Release. photo by: Captain Alec Griffin

We are approaching the anniversary of the USA’s largest oil spill in history.  Nearly a year ago, we all watched in disbelief and horror as the Deepwater Horizon rig sank to the bottom of the abyssal Gulf in a ball of flames – and carrying with it 11 of her crew.  For the three months that followed, I wondered and worried daily about my friends in the region and the amazing natural resource that is the Louisiana Gulf coast.  The hundreds of anxiety-ridden phone conversations with my guides, and the underwater video rolling 24-7 images of millions of gallons of raw crude pumping into the sea will always be etched into my memory.  If I never hear the words “blowout preventer”, “top kill”, “relief well” or “dispersants” again I certainly won’t lose any sleep.

Cole Clarkson showing off. photo by: Andy Stepanian

As the oil has retreated (along with British Petroleum’s presence in the region), things have returned to normal on the marsh for our all-star redfish guides (and I suppose CEO Tony Hayward finally has his life back).  Strangely enough, time seems to heal all wounds, and the memories of that dark time last summer seem distant.  The media is long gone, and B.P. has more or less ended all efforts with the cleanup.  Gratefully, fewer and fewer conversations about Louisiana Redfish involve the oil spill – and confidence in this tremendous fishery seems to have returned… and with good reason.

Randy Cupp with February Bull Red. photo by: RIch Waldner

The last six months of fishing have absolutely been dynamite.  Tailwaters has had anglers on the water in Louisiana more or less every week during that time – and the feedback is incredible.  While we had some trips compromised because of wintery weather (to be expected December – March), for the most part we enjoyed much more favorable fishing conditions when compared to years past.  There have been countless reports of multiple 20 and 30-pound fish days, and several ladies and youngsters enjoying success on the water this winter and early spring.   The feedback we receive from our redfish trips in Louisiana is seldom anything but exceptional.  This theme was consistent for the anglers who fished with us during the spill, immediately after the capping of the well, and up until yesterday.

Morning on the marsh. photo by: Capt. Alec Griffin

Someone was outfished by a girl.

Why Louisiana Redfishing with Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company?

We send over 200+ anglers a year down to the marshes of Southern Louisiana to stay at Foster’s idyllic bed and breakfast and fish with our group of local professional fly guides.  Honestly, I don’t think there is a better saltwater fishery anywhere in the United States.  Anglers of all skill levels can enjoy success here with big reds and monster black drum, and guests of all ages and genders fall in love with the food, drink, atmosphere and Southern charm at the Plantation.  Like almost anything, you just have to see it to believe it.  However, I am here to say that if you catch the Louisiana mudflats on a day with favorable conditions you will not have dreamed that many cooperative redfish could exist in one spot.  The proof is in the numbers.  More than 70% of our redfish clients repeat – and more than 40% of them repeat within one calendar year!

Big Bro and Big Mama.

Our staff, our customers, and our guides have formed a tight knit family offering some of the most memorable and productive fishing experiences available in the saltwater.  Innkeeper, Foster Crepple, and our guides are the true equity in the program.  Their love of the Gulf Coast, the fishery, the resource, fly fishing, and above all else, our customers are part of what allows them to deliver such excellent an experience.  We are super proud to be a part of it – and feel confident there is no better resource in the fly fishing industry for organizing redfish trips to this part of the world than with Tailwaters.

The Big House at the Plantation. Southern Comfort. photo by: David Leake

Summer Fishing Opportunities

Everyone is seduced by the big bull reds that invade the marsh in the winter.  It is more or less impossible to find space for a premier guide in October or November this late in the game already.  However, almost everyone overlooks the phenomenal summer fishing.  While you are not getting shots at the monsters, the average year round resident redfish in these waters is still 5-10 pounds – with numerous 12-15 pound fish around as well.  Also note that with the big winter fish comes the roll of the dice that your trip will derail with crumby weather.  I personally prefer the late Spring and Summer months simply because I like bare feet and a sun tan over the mountain climbing expedition weight winter gear required to stay warm on a February boat run.

This is a true year round fishery.  We almost NEVER reschedule a summertime trip – and conditions and fish behavior is very predictable.  Redfish are right at home in the muggy summer marsh – and it is very common to throw poppers in the green grass for tailing fish during the summer and early fall.  The late spring and summer also see lighter breezes that allow for easier casting and cleaner water – but also the ability to get out and reliably find huge schools are hard fighting jack crevalle often over 25-30 pounds (nothing pulls harder).  Don’t write-off going to the Gulf in the summer!

Redfish Decoys. photo by: David Leake

Bay Boat Exploratories

The Louisiana Delta is also home to some of the best near shore and offshore fishing opportunity imaginable.  You flat out cannot believe how prolific it is.  The region is of course famous for its bluefin and yellowfin tuna fishery, but it is the opportunities for other species like amberjack, dorado, tripletail, snapper, cobia, jacks, and even tarpon that are completely overlooked.  There are also schools of bull reds out there that will completely blow your mind.

Stay tuned for subsequent reports from some R&D missions this summer, however let it be known we are laying the groundwork to tackle this incredible fishery and offer it to our clients as a polished fly fishing experience like none other.

Heaven. Only 45 minutes from The Big Easy.

John Owen & Capt. Kirby LaCour. October 2010

For more information about our redfish programs in Louisiana, please contact David Leake ( and check out our web page by clicking on the image below.  Make sure to download our digital brochure and watch the video as well.

Click this image to view our web page and brochure for more information.

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