Top 10 Redfish Flies

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Owen Plair

There are hundreds of redfish patterns floating around out there.

All the way from Florida to Texas anglers and tyers are hard at work designing patterns to fool redfish. Most of them imitate the 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 fly 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. 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. There are tons of awesome redfish patterns and it’s not easy to pick a top 10 but here are 10 of my favorite commercial Redfish Patterns.

#10 Kinky Muddler


Big bait, big fly. This is a go to pattern during the warmer months when Redfish are feeding on finger mullet. The low tide flats seem to fill up with mullet and the redfish take full advantage of the buffet. This is one of the best all around finger mullet flies and it works well when the fish are focused on the bigger baits. The Kinky Fiber and Angel Hair provide a big head followed by bucktail, and long stripes of saddle hackle give it the mullet movement.

#9 Fools Gold


An excellent small crab pattern for tailers. Gold body, raccoon tail, and dumbbell eyes to get it down. Works along the bottom like a crab and also gives a soft presentation with its light weight, and small size. Lots of movement and flash to get the full attention of a redfish looking for food.

#8 Fishalicious


Funky but effective on not only redfish but baby tarpon, and snook. The deer hair head gives it almost a subsurface presentation and works great for those actively feeding redfish. Not a very heavy fly but creates a lot of movement when fishing shallow water redfish. The darker Olive/Black color works very well in muddy water situations too.

#7 Dupre Spoon Fly


Many people say it’s not a fly, but Jim Dupre ties these all by hand. This is a fly you can use year round, for redfish, no matter what situation. Looks like a wounded baitfish, wobbles like a crab in the grass, and has a titanium weed guard to keep you from getting snagged. Tied with epoxy and comes in multiple color combinations. The spoon fly always seems to get the job done.

#6 Electric Chicken


Originated by Capt. Jack Brown, one of the best all around redfish flies. Works any time of year during any time of the tide. Lots of color variations depending on water quality but mostly known for its Pink/Chartreuse version, which originally was meant to mimic the electric chicken soft plastic bait. Chenille body with a zonker tail and a little bit of flash. Simple and very effective.

#5 Razmataz


Another small baitfish pattern that looks like a minnow swimming. Mostly recognized by its Rootbeer body, bright red head, and little copper flash in the tail. This fly is a killer on the low tide flats and also does extremely well in dirty water conditions. You can get it in bead chain eyes for soft presentations and also dumbbell eyes for deeper water. Works really well on Large Mouth Bass too! Raz Reed was the creator of this fly who is our local Tibor and Sage rep.

#4 Kwan


One of the best fly selections when it comes to winter time redfish. A very small fly that seems to always do the trick when redfish get picky during the colder months. Lots of movement with the craft fur tail and very light for the quiet presentation to spooky fish. This fly is my go to on calm, clear water days during the winter months.

#3 Everglades Special


It’s hard to go wrong with any EP fly! The Everglades Special is probably one of the most realistic baitfish patterns around and does wonders on any situation when targeting redfish. Mostly used in clear water and colder months when there are not many shrimp, or crabs around. This fly lands with a soft presentation and rides high in the water column, giving a very realistic presentation to schools of low tide redfish.

#2 Kung Fu Crab


Simply one of the best flood tide tailing redfish patterns around and also works for bonefish, and permit. Sinks down fast, lots of movement, and has a really good weed guard for spartina. Riding hook up in the water as it’s bumping on the bottom looking like a crab opening his claws to a predator in defense. Not an easy pattern to tie mostly because of the claws, but works extremely well for tailing redfish.

#1 Crafty Shrimp


If there was only one fly in my box to use for redfish in every situation it would be the Crafty Shrimp. Works year round in every condition of fishing possible. Enough said!

With these 10 flies in your box no redfish will be safe!

Owen Plair
Gink & Gasoline
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13 thoughts on “Top 10 Redfish Flies

  1. Can’t beat that bunch of flies. The Raz and various EP flies are typically the first things tied on when I’m running around looking for reds.

  2. Thanks for this- I’m moving down to Mississippi this winter and was lookin for some redfish information.


  3. Pingback: Tippets: Idaho Sockeye Recovery, Patagonia’s “DamNation,” Top Ten Redfish Flies | MidCurrent

  4. Owen,

    Where can I find the Crafty Shrimp pattern, or video? Hunting around on Youtube I could only find Lefty’s Craft Shrimp, but it looks different. Heading down to chase reds around the Madre in two weeks, so I would really like to tie some of these up. Thanks man.

  5. Pingback: Flood Tide Reds Part 2, Flies and Leaders | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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