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Fly fishing on the coast should be speck-tacular this month as the snaggletooths show up in force on the beaches and in the bays. At first light, start with topwater poppers for bigger trout. Then switch to weighted shrimp patterns under a VOSI for school fish.

Reds also will be feeding heavily on shrimp this month, especially in the shallow ponds. A crystal shrimp is near-weightless and avoids snagging grass. Bendbacks are another option for grassy ponds. An unweighted, bendback version of the Yarn Crab was a killer last year.

Bream action will be hot and heavy everywhere this month. Popping bugs will work best in protected areas, while weighted flies like jitterbees, cap spiders and hares ears under strike indicators will work best over beds in deeper water.

Early morning and late afternoon is the best time for tossing poppers to bass. Match the hatch using colors that mimic frogs, dragonflies or damselflies.

Nighttime and daybreak action on hybrid stripers peaks in May at Lakes Concordia and Claiborne. Clousers, seaducers, or other “action” baitfish patterns will entice strikes. Make sure your leaders are well-tied — stripers can hit with bone-jolting force!

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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April is one of the best months for both freshwater and marsh fly fishing. In which water shall you cast your fly?

In favor of freshwater, you have bream starting to bed. During the day, cast and strip weighted flies such as Fluff Butts and Cap Spiders near grass lines, and then slow the strip down as the fly comes over deeper water. Late in the day, switch over to popping bugs as the insect life reaches peak activity.

In many lakes, crappie will also be active. Using minnow patterns such as Fluff Butts, Squirrelies, Crappie Candies, small Clousers and Coma Minnows will result in mixed bags of fish to include crappie, bream, largemouths, white bass, yellow bass and even catfish.

In favor of the marsh, interior ponds should be thick with grass. Juvenile crabs and shrimp will migrate to these ponds, attracting reds and drum. The grass has an added benefit: It filters out sediment, providing clear water for prime sight-casting opportunities.

Schools of specks will be feeding along shorelines of small lakes and bays. A chartreuse/white Clouser spaced 2 to 3 feet under a VOSI — the flyrodders’ popping cork — should produce stringers. If no action on the Clouser, switch to a Pink Charlie.

April is also the first good month for trout in the surf. If the surf goes calm, have your Clousers and other baitfish patterns ready! Those first surf trout are usually the biggest.

So which waters should you fish? How about all.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Hopefully the coldest winter in 24 years has come to an end. If so, fly anglers could enjoy a great month on the water.

Grass will be showing up in the coastal ponds. The grass holds lots of food items for hungry reds. Weightless baitfish patterns that ride hook up, like Prince of Tides and the Bendback Mullet, can be tossed into grass pockets, while crab patterns such as charlies and yarn crabs can be fished on the edges.

Bass should be on the spawning beds. Flies like Magnum Woolybuggers, Bass Bullies, Sqwirm Flies and Leeches appear as threats and will be dealt with harshly. Cast the fly just past the fish, then twitch it slowly across the bed.

You must be ready to set the hook the instant you feel or see the strike. For that reason, it’s imperative you keep your rod tip at the water, not a few feet above.

The first solid bream action takes place later this month in the southern parishes, with redears being the most active. Let your Cap Spider, Fluff Butt, Cajun Tickler, or weighted Woolybugger get to the bottom, and then strip it in very slowly. The chinquapin often hit in the first several strips.

Trout enthusiasts in the northern part of the state will be making the short trip to the Little Missouri River in southwest Arkansas and the Mountain Fork in extreme southeast Oklahoma, for some of the best dry-fly action of the year. March Brown mayflies, various caddis, midges and even a few stoneflies are on menu for rainbow and brown trout. Parachute Adams, A&W Emergers and Smidges are recommended, as well as Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears and Woolybuggers for when the hatches are off.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Fly anglers want to know where’s that global warming we were promised?

February normally begins the transition from winter to spring here in Louisiana. If normal prevails, expect to see big bass searching for beds this month. Choose large flies that can be worked very slowly on the bottom near bedding areas. Those include Magnum woolybuggers, Sqwirms, Bass Bullies and Calcasieu Pig Boats.

Crappie action on fly rod was terrific last month, and should only get better. Most of the catches came on Crappie Candies, Fluff Butts, Squirrelies, Coma Minnows and small Clousers. Let it sink deep; then strip in very slow, or work the fly under a strike indicator close to docks, grass lines and brush piles.

There’s still good numbers of rainbeaux trout in the Baton Rouge ponds. By now, they’ve acclimated to a diet of bugs. Late afternoon will see hatches of craneflies and strong feeding periods. Any dry fly will work.

