The fly fishing weekend formerly known as GI or Grand Isle Weekend has returned. Out of the ashes the Phoenix rises. Hurricanes, venue issues and plandemics have conspired to seemingly keep the event infinitely cancelled but just last week we got the call. In 2017 it was issues with scheduling our venue that put the kibash on the event. In 2019 it was hurricanes and flooding. And in 2020 of course, it was the “Chinese virus”. 2018 did come off and we had a lot of fun, even an informal “for fun” fishing tournament.
Thankfully, in 2021, barring any unforeseen disasters, clubs of the Gulf Coast Council of the FFI will get together in Leeville once again the weekend of July 16,17, and 18. The host club is the Red Stick Fly Fishers and they will feed us on Friday and Saturday night. Friday night usually is shrimp and the Saturday night event is, hopefully, the fish we catch. We will provide a donation to defray their expenses and maybe even contribute some fish.
Upon getting the call from the Red Stick club I immediately notified past attendees and we currently have five people and some family members from the Magnolia Fly Fishers going. Others can still sign up, they will simply need to call Boudreaux’s Motel and book their room.
Now, for newbies, typically we fish from kayaks or jon boats, although there is wade fishing either at Grand Isle, Elmer’s Island or Fourchon as well as there is some bank fishing along the old portion of Hwy 1 that was orphaned after the big causeway bridge across the marsh was built. There is also a wildlife area North of Golden Meadow as well as a marsh area called “Catfish Lake”, but there is plenty of fishing right out of Leeville, no need to go looking for new places really.
For someone without a kayak I think there are kayak rentals available, beach/wade fishing at Elmer’s and Fourchon and/or as a last resort there is also what I call “culvert fishing” which is stopping at the culverts in around the area and drifting clousers. If it is an unusually windy, bad day I’ve been known to leave the kayak in the truck and hit the culverts myself. Unfortunately the event has been scheduled during the slack tides and there may not be a lot of water flow, though the wind can provide a water flow even on a slack tide. There are also fishing piers at Grand Isle next to the bridge. The piers have lights and, yes, some do fly fish from the piers, and sometimes they do quite well.
The slack tide is unfortunate in that fish are more comfortable and feed better when there is moving water. But on the upside of that, the water levels will not be real high, nor real low, so there will be plenty of moderate sight casting water and if it’s not windy the water shouldn’t be muddy which is all a sight caster can ask for. For speck fly fishers, I would suggest calling them up with a Clouser and a popping cork (VOSI) or look for where the wind is pushing some water and making some current one can drift or strip a Clouser through. Speck fisherman can usually get by with just Clousers although some like to use a shrimp imitation.
As you can see below, there’s plenty of fishable water.
There is a toll to go over the causeway to Fourchon, which is the piano shaped highway below.
The orphaned piece of Hwy 1 is to the left of hwy 1, accessed by driving from Leeville to Fourchon over the causeway and hanging a right.
Traditional Grand Isle areas are not far away. One can put in on the North side to fish Lake Larier, or the south side to fish down towards the beach. Elmers island has a big bay that is largely wadable due to the sand from the beach which makes a firm bottom. The surf is fishable too and specks do come in to the beach this time of year. Many of the fly fishers will be fishing the surf, if its not too rough. The beach fishing can also be accessed from Fourchon.
Accommodations are what I would call “fishing accommodations”, this isn’t a Destin condo. There are bunk beds in the photo below but I was told the rooms I have booked have two double beds. Be sure to ask when you call. I just hope “double” doesn’t mean bunk.
The current attendees are all veterans of previous Leeville Weekend trips and a resource for further information. Hopefully we can get together during the June meeting at Orvis and see what folks are planning. Any interested or “on the fence” folks can find out more at the meeting. We will be happy to point out saltwater flies that Orvis carries that would be good for the trip. Also, Breambugs carries saltwater flies that would work on this trip: