Sunday, March 9, 2014
What's happening this week. A busy 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. On Tuesday, the Cane Country Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at Westside Baptist Church in Natchitoches. Time is 6:30pm, with casting prior to the meeting. CCFC member and FFF Certified Casting Instructor Glen Cormier will give a short overview of flycasting principles, followed by a video by Mel Krieger on "Casting Faults and Fixes". The public is welcome. Also 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. This is their annual "Chili and Flies" meeting. Club members will be cooking up their favorite chili and there will also be a fly tying contest. Also on the agenda: fishing reports and their upcoming Caddo Conclave on April 12. On Thursday, the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club holds their quarterly meeting at Cabelas in Gonzales. Time is 7:00pm. Special guest speaker will be Capt. Dudley Vandenborre. Also on the agenda: Paddlepalooza XI (April 12) and new club items. Also on Thursday, the Monroe Chapter of CCA holds their annual banquet at the Monroe Civic Center. Doors open at 5:30pm, with dinner at 7:00pm, auction at 8:00pm. Tickets are $60 per person ($50 spouse, $25 youth) and include 1-year membership, dinner, open bar. For more info, contact Rad Trascher at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also on Thursday, the Acadiana Chapter of CCA will hold a "Spring Fishing Seminar" at Service Chevrolet on Ambassador Caffery Parkway in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Admission is free, and food and beverages will be provided. Guest speakers and guides will be presenting. For more info, contact Ryan Reaux at email@example.com. Also on Thursday, it's the start of the 35th annual Louisiana Sportsmen's Show, now operated by Louisiana Sportsman magazine. It's the Granddaddy of Louisiana outdoor shows, with hundreds of vendors and exhibitors, and much more. Times are 2pm to 9pm Thursday and Friday, 9am to 9pm on Saturday, and 10am to 6pm on Sunday. The Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club will have a booth. On Saturday, it's the 28th annual Acadiana Conclave. More on that later. On Sunday, the LSU Union Leisure Education has a course in "Craftsman Fly Tying". Time is 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Location is Turead Hall on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge. This course will be taught by Greg Brignac and covers introductory to intermediate tying principles. Registration is required as seats are limited. Cost is $113 with discounts for members and students. For more info, go to LSU Union Leisure Education.
This Saturday's Acadiana Conclave is the granddaddy of Louisiana fly fishing events, now in it's 28th year. Hosted by the Acadiana Fly Rodders, it will be held once again at Grace Presbyterian Church Hall at 518 Roselawn Boulevard in Lafayette. Time is 9:00am to 2:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. Special guest will be Norm Crisp, owner and head guide of Streamside Adventures in Missouri. Also giving programs will be Ron Begnaud (How to catch BIG redfish) and Marc Pinsel (Fly rods and lines tutorial). Tiers from across Louisiana and Texas will be demoing their patterns throughout the day. There is also a chili dog lunch available for $5, and silent auction on various items, including one-of-a-kind items and custom flies. But what makes the Acadiana Conclave special is the emphasis on casting. Whether it's casting demos, instruction, or occasionally games, the club has the highest number of FFF-CCI instructors in Louisiana, and most with Master level status. Any issues you have with casting, they can help. Hpe to see many of you there on Saturday. For a complete schedule of events, as well as presenters and tiers list, go to www.acadianaflyrodders.com or check our Forum page for the 2014 Acadiana Conclave Leaflet.
