New Orleans


northwest flyfisherman who lives in the desert
I'm headed to New Orleans on business and of course packing a 7W with me. Any advice from the forum would be much appreciated from venturing out on my own, fly shop i should visit, guide I should hire.. etc... - Gerard
Go for the food. Much better chance for success. Try Clancy's and Geautreaus Uptown. Commander's Palace is still a fair bet. If you go to Mandina's off of Tulane, get the Trout Meunière. They also do a great turtle soup. For cheap oysters, try Cooter Browns at River Bend, or for a truly unique experience, go to Casamento's. Avoid the French Quarter like the plague it is. Also, although Joe's is a chain, their West End restaurant is a pretty good place to get crabs and crawfish. God rest Brunig's, and God damn Katrina...
A guide will serve you best, however, driving south and renting a little flats skiff may be be the ticket. The canals and channels down there can be highly productive, but if you go it solo, bring a GPS, as all the little braids and back channels begin to look exactly the same after a bit on the water.

Look for birds working bait and just plain nervous bait; i.e. shrimp/finger mullet throwing themselves above the water or onto the bank and/or your boat. And of course, look for tailing reds. The tails will appear as 1-2" tall copper/tan/white colored 'sailboats' wavering just above the surface. At first, they can be hard to recognize but after you see them the first time, you'll know what's up. Cast to the edges of a tailing school, strip moderately until you see a V-wake peeling off of the school, make the retrieve erratic, then hang on. It's a hair early for the true "bull" reds down there but there should be some large fish showing.

Also, if you happen into some ladyfish, get ready for an absolute blast. One Gulf Coast nickname for them is the "tenpounder" because even a 2-3 lb fish fights harder'n hell. Like Pacific NW feeding coho, you cannot strip fast enough for these fish. Make the fly, simply fly.

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