Sightcasting to reds should be great, as clear water rules the ponds. If you find bait, you’ll find fish. Best bets are small crab patterns, Redkillers, poppers and spoon flies in darker colors.

Striper action kicks off this month on False River, Lake St. John, Concordia and Claiborne. Best action is late in the afternoon on clousers and weighted deceivers. Look for the surface activity, then cast, strip fast and hold on. The bone-jarring strikes are the reason why stripers are the most fun you can have with a fly rod.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Persistent, strong winds have plagued fly casters this fall. Here’s hoping December brings calm to the marsh. If it does, sight-casting opportunities for the Spottail Elvis should be prime.

On days following a cold front, look for exposed backs and tails on tidal flats. With shrimp no longer the main course, it’s a good time to try crab and baitfish patterns such as Borski Slider, Merkin Crab, Whitlock Baitfish and Seaducer.

Patterns in darker colors — like a black Charlie, purple Haley’s Comet, or rootbeer Spoonfly — work well on both clear and overcast days.

Hot topwater action for speckled trout continues this month. Early mornings or overcast days are best. Try a Foil Pencil Popper, Skipping Bug, or Bob’s Banger. If poppers don’t work, go with a 1/50-ounce (eyes) black/chartreuse or LSU (purple/gold) clouser off the bottom.

Sac-a-lait come on strong this month. Fluff butts, size 6 clousers, lead-eye woolybuggers, and Crappie Candies in blue/white, pink/white and black/chartreuse will work.

In reservoirs in the northern and central parishes, fish will often suspend along creek beds at 8 to 10 feet. No need for a sinking line — just tie weighted flies on a long finesse leader to get it to the proper depth.

Later this month, Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation will once again stock a few of its ponds with rainbow trout. This coldwater species loves flies, especially black or olive woolybuggers. The same tackle you use for bream can be used for “rainbeauxs”. Be aware that the limit is four per day and is strictly enforced.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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For fly anglers, January can be the worst of times, the best of times. It all depends on the weather and if you prefer quality over quantity.

Winter brings a shot at trophy-sized fish. Seven of the top 10 fly rod records for Cynoscion nebulosus (aka, spotted seatrout) were taken from December through March.

On calm or mild days, try large poppers early and late along flats near deep water. On colder days, go with large clousers and other baitfish patterns in neutral or dark colors worked off the bottom. For example, the ever-popular LSU Clouser (purple wing, yellow tail) in size 1/0. An intermediate sinking fly line works best in deeper water.

Cold, clear water in the marshes brings great sight-casting opportunities for reds. Here also, fly anglers have a shot at huge fish. The world-record red drum on fly — 41.62 pounds — was caught out of Hopedale in January.

Crab patterns, charlies and spoonflies in darker colors seem to work better in winter. In marsh cuts or ends of canals, let your fly sink to the bottom and work it slowly.

Not to be left out of the record discussion, the state’s top fly rod sheepshead was also caught this month. The goats love small flies with lots of action, e.g., a size 4 Disco Charlie with a marabou tail.

Flyrodders have enjoyed excellent crappie action since October. And the peak period begins late this month. Crappie Candies in olive/white or blue/white, and Fluff Butts in black/chartreuse have been hot. Most of the fish have been caught using a strike indicator 3 to 5 feet above the fly.

Chain pickerel also are very active this month. Lakes Caddo, Nantachie, Kincaid and D’arbonne have good numbers. Try pencil poppers and small seaducers near grass beds.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Speckled trout on fly? To quote Si Robertson, it’s on like Donkey Kong! A game plan for putting a nice mess of fish in the box starts off with poppers around sunrise, switching to weighted flies like clouser minnows and charlies under a VOSI around mid-morning, then finishing the day with poppers near sunset.

Popper options include dinks, perch float poppers and Skipping Bugs in hook sizes 2 through 1/0. Best colors will be gold, black/chartreuse, green/white, red/white.

Some of the best redfish action will come 2-3 days after a cold front, when water levels in the marsh are still low. They’ll be feeding on minnows and crabs pulled from the shallows. Look for exposed tails and backs. Also watch out for Redzillas swept in by Tropical Storm Karen. You might want to bring that 9 or 10-weight rod just in case.

Crappie action revs up with the colder weather. Look for active feeding in shallow water until it gets too cold. Best fly choices are the Crappie Candy, Fluff Butt, Pink Nightmare and Pink Charlie in sizes 10 through 2. When fishing near structure, try suspending weighted flies under a tiny float.

