Search This Blog

Friday, October 26, 2018

Redfish and Black Drum in the Louisiana Marsh

In the early part of October I went to Louisiana to fish the marsh for redfish and black drum.  I had been to Louisiana in 2013.  The guide, who shall go unnamed, was terrible.  I went to a different part of the state this time and fished with Lucas Bissett from Low Tide Charters.  He was great and I plan to return and fish with him again.  

The marsh exemplifies simple beauty; a simple beauty that is calming and reassuring.  The Carp Lodge is in the desert; we look out at the river and across to rolling hills.  Both Katy and I enjoy the simple beauty of the river and the hills; we both find that it is calming and reassuring.  While the marsh and the Carp Lodge are in very, very different environments I experienced many of the same feelings.   

Everywhere we went Lucas said that the marsh was one to five feet deep.  It goes and goes for miles and miles.  It is so beautiful!

I like the colors in this picture of an egret.  

The fishing is all sight fishing; I was casting to tailing fish or slow cruisers.  Much of it is like carp fishing in that regard.  Unlike carp fishing, the redfish and the drum will chase down a fly.  Yikes, that's cool when they do!

While I was in Louisiana, Hurricane Michael was raging through Florida.  The storm did not come to Louisiana but we were experiencing some strong wind.  On days three and four the wind blew so hard it didn't let the tide go out; I didn't know that could happen.  The tide stayed in, the water was murky, and the sky was cloudy.  Those were tough days. 

This was my favorite redfish of the trip.  I got this fish taking the fly on video.  Dang it I like that a lot!  

This black drum was tailing in two feet of water.  Lucas scaled him at 35 1/2 pounds.  What a bruiser!  He got slime all over me and I was happy to let him do it.

#flyfishingforredfish #flyfishingforblackdrum #sightfishing #Louisianamarsh 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Monkey Forks

I had fished Monkey Forks a few times prior to 2010 but not with much seriousness or commitment.  In 2010, I went to the creek with the idea that I would fish Monkey Forks for two days no matter how good or bad the fishing was. I wanted to learn the creek and fish it during the winter.  It was good enough that I have been back many times.  During the last seven years, occasionally I have gone there and gotten blanked.  Some of those times I work hard to catch one fish; like I did in early January.  Some of the times I get several; that's nice.  Once in a while I hook a lot of fish; not only do I feel very grateful I feel kinda clever too.

Recently, Katy and I were at the Carp Lodge for several days.  I had brought my 5 weight but really didn't think I would have the kind of weather that is needed to have a good day at Monkey Forks.  Blue sky, some wind, and mostly clear water?  Nope.  Not for Monkey Forks.  Those are good conditions for carp fishing.  Overcast skies, wind and rain are the best conditions for catching the piggies in Monkey Fork.  The first couple days at the Carp Lodge, we were able to walk along the river trail in shorts; 73 degrees on day one and then 72 degrees on day two were such a welcome relief from the 40-50 degree temperatures at home.  Ahhhh...

On Thursday morning it was completely overcast, there was some wind, and it was raining.  Hmmm...it looked like just what I said I wanted in order to go fishing.  I dillydallied getting ready.  I arrived at the creek promptly at 11:00 AM.  I grumbled because there were a lot of guys there for a Thursday.  (I have a hard life.)  I ate my lunch and really had second thoughts about walking down to the water.

Remembering my last trip where I got one fish I approached the water with high hopes but low expectations.  Well go figure, I got a 16 1/2 inch fish on the first cast.  That was a nice surprise.  The second cast--dang it; I was blanked.  The third cast, my, my, my...it was fattie!  I carry a Measure Net at Monkey Forks.  According to the manufacturer, the Jr. Guide model I use weighs 2 pounds 3 ounces when it is dry.  Even adjusting liberally for the tare weight of the net, that fish was about 7 pounds.

It ended up being my best day ever at Monkey Forks.  And to think I actually thought about not even fishing.  

Two fish in three casts--time to go back to the Carp Lodge.  Naaaaa...at least a few more casts seemed like a good idea.  Several hours of "just a few more casts" yielded lots and lots of hookups and a good number of fish over 22 inches.

The brightest, most colorful gill plates of the day.  

My favorite fish of the day

Yes, it was one of those days that will stick with me for quite a long time.  It was very real and at the same time very unreal; it was quite an amazing day indeed.    

I was exhausted when I went to bed.  In that hazy space between being awake and sleeping, when you are not quite dreaming but not fully awake, I could feel fish taking the fly.  It was all very special.