If you only read national magazines and paid attention to any of the fly-fishing articles, then the image you conjure is of some guy fully regaled in hundreds-of-dollars waders, vests, special tools and a buggy-whip rod. And that was before he made one of those funny-looking “presentations,” something the rod-and-reel folks call “casts.”
Whoa, that’s not south Louisiana, not for the decades-old Red Stick Fly Fishers. And if you want to know more about this branch of piscatorial pleasure, then Saturday’s Red Stick Day is for you.
Best of all it’s free, well, all the expense you’ll have is the gas it’ll take you to get to the Waddill Wildlife Education Center off North Flannery Road (it’s between Choctaw Drive and Greenwell Springs Road) in Baton Rouge.
“It’s a chance to open up what we do to everyone who’s interested in what we do,” RFSS President Joe Kahler said.
“It’s our biggest event of the year.”
The membership will turn out for a day of seminars, fly-tying, demonstrations and hands-on instruction. Newbies can even take a shot at casting for panfish in two on-site ponds.
This is the 24th year for this special day, and the most recent addition is a chance to paddle a kayak provided by The Backpacker from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Waddill’s ponds to get a feel for a watercraft that’s providing more and more access to the coastal marshes for RSFF members.
“It’s a celebration for our members and the community, not just for what we do, but for all fishermen,” longtime RSFF member Roger del Rio said. “We want everyone to have as much fun as we do.”
This year’s more unique presentations include del Rio’s “Casting Basics” seminar for beginners at 11 a.m.
Others are Glen “Catch” Cormier’s “Cenla’s Dazzling Dozen,” a program outlining the 12 hot fly-fishing areas around Alexandria; Fred Hannie’s 10 a.m. “Understanding Pond Fish;” and, the 11 a.m. “Making and Painting Poppers” by Ron Braud and Stephen Roberts.
After a jambalaya lunch — the $8 meal benefits RSFF projects with local Boy Scouts and its work on National Hunting and Fishing Day — there’s a 1 p.m. program with featured guest Bill Laminack of Panama City, Florida.
Laminack ties flies he uses to patrol Florida’s marshes and grass flats for redfish and speckled trout, and his flies and patterns he’s developed are known throughout the Gulf states for attracting strikes.
The club also will hold its annual banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the BREC Perkins Park Community Building. There’s a $15 banquet fee.
More for Saturday
For the bass fishermen, there’s a $10,000 first-place guarantee in Saturday’s third annual Trinity Outdoors Bass Classic.
Organizer Jason Bland dedicates the proceeds to help the disabled, especially wounded veterans and their families to get outdoors.
This event replaced the old Our Lady of the Lake Children’s tournament, and the folks who worked for that successful event, moved lock, stock and barrel into this cause, and continue to have adult/child and adult/adult divisions with three launch sites in the Pierre Part-Belle River area, a car show and a cooking contest.