Wayne Syn and I our attending the ADA annual convention in New Orleans and decided to book a few days of Flyfishing for Trophy Bull Redfish. As soon as we arrived in NOLA, we headed over to Uptown Anlgers to get the scoop. Apparently this year is one of the best years ever for Bull Redfish in the Fall. The week before, there were 30 fish days with redfish as big as 30 lbs. We had been watching the tides, moon and weather for the last couple weeks but its seems that the tide is mainly wind driven and the sun and weather are so unpredictable that even the local weathermen get it wrong occasionally. Just our luck though, we hit a bad three days of bad sun windy conditions and rain. So bad the conditions, we only got to fish one day as our Halloween guide Greg Moon, canceled due to rain and John Iverson, thought friday would be a bust as well,
The morning started out pretty fun. John Iverson, one of the coolest local guides I’ve met (who is a Chef, an IT expert, and Massage therapist as well), picked us up downtown, and drove us to a breakfast place called Penny’s Cafe were all the local fly fishing guides meet before the day begins for breakfast. We ate a great breakfast and picked up some soft shell crab sandwiches for the day and we were off to fish. John started right away with how bad the conditions were apologizing and saying “there was nothing he could do about it”. Wayne and I have fished NOLA five times and each time, we seem to hit the worst conditions no matter how hard we plan. Two of the five guides guides we have used DIED within the last 4 years–we are jinxed in the Big Easy. The key, according to John is to hit either side of a half moon, and aim for negative tides, and low winds.
Our shots at fish were few and far between but we saw some fish and we caught them. We ended the day with 4 redfish up to 10 lbs, a 24 lb black drum, a sheepshead and half a dozen sea trout . In addition, Wayne landed half dozen oysters . He snagged and and landed a clump of nice sized oysters and we should have eaten them instead of thrown them back. Note to self, when in NOLA, pack shucking knife and Tobasco Sauce. We fished John’s “Magic Mohawk” and some shrimp fly pattern the whole day. We’ve done worse on previous trips, but we were expecting much more even though the redfish were bigger. On the way home, John showed us how to score a 100 lb sack of oysters for 45 bucks. The oyster boats must be in by 4:00 pm and the fish markets send trucks to meet them at the docks every evening. You can’t miss them, they park right in the middle of the road. If you get there while they are unloading around 3:30, you can buy right off the boat for cash. I must remember that for next year.
I highly recommend John Iverson as a very competent Fly Fishing Guide who is truly a local experienced guide. You gotta check out his 1983 classic flats boat designed and built by Chris Morejohn. Also, in the last 4 years, he put over 10 thousand miles on the Yammy 90.