How to Select Flies for Fishing for Redfish

How to Select Flies for Fishing for Redfish
Redfish are aggressive feeders, so it is relatively easy to select flies that will entice them. You will want to choose a fly that is visible in the water and has lifelike motion. The fly should also be easy to repeatedly cast long distances and throughout a long fishing day. The best redfish flies look like natural food sources and imitate crabs, shrimp, minnows and various baitfish. Carry flies in a variety of colors and sizes to provide contrast against different substrate and water color.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Minnow imitations
  • Crab imitations
  • Shrimp imitations
  • Poppers
Step 1
Choose flies that imitate minnows. Choose Clouser Minnows in sizes 2 or 4 with bead eyes. Redfish will actively pursue minnows for food and minnow imitations in silver, green and pink are top choices.
Step 2
Fish crab imitations on sandy and grassy flats. Crabs are a major food source for redfish on the flats and numerous crab imitations are available. Choose crab flies that are durable and use soft materials for a lifelike motion in the water.
Step 3
Choose poppers when redfish are tailing and visibly feeding on or near the surface. Poppers create noise and action and will attract aggressive strikes from redfish. Carry a supply of poppers in chartreuse, pink, olive, white and black during the summer months and sight fish from a boat. Do not cast until you have spotted the feeding redfish. Once spotted, cast to the outside edge of the school and attempt to catch as many fish off the outside as possible to avoid spooking all of the fish.
Step 4
Choose shrimp patterns when fishing in sand and grassy flats. Shrimp are a common food source for redfish and the fish will strike patterns in white, cream, flesh and pink colors. Choose shrimp patterns that are tied on a stout hook and use materials like marabou to create an active swimming motion in the water.

Tips & Warnings

Redfish can also be caught on hardware fished from a fly rod. You can cast spoons and spinners with a fly rod if the redfish will not strike your flies, although it is uncommon for redfish to ignore a properly presented minnow, crab, popper or shrimp imitation.
Redfish are very aggressive feeders but the fish can be spooked if you make a reckless approach. Turn off the boat engine and pole your way within casting range when you spot a school of redfish.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.