Is it fall yet?
With shorter days and slightly cooler temperatures signalling the onset of fall, it’s time for another quarterly review. A quarter defined by hurricane chaos in years past, the third quarter of 2022 proved calmer in the northern gulf (though thoughts remain with friends in SW FL). As a result, it was a productive one from a fishing perspective with days a field and on the vise each playing a role. Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights…
20 September Days is here again!
If you’ve followed this blog from its inception, you’re likely familiar with Orvis’s 20 September Days photo contest. Held each September, this social media based contest challenges anglers to document their adventures on the water as they aim to complete 20 days of fishing. At month’s end, 10 finalists are selected from the thousands of submissions received and put to a popular vote.
For my wife and I, this contest has becme a bit of an annual tradition. Timed perfectly as temperatures begin to cool and work slows, we venture out near to home and make a point of exploring new waters when further afield. The result has been some wonderful memories and images including her 2020 Winning shot on a Smoky Mountain stream and 2021 runner-up of a silhouetted angler beneath the Gold Gate Bridge.
In 2022, those days (13 in total) have everything from Mullet to Bowfin to a visit to the birthplace of American fly fishing. With a visit to my mother-in-law near Cooperstown slated for mid-month, we agreed to set aside one morning to visit the Catskills and a number of its famed streams. There to pay homage to the birth place of American Fly Fishing as much as fish, we put in east of Roscoe. As I worked the stream unsuccessfully for perhaps an hour and a half, Maedbh worked behind the lens.
The result was a series of images capturing one of the more scenic waterways that I’ve had the pleasure to experience. Selecting only one (shown above), we submitted and were excited to see it once again included among the Final 10!!
With voting open through Sunday, October 9th, I’d implore everyone to check out all 10 of the exceptional entries at the image link below. If it just so happens Maedbh’s shot (listed under my name) is among your three favorites, we would certainly appreciate the vote!
UPDATE: A huge thanks to all who voted!!! Maedbh’s photo featured above took first place in this year’s Orvis 20 Days in September photo contest! This is her second win and third straight year placing!! Thanks to all for your support.
Watching as my Species Count Climbs
As stated in the intro, Q3 of 2022 proved surprisingly productive in the field as I tallied 12 new species near home and further afield. A quarter generally dedicated to the vise, joint photography and fishing excursions to the coast became the norm throughout July and into August.
Reds, specks and even my first black drum were among the early catches as were a mix of rough fish including my first gafftopsail catfish on the fly. Often pushed off the water by 9AM as temperatures rose and storms built, the series of trips were an enjoyable change of pace during a normally uneventful time of year.
Still summer is tough in south Louisiana, and we’ll always try to slip away when time allows. This year that meant a long weekend in Colorado and a few hard fought trout in pressured waters.
Nearer to home, we finished out the quarter in both the marsh and swamp. Sand trout, mullet and my first bowfin of the season among my rewards.
In total, I’ve now eclipsed 50 species on the year. With three months to go, 60 might just be within reach.
On the Vise
While days on the water certainly played a prominent role the past few months, days on the vise were by no means lacking. In total 11 new Step-by-Step tutorials were posted to the blog this quarter. Click the images below to check out any you may have missed.
The Months Ahead
With summer behind us and various mixed bag contests closing in just under two months, it is safe to say I’ll be on the water quite a bit this fall. A number of common species have still eluded me this year, and, with no travel planned, they’ll be at the top of my list.
Here are a few of my goals for the coming quarter:
- A New Orleans Common Carp (a chance to test some new drag & drop offerings)
- First Sheepshead on the fly (This will remain on my list until I finally succeed!)
- Gar (Spotted, Shortnose, Longnose, Gator; I’ll take one of each if time allows)
- Chain Pickerel (With temps cooling, these toothy critters should be getting active again)
On the vise, expect a return to weekly Step-by-Steps beginning 10/13 with articulated streamers, saltwater offerings and maybe a few new carp patterns along the way.
Finally, don’t forget to join us at Rally Cap Brewing (11212 Pennywood Ave, Baton Rouge) for our next Flies & Flights event on Wednesday, October 19th, from 7PM til Close!!! We’d love to see you there!
Until next time…