Rainbow trout stocking is now on a two week cycle for the Little Missouri River (Murfreesboro, AR), the Mountain Fork River (Broken Bow, OK) and the Sipsey River (Jasper, AL). For now, black or olive woolybuggers sizes 10 and 12 remain the best option.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Down on the coast, it’s prime time for marsh trout, whether they be speckled or not. Trout of the spotted variety will take a weighted clouser or shrimp pattern set 30 inches below a VOSI over reefs and in cuts, canals and bayous. Fish the fly off the bottom, and the result could vary from white trout to redfish to drum.

As the water cools, it clears and sight-casting opportunities greatly increase. After a cool front, fly anglers fishing from kayaks and canoes should look for exposed flats where fiddler crabs, cocahoes and other bait have been pushed out of the grass. The reds will be cruising these flats.

A wide variety of flies work this month for reds, including poppers, Dahlberg Divers, charlies, crab patterns, Shwimp and the always-reliable spoon fly.

Barring a hurricane, streams in the Florida Parishes and Kisatchie Hills should provice excellent spotted bass action this month. Try poppers and woolybuggers around fallen trees and cut banks.

The lower Pearl River should be excellent this month. On a few occasions, I’ve thrown poppers for bass and had an unexpected visitor take it. Hooking a nice red on a 5-weight rod will make your trip.

The Red River from Shreveport to Alexandria is a bit intimidating to some fly anglers. But the water is typically clear in October, and lots of white bass can be caught using fast-stripped flies on intermediate sinking lines.

Stocking of rainbow trout renews this month in two tailwater rivers just north of Shreveport: Mountain Fork near Broken Bow, Okla., and Little Missouri near Murfreesboro, Ark. Early in the season, olive or black woolybuggers are all you need.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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September is a month of transition. As we approach the fall equinox, shorter days and radiative cooling of water temperatures triggers annual migration and feeding habits.

In freshwater, it’s school time for bass. Topwater baitfish imitations like the Rabid Dog or subsurface shad imitations like tan/white Deceivers or EP flies will result in many strikes. For deeper fish, using an intermediate fly line will increase your “luck.” If that doesn’t work, pearl or gold spoon flies are always reliable, even if they catch smaller fish.

Bream will make their final spawning run of the year. The fish tend to be smaller than the spring variety, but will make up for that in numbers. Try popping bugs late, and jitterbees under a VOSI at other times.

Jack crevalle have invaded Lake Pontchartrain. Baitfish patterns work great for this species. You’ll need at least a 10-weight rod, and a reel with a great drag that holds lots of backing. Once you hook one, it can become an hour-long tug-o-war.

September finds schooling bull reds on the beaches and in the passes. Any tropical storm in the Gulf is likely to push some into the interior marshes around Hopedale, Buras, Grand Isle, Leeville and Theriot. While these fish will hit the usual redfish patterns, you might have to upsize your flies, say from size 4 to size 1, to have a shot at landing these Redzillas.

The white trout run peaks this month. Find a reef or hard bottom with moving water, and you can load up on 12-plus-inch fish. If you use a floating line, then use a long (9-foot) leader and a weighted fly. Let the fly get to the bottom, and then make short, quick strips.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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August brings low stages to the mighty Mississippi and Atchafalaya. Combine that with any tropical activity in the Gulf, and the result is high salinities and a pelagic invasion.

Look for large Spanish, kings, mangroves, bluefish and jack crevalle along the beaches or even in lower bays. You’ll also find schools of bull reds concentrating along beaches and passes. Don’t be surprised to see pods of Redzillas in interior bays, as well.

For all these species, large seaducers, deceivers and EP flies are the meal ticket. Recommended tackle ranges from 9-weight to 12-weight, with an intermediate or sinking line. The retrieve needs to be fast — fish like Spanish and kings feed at 15 mph.

A wire bite tippet is required. If the fish avoid the wire, try a double tippet of heavy fluorocarbon, but be prepared to replace it often.

It’s been a slow summer for white trout due to the low salinities on the coast, but expect hordes of them to invade this month. Most will be 10 to 11 inches — a good keeper size. Cast 1/50-ounce clousers, and let them sink to the bottom in passes and tidal cuts. Then strip.

Night fishing is great this month, and a cool alternative to “SweatFest 2013.” Under lights, skim a clouser on the surface and catch specks, or dead drift your clouser and catch white trout.

White bass will be active in the Red River and in live oxbows of the Mississippi. Spinner flies, such as the Pistol Pete and the Tom Nixon Spinner, will help bring home a nice stringer.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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The Fly Division of the CCA STAR tournament is off to a great start, with a number of big fish weighed in. And while late summer is perhaps the toughest time to catch big trout on the fly, that doesn’t mean you can’t still be a winner.

Thanks to the “Bonus Drawing,” weigh in any speck 14 inches or larger caught on fly and, even if it doesn’t make the leaderboard, your name goes into a drawing, held at the end of the tournament, for a TFO fly rod.

