Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19 update: April meetings cancelled, FF101 postponed

On Monday, President Trump, the White House Coronavirus Task Force , Governor John Bel Edwards and state and local agencies issued strict guidelines to help protect Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The result was closure of numerous facilities to public use, and strong advisement against social gatherings of more than 10 people.

Out of concern for our members and the public in general, the board of Kisatchie Fly Fishers has voted to cancel our fly tying and general meeting for April, and postpone our Fly Fishing 101 - which was scheduled for March 28th - until sometime in the Fall.

For those members who wish to improve their casting skills, Roger Breedlove has agreed to coach a few members behind the library on the 3rd and 4th Monday of April.  Please make sure to contact Roger in advance.  We do not want to have more than ten folks show up at a time!

Both club trips now through May are still on as planned.

All other fly fishing events across the region through May have been cancelled as of this date. The NLFF Masters Series in July is still on.  In addition, we are still considering our annual "Summer Workshop" in late June.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Bill Morrison receives his FFI Casting Certification

A big congratulations go out to our own Bill Morrison. This past weekend, Bill participated in a Fly Fishers International (FFI) Casting Instructor Certification Program in Lake Charles. According to his mentor, Roger Breedlove, Bill took and passed his practical and teaching exams on Friday, and his written exam Friday evening, and PASSED all three!

Roger says Bill did exceptionally well on the performance test and "smoked" the teaching tasks. The judges were impressed. He also made an "A" on the written exam.  Bill joins Roger and Glen Cormier as KFF members with FFI instructor certification.

Hosted by the FFI Gulf Coast Council, this certification event was the largest of its kind in North America the past year, with 7 examiners and over 15 candidates. The FFI Certification Program was created in 1992 to enhance the overall level of instruction in fly casting and to create a common terminology and methodology of casting mechanics. The CCI program also establishs a communication network among all instructors, with the purpose of sharing new ideas and teaching techniques.

Please join us in congratulating Bill on his impressive feat!

Friday, March 6, 2020

March 16th meeting - annual "On the Water" picnic

KFF monthly general meeting
Monday, March 16, 2020

Cotile Lake Recreation Area
(weather permitting)

** If inclement weather, we'll reschedule this meeting at a later date. **

With Daylight Savings Time in effect, it's time for our annual "on the water" meeting.  Once again, we'll meet at the Cotile Lake Recreation Area.  KFF members, family members and member guests are welcome to attend!

Come anytime that afternoon and fish from the bank.  Or bring your boat, kayak, pirogue, and launch at the Rec Area.  Or take in some casting lessons and/or participate in our Casting Skills Program.  Roger Breedlove will be on hand early to assist anyone with casting.

Then at 7:00pm, we'll start gathering at Pavilion #2 (the open pavilion overlooking the lake) and share fishing stories while nourishing on burgers and hot dogs fresh off the grill.

Please note the following:
1. There is NO entrance fee for our group. Tell Butch or whoever at the entrance that you are with "Kisatchie Fly Fishers" and they'll let you in free.
2.  Bring your favorite beverages.
3.  Bring a chair.
4.  Bring your fly rod and flies.
5.  Bring a camera (or smartphone) to submit entries for the Mixed Bag.

If you plan to attend, please fill out this short form:  CLICK HERE TO SIGNUP.

Please signup if you plan to attend so we'll know how many burgers/dogs to get.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic coming this month

Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic
Friday-Saturday, March 13-14, 2020
Percy Quin State Park, McComb, MS
FREE admission to park & festival
Entry fee for tournament: $25

The Fly Fishers International (FFI) Gulf Coast Council (GCC) will host their first-ever "Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic" fly fishing tournament and festival this Friday and Saturday at Percy Quin State Park just five miles from McComb, Mississippi.

The event marks a departure from the routine conclaves of past years, and joins the growing number of fly fishing tournaments, or events with a tournament component, that have become popular across the country.  Lake Tangipahoa inside Percy Quin offers fly anglers an opportunity for a trophy bass, as well as crappie over 2 pounds during March and April. 

