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Fly Fishing

This video is a bit older, but it’s appropriate right now as I’m currently working on a presentation for the Red Stick Fly Fishers for their upcoming Red Stick Day Fly Fishing Festival that is taking place Saturday March 3rd at Perkins Road Park.  I’m going to be talking about bluelining North Georgia and shed a little light on what is probably the closest wild and native freestone trout water to Louisiana.  The event is free so if you’re in the Baton Rouge area and you’ve got any interest at all in fly fishing come check it out.

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If you have a spare 30 minutes this is worth a watch, I actually found it on Amazon Prime.  It’s amazing to see what fly fishing can do for a community.  The people of Rewa, Guyana knew they had a special fish with the arapaima and wanted to make sure it was around for future generations.  They decided to protect the fish, establish an eco-lodge, and try to become a tourism destination.  Costa sent a few anglers down to figure out how to reliably catch these fish on the fly, which may have never been done before.

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A friend of mine has written a book on the subject of redeye bass.  Here is the teaser on Amazon:

“Do you like fishing secluded, flowing streams that involve hiking and climbing waterfalls to catch native fish? Fly fishing for redeye bass is similar to fly fishing mountain streams for native brook trout. They are actually referred to as “The Brook Trout of Alabama.” Fly Fishing for Redeye Bass is a complete book on redeye bass and how to catch these beautiful fish throughout the picturesque of the southeastern United States. Learn about the rivers they call home, the dangers that threaten those waters, and why some species of redeye bass need our immediate help. Understand how to read water and locate optimum redeye bass habitat, what food they eat, and how to best imitate that food with flies. After reading, you will have a firm understanding of why they are the perfect fish for the adventurous fly fisherman.”

I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but knowing his passion for the species I know it will be a must-have for any Southern fly fisherman.  It’s currently available on Amazon, but be on the lookout for it in fly shops across the South.

I was not planning on fishing this past weekend, there was way too much going on for me to even consider it, but it’s funny how plans change.

We took a family trip to Disney last week and I assumed that the long road trip back would have eliminated the desire to pack for a fishing trip and drive down to the coast.  I underestimated the power of social media though.

The Bama group was down in Grand Isle this past weekend and it seemed whenever I had a little down time to glance at my phone all I saw were fish pics and good times.  It was during the drive back on Friday that I happened to check the weather.  Near-perfect conditions meant that I had to try to make it happen, even if it was for just a day.

We made it back to Baton Rouge around noon on Saturday after having spent the night in Mobile.  What should be a 10-11 hour drive turns into a 14 hour one when you have two small kids.  I unloaded our vehicle then packed my stuff and took off hoping to squeeze in a little time to fish that evening.

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I made it down to Leeville, pulled off the side of the road and squeezed in about an hour and a half of missed topwater strikes, wind knots, and otherwise dumb mishaps that hurried anglers make.  I did catch the smallest rat red in the world to eliminate the skunk, but I really probably would have been better off just holding off until Sunday.

Shortly after the last light of day dwindled on me I met up with the group at the camp and had a great time catching up with everyone.  This year brought a fresh batch of new faces mixed in with the old and all the talk was about how nice it was to not have to fight Mother Nature.

Since the weather looked fortuitous on Sunday I pitched the idea to some of the guys to try and hit some water that really required good weather like in the forecast to access it and found a few brave souls interested in the adventure.

Armed with our fly rods, James, Bjorn, Drew, and myself, headed out on Sunday hoping to find some big reds in shallow water.  It didn’t take long to find the shallow water and run into the reds, but they all seemed to be the same 18-22″ size.

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The reds were roaming the marsh in small packs of 3-5 fish and were terrorizing the massive amount of bait that was holding tight to the banks.  After landing 5 mid-slot clones I began sightcasting the outside waters hoping to run into a bull red.  I saw a few bulls, but was never in any position to make a cast at them, usually seeing them too late.

I posted up on a shell island to get out and stretch my legs.  It had a good bit of current running around it from an incoming tide and I ended up catching a few decent trout tight lining a Matrix shad across a hard sand/shell flat.

The tide was very low at the start of the day and it rose throughout the day, allowing access into areas that were previously inaccessible.  With that incoming water though the clarity decreased and spotting the fish before they spotted you was becoming more of a challenge.  We headed back to the launch shortly after satisfied with a pretty successful day on the water.