Here in South Padre Island we are blessed with clear water and endless flats teaming with bait and featuring large Trout, Redfish, and Tarpon. You might not be aware, but we are located on Latitude 26 which is the same as Key West. This means our year round temperature is nearly the same as Key West. Our flats fishing can be amazing and great for the avid fly fisherman.
In fact, the largest trout caught in history was caught here by my dear friend and fly fishing enthusiast, Bud Rowland at 15lbs 6 oz to top the all class IGFA old record. Many other records are caught here as well, including Mangrove Snapper and Ladyfish.
There are two types of fly fishing here that I mostly target for, Trout and Redfish, in either deep water from 3 to 9 feet or super skinny water from 6 inches to 2 feet. I prefer the skinny water flats and sight fishing, but if you want to catch a lot of fish, the deeper water can offer more bites off of the Spoil Banks.
Everyone has their own fly pattern that they like to throw and here are some of mine and Bud Rowland’s faves.
For deep water I like to throw a longer shank #2 hook, bent so that I can hide the hook in the material making it weedless. I also tie a led 1/24 to the mid shank, making the fly sink fast and move into deeper water quickly with a slow strip retrieve. In stained or murky water, I use a black or dark color. Then in clear water I downsize the fly and use a more white/silver or pink/chartreuse fly. I have discovered that trout like pink and chartreuse flies for some reason. I also find it helpful to have very big eyes on almost all the patterns that I create.
In the flats area I prefer a closer type minnow pattern in orange and chartreuse or black with no dumbbell weight and a beard to keep it weedless. This type of fly design is easy to keep just under the surface.
Bud uses a pattern that has worked for him over the years which he calls “Numero Uno “ This fly pattern has taken many nice fish and 6 IGFA world records.
My all time favorite area to fish is called ‘The Sands.’ It has 2 feet of clear water with little or no grass floor. When you see a trout here it is generally big and easily spooked. You can quickly spot them and they can see you at a distance. So while fly fishing in The Sands, I downsize and use a more natural color like green and brown to sort of blend in. I also chose a crystal fly line with a very light leader. It helps as well to the pattern changes to a shrimp/crab or a skinny minnow. The flats Rat pattern works well here, too.
So there you have it, if you tie flies yourself you can have a lot of fun with these proven performers.
Go Tie One On and book your Megabite flyfishing adventure today!