The D'arbonne Kayak Club in northeast Louisiana has been somewhat of a hybridized recreational/fishing club, but up until now has not held a tournament. That's about to change. DKC has announced their first-ever kayak fishing tournament to be held on Lake D'Arbonne sometime in June. Preceeding that event, the club is co-hosting a kayak fishing forum at the Union Parish Library in Farmerville on Friday, April 25. Time is 6:00pm. Guest speaker will be Adam Harbuck, a member of the Wilderness Systems Pro-Staff. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally... Spring! In Louisiana, the weather seasons typically preceed the celestial seasons by two weeks. For example, early June is more like summer than spring; mid-September is more like fall (less humidity, at least) than summer. And so on. By the second full week of March - which begins today - we see trees budding and flowers blooming everywhere, especially in southern parishes. Well things are delayed this year following another unusually cold February and one of the coldest first weeks of March on record (including sneaux and sleet on consecutive days in northern parishes). In fact, in the Alexandria area this past week, it remained below 45 degrees from Sunday evening until Friday noon. The normal low is 51 degrees! But mild days may have settled in at last... the Shreveport area may see lows in the upper 30s on Wednesday night, but other than that, it's all 60s and 70s for the next 10 days. At the Red Stick Conclave yesterday, the water temperature on the Waddill Lakes was back up in the low 50s, but bass were building beds. We could well see big catches of sacalait and bass this week, as well as some early season speckled trout.
Lefty Kreh to be honored by Texas CCA. On April 17, the Dallas Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) will hold their 33rd annual fundraiser. On hand will be their special guest, fly fishing legend Lefty Kreh. At 87 years young, Lefty is still going around the country, doing seminars or giving casting instruction or designing rods for TFO. And yes, often fishing. Lefty has taught thousands to cast. With one exception. "I can teach anyone to cast a fly as long as she's not my wife". Lefty will receive the CCA's Conservation Sportsman of the Year Award. Another honor for a man who has had so many honors - and all very well-deserved.
Speaking of CCA... the Louisiana CCA has begun registration for their 2014 STAR tournament. This year marks it's 20th anniversary. I'm told that nearly all the divisions will remain as is, but there could be a few new wrinkles. To promote early registration, CCA-LA is doing Early Bird Drawings starting from Week 12 on down (12 weeks to Memorial Day kickoff). This past Friday the first drawing was conducted, and Bill Myrick III of Baton Rouge won a 20 quart K2 Cooler. For more info about CCA STAR, or to register, go to www.ccastar.com.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
What's happening this week. This Tuesday is Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras, chickee la pas, run away, ha ha ha. Enjoy the parades, king cakes, and cold beer (or chocolate if you're a woman) before Lent begins! Because of Mardi Gras - and their annual conclave next week - the Acadiana Fly Rodders meeting normally on first Tuesday is cancelled for this month. On Wednesday, the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers will hold their monthly meeting at The Beach House Bar and Grill in Mandeville. Social begins at 6:00pm, with meeting at 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. On Saturday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their 22nd annual "Red Stick Day" conclave. More on that later. Also on Saturday, Pack and Paddle hold their annual "Spring Canoe and Kayak Demo Day" at Vermillionville Pond on Fisher Road in Lafayette. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. Unlike their smaller demos, this one will feature all series of boats P&P carries, with manufacturer reps on hand to discuss their boats. It's free, and deals will be offered on selected boats. For more info, go to www.packpaddle.com. Also on Saturday, Texas Parks and Wildlife will hold their annual "Fly Fish Texas" at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. Time is 9:00am to 4:00pm. Programs, fly tying demos, and on-site fishing and it's free with park admission. For more info, go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us. Also on Saturday, the Bodcau Purrin Hens will hold their annual "Women in the Outdoors" at Bayou Bodcau Reservoir. WITO events feature one-hour sessions covering a wide range of outdoor skills, which each attendee can choose from. For more info, contact Belinda Prudhome at 318-469-7114. On Sunday, it's the start of Daylight Savings Time... more time to fish after work!
