2023: First Quarter Review

Three months down

Another quarter is in the books, and, as in year’s past, it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. Here’s a quick look back at how it went.

In the Field: A Slow Start and Growing Competition

I’ve had a bit of a slow start to 2023 with life, work and weather each taking their respective tolls on my fishing time. Still in between work trips, family emergencies and far too much wind, I’ve slowly begun to accrue a respectable species list for the year with 16 species landed to date.

Of these, however, only nine can be credited to Louisiana waters; a number that pales in comparison to the 20 local species that Brian Roberts has entered in the Redstick Fly Fishers Jambalaya Challenge. And, Brian is far from the only one! To date, more than a dozen anglers have combined to submitted more than 120 entries to the contest. Needless to say, I have my work cut out for me if I hope to repeat as winner of both the Jambalaya Challenge and KFF’s Mixed Bag.

Slow as it has been, there have still been a few highlights, however, including a 30″ red landed while fishing with my buddy Ken on a windy February day and a 5+ lbs largemouth landed while wading chest deep among flooded cypress in early March

Further from home, I was able to “pad my stats” as Maedbh and I chased exotics along the Tamiami Trail (a prelude to another trip slated for late April).

On the Vise

While we started strong, it was a bit of a slow quarter with regards to tying tutorials. In total, nine Step-by-Steps have been published since January 1st. Admittedly, not as many as I would like, but hopefully enough to keep everyone busy on their vises in the interim.

Be sure to check out any you’ve missed by clicking the associated image below. I’d highly recommend checking out the Jitterbee (top center) as it includes an amazing proof of concept section courtesy of subscriber, Rick S.

Tying the Flymph Step-by-StepTying the Jitterbee Step-by-StepX-Caddis Dry Fly Step-by-Step
DT Special Streamer Step-by-StepGlades Minnow Streamer Step-by-Step
Klinkhammer Special Fly Step-by-StepExtended Body Stonefly Step-by-StepMadam X Fly Step-by-Step

The Months Ahead

With spring having officially sprung and the final cold front of the year (hopefully) behind us, the next few months will likely offer some of the best fishing of the year. As in year’s past, frequent day trips will become the norm, and, if all goes well, my species list should begin growing exponentially. There are plenty of local species still to be checked off the list in 2023, and with any luck I’ll have marked off a few of the following local goals before Q2 draws to a close:

  • First Common Carp of the year
  • First Spotted Bass of the year (the fact I’ve yet to land one proves just how slow my Q1 was)
  • First Sheepshead on the Fly (last spring provided numerous opportunities; let’s see if I can capitalize on one of those opportunities in 2023).
  • First Louisiana Gar of the year (I’ve yet to land any of the four native species in 2023; Hopefully Ken and I can change that one of these weekends).

Further afield, this spring will be a little different than years past as 25 on the Fly will not be hosting a nationwide tournament with The Mayfly Project this spring. While this is slightly disappointing as Jake and I won’t be able to defend our title, it does open us up to do something a bit different.

So…in lieu of my normal spring pilgrimage to the northeast, Jake and I will be headed to south Florida in hopes of building upon what I learned during my brief visit in early March. Assuming all goes well, Snook, juvenile Tarpon and variety of saltwater species will be on the docket along with the plethora of exotics that call south Florida home.

Time will tell, but I have a strong feeling that south Florida will be finding its way into my annual rotation…

And one last note for those of you living along the Gulf Coast…

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ve likely seen the banner for an event called the Gulf Coast Classic tacked to the top of my home page for the past few months. Well, after month’s of planning, I’m happy to announce that registration for this event is live!!

Slated to take place May 5th & 6th on the Learning Campus of Gulf State Park (Gulf Shores, AL), the Classic is slated to be a first of its kind event for the region, offering two-days of exhibitors, fly tyers, casting instruction and a series of free & paid seminars on topics ranging from Tarpon Fishing to Net Building. Hosted by the Gulf Coast Council of Fly Fishers international (and sponsored by Orvis, Bajio, Miss Mayfly & Tail Magazine among others), the event will also include a free-to-enter multi-day Mixed Bag Tournament (youth and adult divisions) as well as showing of the 2023 Fly Fishing Film Tour.

This should be a can’t miss event for fly anglers through the southeast, and I’d highly recommend checking it out. Event and Class registration as well as registration for LIMITED onsite dormitory-style lodging can be found at the link below:

2023 Gulf Coast Classic (May 5-6; Gulf State Park)

Hope to see everyone there!!

Until next time…

Tight Lines


2 thoughts on “2023: First Quarter Review

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: