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JANUARY 27, 2011

Commander's Palace

Filed under The Table @ 12:30 pm

Chef Tory McPhail grew up in the northwestern part of the United States, but he bleeds Creole.  He became the youngest chef to head the world-famous Commander’s Palace Restaurant in New Orleans, following the likes of Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse who worked in the kitchen before him. As luck would have it, he also fly fishes for redfish. For us at TEN & TWO, that pretty well closed the circle on writing a story about redfish in the Gulf.

Chef Tory McPhail

Nash Bridges is one of the icons of fly-fishing guides in southern Louisiana. Nash knows the marsh; and, in a sense, he is the marsh. It’s where his heart beats. He took us out for a day of fly fishing with chef Tory.  Reds were cruising the marsh and holding tight to the grassland islands south of New Orleans near Port Sulphur. Nash and Tory agreed that when these fish are turned on, the fishing can be spectacular.

Tory McPail Fishing

After a great day on the water, we ate dinner at Commander’s which is to say, we had the kind of dinner that isn’t forgotten anytime soon.  This is a restaurant that truly manages to make every diner feel as though he is the only customer in the room, while turning out hundreds of world-class dishes. Chef Tory uses a soft touch to manage the crew, the customers and the ingredients with elegance and grace.

Commander's Palace

Stay tuned for Tory’s Creole Spiced Redfish recipe in the February issue of TEN & TWO.

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JANUARY 24, 2011

Redfish in New Orleans

Filed under Features @ 2:20 pm

Redfish are hitting flies like crazy in the marsh south of New Orleans.  Even after the oil spill, some say that it’s better than ever.  The big bulls still come into the offshore islands in the winter and the juvenile fish are gorging themselves on bait inshore on the edges of the marsh grass.  This kind of fishing has the potential to be the best you’ve ever seen, but you need to know how to target cast, because these are moving fish, and a fly fisherman needs to be able to hit a moving object.  At certain times of the year and in certain circumstances, these guys will just destroy a popper on the surface, but most often the fish are looking down for food with their tails coming out of the water, so sinking flies like crab patterns stripped along the bottom can be the name of the game.  The fish are extremely aggressive.

Redfish in Louisiana

The real hero in all this is the marsh itself.  It’s totally unique.  It’s not a wilderness like a national park, because it has to accommodate a lot of other agendas like commercial oystermen, shipping, and natural gas production.  Balancing all these separate interests is a huge undertaking and through it all, the fly fishing remains incredible.

Louisiana Marsh

At this writing, The Uptown Angler is the only fly shop in New Orleans.  Dayne is the guy to call at 504-529-3597.  Further south on highway 23, Woodland Plantation is a temporary home away from home for traveling fly fishermen looking for guides and hoping to run into a school or more of reds cruising the marsh.

Redfish

Look for our detailed exploration of the redfish journey in the February issue of Ten & Two.  We’re excited about it.

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JANUARY 1, 2011

Tarpon Fishing Trip Giveaway

Filed under Miscellaneous @ 12:42 pm

Congratulations to Jeff Minderlein from Catonsville, Maryland for winning the Ten & Two Magazine Florida Tarpon Fishing Trip Giveaway!

Jeff Minderlein

Jeff is a full-time real estate investor in Catonsville. He is also a USCG Licensed Master and FFF Certified Casting Instructor. From 1998-2004, Jeff guided in South Biscayne Bay, Upper Keys, Flamingo/Whitewater Bay before he married and returned home to Maryland to raise a family. Jeff's angling passion is without a doubt tarpon, with bonefish a close second. He says he is content as long as he's on the water with family and friends.

Jeff and Megan

"I've chased tarpon through south Florida, the Keys, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and west coast Andros while working on a private mother ship in the south and middle bights," exclaimed Mindlerlein. He also says he has a long list of other places on the planet he intends to catch tarpon. His wife Megan has slowly come to accept the tarpon sculptures and artwork Jeff owns and refuses to take down. "It keeps me working," proclaims Minderlein.

Jeff wins a free two-day, two person tarpon fly-fishing charter in beautiful southwest Florida. He'll fish the waters of Sanibel/Captiva Islands, Boca Grande and Pine Island Sound with FFF Certified Casting Instructor, Captain Mike Rehr. For many years, Captain Rehr has been recognized as one of Florida's finest tarpon guides, and is a feature contributor in "Ultimate Tarpon Book" by Randy Wayne White and Carlene Fredericka Brennen.

Congratulations Jeff!

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