For larger trout, fish very early, in areas adjacent to deep water, with good tidal movement. Always look for the bait — schools of mullet especially. Try topwaters early (poppers or gurglers), then switch to deceivers in chartreuse/white or purple/white depending on water color.

The sand trout run has begun. Work oyster reefs, beaches and mouths of bayous on a moving tide with a clouser tied 30 inches under a VOSI. Their average size in July is 10 to 11 inches — great fun on a 6-weight rod.

Tripletail is another fly-friendly species that gets hot in late summer. Last year’s best pattern was a Waldner Terminator Crab.

Spanish mackerel up to 6 pounds love fast-moving clousers and seaducers. A two-handed strip is recommended for the “El Diablo.”

As water heats up, larger reds move to open water. Look for pods along the shorelines of lakes. If you fish ponds, hit them early before it heats up. Best flies are spoonflies, charlies, Apte flies, and crab patterns.

Bream are still hitting jitterbees under a tiny float on most of the larger lakes and reservoirs, while foam spiders and popping bugs will work better on ponds and backwaters.

July is a great month for spotted bass on streams in the Florida Parishes and Kisatchie Hills. Work poppers next to logs, and Tom Nixon spinners in deeper holes.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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For CCA members hoping to place an entry in the STAR tournament Fly Rod Division, June is the best month to register a larger-than-14-inch trout. As summer wears on and water temperatures rise, specks become more selective in their feeding habits — and less likely to eat flies.

Aim for big specks by tossing poppers from first light to early morning along the edges of tidal lines and drop-offs. Later on, look for schools of mullet and other baitfish, and toss large clousers and seaducers using an intermediate line.

For school trout, try a clouser or charlie suspended 30 inches or so below a VOSI — the fly-rodders popping cork — over oyster reefs in lakes and bays.

The colder-than-normal spring means bream action is still peaking on larger reservoirs and oxbows. These fish will be bedding in deeper water. So use a light leader 8 to 9 feet in length, along with a weighted fly like a tussel bug, jitterbee or cap spider, and do the countdown method.

Late afternoon will remain best for popping bugs or foam spiders in ponds, smaller lakes and backwaters. For bream, use sizes 8 to 12. For bass, sizes 4 to 8 will avoid the “pesky bream” from taking the bug and give something meaty for the predators.

June marks the return of prime Rio action in Orleans and Jefferson parish ponds. Catching a 1-pound Rio on a 3-weight rod is like hooking a wet cat. These South Texas natives love olive or black woolybuggers retrieved in tiny strips.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Speckled trout action should be gangbusters this month after a colder than normal spring. There was plenty of clear water in April and that favors topwater action. Perch-float poppers or Bob’s Bangers in green/white or chartreuse, foil pencil poppers in gold or silver, or Skipping Bugs in red/white worked great this month last year.

When it’s a bit too windy or too late in the morning or too sunny for topwater action, be prepared to fish charlies or clousers under a VOSI (flyrodder’s popping cork). Lightly jerk the tip of the fly rod to get the pop, then pause a couple seconds before popping again. Most of the strikes will come on the pause.

Reds will be thick in the grassy ponds now that shrimp and crabs have flooded the interior marshes. Shrimp and crab patterns will work best, but in thicker grass, go with bendbacks and spoon flies. Also try poppers early for some exciting action.

Bream should be busting over every lake and bayou across the state. In addition to the oxbow lakes as described in this month’s column, waterways inside the Atchafalaya Spillway will offer great fly rod action on crappie, bream and bass. The early bream run on Lake D’Arbonne and the redear run on Caney Lake also should be on your “fly fishing wish list.”

May brings the start of excellent topwater bug action for bass. Hair bugs, Flip Flop Poppers and Boogle Bugs work best early and late in the day. During midday, try heavy-weighted Woolybuggers and the Sqwirm Worm, which mimics the baitcasters’ plastic worm.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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The first week of April will be Easter break for many students. What better time to take a youngster fly fishing than this month?

Bluegill and redears will be moving onto beds. A jitterbee, ligon or Cajun tickler fished about 2 feet under a strike indicator will work best around structure or in shallow water, while a cap spider or tussel bug will get down to the deeper beds.

Crappie are still active this month in shallow water. Go with darker varieties of this fly as it gets warmer. An olive candy — as well as olive fluff butts — will also catch lots of bream and the occasional bass. Don’t be surprised if a catfish hits these flies, too.

On windy days, bugs and caterpillars will be falling from trees. If you spot a feeding frenzy, pull out a popping bug. One good spot can produce a nice mess of panfish. Match colors to those of the dominant insect on the water.

