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#12627289 - 02/14/18 08:24 AM fave surface flies for reds and specks and why...
fishnstu Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 18
Loc: Minnesota
I am curious as to your favorite surface flies for reds and trout: sliders, divers, gurglers, classic poppers or...? I'm also interested in the reasons why you like them.

I don't have a great deal of experience fishing the surface in the salt. I lean towards classic popper and diver type flies for Esox and Micropterus spp. back home. Thanks.

stu


Edited by fishnstu (02/14/18 08:25 AM)
_________________________
to paraphrase Descartes: I fish, therefore I am.

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#12627308 - 02/14/18 08:36 AM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 542
Loc: Brazoria County
Iíd like to know, too. Iíve fly fished for 5 plus years in the saltwater for redfish and caught a bunch on subsurface patterns, but only a handful on top. One afternoon wade, I had three redfish in quick succession come up and nudge a VIP popper in a lake off West Matagorda Bay before rejecting it. Iíve tried gurglers, disco shrimp, and a diver, but have mostly gotten missed takes and half hearted swipes. I sort of say BS to topwater or surface flies, but every once in a while revisit the idea.

I really like seeing the take even if itís under the surface. I havenít quite given up on the surface fly for redfish, but itís been more than frustrating. Iíve recently picked up fly fishing for LMB and have no trouble getting them to take a surface pattern. I usually give up pretty quickly on the surface fly out in the salt. I hate being in the midst of fish and not have a fly on that I feel confident about, but I canít get confident about something if I never try it. Itís a catch 22 type of deal.

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#12627392 - 02/14/18 09:07 AM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
fishnstu Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 18
Loc: Minnesota
I hear your pain bro... Redfish are not anatomically gifted at taking surface prey. That they can and do is a testament, perhaps, to their whole attitude towards food. They seem to pursue food with the gustatorial enthusiasm normally seen in athletes trying to keep up with two a days. Trout seem much more adept at moving up in the water column than are reds.

I've caught a few reds on surface flies but not as many trout. I think it's just a matter of time showing big flies in trouty looking areas until they get into a more cooperative mood.

stu
_________________________
to paraphrase Descartes: I fish, therefore I am.

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#12627554 - 02/14/18 10:32 AM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
karstopo Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 05/22/16
Posts: 542
Loc: Brazoria County
When I fished with the bait-casting gear back when, I fished for like a year or 2 with only a topwater, mainly skitterwalks. I used to have great success with redfish on them and really enjoyed the big topwater strike. I got kind of burned out using them so much that I went through a time where I wouldn't put one on no matter what. I get on kicks on one type of thing like tops, then it was tails.

I haven't gotten into the surface fly much. I did discover deer hair divers like the Dahlberg Diver for LMB and love the action those flies provide. That good action seemed to taper off in the cooler weather, but I look forward to when the bass get after those divers again. I tried the same diver out in the salt and got one near miss/brief hookup. I need to focus on fishing and tying good surface flies for the salt. I typically carry three fly rods set ups ready to go in my kayak and could very easily have one dedicated surface fly option. What usually happens when I get into fish I go with something I know or feel pretty certain that will work. Often, I play it too safe. There are places I fish where it's tough to fish subsurface patterns because of all the shell. It would be nice to have a reliable go to surface pattern.

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#12627595 - 02/14/18 10:55 AM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
MassAction Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/22/16
Posts: 151
I sincerely believe that the whole top water redfish trend is a product of social media. I've seen tons of videos of reds exploding behind poppers and divers like a block of C4 and I get why, it makes for an amazingly dramatic scene, but I firmly believe the conditions that lead to them taking top water flies are few and far between.

Unless you see birds actively working and fish churning the surface, I would stick to the standard subsurface flies, they will always be your best shot at finding a feeding fish.

Orvis had a great podcast interview with one of their endorsed guides where he breaks down the whys of this that's worth a listen.

https://news.orvis.com/fly-fishing/podcast-accuracy-fishing-redfish-flats-species-lucas-bissett



Edited by MassAction (02/14/18 10:56 AM)

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#12631418 - 02/16/18 12:18 PM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
Erichugh22 Offline
Angler

Registered: 02/23/11
Posts: 406
In the marsh I fish I throw gurglers every day. When the fish are up really shallow, 6-8", I hardly ever get refused on a small gurgler. I throw them to tailing fish, schooled up fish, belly crawlers, just about everything. I have really good success blind casting them in dirty water along shorelines and grass lines as well. Topwater eats are by far my favorite to watch so I always start the day out with a surface fly.

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#12632283 - 02/16/18 09:19 PM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
Jim Ford Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/28/12
Posts: 1609
Loc: Texas
Erichugh22 nailed it; Gurglers are great for calling up reds in muddy, skinny water. I see a lot of misses on them, but when conditions are right they generate more interest than anything else you can throw. Not my favorite fly by any means, but it has its place. I fished the lakes in Cavasso Creek for several hours one fine August day with nary a nudge on my bendbacks and Clousers. When I tied on a little (#6) Gurgler and started popping it, wakes popped up everywhere -- all of them headed toward me! The rest of the day was steady interest with several eats. Thought about painting a red S on that Gurgler's little chest.....

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#12635212 - 02/19/18 09:33 AM Re: fave surface flies for reds and specks and why... [Re: fishnstu]
fishnstu Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 01/19/15
Posts: 18
Loc: Minnesota
Excellent!! I know reds on top isn't a high percentage game but when they are in a cooperative mood it's a lot of fun. I think about 90% of the reds I catch are sub surface and probably 80% of those are caught while blind casting. What about trout on top? Any experiences going that way?

stu
_________________________
to paraphrase Descartes: I fish, therefore I am.

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