Classic activities include: casting instruction and casting skills challenge, fly tying demos, Big Bream Contest (Friday afternoon) and the Sweetwater Classic Tournament (Saturday morning). The festival is FREE and admission to the park is free for attendees.

The Big Bream Contest entry fee is $5 cash (winner take all), and the Classic Tournament entry fee is $25 (register via iAngler). There’s also a “One Feather Fly Tying Contest” on Friday evening, and an “Iron Fly Tying” contest on Saturday afternoon.  Also, there's a fundraiser on Saturday with many great and one-of-a-kind items!

Anyone who registers for the tournament before Wednesday 11:59pm via the iAngler links is eligible for a drawing for $100 cash, to be drawn at the weigh-in. Must be present to win!

For complete details, including schedule, tournament rules, local lodging and restaurants, go to www.gulfcoastcouncilffi.org and click on the “Classic” page or any of the submenu items.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

March date changes and non-club events

March is a busy month for our club!  We have several activities planned, and some rearrangement of meeting dates.  There's also some regional events club members may be interested in.

Please note the following:
- NO fly tying session this month.  We resume in April.
- Our annual Spring Picnic meeting is a week early this year,  March 16th.
- Our annual "March Brown" trip to the Little Missouri is March 19-22.
- We'll be at a special event Alexandria Farmers Market on March 24th.
- Our annual "Fly Fishing 101" is March 28th.  Details on the "FF101" page.

Other activities of interest this month:
- Pack & Paddle's annual Spring Demo Day on Saturday, March 7th at Vermillionville in Lafayette. Time is 10am to 2pm.  Free event, with kayak demos and fly rod testing demos.  For details go to www.packpaddle.com.
- Red Stick Day on March 7th in Baton Rouge, the Red Stick club's annual conclave.  Free admission. Location is Waddill Outdoors Center in Baton Rouge.  For details go to www.rsff.org.
- Winnfield Rotary Club meeting, on Wednesday, March 11th at Lydia's Country Kitchen in Winnfield.  Time is 12 noon.  KFF member Glen 'Catch' Cormier will speak on fly fishing.
- Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic, fly fishing tournament and conclave,  Friday-Saturday, March 13-14, Percy Quin State Park in McComb, MS.  This is a new event by the FFI Gulf Coast Council.  Free admission, with a $5 entry fee on Friday's Big Bream Contest and $25 entry fee for the Saturday bass and crappie tournament.  Details and registration are at www.gulfcoastcouncilffi.org.
- Alexandria Farmers Market,  Tuesday, March 24th,  2727 Jackson St (across from United Methodist Church).  KFF will be displaying and doing casting lessons for the general public.
- Sowbug Roundup, Thursday-Saturday, March 26-28, Baxter County Fairgrounds, Mountain Home, AR.  This is the largest fly tying event in the country, hosted by the North Arkansas Fly Fishers.  Admission is $10 good for all 3 days.   Go to www.sowbugroundup.org.

Also, the Lake Athens Fly Fishing tournament and festival will be the first weekend in April,  Friday-Saturday, April 3rd and 4th.  Location is Lake Athens Marina in Athens, TX.  Free admission, with the Big Bass Contest having a $40 entry fee.  Proceeds benefit Project Healing Waters. Go to www.johnnyonthefly.com.

Friday, February 21, 2020

February 25th meeting - Rigging & Tactics for Coldwater Trout

KFF monthly general meeting
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
6:30pm
Rapides Westside Library, 5416 Provine, Alexandria

* Please note date change - Tuesday - Mardi Gras day *

We have two club trips to the Little Missouri coming up, and another two coldwater trout trips for this year in the planning stages. Add the fact that we have over two dozen new members since last February, and the Coldwater Committee thought it might be wise to do another "Rigging and Tactics for Coldwater Trout" presentation. 

This meeting will be informative whether you're a complete beginner or a semi-expert.  That's because everyone is welcome to share their knowledge and tips as part of the program.  The Coldwater Committee will lead the various topics, and members are encouraged to chime in at the end of each topic to offer their own experiences or expertise.