As mentioned in the column, April can be golden for redfish. Find ponds with grass, and you’ll find clear water, bait and the poisson rouge. Here, try bendbacks and poppers. In canals and lakes, try seaducers and redchasers against shorelines and cuts.

Poppers will also catch those big spring trout. Specks will start schooling under lights this month — make sure clousers and shrimp flies are in your arsenal.

White bass and stripers are still active at Toledo Bend and Lake Claiborne. Try baitfish and shad patterns using an intermediate sinking line. Let it sink for several seconds, and then strip fast. Hard-hitting stripers might be the most fun on fly rod there is.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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With the mild winter we’ve had, the coastal ponds are getting thick with grass. The grass helps to maintain clarity, so reds can be easily sighted. Getting a fly through heavy moss is the problem.

Consider a bendback style fly. The Prince of Tides has a body made of gold braid covered with epoxy or overwrapped with mono, for extra flash. The Bendback Mullet has a woolhead that pushes water, such that it alerts the fish to its presence.

In areas where there’s no or little grass, dark-colored spoon flies remain a good option this month. Foil pencil poppers in purple or gold are also killers as long as the water stays clear.

Bass are on the spawning beds. Use a long leader, and cast a leech pattern or a sqwirm worm just slightly past the fish, then twitch it slowly across the bed. The result is often a strike. Please release these bass as they are in the process of creating our future.

The first solid bream catches will take place this month in the southern parishes. Two of the best places to fly fish for bluegill in Louisiana is Lake Cataouche near Westwego and Bayou Black near Houma. A slow falling fly like a chartreuse ligon works great in the grass beds.

Millers Lake near Ville Platte produces big chinquapin in early spring. Try a black and chartreuse cap spider, and avoid using a strike indicator. The water in Millers is way too clear and indicators tend to distract the fish.

Crappie will be moving to the shallows this month. Try fluff butts, crappie candies and small clousers.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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We’ve had so much rain this winter that I’m starting to see animals gathering in pairs looking for a large boat. With all this runoff, the big challenge for fly anglers will be to find clear water.

Ponds should be clear and warm up enough to see pre-spawn activity for bass. You want flies that can be worked very slowly around bedding areas, but still have lots of movement.

Try beadhead woolybuggers and weighted leach flies. Another option is the Sqwirm Worm, made from twisted silli-leg material. Looks and fishes like a plastic worm.

This is the best month for big crappie, as two of the state’s Top 3 fly records were taken in February. On most days, casting and stripping a weighted fly like a Clouser Minnow, Fluff Butt, Crappie Candy or small Charlie will work. If not, add a strike indicator and work close to docks, trees and brush piles. Remember to twitch it slow.

There’s still good numbers of rainbeaux trout in the Baton Rouge ponds, thanks to the weather. By now, they’ve acclimated to a diet of bugs and minnows. Late afternoon will see hatches of craneflies and strong feeding periods. Any dry fly will work, but a good cranefly pattern will do best.

The end of this month should see a strong return of reds into shallow ponds. Most of the ponds were crystal clear last month, and grass was already setting up. Have those crab patterns handy for when the fiddler crabs come out. In the meantime, the old reliables — poppers and spoon flies in darker colors — will be the ticket.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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It’s rainbeaux trout time in the Baton Rouge area. Each winter, BREC stocks several of their ponds with the coldwater species. It takes a couple weeks 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.

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, Okla., and Little Missouri near Murfreesboro, Ark., are less than three hours from Shreveport. The Sipsey River near Jasper, Ala., is five hours from Slidell. Wading these frigid waters in winter isn’t easy, but the reward can be 30 plus fish days.

Speaking of trout, this is THE month to catch the big speckled variety. On mild days, the trout emerge from deeper holes to feed on flats. A popper or Dahlberg Diver will get their attention. Other good patterns include Whitlock baitfish, Seaducers, large Clousers and Lefty’s Deceiver.

Winter brings clear, low water in the marsh, and the best time to sightcast for reds. Unlike summer, darker patterns such as black charlies and root beer spoon flies work best. A small crab pattern works wonders on tough fish.

The crappie bite has been red hot at lakes Cotile and Kincaid. On overcast days, the fish will move to the shallows where a fluff butt a few feet under a strike indicator can bring home a good dinner.

For stocking locations, go to www.brec.org.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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The colder, clearer waters of December – combined with low tides – provide some of the best sight casting opportunities of the year for those pursuing marsh reds. A wide variety of flies will work as the reds are more opportunistic in their feeding. This is a good time to try enticer patterns such as the Apte Tarpon Fly, Whitlock Baitfish, and Seaducer. Their undulating movement will entice large reds from several feet away! Patterns in darker colors – like a black Charlie, purple Haley’s Comet, or rootbeer Spoonfly – work well on both clear and overcast days.

