I just returned from a terrific trip to SE Louisiana in search of “Bull Reds” in skinny water with a small group of friends. I hardly need an excuse to get of town for a few days of R&R this time of year as the long season tends to lead to burnout by now. Week after week of rowing boats around Montana is immediately preceded by day after day of looking at spreadsheets and ordering goods for next year. So, staring into some new water while talking trash to some buddies was just what the Dr. ordered.
This is the time of year – actually all fall and winter – when the bigger Redfish move into the shallower marsh waters and are readily found throughout the coastal Gulf waters. I fished Texas last year and thought that Louisiana sounded good this year as it’s better known for bigger fish and easier to get to from Bozeman. Plus, the guys I went with have been going for a couple of years and already did the hard part in finding great guides and lodging!
We fished three days and were on fish most of each day, landing several in the mid 20 pound range and one over 30pounds. All sight-fishing in shallow water with big, easy to see flies and some popper action too. The key to success this time of year is just getting lucky with some sun and mild winds as Redfish are known to eat just about anything that gets in front of them, but you have to be able to see them and for that, the sun is essential. Even the occasional cloud makes this virtually impossible in these wide open expanses of tidal marshes.
If the weather is crap, the guides typically cancel and rebook for another time either this or next year. So, it’s always a roll of the dice but one that is worth a shot if you have some flexibility with travel and find a guide that suits your style. There is no shortage of great guides throughout the region, just be sure that they specialize in fly fishing trips before you book them. I’d be happy to share some references, but these guys typically book up a year in advance, making advance planning essential.
Louisiana is a great trip this time of year and well worth the effort if you ask me. Easy travel, relatively inexpensive in terms of time and money for a fun saltwater adventure. I’ll be back next year for sure!