For the first Orlando Kayak Fishing Club meeting of 2016, Philippe Richen lined up Luc Desjarlais, author of Wade Fly Fishing The Upper St. Johns River Basin (Florida) for American Shad, for a book signing and presentation. I was able to attend this meeting and had a great conversation with Luc before his presentation about why he only included seven flies in his book. Luc told me that he actually thought that seven flies were too much, that you could fill fly boxes full of flies you would never need. Luc believes that if you want to catch shad consistently, there are really only three flies that you need, the Crazy Charlie, the Gotcha, and the Clouser Minnow, just tie them in different weights to match water conditions. I certainly can not argue with that, but will continue to try new flies none the less. I love to tie flies, and I love to catch fish in different ways. So my pursuit of the “perfect shad fly” will continue, even though I know there are tried and true favorites. 🙂
Luc is very friendly and animated, and I thought that he brought his book to life in a wonderful and interesting way. Not only did he work his way through information in his book during his presentation, he also provided plenty of additional anecdotes from his fifteen years of experience fishing for shad on the St. Johns River. In my review of his book, I said it was “essentially a treasure map for the fly fisherman targeting shad on the St. Johns River,” and this presentation is an excellent companion to that map on your journey to catch more shad. This podcast is something I will listen to year after year as I prepare for the run, and I highly encourage anyone that is targeting shad on the fly on the St. Johns River to do the same!