I joined members of Red Stick Fly Fishers Club for their annual fall, Catch and Eat event this past Saturday. I only brought my fly rod (an 8 wt.) and some “Lafleur’s Charlies” that I recently tied in black and in chartreuse. I launched my kayak around sunrise off the side of the road on LA 1 and began my morning hunt with some poppers. I got no looks from any redfish. The gnats were merciless! I kept spraying the Victoria’s Secret (Amber Romance) but I couldn’t get a break as I was even getting bitten on my eyelids. I did manage to catch a couple of nice specs on the black Charlie (under a V.O.S.I) at around 8 AM but I had to move around a lot to try to lose the gnats. I tried all my usual hot spots and didn’t get much of a bite at all. Finally, around 9 AM, I decided to paddle back to a spot that produced a limit of trout last year around this time.
The “spot” is an area with about 3 1/2 to 5 feet of water near a shallow bay on a point that pushes water on a strong incoming or outgoing tide. The water splits the point and the tide pushes water on either side of the point. The combination of the tide and the wind, which had picked up considerably (relief from the darned gnats) produced an area of “rolling water.” Most of you have experienced this. You know, the wind blows in the opposite direction that the tide is moving, thus the rolling water (I think Bob Gourges calls is “nervous water”). Anyway, I proceeded to pick a few really nice trout on the Charlie. At about 10:30 though, I only had 9 in the my ice chest. I was quite satisfied because I had matched my catch from two weeks ago and I knew if I would just remain patient, that I could fill my “Cormier” limit (self imposed limit of 15 specs – from my friend and fellow fly fisherman, “Catch” Cormier). Well, the catching picked up steam and I started catching beautiful specs from 15 – 19 inches. Since we were going to be frying these for dinner, I decided that the Cormier limit would have to be replaced by the “Musicdoc” limit of 18. Once I caught 18, I decided to keep fishing and just practice catch and release, which I did (got video to prove it). I threw back 13 and 14 inch trout and kept anything over 14 inches for our fish fry that evening. Yeah, I practiced catch and release all right…that is, I released seven more specs over 14 inches into my ice chest. I had several that went over 17 inches.
I was off the water by 1:30 and had my limit cleaned and bagged by 3 PM. Catch and I cooked fish, shrimp, fries, and eggplant for members of RSFF Saturday evening. It was my most productive fly fishing trip ever. I estimated that I caught 35 total specks (probably released 6 keepers between 12 and 14 inches and 4 undersized trout). Only caught one dink redfish and no flounder.
For those of you who want to know how to find a “spot” like mine: My area is like so many other spots in our wonderful Louisiana marsh. The key in the fall and winter is to find deeper water with a moving tide, near a point. The water in the bay was no deeper that about 1 and a half feet. The depth where I caught my fish was around 3 1/2 to 5 feet. The specs are in the deeper water. Find some moving water and fish around 18 inches under a VOSI (Vertically Oriented Strike Indicator). Just pop the cork periodically, much like you would with a speculizer. I actually saw several specs flash under my cork before they hit my fly. Oh and there was a crab trap nearby, which also probably provided some more structure.
Overall, it was extremely fun! I hope to make the trip there again during the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve got a lot of editing to do this week on the video. I ended up with 22 separate clips. I did lose several fish as I was fooling with the camera and not tending to the fish that was on my line at the time. In the meantime, here’s a picture of my limit laid out in the back of my yak when I got back to my car. Enjoy! I’ll post the video later this week.