Hot topwater action for speckled trout continues this month. Early morning or overcast days are best. If poppers aren’t working, try a clouser under a VOSI on mild days, and a heavily-weighted clouser off the bottom on cold days. In winter, the black/chartreuse and LSU (purple/gold) clousers work best.

Crappie will be schooling deep this month, so a sinking line is recommended. I like Fluff Butts in blue/white, pink/white, and black/chartreuse, as well as Crappie Candies and even Charlies. If you’re not among the fly purists, consider a Propbugger – a woolybugger with a tiny propeller near the eye.

Louisiana trout enthusiasts making holiday trips to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Alabama should bring their tackle. Each of these states stocks rainbow trout this month in a large number of waters, from year-round fisheries to community park ponds.

Here in Louisiana, the only public trout stocking will take place in East Baton Rouge parish sometime after Christmas. The limit in the BREC ponds is four per day, and will be strictly enforced. After a week, the trout acclimate and stop eating corn, and begin eating olive and black woolybuggers. Sizes 10 and 12 work best.

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Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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This month is the best marsh fishing of the year for speckled trout. They will be thick in brackish bayous, canals, and interior lakes. Colder water is typically clearer water, and that favors flies!

A game plan for putting a nice mess of fish in the box starts off with poppers around sunrise, switching to weighted flies like clouser minnows and charlies under a VOSI around mid-morning, then finishing the day with poppers near sunset. Pencil poppers, Pete’s Perch Float Popper, and Skipping Bugs work great for both reds and specks. Best colors are metallic gold, black/chartreuse, green/white, red/white.

After cold fronts pass through, and winds subside, water levels will still be low. Scout the ponds and canals for exposed backs and tails. They’ll belong to reds, drum and sheepshead, all of which are eager to eat flies.

Spoonflies, Seaducers, Yarn Crabs, Redchasers, Charlies… just about anything in your box that has action will arouse these fish. If you encounter Redzilla — reds over 15 pounds — which is a real possibility since Hurricane Isaac — toss him a real meal, like an EP Fiber fly.

Crappie also turn on this month with colder weather. Lakes D’Arbonne, Bruin, Sibley and Bundicks are a few of my top spots this month for fly action. I like using the Crappie Candy and the Fluff Butt. But even a pink charlie works good. And Gummy Minnows have a knack for catching slabs in shallow water. When fishing near structure, try suspending weighted flies under a tiny float.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Hurricane Isaac caused fish kills on many of the prime fly-fishing freshwater spots in Southeast Louisiana, from Belle River and Bayou Black eastward to the Blind River and Bayou Lacombe.

However, most of the fisheries in the Florida Parishes remained intact. The flood waters have receded, and streams like the Comite, Amite, Tickfaw, Bogue Chitto and Pushepataw should have excellent spotted bass action this month. Try poppers and woolybuggers around fallen trees and cut banks.

The storm didn’t adversely affect areas north and west of Opelousas. So expect the usual fall run of crappie to begin this month in lakes like Cotile, Bundicks, Anacoco and Sibley. Make sure you have crappie candies and fluff butts in your fly box.

Down on the coast it’s prime time! Cast a weighted clouser or shrimp pattern set 30 inches under a VOSI, and you’re likely to catch specks and white trout anywhere in the marsh. On overcast days, expect some topwater action for trout using Pete’s Popper, the Rabid Dog or Skipping Bugs.

After a cool front, the north winds will drop tide levels, giving fly anglers fishing from canoes and kayaks great shots at sight-casting to reds, drum and sheepshead. Yes, in cool water, the goats eat flies well. A wide variety of flies will work, but if the bite gets tough, pull out the old reliables: crab patterns and spoon flies.

It appears Isaac pushed a lot of bull reds back into the marshes, based on reports so far. Better have at least a sturdy 8- or 9-weight rod with a disc drag reel in case you have a run-in with a “Redzilla.”

Stocking of rainbow trout renews this month in two tailwater rivers just north of Shreveport: Mountain Fork near Broken Bow, Okla., and the Little Missouri near Murfreesboro, Ark. Early in the season, olive or black woolybuggers are all you need.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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During September, water temps begin to drop. Slowly at first due to radiative cooling, and then increasingly as cool fronts invade the state.

Just as humans are invigorated by the cooler air, so are fish by the cooler water. For bass, it’s a time to school up and feed on shad. Two popular spots for schooling bass on the fly are Toledo Bend and Lake Claiborne. EP baitfish patterns, pearl spoon flies and deceivers fished on intermediate line will induce strikes.