Among the many topics that will be covered include: tackle, leaders, packs or vests, waders, boots, wading staffs, accessories, clothing, flies, and types of casts to work on in moving water.

Also information about the Little Missouri River, pertinent to our two club trips coming up.  These include: river access points, generation and river levels, and best flies.

Also on the agenda: Casting Skills update, the LDWF Spotted Seatrout meeting on Thursday, our annual Fly Fishing 101 (Mar. 28), and our Spring Picnic meeting on Cotile Lake (Mar. 16).

As always, the public is welcome!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

LDWF meeting on seatrout coming to Alexandria

A reminder that next Thursday, February 27th, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a public meeting here in Alexandria on the future of spotted seatrout (speckled trout) management. The most recent stock assessment indicated spotted seatrout are overfished and undergoing overfishing and changes are necessary in order to recover the stock.

Location is the Rapides Parish Extension Office, 300 Grady Britt Drive, located at the back end of LSU-Alexandria campus.  Time is 6:00pm. 

The FFI Gulf Coast Council, of which Kisatchie Fly Fishers is a member club, has endorsed support for a 14-inch minimum size limit. According to LDWF biologists analysis, this would be the most effective pathway to increasing the spawning biomass by the 20 percent savings necessary.

We need all conservation-minded anglers to attend.  Please fill out the BLUE comment cards prior to the meeting and speak up in favor of new regulations that will bring back this once-great fishery!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

February 17th fly tying - Triple Threat!


KFF monthly fly tying session
Monday, February 17, 2020

5:30pm - tying skills clinic
6:30pm - regular fly tying begins
Rapides Westside Library, 5416 Provine, Alexandria

** Please note that the tying skills clinic starting this month at 5:30pm **

We'll be tying a trio of flies this month. Two for the Little Mo (or other trout waters) and one for bluegill.

The A&W Emerger is the creation of Jeff Guerin and simulates a March Brown mayfly in the emergent stage.  Here is a link to the video on the FFI website. 

The Long Creek is another creation of Jeff Guerin. He considers it his "best March Brown nymph imitation" and has caught fish on just about every water.

The Bluegill Belly Bean was created by Paul Beel of Indiana, fly fishing writer and owner of FrankenFly website. Beel suggests letting the fly sink down using the countdown method, then stripping short strips to deep bedding bluegill or redears. For a video of tying this fly, click here.

As always, beginners and other guests are welcome!  Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided.   

Friday, February 7, 2020

Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival - Feb. 14-16

18th-ever Little Mo Fly Fishing Festival
A celebration of trout and fly fishing on the Little Missouri River
February 14-16, 2020
Community Center, Murfreesboro, AR
Cost: $5

Organized by Jeff Guerin of Little Missouri Fly Fishing (www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com), the Fest is one of the more laid-back and enjoyable events of winter.  Folks gather on Friday evening for tying and gumbo or chili.  On Saturday, there's vendors, fly tying demos, furled-leader demos, presentations, and who knows what else!  The "Usual Suspects" return to demonstrate their favorite flies and tying techniques.

On Sunday morning, Jeff conducts the "Can You Take It" casting clinic. It's a group clinic for those wishing to take a hard look at their casting strokes - and have everyone else take a look at them too! OUCH!!!

For more info on the Fest, including a list of accomodations, and latest info on the Little Mo itself, go to www.littlemissouriflyfishing.com.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Mixed Bag Contest update 2/5

Terry Stafford's warmouth caught on Clouser Minnow
January 1st kicked off our 3rd annual "Mixed Bag Contest" - a members-only CPR online tournament where size doesn't matter, but variety of species does. The monsoon season here in central Louisiana hasn't been friendly to flyfishers, but some have registered a few fish, especially around Saline. Others have made the 4-hour trip to the Little Missouri River and registered rainbow trout.

