When is the best time for fly fishing in Louisiana near New Orleans?
This still may be the most asked question by anglers around the world. The answer can be pretty long-winded, but that's mainly because there are so many different situations and I have to explain how great the fishing can be each and every month of the year. I've given a very quick and very general summary for EACH MONTH below!
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in January
January can be a great time to fly fish in Louisiana. Like any month, Mother Nature may have something to say about it. But if you shy away from reserving your dates, someone else will get them and most likely have an incredible time you could've been having. January commonly offers very low tides and beautifully clean water. The big bull redfish, black drum, and even sheepshead pile into the shallows and roam the flats hunting for their next meal. You could encounter fish in singles, double, small groups, or even large schools occasionally. January 2018 was fantastic. The first week or so was a little rough with extremely abnormal cold weather, but as soon as the water temps increased the fish went nuts. Here are just a few photos.
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in February
February can be another great month to fly fish in Louisiana. February is usually very similar to January in terms of weather and great fishing. We even could see more large schools in the shallows if the conditions are right. Here are some of the photos from last February. February 2018 was off to a great start and I'm looking forward to the rest of the month! This month usually marks the beginning of crawfish and carnival season here in New Orleans. Can be fun time to be in the city as well as on the water!
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in March
March is another great time to fish in Louisiana. It can be similar to January and February and begins our transition to spring. Sometimes Mother Nature can get a little thrown off and make it a little more challenging for fly fishing, but the opportunities are still there especially on the calmer days. And if the conditions just aren't that good for fly fishing and you're willing to cast a spinning rod, the results could be insane! Each year is a little different in terms of weather for March, but you just have to go for it. It could be some of the best fishing you've ever experienced!
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in April
As the temps heat up in April so does the fishing! April often offers a little higher tides than we've seen through winter and we can get into the back-waters where we target large numbers of beautiful redfish cruising and tailing in the shallow clear water. Some of them are so orange/copper that they look almost like koi swimming around in the marsh! And we can even still get out and target some of the monster bull redfish and black drum. Often with their tails and backs out of the water. Topwater action often starts to heat up around this time. The marsh is coming to life with all sorts of wildlife including alligators. Crawfish season is in full swing too so you can get a true Louisiana experience. Maybe you'll even make it to Jazz Fest!
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in May
You guessed it... May is another great month to fly fish in Louisiana. Similar to April we target redfish, black drum, etc. in the backwaters as well as the exterior marsh. Tailing bull redfish and black drum often become a more common sight. There are lots of shrimp, crabs, and baitfish around and the fish are chowing down! Some of my most memorable days have been around this time.
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in June
Are you starting to see a trend here..? June is a great month here in the Louisiana marsh! It's getting pretty warm, but so is the fishing. June is similar to May, but often on steroids. The winds are often calm, the redfish are on the prowl sometimes in schools and small groups as well as big singles hunting shore lines and flats. Redfish, black drum, alligator gar, tripletail, and jack crevalle are targets. The topwater action starts to heat up a little more too! What a month it can be here in the Louisiana marsh!
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in July
July... It's hot, but you could be in for some insane action and the fight of your life. Redfish of course are still on the target menu as well as black drum, etc. But the star of the show becomes the Jack Crevalle! July is usually when they really start to show up in large numbers often in big schools that get into feeding frenzies. We can even sight-fish them on the shallow flats very similar to fishing for GTs (giant trevally) on the other side of the world where anglers spend upwards of tens of thousands of dollars to target them. I've done it and it can be great, but why not do it here in your own back yard especially if you only have a few days to spare? I'm a huge fan of targeting jack crevalle. I won't go into too much detail here, but feel free to check out some of my other blog posts about these incredible fish. Oh and did I mention we almost exclusively use topwater around this time? OH YEAH!
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in August
August is yet another fantastic month to fly fish in the Louisiana marsh. Very similar to July and is one of my favorite times to be on the water. A typical day is hot and calm, but that often makes it easier to find the fish! Jack crevalle are a mojor specie to target as well as redfish, black drum, tripletail, etc. Topwater action is still peaking. We'll have plenty of ice cold water on the boat and you're welcome to bring beer. You may want it to celebrate a great day! I always look forward to August fishing as it can be incredible for true giants.
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in September
For September, you should re-read August and July above. What an incredible time to be here! Jack Crevalle of course is a favorite target for this month. It can get pretty insane! This is also another great time to visit the backwaters and target large numbers of glowing redfish in clear water. We've had some record numbers during this month. Another specie not mentioned are sharks. We could target them in these summer months too. And I'm not talking about little baby sharks... Often much too large to bring in the boat.
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in October
October begins the fall season and redfish, black drum, and jack crevalle are the main targets. The marsh is beginning to get much busier with recreational anglers as well as transient guides. The days of not seeing another boat all day may be coming to an end for a few months. Don't get me wrong though, it can still be a fantastic time in the marsh. This is usually when redfish get in the full swing of their spawn. The boat rides are often long and we look for large schools of fish. It's relatively common to throw topwater this month as well.
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in November
Similar to October, November is a great time. Still a very busy time though. The temperatures are dropping and the redfish are loving it. We find them in schools, small groups, and also singles in the shallows. Sometimes you won't see another boat all day, but we could also be within view of many boats as we are all out there looking for the same thing.
New Orleans, Louisiana Fly Fishing in December
December... We are wrapping up another great year and going out with a bang! Many of the big schools have broken up and moved into the shallows. Our winter low tides are becoming more common and can make it easier to find the redfish on the flats. Besides spring and summer months, this may be my favorite.
The Best Time for Fly Fishing in Louisiana near New Orleans - Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
To summarize these very generalized summaries even further, every month of the year can be a fantastic time to fly fish in Louisiana. Each month offers something a little different. Each month has its own challenges and great opportunities. What I have mentioned for each month above are very general descriptions and you never truly know what you'll experience. As a guide, I will put you in the best opportunities available. I'd love to spend time on the water with you so reach out to me and let's get your days reserved before someone else gets them!
A common sight in spring and summer: Tailing black drum and redfish waving you over to make your cast. Are you up for it?
Capt. Brandon Keck, owner of Southern Fly Expeditions, is based in New Orleans, Louisiana and fishes much of the surrounding area. Typically launching his poling skiff out of New Orleans, Hopedale, Delacroix, Slidell, and more. It's very easy to get to the fishing waters and usually only a 45min drive from your hotel.