Redfish thrive along the gulf coast of Texas to Florida and up the east coast - all the way to Virginia. Lagoons, lakes, brackish ponds, and more are all prime redfish habitat and provide a year-round food source for these opportunistic feeders. Given their reputation for not being picky eaters, redfish flies only need to be fairly basic imitations of common food sources in the marsh. Shrimp, crabs, and baitfish make up a redfish’s diet, and they rely on one or another during certain times of the year. Picking the right fly depends more on the time of year and water clarity than anything else.
Having a quality and well-rounded selection of the best redfish flies will set you up for success in the marsh. Having flies that cover all levels of the water column is imperative. From topwater gurglers, to bead chain mullet flies, and lead-eyed crabs for tailing fish are all needed to effectively target this species. Fly color is another important factor when picking the best redfish flies. As a general rule, choosing dark-colored patterns (black, brown, etc) in dirty water and more natural colors (white, tan, etc.) in clear water is going to get the job done.
Our knowledgeable team here at Yellow Dog along with our group of outfitters, we’ve compiled our Top 10 list of must-have redfish flies before your trip to the marsh.
One of the finest redfish flies ever created. If there was one fly to pick, it’s going to be the sandbar mullet. They’re tied commercially in a wide variety of color combos and are typically found in a 1/0 size.
2) Borski Slider
Created by Tim Borski, the Borski slider is another favorite for the marsh. With the deer hair head, this fly pushes lots of water - allowing redfish to find it easier in off-color water.
Quickly becoming a modern classic, the Gurgler is the fly of choice when chasing the redfish topwater eat. Fish it slow in “slider” fashion or put a lot of action into it and get the fly to “pop” on the surface.
4) Po Boy
When needing a fly to bust through the water column and get down deep, the Po Boy is the answer. Focusing less on realism and more on profile, this is the answer for off-color, deep water.
When redfish are keying in on crab or shrimp, we’re reaching for a Captain Gregg. Fast sinking, with lots of movement from the natural materials, results in a pattern that starts fishing quickly and is irresistible to hungry reds.
6) Dupre Spoon Fly
There’s a good reason that the Dupre Spoon Fly has been one of the most popular redfish flies ever created. It’s easy to cast, creates huge amounts of vibration to trigger explosive eats, and can be easily fished in very shallow water due to its lightweight design.
A general “attractor” pattern the Kwan is able to represent many food sources that are found in the marsh - depending on how the pattern is fished. From crabs, shrimp, mullet, and more.
No need for us to talk much about this pattern. It’s a classic for a reason.
Thinking outside the box, the EP Spawning shrimp is in our opinion an overlooked redfish fly.
10) EP Peanut Butter
When in need of a realistic and simply tied baitfish imitation, look no further than the EP Peanut Butter. Easily replicates all baitfish found in the marsh and is easy to cast.
The next time you find yourself heading to the marshes of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and more, make certain you have these top redfish flies in your box. One of them could very well be responsible for landing the fish of a lifetime.
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