keith Richard. Time is 6:00pm. Keith is an FFF Master-certified casting instructor, and owner of The Camp Fly Fishing School. He will cover topics from tackle selection to local fishing spots and what flies to use. The public is invited. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com. Also on Tuesday, the Northshore Chapter of CCA will hold a "Spring Fishing Seminar" at Tchefuncta Country Club in Covington. Time is 6:00pm. Guest speakers include Capt. Peace Marvel, Capt. Mike Gallo, Keith Lucher of The Advocate, Jimmy Fisackerly of Boat Stuf, and Lyle St. Romain of Sea-Trac Offshore Services. Food and drinks provided. Admission is free for CCA members, $5 for non-members. For more info, contact Ryan Guerin at ryan@ccalouisiana.com. On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Whitney Bank branch on 1441 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. There should be lots of good fishing reports. The public is invited. Also on Thursday, the CCA Felicianas Chapter will hold their annual banquet at the American Legion Hall in Clinton. Doors open at 5:30pm, dinner at 7:00pm, auction 8:00pm. Cost is $60 per person ($30 spouse, $25 youth) and includes dinner, 1-year membership, open bar, and chance at raffles and door prizes. For more info, contact Julie Grunewald at julie@ccalouisiana.com. On Saturday, it's the 67th annual New Orleans City Park - Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival. The longest-running tournament in the United States. More on that later. Also on Saturday, the Masseys Outfitters in Mid-City New Orleans will hold a free "Paddle Demo Day" on Bayou St. John at 1400 Moss Street in New Orleans. Time is 10:00am to 3:00pm. Canoes, kayaks and paddleboards from Bote, Hobie, Native, Heritage, Jackson, Wilderness, Perception, Dagger, Feelfree and more. For more info, call 800-754-7467.

The 67th annual NOCP Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival this Saturday will again feature a Fly Rod Division... and a new "Boats on the Bayou" kayak fishing division! That's in addition to the Spincast Bass, Junior Angler, and Rio Grande Team divisions. For the Fly Rod division, registration begins at 6:00am, with fishing allowed at 6:30am, and final weigh-in at 11:00am. Entry fee is $10 adults, $5 for 12 and under. For the "Boats on the Bayou", a total of 100 kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized vessels will be allowed to fish on Bayou St. John for four categories: bass, redfish, trout, and "trashbash" (other species). There's also a "Red Tag Special" that will offer prizes to up to 3 registered anglers who bring in the heaviest cumulative weight of tagged reds, with 1st place prize a Hobie Quest 13 kayak. This is a LIVE WEIGH-IN event... you must bring your fish in to one of several weigh stations on Bayou St. John. Fishing begins at 7:00am and ends at 10:30am. Registration is online only, and only 100 boats will be allowed. Entry fee is $15 and a signed waiver must be included. Also, registration for BOTB ends on Friday, March 28. So for you puddlers interested in this event, don't wait... time and numbers are getting short.

Thursday, March 20, 2014
LA On The Fly is the title of a new column by our good friend Larry Offner in The Angler - Bayou Edition magazine. The first LAOTF appeared in the February edition, where Larry introduced himself and his background in fishing and fly fishing. Larry is owner of Green Trout Fly Shop in Baton Rouge and of WarmFly.com, the largest website dedicated to warmwater fly fishing. As well as a frequent contributor to our forum here on laflyfish.com. Also, if you go to their website at www.coastalanglermag.com, you'll find a blog by another of our frequent forum members, Dustin Schouest. It's called "Have Yak, Will Travel". The Angler magazine - along with it's sister Coastal Angler magazine - has been growing rapidly in distribution the last couple of years. Rather than print a high-gloss publication with a monthly mailing, the publishers decided to pattern after weekly local tabloids that have filled the void in countless areas where traditional newspapers have either folded or become subsidiary to a national news service. Publications are printed on newspaper type and placed at coffee shops, restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses. This strategy worked so well for Coastal Angler, they decided to branch out to freshwater markets. Hence the name "The Angler". There are local columnists - such as Larry, Dustin, Bayou Coast club's Casey Bruning, and John Williams of Pack and Paddle - to supplement national columnists such as Boyd Pfeiffer and Conway Bowman (who also does a fly fishing column). To get a list of locations, and even read the current issue online, go to www.coastalanglermag.com, and click on the location nearest you (in this case, New Orleans) and it will take you to that location's webpage.