, Fly Fishing
, Kayak Fishing
Back in April I got out on a very unassuming local drainage ditch in the kayak and had a really productive panfish trip. The ditch was in surprisingly good shape, water fairly low and clear, a sign that we had not had rain in a while. This waterway gets loaded with trash after every storm because frankly folks around here are spoiled with water and really don’t put much thought into how their actions impact their local watersheds or what lives in them. I had taken my kids to the adjacent park a few times to get them out of the house during the pandemic and noted that the water was in good shape and bream were starting to bed in the ditch.
The bayou has a good variety of sunfish, something we definitely take for granted here in south Louisiana. I was able to catch bluegill, longear sunfish, red spotted sunfish(stumpknocker), warmouth(goggle-eye), redear sunfish(shellcracker), green sunfish, and largemouth bass. All caught on a slow sinking spider
I had continually written off fishing here in the past, but thanks to this trip I will probably add this local option to my list of places to hit each Spring, provided the flow looks good. I didn’t anything of size, but I love the diversity.
I never got around to writing a report until now, but back in June I found the time to wade fish a Feliciana parish stream with the long rod. I made it on the water as the sun was rising and actually caught a bass on one of my first few casts. The action was slow after that, but it was, and has always been, time well spent and a great way to beat the summer heat.
The usual suspects were around – spotted bass, longear sunfish, and bluegill, but I also had the pleasure of catching another shadow bass. This was likely the biggest I’ve ever caught too. He came off some submerged timber in the very middle of a deep bend in the creek I was fishing. True to form, he hit a dead drifted crawfish pattern I was running behind a big hopper. It’s always fun to catch these guys as they are pretty unique.
Google Earth tells me I fished maybe half a mile before I was ready to call it a day and turn around to head back home. It never fails that when I’m fishing I think I’m covering at least a mile, but in reality it is always much less. It’s funny how that works. It makes you wonder about all the untouched water that lies beyond a mile or two from an access point? How much better is the fishing if I put in the work to get there?
Last weekend I wanted to get Marin out of the house so I asked her if she wanted to go see what fish lived in the “creek” at the nearby park. That wasn’t reason enough for her to commit to going, but then I sweetened the pot and told her that we could play on the playground after we fished which got her to immediately put her shoes on and head toward the door.
The “creek” is a drainage ditch that runs through the park near our house. It’s not very long, I’m not even sure it has a name. You can jump across it and not get wet in some places, at bends it slows down and deepens enough to make a pool. Those pools will hold fish. On a hot, cloudy February day those fish were hungry. We caught several species of small sunfish, some on tiny nymphs, but more on dry flies. I brought a 1wt and had fun making bow and arrow casts to the pools and watching fish explode on the surface shortly after the fly landed. Marin had a blast holding the fish and releasing them back into the water.
Dollar sunfish (Lepomis marginatus)
Redspotted sunfish (Lepomis miniatus)
Green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus)
Longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
I was surprised at the diversity within this tiny trickle of a ditch, but really it shouldn’t come as a surprise as Louisiana is truly a melting pot for Lepomis species. This was borderline microfishing but it was actually pretty entertaining, especially with ultralight fly tackle. Marin loved it too, which is really all that matters.