Saturday is Red Stick Day. The Red Stick Fly Fishers annual conclave - a celebration of fly fishing - features programs, fly tying demos, casting demos, beginners' sessions, and more. Time is 8:30am to 4:00pm. Location is the LDWF Waddill Outdoors Center on Flannery Road in Baton Rouge. It's free, and open to the public, and families are welcome. There's free refreshments, and a $7 jambalaya lunch will be available. Guest speakers this year include Tom Jindra, Pete Cooper Jr, Richard Evans, Larry Offner, and Roger del Rio. To help defray the costs - and to raise money for their charities and projects - the RSFF club holds one of the largest raffles of any conclave I've ever seen... even at the national level! But the real feature of this event that makes it special is the on-site fishing and kayak demos, thanks to the Waddill ponds. Backpacker will be on site at the East Pond from 11:00am to 1:00pm with a selection of their top fishing kayaks for on-the-water demos. Fishing will be all day on the West Pond. Last year, the bass were bedding hard and treating many of the attendees who put their flies to the test. This year may not be as easy... more on that later.
In like a lion, out like a lamb. This year, March is coming in more like a polar bear. Forget the brief warm spell we had yesterday... Iceapocalypse is coming back... yet another polar vortex will descend into our state today... get this... bringing a chance of freezing rain and sleet tonight and again on Tuesday across north and a few parts of central Louisiana. The lower parishes will be spared from the coldest blast, with lows only in the 30s and 40s. However, this can't be good for any chances of bass moving to the spawning beds... or prospects for an early run bream or speckled trout run.
Astream: American Writers on Fly Fishing is the title of a new book featuring a collection of stories from 31 writers including Thomas McGuane, Ted Leeson, Nick Lyons, Le Anne Schreiber, Russell Chatham, and many others - including Michael Keaton. The 382 pages comes in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback. The few reviews so far (7 total) on Amazon.com are very positive, with one reviewer saying it's the "best compilation of fishing stories I had ever read". A "look inside" using the Amazon feature was enough to convince me this will be on many Father's Day lists.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Bass Pro in Bossier will hold a Kayak Fishing 101 seminar tonight featuring Ty Southerland of 30 Miles Out internet TV. Time is 7:00pm. Admission is free. Also on the agenda is Bill Rodriguez of Bayou Pirates Kayak Fishing Club. BPC just completed their first tournament of the year, a CPR Bass tournament on Lake Caroline that raised several hundred dollars for Heroes on the Water.
Registration for Paddlepalooza XI is now up on the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club website. PP11 is set for Saturday, April 12, with the Friday evening Captains Dinner and weigh-in and awards activity at Bobby Lynn's Marina. Paddlepalooza is the largest tournament of the year for the BCKFC club, and last year, was one of the four largest kayak fishing tournaments in the country with over 260 participants. The format for this year remains the same... the 3-fish Cajun Slam gets top prizes (1 slot red, 1 speck, 1 flounder), along with individual species, Leopard Red (most spots), Ladies Slam, and a free Kids Slam Division. Registration is $50 and includes two meals, t-shirt, Captains bag, and chance at numerous prizes. In addition, a portion of the proceeds go to charity. For more info, go to www.bckfc.org.
LDWF will be stocking fewer, but larger bass fingerlings this spring. According to Mike Wood, Inland Fisheries Director, the 2-inch juvenile Florida-strain largemouths have about 10 times greater survival than the standard 3/4-inch fingerlings previously stocked. Over 2.5 million fingerlings are hoped to be stocked. Highest priority locations for 2014 include Lake Bruin, Bundicks Lake, Lake Nantachie, False River, Caddo Lake, James Bayou, Eunice City Lake, and Toledo Bend. Other waters high on the list are Lake D'arbonne, Laccassine Pool, and Cross Lake.
Ol' Man Winter still here. Normally I put my garden plants in the ground the last week of February. Occasionally I have to cover them up from frost once or twice after that. This year I'm having to wait. Having moved to the central part of the state might seem part of the problem, but even south Louisiana will see freezing or near-freezing temperatures tonight and again early next week. How is this continued cold affecting fish? Redfish, not much. But other species seem "late". With the notable exception of a run of trophy-sized bass caught at Toledo Bend recently. Last week I mentioned that fly anglers can learn something from BassMasters Classic. Randy Howell's unbelievable surge on the final day is a prime example. Howell caught numerous bass early on the final day by fishing rock riprap along a causeway bridge. The rocks absorb and transmit heat, attracting baitfish from the cold water. Where baitfish go, predators go. Look for those areas, particularly on northern shorelines, where structures or bottoms can absorb sunlight.
