2023: Second Quarter Review

Three months down

The heat of summer now upon us here in south Louisiana, it’s time to take a look back at Spring 2023.

In the Field: Florida (Round 2)

It’s been a strange spring from a fishing perspective. By my count, I’ve wet a line (at least briefly) twenty five of the past ninety days. Yet, beyond the smattering of photos from a late April visit to south Florida with Jake, I feel that I have little to show for it.

Whether wind, rain, heat or simply uncooperative fish, it just hasn’t been as productive of a spring as I would have liked.

Still, my species count has slowly grown and (largely thanks to the aforementioned Florida visit now sits at 29 on the year. A far cry from Brian’s 36 species, I find myself still trailing in both the KFF Mixed Bag and RSFF Jambalaya Challenge.

While there’s plenty of time left to catch up, I may be hard pressed to repeat as champion of either competition in 2023.

Jake’s Tarpon – Isla Morada
Florida Bass – Tamiami Trail

Ruddy Bowfin – Tamiami Trail

On the Vise

As unproductive as my local waters proved in recent months, I still somehow managed to neglect my vise in their favor. As a result, I only have six new Step-by-Step tutorials to show for the quarter. A combination of streamers an carp flies, it is apparent my recent tying was at least focused on specific goals.

If you haven’t yet, be sure to check them out at the links below.

Marabou Muddler Streamer Step-by-StepKantner's Rivet Fly Step-by-StepBaby Fat Minnow Step-by-Step
Backstabber Carp Fly Step-by-StepFur Strip Clouser Step-by-StepModified Carp Bug Step-by-Step

The Gulf Coast Classic

Before shifting gears to a discussion of the months ahead, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the GCC FFI’s Gulf Coast Classic hosted at Gulf State Park (Gulf Shores, AL) in early May. A new event for GCC FFI, the Classic was a wonderful experience and one I’m looking forward to building on in 2024.

I won’t dive into the details here, but will simply say I am extremely grateful to all of our speakers, vendors, volunteers and participants. It was awesome weekend reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances, and even provided the opportunity to finally meet a few familiar names face-to-face.

A huge thanks to all involved!

For those interested, here’s a selection of shots from the event courtesy of Maedbh Ryan Photography.

The Months Ahead

As stated above, summer is in full swing here in south Louisiana and that means one thing…daily heat advisories! With that in mind, expect to see a fair number of step-by-steps in the coming weeks as I look to avoid those triple digit temperatures.

I’ll no doubt still find my way on to the water a bit in the coming months. So with that in mind, here are a few trips/goals currently on the docket for Q3:

  • Chub hunt: Both the Creek Chub and Bluehead Chub are high on my summer fish bucket list. I managed the former late in 2022 and am hopeful I can add the latter in the coming months.
  • First Spotted Bass of the year: A repeat of a Q2 goal, I just haven’t made any wade trips this spring.  I think it’s time to beat the heat and do just that in the coming weeks.
  • Gar: While I’ve checked off my first spotted gar of 2023, I’d like to add a few of its cousins to my species list in the coming months.  Following Ken’s recent presentation at RSFF, I’m ready to hit the water and catch a few more dinosaurs.
  • Tying Season: As referenced above, the summer heat makes July a great month for tying.  As luck would have it, I just so happen to be on the docket to tie at two of the local clubs this month.  If you happen to be around Alexandria on July 11th, be sure to join me for KFF’s monthly fly tying meeting at the Rapides Westside Library.  Likewise, if you find yourself in Baton Rouge on the evening of July 25th, I’ll be leading a tying session for RSFF at the LDWF building on Quail Drive.

Further afield, I hope to finally make my way to the northeast before the quarter is over.  While things are still very much up in the air, the hope is to join Jake in Rhode Island for the fall Albie run.  A first for me, the trip would offer a shot at a variety of species from Albie, bonito, mackerel, bluefish and, of course, striper.  Assuming the plan comes together expect to see lots of photos and a post or two late in September.

Until then, stay cool and Tight Lines!


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