Red Stick Day: an intro to fly fishing

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Fly fishing adds an element of art to our angling community.

OK, maybe not on the order of da Vinci or Monet, but watching a craftsman tie a fly or a master presenting a near-weightless handmade lure is beauty to behold.

Fly fishing groups have sprung up all over our state, and somewhere with driving distance is a weekly fly-tying assembly, sometimes at a favorite watering hole, and sometimes at a community center.

Casting instruction is available from one of these groups. There’s always someone ready, willing and able to teach the unique method of casting a fish-catching fly.

Saturday, at the Waddill Wildlife Education Center in Baton Rouge, the now 36-year-old Red Stick Fly Fishers is putting all that together. The center is on North Flanney Road between Choctaw Drive and Greenwell Spring Road.

Like the half-dozen or so fly clubs in south and central Louisiana, Red Stick’s membership ranging from the most ardent fly folks around to the casual guys and gals who, simply, want to enjoy another – and different – way to catch fish.

Red Stick Day will begin at 8:30 a.m. and run through 3 p.m.

There will be 11 of the most dedicated south Louisiana fly tiers inside the center’s meeting room, where, during set-aside periods, top-drawer fly anglers like coldwater guide Dave Barron, Louisiana’s Jeff Ferguson, Dr. Jim Lanasa and Brian Roberts will give seminars. Roger del Rio’s will offer a “Basics of Fly Fishing” presentation.

You can expect a club member to be on hand throughout the day with fly casting instruction, and Massey’s Outfitters will host kayak demos around one of the center’s two ponds.

Food will be available, and the club has a raffle to help defray costs.

The fly tiers provide top information for local fishermen. Because they fish our state, they will give you the chance to learn about lures that work here, and there’s enough knowledge and experience in this group to ask about what works on brook, brown and/or rainbow trout in “foreign” waters.

It’s a chance to dispel the myth, the one about fly fishermen don’t catch as many fish as freshwater and saltwater anglers catch using more conventional tackle.

“I started out as a traditional fishermen, but my career as a fisheries biologist gave me the chance to dabble in fly fishing,” long-time RSFF member Dugan Sabins said. “Really, you never know what you’re going to catch. I started fly fishing later in life and found it was so much more enjoyable to catch fish on lighter tackle.

“There are times when we go out with a regular rig with a soft-plastic minnow and find the fish, then quickly put that away and switch to fly rods,” he said.

Sabins said that’s why there will be diversity among the day’s instructors.

“You’ll find the ardent fly fishermen among us, then you’ll find guys like us,” Sabins said. “When all of us go out we want to catch fish, but there are other fun ways, and that’s what our club wants to present to the fishing public.”

There’s an added “something” in the sport for Ascension Parish’s Greg Cedotal.

“I fish for the pleasure of being out there,” he said. “It makes you feel good when you catch fish on something I made.”

So, if you are tempted – by King Neptune himself – to shuck the more conventional fishing methods and tackle, then Saturday is the day to take that next step in this piscatorial art form.

The commission

Redfish is the main agenda item for Thursday’s Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. It’s set for 9:30 a.m. at state Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters on Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The discussion will come in the form of public comments taken since the commission set out a notice for a three-per-day limit with a “slot” size of 18-27 inches. Fishermen will be prohibited from keeping a redfish measuring longer than 27 inches.

Other agenda items include considering amendments to and finalizing the 2024-2025 hunting seasons and regulations; a summary of the 2023 recreational red snapper season; finalizing a notice for changes in reptile and amphibian regulations; and, a discussion of public comment on the proposed black bear season.

Fishing courses

Ahead of the March 23 City Park Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival in New Orleans, Wildlife and Fisheries staff is offering a new course – Intermediate Bass Fishing, Spring ! – along with Beginner Bass Fishing course.

The two-hour block for the intermediate course comes up Saturday with two sessions, the first beginning at 9 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m. at City Park.

The beginner course is set for 5 p.m. March 22 at the same location.

Courses are open to all ages, but are limited to 10-per-class. Tackle will be provided, but students are “…encouraged to bring their gear,” and because fishing is involved anyone 18 & older must have a current basic fishing license. Anglers 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

To register, go the agency’s website: Lousianaoutdoors.com/events, then select “Fishing Ed” to see all available FCS courses.

If you need help, call Joshua Porter (225) 763-3540.

The Bend

Kyoya Fujita weighed in 20 bass weighing 100 pounds, 13 ounces over four days in the opening Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Toledo Bend.

Last Sunday, he took home the $100,000 top prize with a final day’s catch weighing near 29 pounds, almost a 6-pound average.

The Japanese angler said he stayed offshore in the Housen Bay to target prespawn bass suspended in 10-foot depths around deep standing timber. He was the first-day leader with a 31-3 catch, but slipped to third place after a 16-10 third-day bag.

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About Mary Weyand 11644 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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