Best Redfish Flies

The Best Redfish Flies

Here at Rivers & Glen we pride ourselves in carrying one of the best selections of Redfish flies in the world. Georgia and South Carolina can offer some of the best areas fly fishing for redfish and our fly selection for Redfish mirrors that. Most Redfish flies imitate crabs, shrimp, and baitfish that make up the majority of the redfish diet. The great thing about redfish patterns is, for the most part, they are pretty darn simple to fish, and easy to tie. It’s one saltwater fish that isn’t very picky. Redfish are aggressive enough to take just about anything that’s swimming in front of them with the right presentation. The key to choosing a fly for redfish, like most fish, is knowing what they’re eating that time of year, as well as water clarity, and how active the fish are in their current situation on the flats. 


Here is a list of The Best Redfish Flies that are my personal favorite to use over the last 18 years of my career. All of these Redfish flies will work in all fisheries from Texas all the way down to Florida. They can also be used for other species including Sea Trout, Flounder, Snook, Tarpon, Permit, and various other species.


-Drum BeaterThe Drum Beater was designed primarily for Redfish, but it works equally well on sea trout, flounder, and recently smallmouth bass. It has also taken Florida bonefish and I have shown it to a few permit with a good response. However, Permit and I don't really see eye to eye as they are my "white whale." I was looking for a fly that could be left still on the bottom and still have movement. Hence the rabbit strips. The original color was the olive and pink– olive to match the local Spartina grass and the pink to grab attention. The fiddler crabs have splashes of color and I think the contrasting body and the flash (which only shows as the rabbit moves since it's tied underneath) seals the deal. Fiddler crab, will try to use their camouflage and hide as opposed to fleeing. This is where the Drum Beater shines. Do not strip the fly for tailing redfish– let it sit still and it looks like a crab trying to burrow down into the bottom. Let the rabbit do what it does best underwater, breathe. The sculpin wool for the body works best since it retains some water and sinks much better than the other materials. It also creates a "whole" body as opposed to the segmented look you get with poly yarns. The fly has changed very little since I started tying it: heavier weed guards and new color patterns are the extent of its evolution. Fly Designed by Scott Davis 


-Flash Back Shrimp: "Inspired by growing up fishing around the Charleston, South Carolina coast... the Flashback Shrimp was derived out of necessity for a lightweight, naturalistic shrimp presentation for spooky, lethargic Redfish during our winter months.

The mono eyes allow for a slow, “shrimp like” fall after a sharp strip to mimic the motion of a shrimp that is attempting to flee… Along with subtle implications, such as a hotspot, two strands of black krystal flash (mimicking antenna), micro legs coaxed downward, and a strand of flat pearl diamond braid over the back to imitate the translucent hue of the outer shell.

Shortly after the Flashback’s first year of development, and countless hours on the water, its true versatility began to show.

From hyper aware tailing Bonefish in the lower keys, Snook and Juvenile Tarpon, to our year round fishery here in Charleston, The Flashback Shrimp quickly became one of mine, and many others must haves." Designed by Luke Panzarella 


-BC Crab: The BC Crab was specifically designed around the fishery here in Charleston, SC for Redfish. Countless hours were spent developing this fly to become not only one of the most versatile redfish patterns around, but also built to last many hours of fishing. What I love so much about the BC crab is how its a hybrid between a crab and shrimp which allows it to be finished all year long during any tide. It has a killer weed guard along with dumbell eyes to keep down in the grass but also light enough to fish it on a calm day during low tide. The BC Crab is one of our favorite local patterns to recommend. Designed by Robbie Powell


-Copper Head Crab: Mad Mikes Copper Head Crab is one of the most well know Redfish Flies here in Charleston, SC. This fly was originally developed as a great Flood Tide pattern for the grass and a great crab patter in general. Every local fly box should have a Copper Head Crab for a Redfish Fly option. Designed by Mike Benson


-Redfish CracklinA proven Redfish fly pattern that's ready for a full day’s work in the backwater marshes and shallow flats. We took the most buggy, gnarly materials we could find and twisted them together to create a custom brush, then wrapped that on to the head of this fly. The result is a fly that pushes lots of water, lands soft, and is guaranteed to end up in a Redfish mouth. Available in 6 fishy colors to pair with all the water types found on the Gulf Coast and SouthEastern Seaboard. 

