The 8 Best Redfish Flies
Redfish are prevalent from the southeastern coast of the US to Texas. These large-shouldered predators spend time cruising marshy coastlines searching for crabs, shrimp, and small baitfish. It's not uncommon to see Reds tailing in shallow water and some would consider sight casting to a 30+lb Bull Redfish the pinnacle of the sport. These fish, without a doubt, make for an incredibly memorable fly fishing trip.
But a fishing trip can also go terribly wrong without the right gear. If you're wondering which fly rod you should choose to chase Reds, we've covered that topic here. Plus, we've also written about the best fly reel for Reds and the best fly line for Reds. To round out our species-centered blog posts, we've written this post to help you choose the best flies.
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Redfish feed on a variety of marsh-like critters. From baitfish to shrimp to crabs and almost anything in between, Reds are opportunistic feeders. A lot of times they'll eat a fly just because it's moving... drop it close to them, one strip, and they engulf it. Sometimes, they can be a bit more technical. Here are our favorite flies for Redfish.
- This is a fast-sinking crab pattern that was designed by Carlos Hidalgo specifically for Redfish. It's a very simple pattern and a staple in any Redfish fishery.
- While sometimes considered a freshwater fly pattern for Bass, Steelhead, and other species, this is a great top water pattern for Redfish, too. The Wiggler imitates a struggling baitfish and stays near the surface for scenarios when Redfish are feeding on top.
- Similar to the Clouser Minnow, this is a bright baitfish pattern that sinks quickly and stays deep. This is a great fly for shallow water and smaller fish that aren't looking for a huge meal.
- Weed guards are beneficial when targeting Reds in shallow water. The Mangrove Baitfish is great for Florida Reds and features a wide profile and a snag-resistant design for more time in the water and less time in the mangroves.
- Redfish are big crab-eaters so a heavy crab fly goes a long way when targeting Bull Reds. The Ragin' Craven is a Charlie Craven pattern developed for Redfish that gets down quickly and features a large profile for large-eyed fish.
- The Chernobyl Crab is similar to the Ragin' Craven with a deer hair body that traps air bubbles and makes a commotion in the water. This is a great fly for tailing fish digging crabs out of the mud.
- The Clouser is a classic saltwater pattern for a variety of species, and for good reason. This simple fly has heavy eyes and sinks quickly. Choose some bright colors and Redfish won't be able to resist.
- In the off-chance you find Redfish feeding on top (and they sometimes do), a topwater fly works really well. The EP Baitfish is a Gurgler-like pattern that moves water and pops on the surface to trigger an aggressive Redfish eat.
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