Stretching 367 miles from the Sabine River at the Louisiana border to the Rio Grande on the Mexican border, the Texas coast is a varied and unique fishery that is relatively unnoticed on the national level. As far as fly anglers are concerned, it is primarily a super-shallow water redfish destination and is world-class with regards to classic sight-casting for redfish.
Ultra-shallow clean flats composed of mud, beautiful seagrass meadows, and hard-packed sand – combined with high numbers of fish/shots, and opportunities at other species like giant speckled trout, black drum, jacks, and occasional tarpon and snook – make the fly fishing different than other coastal fisheries in the USA. Most redfish are in the 20-28 inch range with some larger fish mixed in.
Fishing depth is typically measured in inches (think 5-12”) which makes the fishing visual, with tailing, backing, and waking fish. The best part about fishing redfish in super shallow clean water is the visual aspect of the game in that depth. Tailing fish in singles and even huge pods are a great way to locate fish even on cloudy days.
The Fishing Seasons:
There really is no redfish “season” on the Texas coast, however, the weather tends to be more consistent April to early December. With good fishing, all winter long depending on cold fronts.
As far as gear is concerned, I recommend all of my anglers bring a fast 8 weight paired with a Scientific Anglers Grand Slam or Redfish line. I like shrimp and crab flies in the 2-4 inch range and love to throw gurglers when the fish are in the right mood. Redfish flies in Texas need to be seen by the fish and need to match the environment they are fished in. Seagrass and water depth play the biggest roles in fly selection.
Tips for Anglers Fishing the Texas Coast:
My best piece of advice for anglers visiting the Texas coast coincides with that of any other saltwater destination. Get used to working with your guide and understand saltwater fly fishing success is the combination of several uncontrollable variables; tide, water clarity, wind, and light. Casting accuracy is extremely important. Get used to fishing in the wind, and most importantly have reasonable expectations and have fun. I would recommend being able to throw 40 feet of line consistently with a steady wind at your back.
I guide for redfish year-round. My year is split between the Laguna Madre on the southern Texas coast and the Louisiana marsh in the wintertime. In Texas, I operate a few small waterfront rentals for my customers and other anglers. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.lagunamadreoutfitters.com.
Article and photos from Ben Paschal, you can check him out on Instagram at @benpaschalflyfishing.