Here are our first-round leaders:
Carlton Townsend (3) - black crappie, longear sunfish, rainbow trout
Joel Dinnat (2) - black crappie, warmouth
Terry Stafford (2) - black crappie, warmouth
Bill Morrison (1) - largemouth bass
Rich Hudson (1) - rainbow trout
Eddie Quitta (1) - rainbow trout

The most productive flies have been: Clouser Minnow, woolybuggers, Birds Nest, Sqwirmy Worm, Ruby Midge.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

LDWF announces public meetings on speckled trout management

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced dates for public meetings to be held on spotted seatrout (speckled trout) management. The most recent stock assessment indicated spotted seatrout are overfished and undergoing overfishing and changes are necessary in order to recover the stock.

The slide to the left was part of the presentation given by LDWF biologists at the January meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. It shows that speckled trout spawning stocks have been on the decline since 2010, and below both the conservation target (yellow line) of 14 percent since 2012, and the recruitment threshold (magenta line) of 10.2 percent since 2013. 

The top slide also shows results over time in  various savings in the spawning biomass or potential ratio (both had similiar graphs).  CLICK on the images to enlarge.  

 No action is being taken at this time.  The Commission indicated it would like to hear public input before considering management changes.  LDWF’s biological opinion is that a 20% reduction in harvest is needed in order to recover the stock by 2025 or sooner, but there are a range of options that can achieve that goal. 

Management change options recently presented to the LWFC in early January 2020 included:
- creel limit only changes
- minimum size limit changes only
- combined creel and minimum size limit changes
- slot limit only changes
- combined slot limit and creel changes.

Below is a list of meeting dates and locations.  All meetings will begin at 6:00 p.m., except the meeting in Ruston, which will begin at 1:00 p.m.

- Monday, February 10 – North Branch Library, 4130 West Park Ave, Gray
- Wednesday, February 12 – LDWF HQ, Herring Room, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge
- Thursday, February 13 – Lafayette Council Chambers, 705 West University Avenue,  Lafayette
- Wednesday, February 19 – East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie
- Thursday, February 20 – Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second Street, Slidell
- Wednesday, February 26 – Calcasieu Parish Extension Office, 7101 Gulf Highway, Lake Charles
- Thursday, February 27 – Rapides Parish Extension Office, 300 Grady Britt Drive, Alexandria
- Saturday, February 29 – Lincoln Parish Library, 910 North Trenton Street, Ruston

LDWF is partnering with Louisiana Sea Grant to use interactive voting technology at these public hearings in response to a survey that will be given at the meetings.  LDWF will also be sending out an email survey identical to the survey that will be administered at public meetings.

For more information, please contact Jason Adriance at 504-284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

KFF makes donation to Food Bank!

On Friday, KFF president Mike Carlin, Secretary/Treasurer Richard Hudson and Events Chairman Catch Cormier presented a check of $1,000 on behalf of the Kisatchie Fly Fishers to The Food Bank of Central Louisiana. Accepting on behalf of FBCL was Jayne Wright-Velez and Linda Hutson. The money was generated from our fundraiser during the recent Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival. This donation will help feed seven impoverished seniors for an entire year!

In addition to raising funds for the Food Bank, we raised a significant amount for our local conservation and education initiatives.  Perhaps just as important, we signed up 13 new members bringing our membership up to 79 individuals or families!

We wish to thank all of our generous benefactors who made our Festival another great success and this donation possible. Top of that list is Capt. Mike Sorrel of Citrus County Outfitters for his donation of a guided saltwater fly fishing trip, and our own Roger Breedlove for donation of a Sage X fly rod valued at $900. Also many thanks to H2GO Outdoors, Bill Lewis Lures, Bryant's Custom Jigs (Larry Bryant), Mudfish Adventures (Capt. Steve Stubbe), Jim Johnson and our many club and guest tiers who donated items for our raffle. 

Also we wish to thank the City of Pineville, Councilwoman Christy Frederic (a KFF member), Mayor Clarence Fields and the wonderful folks at Kees Park for their assistance and support of this event. Also to Cenla Focus magazine, KALB-TV and Mark Hamblen for their support. Everyone is looking forward to our next Festival in January, 2022.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Fly Fishing Film Tour coming to Lafayette this Saturday

The 14th annual Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) is coming to Pack & Paddle in Lafayette on Saturday, February 1st.