On the coast, this is the best month for shallow-water tarpon. Veteran fly anglers will try their luck for poons in the Biloxi Marsh, the northern end of Lake Borgne and the southeast area of Lake Pontchartrain.

September finds schooling reds on the beaches, passes and in interior lakes. If you encounter a “redfish blitz,” then even a bare hook works. Otherwise, fish flies with lots of movement — such as deceivers, seaducers and clousers — and use an intermediate or sinking line to get them down.

Speckled trout make their fall run on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, where fly anglers can easily kayak or wade. Most fish will be throwbacks, but poppers will draw strikes from bigger fish. You’ll find bigger trout out west along reefs in Vermillion Bay and in the surf at Holly Beach.

The white trout run peaks this month. Find a reef or hard bottom with moving water and you can load up on 12-plus-inch fish. If you use a floating line, use a long (9-foot) leader and a weighted fly. Let the fly get to the bottom, then make short, quick strips.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Holy mackerel! The influx of salty Gulf water from Tropical Storm Debby has resulted in hot nearshore action on large Spanish and king mackerel. Fly-rodders are having one of the best summers in years for both species.

For these toothy denizens, a bite tippet using wire is required. If the fish avoid the wire, try heavy fluorocarbon instead, but be prepared to replace often. Another option is “offset flies,” where the eyes and body start at the center of the hook. Such flies include Whitlock Baitfish, Apte Tarpon and the Mackerel Clouser.

Another species very active this month is jack crevalle. Reports of these brutes on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain began as early as late June. Look for airborne bursts of mullet. You’ll need a minimum of 10-weight tackle to subdue these fish.

White trout grow an inch a month in summer, so those 9-inch fish that were hitting clousers and shrimp flies under lighted docks at night back in June will be keeper size by now. And night fly-fishing under lights is a cool alternative during “SweatFest 2012.”

This is the last full month for the CCA STAR. The best chance for large speckled trout will be with poppers fished from first light to just after sunrise. The best locations will be Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Borgne, Venice, Grand Isle, Cypremort Point, Holly Beach and Johnson Beach.

Now that the rivers are lower — and clearer — it’s a great time to cast flies for white bass in the major rivers, and spotted bass in the sandy streams of the Kisatchie hills and Florida Parishes. Try clousers for the whites. Try poppers, gurglers, woolybuggers and other streamers for the spots.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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A reminder to fly anglers competing in the summer-long CCA STAR tournament that there’s a bonus drawing again for 2012 in the Fly Fish Division. Weigh in any qualified speck (14 inches or larger) and, even if it doesn’t make the leaderboard, your name goes into a drawing to be held at the end of the tournament for a TFO BVK fly rod.

If you’re looking to make the leaderboard, topwaters early in the morning off the beaches have been catching fish in the 2- to 3-pound range. Poppers and gurglers work best. Best spots are Grand Isle, Johnson Beach, Holly Beach and Burns Point.

The marsh is full of sand trout. Work oyster reefs, beaches and mouths of bayous on a moving tide with a size 2 clouser tied 30 inches under a VOSI. This is great fun on a 6-weight rod.

As water heats up, reds want it slow. Go with Bendbacks, Charlies, Redchasers, Apte flies or crab patterns.

It’s been a great year so far for tripletail on the fly. Best pattern has been the Waldner Terminator Crab.

Spanish mackerel up to 6 pounds are being taken on Whitlock Baitfish and Seaducers. Be sure to move these flies very fast, or the fish will lose interest. A two-handed strip solves that problem.

Bream are still hitting jitterbees under a tiny float in bigger lakes like Toledo Bend, Lake Bruin and Lake D’Arbonne. Foam spiders are working best on small waters like Bayou Corne.

For bass, try frog-colored poppers early or late. Wooly Bendbacks have been doing great over grass mats, and should continue to do so through August.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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June is perhaps the best month to catch speckled trout in the surf on flies.

As summer heats up, the trout become more oriented toward live bait. Look for bird action on the beaches starting before sunrise. Try poppers for bigger trout, clousers for schoolies.

In the back bays and over reefs, try the VOSI-clouser combination. Any color clouser is good, as long as it’s chartreuse.

Sand trout invade inshore waters during summer and fall. Perhaps due to the mild winter we had, as early as April 1 was catching sandies in the 11- to 12-inch range. This fast-growing species doesn’t usually get that big until August.

Hook one that size, and you think you have a really good speck on — for about six seconds. Get into a big school with a 6-weight, and you’ll be hooked for life.

Sand trout are primary predators of shrimp and bay anchovies (silversides). A clouser minnow is a great imitation of a silverside. As for shrimp imitations, try shrimp patterns that use flowing materials like rabbit fur, craft fur and EP Fiber.

June also marks the peak month for bass on poppers.