Speaking of tournament fishing... the most recent rankings of the Association of Collegiate Anglers is out. The ACA is the bass fishing equivalent of the NCAA (college bass fishing and kayak fishing are organized as clubs as opposed to athletic teams). The University of North Alabama and Auburn continue as numbers 1 and 2, respectively. But shooting up to the number 3 ranking is the defending national champion, the University of Louisiana-Monroe. On the College Kayak Fishing front, in the Salt Series, LSU team 2 and LSU team 3 are currently standing at #4 and #5, with Eckerd College team 1 surprisingly in first place. LSU team 3 was last year's Salt Series National Champion. The CKF Bass Series begins in full in two weeks, with University of Tennessee currently ranked in 1st place. We'll be pulling for another Louisiana sweep in 2014 by all our college fishing teams.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
What's happening this week. On Monday, the Fin-Addict Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at Spahr's Seafood Restaurant at the Ramada Inn in Houma. Time is 6:30pm. On the agenda, fishing reports and upcoming events including the FAFF 2-Fly Bluegill Tournament set for May 10th at Lamar-Dixon. Guests are welcome. Also on Monday, the Kisatchie Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Rapides Westside Library in Alexandria. Time is 6:30pm. Guest speaker will be John Williams of Pack and Paddle, who will give a presentation on "Kayak Fishing". Also on the agenda: fishing reports and tackle tip. Guests are welcome. Also on Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly "4th Monday Tying Clinic" at Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs. Time is 7:00pm. Beginners are welcome, tools and materials can be provided. On Thursday, the New Orleans Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Whitney Bank building on 1441 Metairie Road. Time is 7:00pm. Guests are welcome. Also on Thursday, Pack and Paddle will hold a "Kayak Fishing 101 - Saltwater Basics" seminar at their store on 601 E. Pinhook in Lafayette. Time is 6:00pm. Cost is free. The seminar will cover choosing a kayak, a tackle system, anchoring, reading tides and water, safety and five great saltwater spots within 2 hours of Lafayette. On Friday, Orvis of Baton Rouge will host the "2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour" at their store in Perkins-Rowe. Time is 7:00pm to 9:00pm. The F3T features the best independent fly fishing films of the past year. Tickets are $13 - cash or check only. All proceeds will go to Project Healing Waters. There will also be lots of great door prizes and a very affordable cash bar. For details, contact Alex Beane at 225-757-7286. On Saturday, Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs will host a "Fishing Louisiana Offshore" seminar featuring Capt. Tommy Pellegrin. Time is 1:00pm. There is no cost. The seminar repeats on Sunday at 1:00pm.
Two potential IGFA fly records caught in Louisiana waters are currently pending approval. The first was a 33lb-0oz red drum caught on 2kg (4 lb) tippet by Robert Cunningham, Jr. while fishing with guide Bo Meador, Jr. Cunningham, who holds multiple IGFA records, had to fight the fish for 30 minutes to get it safely to the boat. Once measured, weighed, and documented, the redfish was released alive. If approved, it will best the current record of 29lb-0oz. The second pending fly record was a 34lb-6oz black drum caught by Japanese angler Ikuko Sakagawa. Ms. Sakagawa landed the fish while guided by Capt. Tristan Daire. If approved, it will be the new women's 10kg (20 lb) tippet class fly record... and only a pound heavier than the current record. Congratulations to both anglers!
