Louisiana Fly Fishing

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Pearl River near Bogalusa, LA: 30.793243, -89.820907
Pearl River at Pools Bluff near Bogalusa, LA: 30.705833, -89.846389
Pearl River Navigation Canal Lock and Dam No. 3: 30.638056, -89.868056
Bogue Chitto River at Franklinton, LA: 30.842962, -90.162030
Bogue Chitto River near Bush, LA: 30.629356, -89.897296
Pearl River Navigation Canal Lock and Dam No. 2: 30.593333, -89.864444
Pearl River Navigation Canal Lock and Dam No. 1: 30.456389, -89.779722
Pearl River at Pearl River, LA: 30.385193, -89.736730
(COE) Mississippi River at Knox Landing, LA: 31.073788, -91.582062
Red River near Hosston, LA.: 32.893194, -93.822401
Cross Bayou at Hwy 80 west of Greenwood, LA: 32.455988, -94.014629
Paw Paw Bayou near Greenwood, LA: 32.516819, -93.972405
Shettleworth Bayou near Blanchard, LA: 32.566667, -93.936667
Black Bayou at Rodessa, LA: 32.958611, -93.993889
Twelvemile Bayou near Dixie, LA: 32.645981, -93.877959
McCain Creek near Blanchard, LA: 32.601944, -93.836944
(COE) Red River at Shreveport, LA: 32.515430, -93.740456
(COE) Red River at L&D No. 5 (Upper) nr Howard: 32.250991, -93.496842
(COE) Red River at L&D No. 5 (Lower) nr Howard: 32.251269, -93.496842
Bayou Dorcheat near Springhill, LA: 32.994581, -93.396560
Bayou Dorcheat near Minden, LA: 32.597595, -93.332031
Flat River at Shed Rd. near Bossier City, LA: 32.561389, -93.646111
Flat River near Curtis, LA: 32.439043, -93.627121
Bodcau Bayou near Springhill, LA: 33.004025, -93.516841
Bodcau Bayou near Sarepta, LA: 32.905139, -93.482951
(COE) Byu Bodcau Lake nr Shreveport, LA (Landside): 32.702368, -93.510452
(COE) Byu Bodcau at Byu Bodcau Dam nr Shreveport: 32.703479, -93.513508
Red Chute Bayou at Dogwood Tr. Rd. nr Bossier City: 32.569722, -93.634722
Red Chute Bayou at Sligo, LA: 32.447376, -93.594620
Red Chute Bayou near Elm Grove, LA.: 32.362655, -93.502952
Willow Chute Bayou at Swan Lake Rd nr Bossier City: 32.565278, -93.681111
Flat River at High Island, LA: 32.264444, -93.431111
(COE) Red River at Coushatta: 32.012661, -93.352950
(COE) Red River at L&D No.4 (Upper) nr Red Oak: 31.939606, -93.275726
Bayou Pierre at Shreveport, LA: 32.443333, -93.730833
Boggy Bayou N of Spring Ridge, LA: 32.356667, -93.945833
Gilmer Bayou near Shreveport, LA: 32.413611, -93.894167
Cypress Bayou near Keithville, LA: 32.300000, -93.827778
Bayou Pierre near Lake End, LA: 31.894608, -93.341839
Bayou Pierre near Powhatan, LA.: 31.860440, -93.206279
Saline Bayou near Lucky, LA: 32.250157, -92.976548
Ouachita River at Felsenthal L&D (lower): 33.056111, -92.120833
Bayou Bartholomew near Jones, LA: 32.990405, -91.655678
Bayou Bartholomew NW of Jones, LA: 32.984722, -91.698611
Chemin-A-Haut Bayou near Beekman, LA: 32.982072, -91.805682
Ouachita River at Sterlington, LA: 32.696249, -92.086800
Little Corney Bayou near Lillie, LA: 32.929306, -92.632931
Chauvin Bayou near Monroe, LA: 32.559167, -92.075833
Ouachita River at West Monroe, LA: 32.500278, -92.119722
Boeuf River at Ark/La State Line: 33.001389, -91.438056
Boeuf River near Girard, LA: 32.481253, -91.797904
Bayou Lafourche near Crew Lake, LA: 32.500000, -91.918056
Bayou Lafourche near Alto, LA: 32.397369, -91.994576
Tensas River at Tendal, LA: 32.432087, -91.366781
Tensas River SE of Tendal, LA.: 32.388200, -91.334836
Tensas River South of Newlight, LA: 32.089321, -91.489842
Bayou Macon nr Kilbourne, LA: 32.993180, -91.262612
Bayou Macon near Delhi, LA: 32.457778, -91.476111
Dugdemona River near Jonesboro, LA: 32.207102, -92.801543
Dugdemona River near Joyce, LA: 31.936944, -92.603333
Little River at Rochelle, LA.: 31.793224, -92.361806
Little River near Rochelle, LA: 31.754336, -92.344583
Big Creek at Pollock, LA: 31.536287, -92.408471
Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, LA: 30.445667, -91.191556
(COE) Mississippi River at Bonnet Carre Spillway: 29.998815, -90.443139
(COE) Mississippi River at New Orleans, LA: 29.934927, -90.136185
Caernarvon Canal Sector Gate at Caernarvon, La: 29.858889, -89.906944
Mississippi River at Belle Chasse, LA: 29.857151, -89.977847
Mississippi River at Buras, LA: 29.357139, -89.523861
