Welcome to the homepage for the Contraband Fly Casters club of Lake Charles, Louisiana. The club is named the Tom Nixon chapter, after the pioneer of flyfishing and flytying for bass and panfish, who passed away on May 29, 2003. Tom was a member of the club, and the naming of the chapter for him preceded his death by several years. Tom was diagnosed with cancer earlier in the spring of 2003. Tom was a great innovator of fly patterns such as the Calcaseiu Pigboat, .56%er, Sowela, Louisiana Mickey Finn, YBP2, etc. Tom gave many tying demonstrations across the region. Many will remember Tom Nixon for his book "Fly Tying and Fly Fishing for Bass and Panfish," which was published in three different editions. Tom will be sorely missed by many.
The monthly meetings of the Contraband Fly Casters occur every third Tuesday of the month in the auditorium (first floor)of Gayle Hall on the McNeese State University campus. Since Gayle Hall has been damaged due to Hurricane Rita, we will be meeting in a Room on the second floor of Kirkman Hall at least until fall 2007. Yearly dues for the Contraband Fly Casters are $25. See details below.
April meeting of the Contraband Fly Casters
The next meeting of the Contraband Fly Casters will be on
April 15, 2008 in Room 200 of Kirkman Hall on the McNeese campus in Lake Charles, LA. Flytying begins at 6:00 pm, with the meeting and program beginning at 7:00 pm. We will be holding a hook and marerials swap. Bring the excess of what you have and trade it for something you need!!
Registration Forms Now Available for Gulf Coast Expo 2008
Registration forms for the Gulf Coast Expo 2008 May 16 -17th in Lake Charles, LA are now available at http://www.gulfcoastfff.org/index.php?page=Expo-2008 . A mail-in registration form (check only) is available. Also available is online registration (credit card or check). A $2.00 processing fee will be charged for online registration. The Gulf Coast Expo 2008 will feature Bruce Richards, Nick Curcione, Tim Borski, and Mark Sedotti plus many programs and workshops. Friday evening there is a crawfish boil, and Saturday evening the banquet featuring an auction an authentic Louisiana cuisine. Over a total of over seventy demonstration fly tiers will be tying Friday and Saturday.
Spring 2008 Issue of GCC Newsletter "Sea to Stream" Available
Contraband Fly Casters Fishing Outing at Fred Hannie's Pond March 15th
The outing at Fred Hannie's pond was this past Saturday. Everyone managed to catch some fish. The bluegills were quite cooperative. As the day progressed towards sunset the 'gills switched from subsurface flies to surface flies (small poppers, although no popping was needed). A few bass were caught (David Stewart caught a bass on a Calcasie Pigboat. Later he hooked agar wiyhthe same fly, but the gar cut him off) A few redear sunfish (chinquapin, shellcracker, take your pic of name)were also landed. Dinner was a nmice, consisting of grilled pork, grilled sausage, grilled corn on the cob, pea salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, homemade sweet pickles, garlic bread (and I've probably left something out) plus a choice of deserts. Fred supplied the pork, sausage and corn, while the other dishes were contibutions from the attendees. As a club, we all owe Fred a great deal of thanks. This was the second year for a great event at Fred's pond.
Winter 2008 Gulf Coast Council of Federation of Fly Fishers Newsletter, "Sea to Stream" Available
The winter 2008 edition of "Sea to Stream," the quarterly newsletter of the Gulf coast council of the Federation of Fly Fishers is now available at http://www.gulfcoastfff.org/index.php?page=communications . This issue contains excellent articles on shooting heads, rattle flies, fly patterns and more.
Last Chance to Become an FFF Member at the Reduced Rate of $15?
The FFF membership drive in which new members can join for $15 which was to end December 31, 2007 has been extended to April 15, 2008. If you wish to become a member, you need to fill out the membership application form (just click on the link and you'll go to a pdf form you can print out), and it in with a check for $15 to the FFF.
Fall 2007 issue of "Sea to Stream," newsletter of the Gulf Coast Council of the FFF Aailable
Larry Offner has launched a new website to deal with warm water fly fishing. This is a much needed addition as most of the supposedly active sites dealing with warm water fly fishing on the web have been quite inactive. The name of the site is WarmFly and can be found at http://www.warmfly.com/. the most recent announcement is for the first WarmFly photo contest.