Cold-tolerant weevils? Brazilian weevils are the natural predator of giant salvania, an invasive plant that has ravaged a number of lakes and backwaters in Louisiana. For years, researchers have attempted to use the weevils in place of costly chemical applications. But the weevils aren't as cold-tolerant as the plants. For that reason, parts of northwest Louisiana remain the hardest hit by salvania. Recently, LSU Ag researchers found a colony of weevils on Cross Lake that survived the extremely low temperatures from last month. It's hoped that by breeding these cold survivors, the weevils will be able to withstand cold and establish a permanent, reproducing domicile on north Louisiana waters.
Old Man Winter has some left. Fortunately the cold front coming thru later this week will only bring freezing temperatures for one night across most of Louisiana, and just barely below freezing at that. This past week the swamp maples were in bloom, another sign that Spring will soon be here!
Friday, February 21, 2014
Today begins the 2014 BassMaster Classic on Lake Guntersville in Alabama. The "Super Bowl of Bass Fishing" isn't all that popular among flycasters, but the results of this - and any tournament - tell us a lot about bass and their behavior. Louisiana only has one qualifier: that's Cliff "Cajun Baby" Crochet from Pierre Part. We'll be pulling for Cliff and hoping he can beat the Bama boys!
Bob Popovics joins the TFO Advisory Staff. According to a press release from Angling Trade, Bob Popovics has agreed to be involved in the design of TFO rods and related products. For the past 40 years, Popovics has been at the forefront of saltwater fly fishing and fly tying. In the late 70s, he introduced the Surf Candy patterns, and later co-authored "Pop Fleyes" with Ed Jaworowski. Popovics was featured at two of the FFF Gulf Coast Council events, and demonstrated both fly tying and fly casting.
Orvis of Baton Rouge is planning several events in the months ahead. They will continue to be offering their Fly Fishing 101 and 201 classes, as well as a few Advanced Fly Tying classes. Also, the end of April will feature their "Spring Days" culminating with a Saturday featuring guest speakers, tiers, and other happenings. Also, the "Fly Fishing Film Tour" will be held at Orvis next Friday, February 28th. If you haven't got tickets, there's some remaining. Great videos, lots of door prizes and an affordable cash bar!
Dick Cabela passed away this Tuesday. He was 77. Richard Cabela was co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Cabelas, Inc. Dick, his wife Mary and Jim, cofounded the giant retailer from humble beginnings - it started as a mail-order business for hand-tied flies. Today it's a 3.6 billion company with over 50 stores in the United States and Canada. Throughout it's rise, Cabelas has remained true to it's mail order roots, and also to fly fishing. It remains the largest retailer of fly fishing tackle and accessories in the world, with numerous house brand products that emphasize quality at a bargain price.
Monday, February 17, 2014
What's happening this week. On Tuesday, the Cane Country Fly Casters hold their February meeting - rescheduled from last week - at Westside Baptist Church in Natchitoches. Casting prior to the meeting around 6:00pm, with meeting starting at 6:30pm. Several members will demonstrate their favorite flies. Also on Tuesday, the Lafayette Kayak Fishing Club will hold their monthly meeting at Pack and Paddle on 601 Pinhook. Time is 6:00pm. Guests are welcome. On Thursday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers will hold their monthly workshop at Bass Pro Shops in Bossier City. Time is 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Bud Bethea will be tying the Lefty's Deceiver, a great saltwater pattern. Visitors are encouraged. Starting Friday it's the BassMasters Classic on Alabama's Lake Guntersville. The Classic Expo will be held at Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center thru Sunday. Admission is free. For times and exhibitors, go to www.bassmasters.com. On Saturday, the Bayou Pirates Kayak Fishing Club will hold their rescheduled Red River Rumble at Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier City. Entry fee is $20. This CPR bass tournament is to raise money for Heroes On The Water. For more info, go to www.bayoupirates.com. Also on Saturday, Bass Pro Shops in Denham Springs will hold their monthly "Fourth Saturday Tying Clinic". Time is 9:30am to 12 noon. There is no cost. Beginners are welcome, bring your own tools, materials are provided. Also on Saturday, the Orvis Company Store in Baton Rouge will hold another of their "Fly Tying 101" sessions. Time is 1:00pm to 3:00pm. There is no cost, but registration is required as seats are limited. Tools and materials provided. To register, call Alex at 225-757-7286.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
We've updated our Guides and Retailers pages. Finally! I know for some it's been a long wait, but not having a daily 7am to 7pm routine does allow for more time on the website. If you see something that is incorrect or missing, please email me. I'll try to keep them up-to-date from now on.