(COE) Mississippi River at Venice, LA: 29.274110, -89.350054
Bayou Liberty near Slidell,LA: 30.301306, -89.830621
Tchefuncte River near Folsom, LA: 30.616022, -90.248695
Tchefuncte River near Covington, LA: 30.494636, -90.169524
Bogue Falaya River near Camp Covington: 30.556389, -90.146111
Bogue Falaya River at Boston St. at Covington, LA: 30.476389, -90.089444
Tangipahoa River near Kentwood, LA: 30.937680, -90.490373
Tangipahoa River near Amite, LA: 30.729075, -90.484259
Tangipahoa River at Robert, LA: 30.506580, -90.361752
Tangipahoa River near Ponchatoula, LA: 30.443694, -90.334583
Tickfaw River at Liverpool, LA: 30.930736, -90.673432
Tickfaw River at Montpelier, LA: 30.686297, -90.643151
Tickfaw River at Holden, LA: 30.503802, -90.677316
Natalbany River at Baptist, LA: 30.504358, -90.545924
Amite River near Darlington, LA: 30.889069, -90.844545
Amite River at Grangeville, LA: 30.736295, -90.841767
Little Sandy Creek at Peairs Rd SE of Milldale, LA: 30.643686, -91.007465
Sandy Ck at Alph. Forbes nr Greenwell Springs, LA: 30.621108, -90.982117
Amite River at Magnolia, LA: 30.534911, -90.980658
Comite River near Olive Branch, LA: 30.756572, -91.043994
Comite R. at Pt. Hudson-Pride Rd near Milldale, LA: 30.702295, -91.051299
Comite River near Zachary, LA: 30.643241, -91.094550
Comite River near Baker, LA: 30.596298, -91.094272
Comite River at Comite Dr near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.558271, -91.098272
White Bayou at State Hwy 64 near Zachary, LA: 30.636297, -91.127329
Comite River at Hooper Road near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.530744, -91.093716
Comite River near Comite, LA: 30.512689, -91.073716
Comite R. at Greenwell Spg Rd near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.505745, -91.040104
Beaver Bayou at Hooper Road near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.561021, -91.020937
Beaver Bayou at Wax Rd near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.542966, -91.020659
Amite River near Denham Springs, LA: 30.464079, -90.990380
Jones Cr. at Old Hammond Hwy near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.440746, -91.044548
Claycut Bayou at Antioch Rd near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.386859, -91.007324
Alligator Bayou near Kleinpeter, LA: 30.321250, -91.020722
Bayou Manchac at Alligator B. near Kleinpeter, LA: 30.321389, -91.020944
Bluff Swamp near Kleinpeter, LA: 30.323527, -91.018158
Bayou Fountain at Bluebonnet Blvd near B.R., LA: 30.358526, -91.108160
Ward Creek at Government St at Baton Rouge, LA: 30.444469, -91.143162
North Branch Ward Creek at Baton Rouge, LA: 30.417969, -91.091494
Dawson Cr. at Bluebonnet Blvd near Baton Rouge, LA: 30.382414, -91.094271
Bayou Manchac near Little Prairie, LA: 30.340471, -90.917322
Welsh Gully at J. Broussard Rd nr Prairieville, LA: 30.336860, -90.968990
Muddy Creek at Manchac Acres Rd near Oak Grove, LA: 30.328527, -90.946489
Grays Creek at Hwy 16 near Port Vincent, LA: 30.411778, -90.915139
Amite River at Port Vincent, LA: 30.332694, -90.852042
Henderson Bayou near Port Vincent, LA: 30.297417, -90.883709
Henderson Bayou Pump Station near Port Vincent, LA: 30.318250, -90.859861
W Colyell Cr. at Joe May Rd near Port Vincent, LA: 30.421581, -90.864821
Amite River near French Settlement, LA: 30.275473, -90.779262
Amite River at Hwy 22 near Maurepas, LA: 30.309362, -90.610368
Panama Canal at Hwy 44 near Gonzales, LA: 30.170753, -90.918709
Bayou Conway near Sorrento, LA: 30.173253, -90.861208
Grand Goudine at Babin Rd Near Duplessis, LA: 30.262140, -90.963433
Black Bayou at Hwy 621 near Prairieville, LA: 30.269444, -90.916944
Black Bayou E of Gonzales, LA: 30.240474, -90.877320
Bayou Francois at Hwy 61 Near Gonzales, LA: 30.227419, -90.899543
New River Canal near Sorrento, LA: 30.189364, -90.786205
Inner Harbor Navigation Canal nr Seabrook bridge: 30.030139, -90.034167
GIWW East Storm Surge Barrier at New Orleans, La: 30.014444, -89.901944
Naomi Diversion Canal near Naomi, LA: 29.699111, -89.988861
Barataria Pass at Grand Isle, LA: 29.272833, -89.946806
Bayou Lafourche at Donaldsonville, LA: 30.100889, -90.993472
Bayou Lafourche SW of Donaldsonville, LA: 30.096588, -91.005933
