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5 Things You Need to Know to Catch Redfish with a Fly Rod

If you plan on fly fishing for redfish, learn these tips.

It can be an intimidating idea if you’ve never experienced it before.

Fly fishing saltwater for a hard fighting red drum. Especially if you’ve only fished for trout or panfish in rivers or lakes.

But if you want to cross a beautiful redfish off your fly fishing bucket list, follow these five guidelines and you’ll be well on your way.

Redfish (1 of 1)

1. Unless you know the area well, hire a guide.

If this is your first time to fly fish saltwater you will save time and money by booking a professional. Even if you’re familiar with the water, unless you know exactly where the fish are, what they’re biting on and have a boat to get to them, you will save yourself a headache and most likely catch more fish.


2. Buy the best polarized sunglasses you can afford.

This is a game of sight-fishing and if you can’t see your target, the game is over before it’s even begun. It will still take some time to learn what to look for (tilting your head actually works), but the learning curve will be shorter with good shades. I recommend taking a gray and a brown tint in order to adapt to cloudy or clear conditions.


3. Practice your casting.

Once you’ve spotted a red or some other game fish, accuracy is key. Casts from 2 feet to 40 feet may be required, and these fish feed mostly on the bottom with their noses down. The closer you can bring the fly to the tip of their snout the greater the chance of a strike.

Even if you have to cast in an open field to Coke cans, learning how to cast to specific locations will help you in all of your fishing, including redfish on the coast.

Wind can be an issue. My guide told me he will still fish as long as the gusts stay below 50 mph. The next time the wind picks up around your home waters, instead of staying indoors, get outside and take on Mother Nature. When you book dates to the salt, you won’t be able to schedule around sudden weather.

Redfish (5 of 6)

4. Dress accordingly.

Typically the sun will be shining and the water will be flowing. Bring lots of sunscreen and stay hydrated. Dress in layers that are breathable and cover your skin. If you get burned in the first few hours, it will be harder to stay comfortable and concentrate on the task at hand.

As I mentioned above, the weather is unpredictable. Bring some rain proof outerwear and an insulating layer just in case. Even in good conditions, the early morning boat ride to the shallows will make you wish you brought a jacket.


5. Have fun!

Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Relax and enjoy the trip. It may be a long time before you get the chance to chase these wonderful fish again, so enjoy the moment.

Staying loose will also help your fishing. It can be difficult to cast when the guide is watching and giving advice over your shoulder. Have patience and keep after it.

Once you hook into a hard pulling redfish, it will all be worth it. Pick that beauty up and cross him off your bucket list.



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5 Things You Need to Know to Catch Redfish with a Fly Rod