Magazine columns for your pleasure. In addition to my "Fly Lines" column in Louisiana Sportsman, there's a new fly fishing column in the monthly Angler magazine - Bayou edition. The columnist is our good friend Larry Offner. The Angler is available at numerous outdoors retailers, as well as various restaurants and coffee shops.
The January issue of Florida Sportsman had an article on backhand flycasting. Like most magazines, archived columns of previous months are posted online. This article by Capt. Mark Krowka was from their January issue, entitled "Using the Rest of the Clock". Check it out.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Just announced - kayak happenings this week. On Thursday, Massey's Outfitters in Covington will host a free Kayak Fishing Seminar featuring Casey Brunning. Casey is kayak columnist for Marsh and Bayou magazine, and a member of the Hobie Pro Staff. Time is 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the store on Highway 190 in Covington. Admission is free and there will be food and beverages. On Saturday, Backpacker of Lafayette will conduct a free on-the-water Kayak Demo at Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville. Time is 10:00am to 2:00pm. A wide selection of boats will be available to test including Hobies. On Sunday Backpacker of Baton Rouge will conduct a free Kayak Demo at BREC's Wampold Park off Stanford Avenue. Time is 12 noon to 4:00pm. As far as we know, these are the first kayak demos for 2014, and a chance to get an intro into the exciting world of kayaking and kayak fishing.
The End of Icepocalypse? Today's ice storm - or cold rain - pelting Louisiana is yet aggravation to what has been an unusually cold winter. But there's good news... the 10-day forecast shows a return to more seasonal weather thru next week. Dry days and high temperatures flirting with the 70-degree mark! It's going to take a couple of weeks of that kind of weather to get water temperatures close to normal. However, some longtime guides and pro anglers think that the fish could react very positively if the water temps went up several degrees, regardless of what "degrees" it happens to be. I, for one, certainly plan to test that theory out...
Saving GRACE. Last year, Sage Manufacturing introduced the GRACE fly rod, a limited-edition pink blank adorned with pink reel seat and pink wraps, for the purpose of raising money for Casting for Recovery. CfR is an organization dedicated to helping women overcome physical and mental challenges associated with breast cancer through fly fishing retreats. The retreats are offered at no cost thanks to generous companies like Sage and organizations like the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). Last week, Sage announced that sales of the GRACE rod had raised $14,050 for CfR. Women fly anglers found the rod not only cosmetically attractive, but the rod action to be superb. Sage Marketing Manager Eric Gewiss said, "The GRACE rod expresses Sage's enthusiasm to help breast cancer survivors the best way we know how - by building an elegant fly rod that's comfortable to cast.".
Kenny Chesney accepts Honorary Board membership to the Building Conservation Trust, the habitat program of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). The country superstar has a long history of involvement in ocean conservation and stewardship, through his music and his life. The Trust supports projects that revitalize critical marine habitat. For example, building reefs in Florida's St Johns River, and floating islands to restore marsh in Louisiana. In accepting the position, Chesney stated, "We have come to a place where everyone needs to get involved if the oceans, beaches, the sea life is important to us as human beings. No one person can save the world - or the water.".