Bayou Lafourche at Napoleonville, LA: 29.991500, -91.023222
Bayou Lafourche at Thibodaux, LA: 29.797985, -90.822593
Bayou Lafourche at Lockport, LA: 29.647056, -90.536778
GIWW West of Bayou Lafourche at Larose, LA: 29.577222, -90.380833
Bayou Grand Caillou at Dulac, LA: 29.382999, -90.715367
Houma Navigation Canal at Dulac, LA: 29.385221, -90.729812
GIWW at Houma, LA: 29.598056, -90.710000
Bayou Terrebonne at Ctrl Str near Lapeyrouse, LA: 29.388889, -90.587778
B. Petit Caillou at Ctrl Str near Lapeyrouse, LA: 29.386972, -90.618028
Company Canal at Hwy 1 at Lockport, LA: 29.645213, -90.544808
Company Canal at Salt Barrier near Lockport, LA: 29.627333, -90.557667
Lower Grand River at Bayou Sorrel, LA: 30.155476, -91.331776
Belle River at Hwy 70 near Pierre Part, LA: 29.909111, -91.215833
Bayou Boeuf at Railroad Bridge at Amelia, LA: 29.668333, -91.099722
Old River Outflow Channel below Hydropower Channel: 31.066750, -91.648278
Atchafalaya River at Simmesport, LA: 30.982500, -91.798333
(COE) Atchafalaya River at Melville, LA: 30.690743, -91.736226
Atchafalaya River at Butte La Rose, LA: 30.281586, -91.686780
Chicot Pass near Myette Point near Charenton, LA: 29.892704, -91.445666
Buffalo Cove at Round Island near Charenton, LA: 29.983536, -91.525114
Wax Lake Outlet at Calumet, LA: 29.697986, -91.372886
Crewboat Channel at Wax Lake Outlet nr Calumet, LA: 29.540000, -91.435556
Bayou Teche E of Calumet Flood Gate at Calumet, LA: 29.704375, -91.373997
Lower Atchafalaya River at Morgan City, LA: 29.692819, -91.211937
GIWW at mile 103 S of Morgan City, LA: 29.649444, -91.304167
Avoca Island Cutoff south of Morgan City, La.: 29.538611, -91.245833
Bayou Penchant S of Morgan City, LA: 29.585556, -91.155278
Mouth of Atchafalaya River at Atchafalaya Bay: 29.430250, -91.333889
GIWW at Bayou Sale Ridge near Franklin, LA: 29.680833, -91.470556
Bayou Cocodrie near Clearwater, LA: 31.000278, -92.380278
Bayou Courtableau at Washington, LA: 30.618252, -92.055674
Bayou Des Glaises Diversion Ch. at Moreauville, LA: 31.033244, -91.982621
Bayou Des Glaises Div Ch nr Moreauville, LA.: 31.000188, -91.966787
STATE CANAL NEAR KROTZ SPRINGS, LA.: 30.566026, -91.831505
Bayou Teche at Adeline Bridge near Jeanerette, LA: 29.879372, -91.586225
Charenton Drainage Canal at Baldwin, LA: 29.823056, -91.541667
Bayou Teche W of Calumet Flood Gate at Calumet, LA: 29.704097, -91.372885
Vermilion River (B. Vermilion) near Carencro, LA: 30.368254, -91.987618
Vermilion River near Lafayette, LA: 30.219089, -91.939007
Vermilion River at Surrey St. at Lafayette, LA: 30.217423, -91.992898
Vermilion River at Hwy 733 near Lafayette, LA: 30.141869, -92.075678
Vermilion River at Perry, LA: 29.951111, -92.156361
Bayou Des Cannes near Eunice, LA: 30.482889, -92.490694
Bayou Nezpique near Basile, LA: 30.480778, -92.631750
Mermentau River At Mermentau, LA: 30.190000, -92.590556
Calcasieu River nr Glenmora, LA: 30.996667, -92.673611
Calcasieu River near Oberlin, LA: 30.640476, -92.814037
Ouiska Chitto Creek Near Oberlin, LA: 30.698750, -92.893194
Bundick Creek near DeRidder, LA: 30.818806, -93.230162
Calcasieu River near Kinder, LA: 30.502556, -92.915417
Calcasieu River at I-10 at Lake Charles, LA: 30.237150, -93.247376
Sabine Rv at Logansport, LA: 31.972389, -94.006301
Bayou Grand Cane near Stanley, LA: 31.962723, -93.941161
Bayou San Patricio near Benson, LA: 31.875167, -93.658515
Bayou Toro near Toro, LA: 31.307127, -93.515730
Sabine Rv nr Burkeville, TX: 31.064080, -93.519617
Bayou Anacoco near Rosepine, LA: 30.952970, -93.352944
Sabine Rv nr Bon Wier, TX: 30.747146, -93.608508
Sabine Rv nr Ruliff, TX: 30.303817, -93.743778
American Pass at Little Bayou Sorrel: 29.793333, -91.278333
Little Bayou Long North of Duck Lake: 29.836500, -91.311917
Caernarvon Outfall Channel at Caernarvon, LA: 29.853556, -89.907694
Middle Fork Bayou Long at Bayou Long: 29.913056, -91.320833
Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion near Boutte, LA: 29.916944, -90.317778
B Larose S of Pipeline Canal near Loreauville, LA: 30.167222, -91.578056
Pontoon Bridge Canal near Butte Larose, LA: 30.281944, -91.735556
Bayou Fusilier of the Swamps near Henderson, LA: 30.388889, -91.783056

