Swamps, Mardi Gras and Bourbon Street - those are the first things that come to mind when someone mentions a trip to Louisiana. However, the self-proclaimed "Sportsman's Paradise" has become something of a mecca for saltwater fly-fishermen in recent years. Anglers traveling to target redfish and speckled trout are pleasantly surprised to add tuna, billfish, tarpon and a host of other species to the limitless opportunities on the Louisiana coast. Realizing that there was a gap in the information available, local author, fly-angler and FFSW contributor Pete Cooper Jr. set out to create the first guidebook for the sport in the area, Fly Fishing the Louisiana Coast.
Cooper dedicates the first half of the book to thorough descriptions of the game fish found here. Each of these narratives includes his personal experiences, ranging from the many redfish, speckled trout and tripletail he has landed to his lone tarpon and yet-to-be-boated billfish. He literally tells you everything he knows about fishing for each of these species. This alone is worth the price of the book, but the second section makes it a must-have for anyone planning on fishing there.
In the second half, Cooper takes the reader on a journey from the Texas state line to the Mississippi River delta. And this is where he veers from the traditional "how-to, where-to" approach. While other guidebooks provide only generic information, Cooper tries to leave no proverbial stone unturned, adding his own brand of Cajun humor and thoroughly covering every nook and cranny of the region - from hotels and restaurants to tackle shops and local guide services. He closes this section with the requisite information on gear and "hot" flies (a chartreuse-and-white Clouser Minnow should not be the only fly in your box, just a large portion of it).
Anyone dreaming about a trip to Louisiana should add this book to his or her list of resources. Most of the fishing lies just a short trip from the popular convention destination of New Orleans, so this guide serves as an invaluable tool for planning your next "business" trip. Since I got the book, it has accompanied me each weekend down the winding back roads of my new home waters on the Louisiana coast, and has made the often-laborious job of finding fish in an unfamiliar area much easier.