Fly-fishing a great Wilkerson Canal redfish option

Capt. Dave Marino’s other passion is to fish the same areas with a fly rod.

“I used to wonder why people fly-fished, until I tried it,” he said. “Now I love it. And a lot of my business is taking customers fly fishing.”

Fly fishing is a break from the normal South Louisiana attitude.

“It is an altogether different philosophy of fishing,” Marino said. “Down here most anglers are meat hunters; we want to stock up our freezer. But fly fishers are out for the hunt, for the experience of catching a hard-fighting redfish on a lightweight rod.

“And it’s much more technical. With a rod and reel you just up and cast. With a fly rod, you have to get the line up in the air and moving. The weight is not in your bait but in the line itself.”

He said that’s just part of the challenge.

“You have to judge your distance and the wind and the movement of the fish, and it’s very challenging, trying to land that fly in front of the fish,” he said. “Then, you don’t pop a cork or reel to move your bait: You pull in line by hand to give it motion.

“I fish with a light 8-weight, 9-foot fly rod, so when a redfish hits that bait, you’ve got a heck of a fight on your hands. It’s a thrill to catch a fish on a fly rod, and highly addictive.”

About Rusty Tardo 372 Articles
Rusty Tardo grew up in St. Bernard fishing the waters of Delacroix, Hopedale and Shell Beach. He and his wife, Diane, have been married over 40 years and live in Kenner.