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North Todelo Bend Rendezvous - Nov 4-6

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The North Toledo Bend Rendezvous will be held at North Toledo Bend State Park, outside Zwolle, Louisiana on Nov 4-6. Never been? Well, you’ve missed out!


For each fall for over 15 years, a group of fly tyers/fly fishers and their families from several states have met at the Group Camp and Lodge at this beautiful star of the Louisiana Park System. Situated on the shores of Toledo Bend Lake, this facility has a lodge with a stone fireplace on one end and a full commercial kitchen and serving facilities on the other, 5 sleeping dormitories, and a centrally located (clean) bath house with hot showers! Yes, once we found this place, we've made it an annual event for 16 years!!!


Rendezvous is an opportunity to spend a full weekend tying with a group of excellent tyers that is unrivaled. Unlike a FFF Conclave, where you sit and watch other tyers “demonstrate” their skills and abilities, this event was designed for tyers to “tie with” their friends and to do “hands-on teaching” of beginners and novice tyers.


Who attends? Well, the many of "regular" attendees are well-known FFF Conclave tyers from the Southern and South Eastern Councils of the FFF. Actually, we never know exactly who will turn up, but tying friends from at least four states typically include: Bill Heugal, Barry Dauphin, Jeff Guerin, Tom Landry, Slim Mitchell, John Peterie, Mike Racca, Fred Dupre, Jay Rankin, Al Wilkie, Big Dale Wilkinson, Peter Allen, David Chin, Buster Wolfe, Marc Pinsel, Walt Moskal, and me (Kyle Moppert), plus a bunch of others, including an ever-present group of the Dallas Road Kill Round Table Tyers - and those guys&gals really know how to tie flies!! Tying couples usually include south Louisiana's Rusty and Caroline Dunn and Dallas tyers, Richard and Diane Blair. For many years, Michael Verduin and Tom Nixon were also regulars.


If you don't know these names, then let me say that most are invited FFF Conclave tyers and do guest tying at FFF clubs throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.


What do we tie? Racca and I will be weaving shrimp, spoon flies, and working on various incarnations of frogs and Blados Crease Flies; Heugal and Rankin will be making bugs that are so beautiful that you won’t want to risk losing them by actually tossing it near a fish! If Little Missouri River guide, Jeff Guerin shows, he’ll teach you to tie his effective mudbug and other Little Mo’ patterns; Pinsel will be “messing” with wool – so sock up before ya’ come; Fred Dupre consistently shows up with a neat/proven bass pattern that ya’ never saw before; Big Dale will always blow ya’ away with his wonderful stories and with Blondes, psychedelic bugs, and other “cool” stuff. These and anything and everything else that ya’ ever wanted to wanted to have the chance to tie can be tied by somebody there.


If the weather’s good, we’ll be fishing on the lake and doing casting on the lawn, ‘cuz ya’ never know who’ll show up with a new “sweet little stick”. If the weather’s little chilly or wet, we’ll stoke up the big stone fireplace in the lodge and just tie more flies… saltwater, warm water, nymphs and drys. It’s a chance to just sit and tie with feathers, furs, deerhair, epoxies, cements, threads, the latest synthetics, techniques, or to discuss waders, watercraft, rods, reels, rivers or other fly fishing stuff.


If you want to sit down and “tie with” a bunch of excellent tyers, then come on down and join us. You don't have to be a "great tyer" or even a "good" tyer. This event is where many beginners, including several of the aforementioned, have learned to tie, and we've all honed our skills.


Just remember that event was founded by tyers for tyers and that the primary Rule of Rendezvous is, “There are no rules at Rendezvous”, which means that there are no programs, no set schedules, no responsibilities, or timetables… You don’t even have to tie a fly! You can just settle in on one the large wooden rockers in front of the big fireplace and read a book; or grab a rocker out on the Lodge’s large front porch, with a big stogie and/or your favorite “adult beverage” and enjoy the company of friends; or you can be one of the hard core crew that "ties all night"....


You can come alone, or you can bring your family. As there is no traffic, no t.v., no video games, or other electronic gear, the kids tend to play games, chase balls, run through the woods or over to the park’s playground, fish and play down by the lake (it’s shallow along the lake), tie flies, and "flow thru"… you know like kids are supposed to do. Therefore, the kids have fun and Mom gets a break.


Actually, the ladies have a good time. The non-tying wives and children are an integral part of this gathering. It wouldn’t be the same without them!


So, for nice relaxed weekend in the big pines on the shores of the lake, then meet us there. While I realize that it may be too far for many of y'all to make it, others of you are within the distance that we in south Louisiana travel up to Southern Council Conclave or Sowbug. Basically, even with gas being what it is, it is still an inexpensive and fun weekend! J


How inexpensive? Well how about... $20 per individual or $30 per couple or family, plus bring your own bedding, towels, drinks and at least one "cover dish" type entree... That cover's all your meals, desserts, coffee, ice, and lodging from when you arrive on Friday until we head out at about noon on Sunday! You don't even have to pay to enter the park or launch a boat!


Oh, and come hungry, as the food alone is more than worth the trip! Piping hot Dutch oven cobblers, chili’s, briskets, Pinsel’s Famous Spaghetti, and lot and lots and lots of other good stuff!!!


Check out Walter Mc Lendon's Rendezvous article and map at the Piney Woods Fly Fishers' site: home.sprynet.com/~waltermc/


Let this be the year the you and your family decides to give Rendezvous a try. If you ever make it once - I bet that you, and your entire family, will become regulars at Rendezvous.


See ya’ there,


Kyle Moppert

a.k.a. Bowfin47



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