The Fall of the Redfish

Cooling temperatures and less jet skis always make me smile.  Not because my blood pressure drops, but because fall redfishing is in full swing.  The creeks are brimming with mullet, shrimp, and crabs and redfish swim the shallows in murderous pursuit.

With the cooling water, there seems to be a sense of urgency that has everything active.  Like a bear before a long nap: eat as much as possible before it freezes.  Thankfully this formula means we, as flyfishers, can cash in on their gluttony.

“Think about if you were eating brown M&M’s and were surrounded by them and suddenly saw a green one”

Shrimp flies this time of year are about as close to a sure thing as there is in Lowcountry redfishing.  For the drop-offs around oyster beds and creek mouths try heavier shrimp flies.  “Attracter” type patterns seem to work better than the ultra realistic flies so tie on flies with some color and or flash.

Think about if you were eating brown M&M’s and were surrounded by them and suddenly saw a green one.  I bet you’d single out that candy over the 100’s with it with ferocious excitement.  Gurglers, poppers, and similar topwater flies can be deadly as well.

They are especially beneficial over the tops of oyster beds, where they seldom get lost.  When the redfish are scaring shrimp into the air, you can often see their backs on the surface.  They are looking up and a floating fly would be your best bet.

Fall has some of the best tides of the year for us here in the Southeast.  During the high tides, look for tailing fish in the grass flats but don’t neglect the edges.  Many fish stay on the deeper edge in the tall sparse grass.  These are key areas; they act as staging areas for fish before and after the flood.

They are also driving bait fish and shrimp out to them as the tide ebbs.  Pole a skiff or drift a kayak with the sun behind you and look for reds high in the water column.  Flies like the EP Baitfish and the classic Lefty’s Deceiver that suspend just under the surface will work great here.

Suggested Reading for you: Flyfishing Opportunities in South Carolina

Have fun this fall and try new flies.  It’s a great time to get into fly tying if your not already.  Simple flies work great and there is no better feeling than landing them on your first fly! The reds of fall are cooperative and eager to eat your offering.

Have a few heavier crabs with weedguards for the higher tides, a few lightweight suspending flies for spooky fish are mid-depth areas, and try a few floaters closer to low tide.  We are always happy to help or answer any questions, so call or stop by anytime.

Scotty Davis – Lowcountry Fly Shop /