Sunday, August 24, 2014

Guidelines to book a good Louisiana fly fishing redfish guide in season

Louisiana is known for monster redfish swimming in the shallows or up high in the water column. These bulls or donkeys are a fly fisher's fantasy fish. Most of my clients have never caught a fish over 10 pounds much less a fish in the 25 to 30 pound range. The redfish live here year round. Do not let anyone tell you any different. The summer time here is brutally hot, the water is not that clear, and the tides are much higher. That is why our most booked season is in the mild cooler months of October through March. Finding a good guide during these months is easy if you book a year in advance. Unfortunately most clients plan their trip a month in advance and want to book two weeks out. This action will land in a tight spot. You will call a good guide and hear the line "I am busy that day but I will find you a guide." Be assured the guide you will receive is by no means top notch. Buyer beware if you are not fishing with the guide you are calling.

The fly fishing here is awesome. On a great day even a novice fly guide will stumble on some good fishing. Most great days have low water, low wind, lots of sun, and a moving tide. I prefer low tide around noon with about a 1.5 foot tide range. Incoming tides are also good just as long as the water is moving. There are probably only 12 to 15 good tide days a month. That is why these days book up so fast. Of the good tide days only 6 or 7 days a month have low tide around noon. Conditions may be poor one day, so booking 3 days is ideal. Most good guides make long boat runs so we don't book half days in season. Checking the tide range for the days you want to fish will increase your chances for an amazing day of fly fishing. The guide will do this for you but planning ahead and being flexible is key. 

Some fishermen have a limited booking window. Perhaps you are in New Orleans for business. Booking a good guide is imperative. Most good guides will be booked if there is good tide. We may have the occasional hole in our calendar or a cancellation. Avoid any guide that says "I will find you someone". At minimum ask for the other guides phone number. If the area code is not 504 or 985 (New Orleans and surrounding area) you are probably getting someone that is just here for the season overflow. I have fished these waters since 2000. It takes years to learn how to run all this water. The marsh south of New Orleans is huge. Look on google earth and see what I mean. The interloper will probably know only holes the locals fish. There may be fish there but they are wise and skittish. If their boat is not registered in Louisiana you have probably made a huge mistake.
 This is a technical fishery. Big fish are much wiser. A good guide is key to maximize the number of good shots you will get. Find a good guide and make sure he will be fishing with you. Don't let someone pawn you off for the 100 dollar booking fee. His gain will be your loss. Good guides share trips and will give you the other guides phone number. You are spending a lot of money and effort for your days on the water. Please use these guidelines to increase your chances for what can be and incredible day fly fishing. Here is my latest video for August.

Bulls crawling in August 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bull Redfish Crawling

24 pound beauty
The past couple of weeks have been absolutely amazing. Huge bull redfish are crawling on the banks of the outer islands. Jacks are also abundant when the tide is pushing hard. The outside islands water is fairly clear making the redfish stand out. Some of these big fish are sticking their backs out of the water. I can easily spot these fish up to 100 yards out as they crash bait along the shallow banks.
Nice 30 pound fish with no spots
Same 30 pound no spot fish about 40 inches long
To find the big redfish is fairly easy right now. Calm banks holding tons of bait fish seem to be the key. The fish swim tight to the shores smashing anything that moves. New Orleans is in a summer weather pattern. Storms flare up in the afternoon, dump their rain, then dissipate. Low light levels are common but when these fish crawl you could spot them by moonlight.
36 Pound fish 43 1/2 inces
The Jacks are on the move also. Birds like frigates and gulls hover working for the leftovers. This makes Jacks easy to spot from a distance. I can idle in close then drift into their path. The jacks are generally in a frenzy so any fly striped at high speed will get crushed. As long as the tide is moving giant schools of these silver behemoths can be seen working the surface.
The fishing is extremely easy right now. Any one with a 30 foot casting range can play this sport with success. As soon as the full moon tides settle I will get out there for more carnage. There is plenty of footage for a new video. I cant wait to show everyone some these amazing sites.