From the ancient tradition of Mardi Gras to the state’s rich French history, there are a lot of things the humid, charming, sweetly southern state is famous for, and fly fishing isn’t exactly one of them. There’s plenty of water for those who wish to engage in the sport however, and you might be surprised at just how active the bug chucking community is down in the Deep South. Unlike the northern states, trout is not the star of the show.

While there is some bass to be caught on the fly, notably at the Tangipahoa River, which runs through southeast Louisiana, finally emptying into Lake Pontchartrain, the main event lies even further south among the state’s famed marshes and bayous. This isn’t your average fly fishing – this is fly fishing on steroids. You see, the saltwater harbors monstrous creatures called Red Drum, which are a huge draw for anglers looking for an on-the-water challenge.

​Where to Go?

While Red Drum (or Redfish) can be caught in the deeper, colder salty waters of the bay, those that come up into the warmer, brackish marsh waters are more conducive to catching on the fly. The fish takes its name from the drumming sound it emits when trying to attract a mate, or when under duress. They can get truly huge, running up into the 50s and 60s of pounds (the record-holder weighed in at a whopping 94 pounds). The fishing is done from flats boats.

So, where does one go to get a look at – and possibly a chance at landing – these mammoth creatures?

Venice

The self-proclaimed fishing capital of the world, Venice is located way at the southern tip of the state and features two marinas – Venice, and Cypress Cove. Venice is just a couple of hours from New Orleans, making it a reasonable day trip for those who live further inland.

Hopedale

Just 45 minutes from the Big Easy, Breton Sound Marina at Hopedale is your starting point for a redfish adventure through the gorgeous Biloxi Marsh.

Houma

This more obscure location is just about the same distance from New Orleans as Hopedale, but in the opposite direction. The marshes here are swimming with fish, and because it’s less well-known, you may have a more secluded experience.

Woodland Plantation and Port Sulphur

Situated between Hopedale and Venice, this lodge is good for the budget, good for the belly (with its top-notch food) and offers a great selection of guides for your fishing adventures.

​About the Fish

Red Drum – or Sciaenops Ocellatus – is related to the Black Drum and is a spirited fighter. The bulls, which are those which have grown to at least 27 inches or 20 pounds and can be either male or female, are particularly aggressive and will put up a violent display before attempting to flee.

