Eighty miles south of New Orleans, terra firma gives way to marsh, tide, and saltwater wilderness. Land’s end is a place called Venice. Wiped out by Katrina, plagued by Big Oil—somehow the marsh rebounds, and the shorebirds and gators and redfish find their way back each time. For the latter, there is no better season to cast a fly than in the fall.
In October, redfish begin to school up in the cooling waters. Anglers target the legendary bulls as 20- and 30-pound reds chase baitfish through the channels and passes. Big winds can wreak havoc on a flats skiff this time of year, but when you catch a break and hit it right— really right—fifty-fish days are not unheard of. Some days, the fishing is as easy the living is tough.
Just as the snow started to fly in Montana last year, Bozeman-based photographer Dušan Smetana traveled south to Cajun country to chase big bulls with Billy Nichols of Venice Fishing Lodge. Learn more at www.venicefishinglodge.net.