Prior to the showing, PnP will hold one of their "Fly Fishing Hangouts".  Things kick off at 3:00pm with complimentary beer, soft drinks and snacks.  There's a "MarshMan Sharpshooter Casting Competition" starting at 3:00pm, and an "Iron Fly Tying Competition" at 4:00pm. At 5:00pm, the film festival kicks off.

F3T is a collection of independent short films highlighting the adventure and conservation aspects of our sport. Shot across the US, Canada and around the world, these films celebrate fly fishing in all it's splendor.  F3T is shown at select venues across the country, which each  year bringing new adventures, new spectacular scenery, and new fascinating stories.

The films range from fishing adventures, to tales of conservation, stewardship and friendship.  One of the short films that many are looking forward to is "Time", which profiles Lefty Kreh and Flip Pallot, who both taught and inspired thousands of anglers.

Tickets are $15.  Check with PnP first to see if tickets are still available.  Tickets are available at Pack & Paddle or can be purchased online at their website.  For more info, availability, or to purchase tickets, go to www.packpaddle.com.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

January 27th general meeting - Reel Recovery

Kisatchie Fly Fishers monthly meeting
Monday, January 27, 2020

5:00pm - casting on back lawn
6:30pm - meeting (speaker first)
Rapides Westside Library, 5416 Provine, Alexandria

** Please note that we're now doing casting prior to each meeting starting at 5pm  **

Our guest speaker this month will be Clint Crowe of the Acadiana Fly Rodders in Lafayette. Clint is a 20-year hospice volunteer and is retired from his work in the water well industry. Clint fly fishes mostly in the marsh and on Colorado rivers and streams in southern Colorado.

Ten years ago, Clint and fellow AFR member, Dr. Skip Palmintier, helped establish the Louisiana Chapter of Reel Recovery. They currently serve as co-coordinators. Reel Recovery is a national outreach fly fishing retreat for men coping with cancer.  The Louisiana retreat is free for participants and can host 11 men in the White Lake Lodge near Gueydan.

The dates for this year are April 14-16, beginning at 2:00pm on Friday.  There are still a few slots open and they encourage all men that have dealt with cancer at any time in their life to apply.

For a full size poster, click on the image, then "view image" or "save image" with left click.

Also on the agenda: recap of the Cenla Festival, upcoming events and trips, Facebook changes, casting updates, Mixed Bag Contest updates, and fishing reports.

As always, guests are welcome. Invite a friend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

KFF now has a Facebook Group page

KFF member Denise Gatlin has created a Facebook Group for our club. The Group name is "Kisatchie Fly Fishers Members Share". While it is a public group for the time being, Denise says it may change over to a private group once all members have been invited.

Either way, the only way for anyone to be a member of this Group is to be a current member of Kisatchie Fly Fishers club.  Yet another reason to pay up those 2020 dues!

We now have both a Facebook "page" (Kisatchie Fly Fishers) and a "group" (Kisatchie Fly Fishers Members Share).  What's the difference, you ask?

A page is like an announcement. Only the Admin or Moderator can create a post. While there can be replies on a post, the replies are often moderated.

A group is like a forum. Any member can create a topic. If a member has a question such as, "Where are the bass biting?", other members can respond.

The KFF Members Share group will allow us to communicate on a regular basis without a long line of chain emails. While some members may not use Facebook, it has proven to be a very effective tool for sharing information and learning about regional events.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Our 2020 Festival recap - we made history!

For those who didn't make our Festival on Saturday, you missed another fun event!  Everyone had a great time.  If you would like to see some photos and read comments from those in attendance, you can find them on our Facebook page.  All of the tiers are looking forward to coming back in 2022.

The bad weather held off until the very end, allowing us to have a full day of casting on the lawn. Several newbies learned to cast - and do quite well thanks to instruction from Jeff Ferguson, Keith Richard and other instructors. Steve Breaux of Lake Charles qualified for the FFI Bronze Casting Certificate, while our members Cindy Griffin, Kristy Kelley, and Johnny Borden advanced towards their first certificate.

