2023: Third Quarter Review

Time sure flies when you’re having fun (or…working too much).

And just like that, another quarter is in the books. It was a quarter highlighted by too much work early and too much fishing late. Yet, in retrospect, that’s a trade I’m always willing to make…though a little less of the former wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.

Oh, and one last note before we get into the review:

Congrats to fellow RSFF member, Brian Roberts, for being selected as one of 10 finalists in this year’s Orvis 20 Days in September photo contest. Be sure to check out all the great shots and vote for Brian at the link below.

20 Days in September Photo Contest

In the Field: A September to Remember

While there were few highlights early in the quarter (see: Perdido Key), my time afield was largely defined by the month of September.

It was a month that saw me wet a line on 18 separate occasions (the closest I’ve come to completing #20sepdays) and fish across four states. A bit of a whirlwind (from which I’m still recovering), the field reports still remain rough drafts.

And, while I’ll save the details for those aforementioned posts, it’s safe to say it was easily my most productive third quarter in years. Not only did my 2023 species count jump from 29 to 46 (significantly closing the gap on Brian in the RSFF Jambalaya Challenge), but I also hit a milestone with regards to my personal life list. The tarpon below marks my 100th species caught on the fly since I began keeping track in July 2018.

With two months remaining in the RSFF & KFF contests, I may be hard pressed to close the gap and retain my crown, but I now find myself in a position to hopefully clear 50 species for the second year in a row.

Species #100 on the life list!!

Warrior Bass

On the Vise

Unfortunately, Q3 proved fairly uneventful on the vise as work and life took precedent early and travel filled my calendar as of late. As a result, only five new Step-by-Steps have graced the pages of this blog since July 1. Barring any unexpected setbacks, I hope to rectify this in the coming months. But for the mean time, be sure to check out any of the patterns below that you may have missed.

Extended Body Grasshopper Step-by-StepSkip's Predator Fly Step-by-StepCDC & Foam Midge Step-by-Step
Ray Charles Nymph Step-by-StepHerl Nymph Fly Step-by-Step

The Months Ahead

With fall in full in full swing (think lows around 70, highs still in the 90s), I’m looking forward to a productive final stretch on my local waters. I have a number of Louisiana species still left to check off in 2023, and, with any luck, I should be able to do so in the coming weeks.

While a few of these are repeats from my last quarterly review, here’s what I’m shooting for as we close out the year:

  • Marsh Mixed Bag: To date, redfish and speckled sea trout are the only two Louisiana marsh species I’ve checked off in 2023. That means Black Drum, Flounder, Sheepshead and White Trout all remain on my To-Do list. That hunt will start tomorrow (10/6) as I’ll be rising early to hit the marsh with a fellow CRAFF-ACPM member in town for a visit.
  • The elusive Common Carp: 2021 was a stellar year for carp in my book. I landed multiple fish and conditions were often ideal on local waters in Baton Rouge. Unfortunately, that body of water has been overgrown with vegetation for two years now, making carp hard to come by. That means the Metairie canals are back on my radar as cooler temps should have the carp active once again.
  • 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: Whether bad luck or lack of trying, I now enter Q4 without a spotted bass to my name. Usually one of the first species I land each season, it is strange to think that I might go without a spotted bass in 2023.
  • Gar: I highlighted Ken’s presentation to RSFF as part of my Q2 review, but still haven’t managed to follow through on my goal of adding a few new gar species to my list in 2023. With temps cooling that window may be starting to close, but I’m still hopeful that one or two species may be attainable by year’s end.
  • Pickerel: With a November visit to Alexandria on the docket in November (more below), I may have one last chance at a Chain Pickerel before the year comes to a close. Fingers crossed that water levels are where I need them when I make the trip.
  • Tying Season (round 2): As luck would have it, I’m once again on the docket to tie at two local clubs this quarter.    For those in Baton Rouge, I’ll be leading the tying session for RSFF the evening of Monday, October 23rd. Terrestrials are on the docket, so be sure to attend if you’re interested in some fun with foam tying. Following that, it’s off to Alexandria on Monday, November 13th, for an evening of tying with the Kisatchie Fly Fishers. We’ll be tying Mike Connor’s Glades Minnow.

If all goes well in the coming months, there should be a fair number of posts (both Field & SBS) coming through. So be sure to check back often or subscribe if you’d like email updates.

Until then, tight lines!


Until then, stay cool and Tight Lines!


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