A few recent adventures on the water
With a few new Step-by-Steps in process, but far from finished, I thought I’d take this week’s post as an opportunity to share a few of my recent adventures on the water. I’ve spent quite a few days on the water with varied results. Here are a few of the highlights.
Skinny Water Redfish
COVID was a strange time in that for all its isolation, it seemed to simultaneously increase my social circle as it pertains to fly fishing. On the water with more frequency, I seemed to constantly bump into other folks with an interest in the sport. One such individual was Simon, whom I met while targeting carp early in 2021. In the time since, we’ve made and cancelled plans numerous times before finally making it onto the water together back in early April.
The day’s goal was to put him on some reds, and conditions could not have been better as slot sized fish cruised everywhere in the shallow, clear water along LA1.
In fact, he hooked and landed his first red within 10 casts. And managed to finish the day with two decent reds and a large sheepshead that threw the hook before he could net it.
While I finished the day with six reds myself, the true highlight came after as Simon realized he had spent the day fishing his 3-wt instead of his heavier redfish rod. Impressive to say the least.
City Park Cichlids and Social Media Friends
IA self-professed social media luddite, I must admit that I have slowly come to appreciate its value as a communication tool. The Instagram profile associated with this blog has played a significant role in connecting with other anglers in recent years. Such was the case in mid-April when I had the opportunity to fish New Orlean’s City Park Lagoon with former Louisianan turned New Yorker, Brandon Dale.
Brandon and I had both participated in The Mayfly Project’s 25 on the Fly tournament this past spring (his team edging out Jake and I in the standings) and had been trying to find an opportunity to fish together since. When a recent conference found him home in New Orleans, we took advantage and planned an afternoon in City Park.
While the fishing was far from stellar, we managed a few and had a great afternoon finally catching up in person.
As an aside, be sure to check out Brandon’s Instagram profile when you have a chance. He’s involved with a number of great causes. No small feat given his busy academic/professional life.
Nearer to home, I finally had the opportunity to take my new 8’ 1wt for a spin.
It has been a windy spring, and, as a result, this ultralight rod has gone largely unused. But, with the smaller sunfish reportedly active at a nearby urban lake, I decided it was time. Ben would join me over his lunch break, and, with luck, we’d quickly check off our target species.
Rigged with a #16 soft hackle & #24 beadhead nymph, I worked my way down the rocky shoreline trying not to disturb the numerous diamondback watersnakes as they basked.
The bite that followed was fast and furious, though surprisingly monotonous, as more than three dozen small Green Sunfish came to hand. Certainly fun on this light rod, these were not my target and I continued my way down the shoreline.
Proceeding down the bank, the Green Sunfish gave way to small Bluegill and eventually Longear Sunfish.
As Ben arrived to join in over his lunch break, the species composition transitioned once again, and I finally had my target species. In total, we landed 10-12 Orangespotted Sunfish over the course of his break. And likely could have doubled that number had we stayed longer.
He had work to attend to, and I had errands to run. So with our target successfully acquired, it was time to call it a day.
A Night at the Pub
While not a day in the field, April also marked the inaugural Flies and Flights meet up at Rally Cap Brewing here in Baton Rouge. A casual tying event, these nights are slated to become a monthly event with tyers of varying skill levels coming together to swap stories, tie flies or simply enjoy a pint. All are welcome, and materials/tools are available for anyone looking to learn.
While we had roughly a dozen tyers in attendance at our first meetup, we’re hoping to more than double that in the coming months. Be sure to join us this coming Wednesday, May 11th, for our second meet up. Or message me through the blog, if you’d like to be added to our mailing list.
That about wraps things up for now. Be sure to check back soon though. I should be returning from Costa Rica about the time this post goes live and should hopefully have more stories to share.