Top Redfish Flies
When it comes to Flies for Redfish, selection is not as critical as presentation. Where, how and when the fly lands is everything. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the many flies offered but more importantly quick and accurate delivery in the fish’s path or vision is paramount. Most of the time a well presented fly will get rewarded. I strongly encourage fly fisherman to practice casting before any guided trip with strong focus on the double haul. The double haul is crucial to a successful day in any saltwater fishery. The double haul loads the rod therefore increasing line speed, resulting in longer more accurate casts, especially on windy days. Taking the time to practice before a guided trip will almost always equal more fish to hand.
Summer Redfish Flies
Proven fly patterns for Charleston Redfish are bait fish and shrimp patterns! These patterns offer a solid profile and are tied with the right materials and weight to move beautifully through shallow water. Colors I do not leave home without are: Black/Purple, and Brown/Tan. While other colors are effective I have found these to be best during the stained water we see during summer after heavy thunderstorms. Flies that can push water or even have a rattle in them can be very effective. I use the EP Rattle Mullet a bunch and it’s usually the first fly out of my box when sight fishing Redfish that are sitting on top of oysters or shallow bars. Even the large 6/0 is a killer on Tarpon and Bull Red Drum.
Fall Redfish fly patterns
Fall is the peak of shrimp season and big fish really key into the buffet of shrimp in the Salt Marsh. This is when I begin using mostly shrimp patterns. I tie my shrimp flies with craft fur, buck tail and Estaz fibers. Barring the tail with marker really gives the fly a shrimpy look. With the clearer water I prefer natural colors. By the time the first cold front hits Redfish will be herding shrimp on the shallow mud and sand flats and were grabbing the fly rods. Late September, October and November are the best for sight fishing. Tailing Reds can be found plowing shrimp in shallow creeks or under the diving birds. If you ever wanted to spend a day throwing surface flies for big REDFISH , fall is the time! Foam gurglers and popper flies can be lethal on fall run Redfish. Topwater Redfish bites are some of the most exciting eats we see all year. Watching a big drum pursue a popper and inhaling it boat side is a sight to see.
Winter Fly fishing means less is more
Clear cold water plagues us from January through early spring. This calls for scaled down flies with little to no flash, small bead chain eyes and sparsely tied materials. Winter I really like small clousers minnows and small Kwan style flies. Clear water requires a lot of stealth. Redfish gather into large schools for safety and if one gets nervous they all can blow out. Large schools of fish can sometimes make them easy targets for guys in technical skiffs so they can receive a lot of angling pressure. Once these winter schools have some pressure on them we transition to longer leaders, lighter tippets and small soft landing presentations. When fishing winter schools it’s important to cast beside the school at the outside fish or the fish that’s sitting highest in the water column. Casting into the meat of the school can often blow them out.
Good stuff. I’ll try again next Winter. RE> “big drum and poppers”
Something tells me Montana Grasshoppers would work for bonefish too. I need to get to warmer salt water again. Soon.
Thank you for the knowledge especially about beating up winter schools and also your permanent marker move blew my noob mind.