Bream action will also be peaking on the live oxbows, and larger lakes. Use jitterbees, cap spiders and Cajun Ticklers in midday, and poppers or foam spiders late in the afternoon.

This month is one of the best for the Rio Grande perch in the urban waters of Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Olive or black fluff butts or woolybuggers have caught fish up to 2 pounds so far this season.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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Speckled trout have returned. Along wading areas like the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, Breton Island and Grand Isle, clousers and other baitfish patterns will be the ticket.

For the larger trout, use poppers early in the day or under overcast skies.

In the marsh areas, a white/chartreuse clouser or pink charlie fished 30 inches under a VOSI will catch plenty school trout.

Last month, there were big numbers of white trout showing up along the beaches, passes and lower estuaries. Like specks, these fish love clouser minnows. Let the fly get to the bottom, and then make small strips; often the strikes come on the first few strips.

Once you catch white trout on a 6-weight rod, you’re hooked for life.

Reds will be thick in the grassy ponds now that shrimp and crabs have flooded the interior marshes. Shrimp and crab patterns will work best, but in thicker grass go with bendbacks and spoon flies. Also try poppers early for some exciting action.

The scourge of May fishing are those southwest winds that can persist for days and bring in dirty water. If such is the case, try flies that make noise or push water, such as Rattle Rousers, Borger Crabs, Redchasers and Haley’s Comet.

Fly fishing for bream also peaks at Lakes Verret, Cataouche, Bruin, Bistineau and D’Arbonne.

But if the mighty Mississippi comes down, then the hottest spots will be the Atchafalaya Basin and the live oxbow lakes at Morganza, Vidalia, Deer Park and Yucatan.

Jitterbees, Fluff Butts, Cap Spiders, Boogle Bugs and Woolybuggers are recommended.

May brings the start of excellent topwater bug action for bass. Hair bugs, Flip Flop Poppers and Boogle Bugs work best early and late in the day. During midday, try heavy-weighted Woolybuggers and the Sqwirm Worm, which mimics baitcasters’ plastic worms.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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April is one of the best months for both freshwater and marsh fly fishing. Picking the location and the species can be more difficult than catching the fish!

Bream is the key freshwater species this month. Start with popping bugs early, and then switch to submergent (weighted) flies later. Try under a float indicator first. If you have no action, switch to fishing the fly “straight.” Use a long leader so the fly gets deep or near the bottom where the beds are. Late in the afternoon, I go back to using popping bugs.

There’s still some crappie action to be had. Especially if the major rivers are on the fall. Your best bet will be places like Henderson Lake, Belle River, Bayou Sorel, Lake Verret, Old River Morganza and Yucatan. Small clousers, pink charlies, Death to Crappie, Crappie Candy and large fluff butts will work.

Those same flies will work on yellow bass, which run in big schools this month. Yellow bass are the freshwater version of spanish mackeral; you need to keep the fly constantly moving or they drop interest.

On the coast, the ponds are thick with grass, and small shrimp and crabs are moving in. Sightcasting opportunities abound. The only problem is that reds and drum are so keyed on the bait that they will often ignore a presentation that is out of range or doesn’t somewhat match the food item.

April is the first good month for speckled trout in the surf. If the surf goes calm, have your clousers and other baitfish patterns ready! These first surf trout are usually the biggest.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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About this time each year, we get the first invasion of shrimp and crabs into the ponds. With the mild winter, there’s plenty of grass that awaits them. Reds, drum and sheepshead will be rooting them out. Look for tails on calm days.

It’s a good time to break out those crab patterns like Borski’s Chernobyl Crab or the Merkin. If the water is clear, stick with neutral colors like tan or olive. For murky water, use chartreuse early, then switch to a contrasting color.

This is the best month for big redears, as they are early spawners. Look for shell beds or hard bottom, and use flies that sink to the bottom, like cap spiders, briminators, tussel bugs and tungsten-bead hares ears.

Bluegill are also in play this month, especially in shallow lakes, canals and backwater areas where water is warmer. Try jitterbees in black/yellow or black/orange fished a couple feet under a strike indicator.

Crappie will be in the shallows this month. Fluff butts, mini-clousers, glass minnows and Tom Nixon Spinners should be deadly.

Bass are bedding, and that means magnum woolybuggers, SR71 buggers, Sqwirm Worms, Borgers Down and Dirty, and other bottom flies are first choice. Still, keep those poppers handy — many big bass have been caught in March on big gaudy poppers early and late.

Catch Cormier
About Catch Cormier 275 Articles
Glen ‘Catch’ Cormier has pursued fish on the fly for 30 years. A certified casting instructor and renowned fly tier, he and his family live in Baton Rouge.

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