This is one of our newest favorite Redfish Flies for fishing the South Carolina and Georgia Coastline. Designed by Sight Cast Fishing Company


-EP Everglades Special: The EP Evergaldes Special is one of our favorite Baitfish patterns for Redfish. This fly was originally designed for fishing deep in the everglades tanic water which almost matches our coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This minnow/baitfish imitation is weightless with a weed guard and fishes great year round during the low tides. Designed by Enrico Puglisi 


-Clouser Minnow: The Clouser Minnow is one of the best go to baitfish patterns locally for redfish. You can fish the Clouser Minnow at low tide, high tide, and anywhere in between. This is one of the best year round patters for low tide redfish. I can't imagine an angler who hasn't fished a Clouser Minnow. The original designed by Bob Clouser has its roots in freshwater. Originating in Pennsylvania as a smallmouth bass pattern today this highly effective bait fish pattern has traveled the globe. It has been dressed in many outfits since its buck tail beginnings. Designed by Bob Clouser


-Electric Slider: The Electric Slider first came as an inspiration as a result of fish not being able to track a given fly well due to off color, or dirty water conditions.

The Electric Slider offers excellent material movement and a dark contrast in those muddy/stained water conditions. The implication of the craft fur tail, the cross cut rabbit strip body, and the rubber legs gives the fly great material movement and fluctuation, while the spun deer hair head allows the fly to push water, bringing alive it’s realism from an underwater perspective.

The Electric slider has seen many different situations, as well as fish, from Tarpon and Snook in the Glades, to Redfish all up and down the South East coast, the Electric Slider has covered some ground. This is a thoroughly enjoyable bug to fish due to the visual eats you can experience, along with its lightweight, making for easy cast-ability, while offering a soft presentation to fish in skinny situation. Designed by Luke Panzarella


-Disco Shrimp: A few years back, in an effort to create a topwater fly alternative, I went to work on shrimp pattern I dubbed the “Disco Shrimp”. The fly had to be lightweight enough to cast and float easily, yet hefty enough to make a noticeable disturbance on the surface without skating out of the strike zone due to the wakes of pursuing predators. The secret lies in the plastic worm rattle and a couple of sequins. The trifecta the “clicking” rattle, sharp “pop” from the sequin and a spray of water work in harmony to command the attention of any fish in the area, and wit the addition of a mono weed guard, will keep you out of the turtle grass and mangroves. This is a great topwater patter for Redfish during a flood tide or low tide. Designed by Drew Chicone


Shrimp Slurpee: The Shrimp Slurpee is one of the most unique top water Redfish patterns on the flats today. Its a top water fly at heart but gives a super cool subsurface look to the fish when stripping properly. Looks almost like wounded shrimp that makes an easy lunch for a Redfish. It works great in the grass for Flood Tide Redfish and also low tide schools. Designed by Robbie Powell


Kung Fu CrabEddie's version of a crab (although it also used the very same body material) look scary real, with its aggressive claws in final defense posture, ready to fight until the crunchy end. Truth be told, in the end, the crab always looses. Life is dangerous on the flats. This fly, one that is designed for a more traditional dive and fight posture, has the perfect wedge shape for a quick descent to the bottom. While the rabbit strip claws will move and undulate, this pattern sits in attack mode when still on the bottom, looking very dangerous indeed. The rubber legs are constantly in vibrating motion whether stripped or lying still. It should be fished exactly as Del Brown's famous Permit Crab. Yet this particular version looks almost as real as live bait! Designed by Eddie Wyatt


EP Crab: The EP Crab is one of the most versatile crab flies ever developed! Whether you are fishing a sandy flat in the Bahamas, Turtle Grass in Mosquitto Lagoon, or Flood Tide Redfish on a Spartina Flat here in the Lowcountry, the EP crab should be a staple in your saltwater fly box. Designed by Enrico Puglisi 


Sight Cast GurglerFloating on the surface, this fly will pop, splash, and create noise when being stripped. It is superb at grabbing the attention of fish from a distance, in murky water, or when the visibility is low. The posture of this fly mimics an injured baitfish and triggers a natural reaction in fish to crush it! Watching Redfish and Trout blow this gurgler up on the surface will have you tying this fly on again and again. Designed by Sight Cast Fishing Company.

Shop the full collection of Best Redfish Flies HERE! 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.