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Archive for February, 2010

This past week I was fortunate enough to host a group of 5 to the comfortable Woodland Plantation in southern Louisiana. As an employee of Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co, I assumed the position of a host for the group. I arrived in Louisiana with high expectations. Why the hell shouldn’t I, right? In the past year we have sent over 100 anglers to this destination and we continue to hear nothing but great things about the fishery. Our great friend and loyal customer Dennis Burns, landed a whopping 38# redfish last March, which is one of many bull reds we have heard of being landed.

The Woodland Plantation is a wonderful bed and breakfast situated in the heart of southern Louisiana’s marshland. For me, the food is what makes the Woodland special. Each evening starts with two rounds of incredible appetizers, usually a mixture of fried shrimp, spring rolls, crawfish cakes, and others. Once sat, the server starts you with the soup of the day. For our particular group we had gumbo on Sunday, red beans and rice on Monday, crawfish etouffee on Tuesday, and duck & sausage andouille on Wednesday. Next is a dinner salad upon arrival of the entree. The server reads off different options from which you can choose.  Redfish, quail, and steak are common among these choices.

Refish on halfshell

Redfish on the halfshell. Yuuummmy! :: Photo by Matt Jones

Woodland Plantation

View of the Woodland Plantation at Sunrise :: Photo by Matt Jones

Woodland Plantation

The Bar. Warming the body and the mind. :: Photo by Matt Jones

So, back to my expectations and how they were ultimately met. Going in, we all knew the weather this season had been punishing. Alike the rest of the country, the southern flats of Louisiana have been experienced colder weather than the norm. The key for our success was getting sunlight and finding warm water. Obviously we needed sun to see, but we also needed it to warm the shallow flats. We quickly realized that this may not happen due to the fact we had 20-25 knot winds. A quick breakdown of the weather we experienced — lots of sun + lots of wind = little change in water temperature. Our first three days we did catch fish, but it was tough, real tough. Because of the wind, we had very dirty water which made sight casting to redfish difficult. Eighty five percent of the time, I would look down from the casting platform only to realize we had just spooked another redfish beneath the boat. Every so often though, I would spot a fish with a dark back or one sitting closer to the surface, would make a cast and more often than not would get an eat. By Wednesday we were all frustrated with the wind, and the dirty water but were ready to face our last day on the water.  The forecast called for winds to blow at 5-15 knots and luckily the forecast was wrong. Thursday was our day of redemption, we had calm enough conditions to run the boats far closer to the gulf than we had previously and that was our ticket to success. After making a drift across the first flat, our guide took us to an incredible place. Capt. Bryan Carter made the decision to cross the sand bar and go into the gulf to explore the beaches. The gulf water was far warmer than the water on the flats and we quickly started seeing fish (big fish). Within minutes Bryan spotted a huge redfish tail breaking the surface. At this particular point in time, Jared was on the platform searching for this fish. When we found the fish, Jared placed a perfect cast in front of this fish. He slurped it up, and it was on. We initially thought this fish was short of 20lbs, but were very surprised when Jared reeled this fish closer to the boat. After netting and landing the redfish, it weighed in at 29lbs. Not a bad way to end the trip!

Big Redfish

Jared Louviere with 29lb refish :: Photo by Matt Jones

Redfish

Myself with a nicely spotted redfish :: Photo by Jared Louviere

Despite the harsh weather, we ended up having a very successful trip. There were many fish taken in the 12-16lb range, and on the last day Jared landed his trophy.  Other Tailwaters’ customers Rick Buferd, John Hansen, Joey Pate, and Joe Worsham found large schools of redfish and caught in total of over 75 fish!

double redfish

Rick Buferd and John Hansen with a double

Louisiana Redfish

Jared Louviere with 14lb redfish :: Photo by Matt Jones

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One of my star casting students, Jenny Landry recently took a trip with her husband Brant to the flats of Belize searching for bonefish, and she caught plenty! I’ll preface these photos by saying I am not in the slightest surprised at how well she did – definitely one of the fastest learners of the double-haul I have ever seen! Needless to say, she is hooked – I hope her hubby realizes he’s just lost some serious time on the front of the boat. Great Job Jenny, and thanks for sporting the Tailwaters “team colors!”

Jenny Landry with one of many nice bones she caught in Belize. Photo by: Brant Landry

Jenny Landry with a Belizian Bonefish. Photo by: Brant Landry

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Jeff Dean sporting the team colors while packing his elk out. Photo by: Brad Dean

My good hunting and fishing buddy Jeff shot a very nice 5 x 5 Idaho elk this past archery season, and much to my pleasure was sporting our team colors on his way out. Obviously we love getting photos of friends from the shop with fish, but feel free to send your shots of Tailwaters Swag in various other scenes as well – the good ones will live in infamy on Somethin’s Fishy.

Brad Dean and Jeff Dean after a sucessful Idaho Elk Archery hunt. Photo by: Whoever set the timer on the camera

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