First Gulf Coast Council Conclave & Expo a Success
On May 18-20, 2007 the inaugural Gulf Coast Council conclave & Expo was held at the Lake Charles Civic Center in Lake Charles, LA. The featured guests were Lefty Kreh and Nick Curcione. The event began Friday with several workshops, and vendors beginning to sell their wares. Friday evening there was a crawfish boil along the lake front. And just as the sun started to set, redfish started chasing bait along the sea wall, and at least a few were caught on flies off the the seawall. Saturday were more workshops, free programs, and lots of demo fly tyers to be seen. Saturday also began the silent auction and bucket raffles, with some very nice items available (and no I didn't win anything, even though I tried). Saturday evening was the banquet (catered by Marilyn's) which included shrimp pasta, rolls, boudin balls, crawfish pistolettes, cochon de lait, and bread pudding (no one went away hungry). After dinner the big auction was held, featuring some incredibly nice items, and presided over by Marc Pinsel. the auction was not only interesting, but Marc kept it very entertaining. Sunday was more of the same, but with a bit more relaxed atmosphere, and included more silent auction items and bucket raffles, as well as demo tyers, programs and workshops.
Everyone I talked to had a great time. The Board of the Gulf Coast Council is going to attempt to bring back the GCC Conclave & Expo to Lake Charles next year...so keep your eyes peeled for announcements.
Their were vendors of paddlecraft, flytying tools, rods vendors (Orvis, TFO, Echo & Titanium), lodges, and more. Two vendors of that I personally noted (and lots of people did business with) were Gulf Coast Tackle of Lake Charles, a local vendor of TFO rods & reels, as well as lots of conventional tackle (proprietor Nick Chehotsky, 5730 Common Street, Lake Charles, LA 70607, Phone: 337/474-2008, FAX 337/474-2744, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are interested in a TFO rod or reel, and want to put yur hands on one, go down to Gulf Coast Tackle (well south of McNeese St. on Common St.) and Nick will help you out. The other notable vendor for me, was Don Reed's Saltwater Flytyers (4414 Worth Dr. W., Jacksonville, FL 32207, Phone: 904/535-6929, FAX: 904/733-5359, E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.saltwaterflytyers.com). Don has an amazing array of Whiting American hackle, both necks & saddles, perfect for tying bass & saltwater flies, Coq de Leon, Enrico Puglisi fibers and flash brushes, Spirit River deer hair, and other materials. All I can tell you is the total purchases of myself & my wife, Ron Foreman, Ron Begnaud and Danny Williams were a pretty penny...and not because Don's prices were high, but because of the quantity and quality of the materials he had on hand. so if you are looking for bass or saltwater flytying materials, consider giving Don a call at Saltwater Flytyers. If you know what you exactly what you want, he'll personally try to pick out exactly what you need.
For those interested in paddlecraft (kayaks, canoes, etc.), the next time you are in Beaumont,TX, you might consider dropping in at Coastal Paddler (proprietor John C. Gordon, 2855 Eastex Frwy., Suite A, Beaumont, TX 77706, Phone: 409/899-4397, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Coastal Paddler sells kayaks, canoes, and accessories and also offers demos, lessons and rentals. - MD
Spring Issue of Gulf Coast Council Newsletter, Sea to Stream, Available Online
The Spring 2007 issue of Sea to Stream is now available online at the Gulf Coast Council website at http://www.gulfcoastfff.org/index.php?page=communications. This publication is available online or by e-mail subscription. If you are an FFF member in the Gulf Coast Council area and do not receive an e-mail copy by Thursday, April 26, 2007 it is because we do not have a current valid e-mail address for you. You can send an current e-mail address to Mark Delaney at email@example.com. We are working very hard to come up with a good e-mail list for the members of the Gulf Coast Council.
FFF Gulf Coast Council Conclave & Expo and Housing Info
The FFF Gulf Coast Council Council & Expo will take place May 18-20, 2007 at the the Lake Charles Civic Center. For a complete listing of programs, workshops and activities please visit http://www.gulfcoastfff.org. the featured speakers at the Conclave will be Lefty Kreh and Nick Curcione. If you are seeking information on hotels in the Lake Charles area (including distance from the Lake Charles Civic Center), you can find that information by visiting this page:
The Contraband Fly Casters Homepage is moving to http://www.contrabandflycasters.com. The reason for this move is to provide a site that is ad and pop-up free (at one time this site was pop-up free, but the rules changed). The other advantage is that our archived newsletters will be much easier to retrieve. The new webmaster will be Ron Begnaud and for web page matters he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until we have everything ported that we plan to port, this website will still be active, probably for another couple of months. Some material, such as the Tom Nixon swaps and patterns will probably stay at the http://cbfc0.tripod.com domain. If you have suggestions for Ron for the new site, shoot him an e-mail. - Mark Delaney
First Annual Saltwater Fly Fishers Picnic, October 14, 2006
The first Annual Saltwater Fly Fishers Picnic will be held in Myrtle Grove October 14, 2006 at the Woodland Plantation. This looks to be the biggest flyfishing event along the Louisiana coast this fall. The event is supposed to be a celebration of fly fishing according to Alec Griffin of Uptown Angler of New Orleans. There will be programs, fly tying sessions, and casting sessions. Representatives from companies such as Sage, Patagonia, Scott, Orvis and Temple Fork will be present with various products to display and try. Massey Outfitters will also be present with a selection of kayaks and canoes. Some of the significant personages who will be there include Tim Borski, Conway Bowman, Chico Fernandez, and Enrico Puglisi. A Cajun lunch and dinner will be served. There will be a cash bar as well and live music.
