Top 10 Redfish Flies
From the lower east coast to the Gulf of Mexico, Redfish thrive and eagerly devour a well-presented fly. Below is a list of 10 redfish patterns that we personally use at the shop. Each of these patterns has certain characteristics that allow it to perform well in specific situations you’ll encounter when redfishing.
1. Giacobba’s Blue Claw
Mark Giacobba’s Blue Claw pattern was specifically designed for targeting redfish, snook, and tarpon in the shallow waters of Everglades National Park. It has rapidly emerged as one of the most effective patterns in our arsenal. This fly lands softly and quietly, boasts exceptional movement, and offers great weed resistance for those low tide days.
The Blind Faith Merkwan is a slightly larger and heavier pattern designed to attract larger fish. This fly is crafted with a double weed guard and an XS506 jig hook, ensuring a secure hold when fish are hooked. It is well-suited for fishing in Louisiana, Texas, and the Panhandle of Florida.
The EP Everglades Special is a baitfish pattern that has outperformed many other patterns in terms of fish caught. Its optimal profile and size make it highly effective for a wide range of fish, including redfish. This fly is particularly well-suited for fishing in 2-5 feet of water, especially when targeting multiple species such as seatrout, snook, and redfish. It excels when presented over grassy bottoms or when enticing redfish clustered in water less than 5 feet deep. This fly is widely favored in renowned fishing areas like Mosquito Lagoon, Everglades National Park, and Marco Island.
4. Umpqua Lil Muddy Baitfish
When the fish are gathered in a tight formation and not actively feeding on the bottom, opting for a small baitfish pattern is the recommended approach. The Lil Muddy serves as the ideal choice for achieving success in such situations. Resembling a small, natural baitfish, this pattern effectively imitates a mud minnow or small prey fish. Notably, the pattern features prominently sized eyes that attract fish and prompt aggressive strikes. Additionally, the incorporation of a double weed guard renders it well-suited for casting along grass flats.
5. Giacobba’s Backcountry Gurgler
Opt for a topwater fly to entice redfish when you’re seeking serious excitement. This fly boasts high buoyancy, creates significant commotion upon retrieval, and exhibits remarkable durability – essentially embodying the qualities of an ideal gurgler pattern. When you’re fishing in areas where redfish thrive, this gurgler attracts them from their ambush spots.
6. RIO’s Lagoonatic
The Lagoonatic presents a substantial profile while remaining lightweight and exhibiting remarkable movement. When the situation calls for a fly with a generous profile that lands gently in shallow waters, this is the go-to option. Versatile in its application, this fly proves effective in various redfish habitats. Additionally, it performs when targeting sizable fish during flood tides, as its slow descent allows them to track it down with precision.
7.Swiss Army Slider
A slender, compact profile makes the Swiss Army Slider an excellent choice for finicky fish. Featuring brass eyes, a weed guard, and secured onto a jig hook, this fly fulfills all the essential criteria for a highly effective pattern. True to its name, the Swiss Army Slider gets the job done in a ton of situations.
8. RIO’s Dread Pirate
A lethal pattern for actively mobile fish, I enjoy using this fly in water depths ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 feet when fish are in motion. Designed for a swifter retrieve, it smoothly glides and aligns with the fish’s movement. It catches the fish’s attention and the ostrich material imparts the motion necessary to entice full commitment from the fish.
9. RIO’s Hopedale Crab
RIO’s Hopedale Crab is an excellent bug for targeting winter Louisiana bull redfish and massive black drum. Incorporating a sizable, heavy-gauge hook along with large, weighty eyes ensures the fly gets down where it needs to go. The impressionistic crabby profile and movement are irresistible.
10. EP Louisiana Red’s
EP Louisiana Red’s is a generously sized crab pattern specific for targeting large bull redfish. It’s all about the profile of this fly, crabby. If it doesn’t get hit on the drop, drag it along the bottom to imitate a retreating crab.