Sunday, February 9, 2014
What's happening this week. On Monday, the Red Stick Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the LDWF building on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Time is 7:00pm. On the agenda are fishing reports, their upcoming Red Stick Day conclave (March 8th), and other upcoming activities. Guests are welcome. On Tuesday, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers hold their monthly meeting at the Red River National Wildlife Refuge on Sunflower Road in Bossier City. Time is 7:00pm. There is a chance this meeting could be cancelled due to weather... more on that later. Also on Tuesday, the Cane Country Fly Casters hold their monthly meeting at Westside Baptist Church off Highway 1 Bypass in Natchitoches. Time is 6:30pm. This one will have to be monitored as well. Check their website at canecountry.blogspot.com for details. On Thursday the Pontchartrain Basin Fly Fishers will hold their monthly tying session at 200 Mariners Plaza in Mandeville. Time is 7:00pm. For details, contact Colin McCormick at 985-264-3448. Friday is Valentine's Day... don't forget to share with the one you love. Also starting Friday evening thru Sunday is the 12th Ever Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival at the Community Center in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. More on that later.
Here we go again! Yet another "Polar Vortex" is scheduled to hit the state this week. Currently the forecast has a high chance of wintry mix forecast for the northern parishes beginning Monday night and continuing Tuesday and Tuesday night. The southern parishes will see very cold rain and lots of it. This is NOT good news for anglers of any persuasion (fly, lure, bait) as water temperatures, windy conditions, and more recently, high runoff and murky water, have combined for the worst winter fishing in 24 years! An example was yesterday's Bayou Coast club's "Double Trouble" kayak tournament in which only 9 of the 22 teams landed any reds or specks. Further, water temperatures in south Louisiana remain in the 40s. On several trips this week around BR area ponds, I struggled to catch a few fish in waters that are normally productive even this time of year. Of equal concern... normally mid-February begins the peak run of crappie in southeast Louisiana, and the start of the bass pre-spawn. With each week, it appears those will be delayed into March. With this week's forecast, all we can suggest is tying flies. Someday... somehow... warm days will return!
The 12th Ever Little Mo Fly Fest is this weekend in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. FYI, the Little Missouri River is one of the most popular year-round coldwater trout fisheries among Louisiana fly anglers, especially for those who live north of Opelousas. Proximity is certainly one reason (about 2.7 hours from Shreveport). But the Lower Mountain Fork near Broken Bow, Oklahoma also offers year-round trout water and is also the same distance from Shreveport. The difference could be in the fact that The Little Mo gets less pressure than the The Lower Fork (the LMF is a favorite among north Texas anglers). But it's also true that The Little Mo has an excellent dry fly fishery... the best of any trout water in Arkansas. Whatever reason it is, this much is true: there's always a strong contingent of Louisiana folks at the annual Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival. The Fest kicks off Friday evening at the Community Center with some tying. But the main event is Saturday with an array of fly tiers, presentations, and vendors. The highlight each year is the presentation by AFGC biologists on "The State of the Little Mo". It gives their latest findings on trout and other species that live in the river, and possibilities for future management. On Sunday, there's the annual on-the-water casting clinic conducted by LMFFF organizer Jeff Guerin. The clinic deals with various moving water situations. For more info on this event, go to www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The Bayou Pirates club has rescheduled their CPR bass tournament that was set for this coming Saturday out of the Red River National Wildlife Refuge in Bossier. The new date is Saturday, February 22nd. The cancellation was forced by a threat for freezing rain on Friday in northwest Louisiana and possible icing of roads on Saturday morning.
It's official - January was the coldest in Louisiana in 35 years, and depending on location, was somewhere in the top 10 coldest in history. For example, Lafayette had an average temperature of 45.2 degrees for the month, making it the 8th coldest ever for that city. And now that Naquin the Nutria has seen his shadow, expect six weeks more frigid weather. This week is certainly proving Naquin to be reliable... at least for northern parishes. The high temperatures won't get out of the 40s until Sunday! In addition, a forecast for rain most days will make it seem even colder. Patience... patience... Spring will come.