Griffin encourages everyone to come out and share stories, bring a boat, hire a guide, or just come to hang out. The waters in the area are stuffed with reds, specks, and other hard-fighting marsh species this time of year.
Registration is $50, which includes all activities, lunch, dinner, soft drinks, everything except alcoholic beverages.
Accomodations will be available at the Riverside Motel at Belle Chasse. Griffin also noted that the committee is working to get discount rooms in downtown New Orleans.
Why are some of the most respected names in our sport generously giving their time and resources to this event? The Saltwater Fly Fishers Picnic will benefit the America's Wetlands Campaign. In light of the devastation to the northern Gulf Coast caused by hurricanes this past season, the significance of protecting and restoring our coastal wetlands has never been greater. Call it a sense of community, a need to help others, or an effort to bring attention to a growing plight. One thing is certain, "The Picnic" will be the most fun you've had helping a worthwhile cause!
For more information, contact Alec at Uptown Angler at (504) 529-3597.
News from August 2006 Contraband Fly Casters Meeting
It was a lively night for discussion. Some concerned of members were addressed about what it meant that the Contraband Fly Casters had voted to become an Affiliate Club of the Federation of Fly Fishers. First of all this does not mean that club members must be FFF members. That is their personal option. Our membership dues will not go up dues to this affiliation, but will remain at $25.00 per year. The only difference in our membership form is a question asking if the club member is an FFF member or not. That is because our FFF membership dues are $100 per year plus $2.00 for every non-FFF member. The major advantage to this move at the moment is to become part of the new Gulf coast Council of the FFF and to establish ties to other clubs, etc. Their are a lot of potenitally good interactions with other clubs that may develop (speakers bureau, joint events, etc.).
The first Gulf Coast Council Conclave is scheduled for May 18,19 & 20, 2007 at the Civic Center in Lake Charles. Featured speakers (at least tenatively) are Lefty Kreh and Nick Curcione. Ron Begnaud is the Conclave Chair working under the VPs of events for the Gulf Coast Council, Buzzy Burns and Sydney Smith. Ron Thomas has agreed to be the Youth Program Chari for the event; Mark Delaney has agreed to be the Newsletter chair for the event; and Ron Foreman has agreed to be the Onsite Facilities Chair to deal with problems (power availibilty, room conformations and the like) the actual days of the event. thre is still a lot of work to do, but it is an exciting time.
The rest of the meeting was taken up by planning club activities. The club would still like to be involved with the Boy Scout flyfishing merit badge. Ron Thomas volunteered to find out the information about local scout troops and investigate the possibility of club members mentoring Boy Scouts in the process of getting their fly fishing merit badge. Club activities were also brought up. Danny Williams is investigation the possibility of a club trip to the Little Red River for a November date. He will also investigate the possibility of a trip to a private Georgia lodge for trout fishing. There was also some discussion about the club being on the look out for a conservation project in the area , but the idea needs more research. Finally it was decided that September's meeting would be a meeting about how to tie two saltwater flies. Ron Begnaud will demonstrate how to tie an Enrico Puglisi style baitfish fly using Puglisi fibers and how to tie Dorsey's Kwan fly. Members are encouraged to bring their vises to the September meeting to try their hand at tying these flies. Members please be aware that with the start of the new fall semester at McNeese, we may have to switch rooms from Kirkman 202 to a different room in Kirkman depending upon availibility. Ron Begnaud then volunteered to pay the registration fee for the "contrabandflycasters" domain name. Plans are to have it as a sub-domain of Ron's site. This would increase bandwidth and pop-ups hopefully would be a thing of the past. We'll maintain a forwarding address from this site however. The timeline for this is still uncertain, so I'd check here first.
Gulf Coast Council of the FFF Established
The August 5th organizational meeting in Lake Charles resulted in the definite formation of the council. The initial President of the Council will be Glen (Catch) Cormier of Baton Rouge, the Treasurer will be Danny Williams of Lake Charles, the Secretary will be Larry Offner of Baton Rouge. There has been a lot of business and discussion via e-mail this week. It looks like the first Gulf Coast council conclave will take place next May in Lake Charles. For a more complete report on the August 5th organizational meeting, please see the August newsletter
Gulf Coast Council of FFF Website
The Gulf Coast Council of the FFF now has a website at http://www.gulfcoastfff.org/. The Gulf Coast Council is at the moment a sub-council. there isn't a whole lot on the website as of yet. the most active portion seems to be the Bulletin Board. Expect a lot more after the August 5th organizational meeting in Lake Charles, LA.
Contraband Fly Casters Vote to become FFF Affiliated Club