Distance is of little consequence with these suckers, but accuracy is everything. You want to get the fly right into their face as soon as you see the water lift. They can’t see very well so they’re not going to chase your bug down, so you want to put it within a very limited area right in front of them. Because this species’ diet of crabs rounds their teeth out, you will need to perform a number of strip sets to bury the hook...then…prepare for battle (and a battle there will be!). Resist the temptation to lift the rod before you feel the weight of the fish indicating that the hook is embedded.

For the fly fisherman who’s interested in honing their accuracy skills, Red Drum are the ideal way to test and tighten the cast. Because of their size, landing one is also a contest of physical strength and mental acumen, making a Louisiana fly fishing trip a nice change of pace from simple, relaxed trout fishing up north.

​When to Go?

While the isolated backwaters of the Mississippi Delta will indeed yield 10-15 pounders and up during any season, if you really want to get your feet wet with redfish angling, the winter is the time to strike. The colder waters of the Gulf drive the larger specimens up toward the brackish waters, making it a field day for the bug chucker. What the chillier weather also does is create clearer water, giving you a better view of your prey – thus helping your aim when it comes time to cast.

Any time from September on into winter is great for landing a 20+ pounder. But from September to December is when the action is really ripe, particularly closer to December. Don’t sweat it if this timing doesn’t work for you – booking your trip anywhere between September and May will likely result in a fruitful experience. The weather can grow volatile from January on, so if you’re taking an expedition during the late winter/early spring, it’s a good idea to pad your itinerary with a day or two just in case you lose some time to the hands of Mother Nature.

​What You Will Need When You Get There

The experts make no bones about the supplies you’ll want to have with you when you head out on your flats boat adventure. Try to stock your pack with as many of the following as possible:

  • Brimmed hat
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • An extra top layer for the ride from the marina to where you’ll be fishing
  • Rain jacket
  • Long pants
  • GlovesSunscreen
  • Bug repellant
  • Nippers or nail clippers
  • Lip balm
  • Camera
  • Food
  • Beverages (alcohol and/or otherwise)
  • Finger tape

For your rig, you’ll want a 9 weight rod, even though you may not technically need it for the smaller guys. You want to be ready for The Big One. Experts recommend investing in specialized redfish line – they work well, and prevent you from making the common error of using a leader that’s too long.

Your fly pattern isn’t absolutely critical because of the Red Drum’s poor vision, and because they’re so very aggressive and not picky at all. A woolly bugger will do, as will any substantial baitfish imitator in white, purple, or chartreuse. Remember – the Red Drum bites on an impulsive reaction from your casting up in his grill, not necessarily because he actually believes your fly is food.

You should also bring along a teamwork attitude – your guide and you will need to work together, particularly if you’re encountering larger, stronger fish. If you’re a first-timer to fly fishing, respect your guide’s advice and learn all you can by observing.

You will need a fishing license from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. A basic fishing license is $9.50, and saltwater is $13 (plus you also need the basic when you get the saltwater). For non-residents that price skyrockets to $60 for the basic, and an additional $30 for the saltwater. The good news is that if you are going on a guided trip, you can buy a Charter Passenger License for $10, whether you’re a resident or not. This license is good for three days of fishing. Minors under the age of 16 do not require a license.

Red Drum regulations in Louisiana dictate that you may keep fish of at least 16 inches in length, with a daily bag limit of five, and only one of those exceeding 27 inches.

Other Fish

Throughout the state’s many rivers, streams, lakes, and marshes there is also opportunity for catching bass, black drum, sheepshead, and more. Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge offers those in the northerly part of the state a chance to enjoy some casting for largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and the infamous bull bream. The 1600 acre lake is set in a 5300 acre wildlife haven, making for a serene and visually stunning Louisiana fly fishing experience.

Conclusion

Whether you just want to lazily cast a line along the banks of the Mississippi, or wrestle a behemoth Red Drum down in the mysterious, marshy swamps of the Gulf, you’re sure to find a fishing experience to match your mood and preferences. While Louisiana is much too warm for traditional trout fisheries that are the typical stomping grounds of fly fishermen (and fisherwomen!), the Pelican State gives sportsman something much more interesting – saltwater fly fishing that cannot be rivaled by anything you’d find north of the coast.

So when you’re trying to figure out where to go next winter, as the snow and ice moves in and you’re stuck in the house tying fly after fly, dreaming longingly of the day when you’ll be able to put them to use, consider booking a trip to the deep bayous of this historic state. You’ll enjoy good food, good company, good fishing, and you’ll come back home with incredible stories to share!