It’s rainbeaux trout time in Louisiana. Each winter, East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes stock selected ponds with this coldwater species. Those ponds include Perkins, Forest Park, Zachary Community and Lamar-Dixon. This year, Lafayette parish has joined in, stocking Girard Park.
It takes a week or so for the fish to discover that aquatic bugs and minnows taste a lot better than marshmallows. When they do, try a 5-weight rod and woolybuggers or wet flies. Also,beadhead flies like prince nymphs and hares ears under a small strike indicator.
On mild days, late in the afternoon, the trout might take to the surface feeding. If so, try generic dry flies like a Parachute Adams in sizes 14 and 16.
Just a few hours from our borders are rivers that hold trout year-round, but winter is prime stocking time. The Mountain Fork near Broken Bow, OK, and Little Missouri near Murfreesboro, AR are less than 3 hours from Shreveport. The Sipsey River near Jasper, AL, is 5 hours from Slidell. Wading these frigid waters in winter isn’t easy, but the reward can be 30+ fish days.
Winter brings clear, low water in the marsh, and if the wind is down, a great opportunity for sightcasting to big reds. Unlike summer, darker patterns such as black charlies and rootbeer spoonflies work best. A small crab pattern works wonders on tough fish.