Inside, folks got to see some of the best fly tiers from several states, not just Louisiana. Everyone was impressed with the tying talent and variety of flies.  And several of us learned a few new tying tricks and techniques, as well as new patterns to enhance our fishing.

We also had some terrific presentations, a "very tasty" lunch prepared by our own Greg Babin, and one of the largest raffles you'll see at any fly fishing event - by count 82 items! We even had KALB-TV visit and do a segment for the evening news.

Can't say enough about H2GO Outdoors in Monroe and Mudfish Adventures for coming out despite the gloomy forecast and exhibiting at our event. H2GO has some exciting outdoors products and carries the BOTE and Crescent Kayaks. Mudfish makes the best casting short rods ever made!

And while attendance was down slightly from our last festival, we did end up signing 13 new members, the most at any one time in club history.  That brings our KFF membership up to 79 member families! 

We also made more than enough money to make a generous donation to The Food Bank of Central Louisiana.  More about the Festival will be discussed at our January general membership meeting on the 27th.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

January 21st fly tying - Guides Choice Hares Ear

KFF monthly fly tying session
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

6:00pm - tying skills clinic
6:30pm - regular fly tying begins
Rapides Westside Library, 5416 Provine, Alexandria

** Please note the Tuesday date, due to the holiday on Monday **

With rainbow trout stockings on the Little Mo, and rainbeaux trout stockings across Louisiana in LDWF community ponds, we thought another good trout fly might be worth knowing. 

The Guides Choice Hares Ear is great for both trout and bream. Like the original Hares Ear, it's buggy imitation mimics a number of aquatic insects. The addition of peacock herl and soft hackle adds to the attractive nature. It gets it's name because a number of prominent guides out west consider it one of the top five flies to have in their box!

For a video of tying this fly, click here.

As always, beginners are welcome!  Bring your tools, if none, the club has sets for use during these sessions. Materials are provided.   

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Festival time is almost here!

Click on the image for full size
Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival
Saturday, January 18, 2020
9:00am to 4:00pm 
Kees Park, Pineville, LA
FREE admission!!

Every even-numbered year we hold our biennial Festival, a celebration of the light tackle lifestyle.  This event is a unique experience, vastly different from most outdoors shows.  With the Festival, it's all about education, instruction, and community.

We encourage attendees to come learn about a few new places to fish, how to fish them, how folks tie flies, or make jigs.  Cast a fly rod or a spinning rod.  Learn why kayaks are an economical and very effective way to fish.  Take part in our giant raffle and fundraiser to raise money for our friends at The Food Bank of Central Louisiana - and help feed some hungry families! Speaking of food, we'll have jambalaya cooked by one of our great "Bayou Chefs" for a nominal fee.

KFF members who wish to help the Events Committee as volunteers are encouraged to attend a volunteer meeting on Thursday, January 9th, at the Rapides Westside Library.  Time is 6:00pm.

For complete details, including schedule, list of fly tiers and jig makers, exhibitors, speakers, and much more, click on the "2020 Cenla Fest" menu above.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

As we head into 2020, all the very best wishes for happiness, health and peace in the year to come. May all your piscatorial pursuits be fruitful, and the weather in your favor. 

With the new year comes many great club activities. Our 3rd annual Mixed Bag Contest kicks off today.  In a few weeks - January 18th -  we host our biennial Cenla Fly Fishing & Light Tackle Festival at Kees Park in Pineville.

Over the next several months we have a several trips planned, our annual Spring Picnic at Cotile Lake, continuation of the Casting Skills Challenge, and much more.

Also, many of our friends are holding events this coming year, including the Little Mo Fly Fishing Fest, the North Louisiana Fly Fishers Masters Series, and the FFI Gulf Coast Council's first-ever "Sweetwater Classic" fly fishing tournament and festival.  Our friends at Orvis in Baton Rouge and Pack & Paddle in Lafayette will also be hosting those fun fly fishing film events.

For all things happening in 2020 check out our Calendar page.