For coastal fly anglers, February can be the best of times and the worst of times.
The worst? Relentless wind. When it blows, it blows hard.
The best? Those few days when it’s sunny, mild and somewhat calm.
If you’re lucky enough to get to the marsh on those rare days, you’ll find great sight-casting for redfish. Most of the ponds will have clear water and fish tailing as they root for small crabs. Try bottom-oriented flies that ride hook up, such as Borski Sliders, Charlies, and Haleys Comet.
In freshwater, it’s prime crappie time. Casting and stripping a Clouser Minnow, Seaducer or Crappie Candy along grass lines or around structure will work. If not, switch to Fluff Butts set 2 to 4 feet under a strike indicator, or go deep nymphing with a Silli Butt.
Later this month, bass will start their spawning movements. Try flies that have a lot of movement and can be worked slowly around bedding areas. My favorites are Beadhead Woolybuggers, Y2K buggers, Grim Reapers and Bass Bullies.
The rainbeaux trout that were stocked in select ponds in Baton Rouge, Gonzales and Monroe are still around. But by now, they’ve adapted to a diet of bugs and minnows. Late afternoon will see strong surface feeding as the trout rise to hatches of craneflies and midges. Try Adams in Nos. 12-14 and Griffith Gnats in Nos. 18-20.