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Late Summer/Early Fall Fishing in
St. Simons Island, GA
August and September have been all about tailing Red Fish in the Grass.  I have been fishing some new grass flats and have seen a minimum of 7 fish per tide to a maximum of over 2 dozen.  Pretty strong.  There are some great tides coming up in October.  I have some afternoon evening dates still open.  Call me if you want to experience classic, Southern, Fly Fishing for Red Fish.
PS:  I never saw another angler fishing for tailing fish.  If you know where to go, we have no fly fishing pressure in SSI.
This photo was taken  by my client, Stephen Peterson.  Thanks for letting me use it.
The trip to Ascension Bay for February 11-18, 2017 is full.  I am putting together another trip to Casa Viejo Chac April 22 to 29.  There are several openings left.  Get in touch with me to spend a week fishing in paradise.
August and September were all about tailing fishing  in the flooded grass.  Flood tide season as we call it.
The fishing:
    When the tides exceed 8′, the water covers the hard marsh and the tailing red fish invade the flooded grass to munch on fiddler crabs.  On some days, they were so anxious to get into the grass, the tailing red fish were crawling on their bellies with their backs out of the water to get to these delectable red fish snacks.  Once in the grass, they grub aggressively for these little crabs.  Their tails stick out of the water, they splash water 2 feet into the air and run all over the flats with the feedbag on. The sight of a 10 pound tailing red fish in water so shallow it barely covers their back will make even a seasoned angler have a bad case of knock knees.
Casting distances:
    Even though these fish are aggressively feeding, they are very spooky.  Your casts to tailing red fish don’t have to be big booming 80′ casts, 40′ is a much more common distance, but they have to be accurate.  These tailing red fish have to have the fly so close to their face, they can’t turn down the opportunity for a quick snack.  Once hooked, they will try to run through cover back to deeper water, dragging your line and leader through heavy marsh grass.  Fishing for tailing red fish is not delicate.  7 1/2′ t0 9′ leaders tapered to no less than 20 lbs are needed to keep from breaking these big fish off.
The flies:
    My favorite fly is a black toad.(click for tying instructions) I have fished this fly for years, and year after year it continues to produce.  It is a good imitation of a fiddler crab.  If I only had one fly to fish in the Golden Isles of Georgia, it would be the black toad.  At the suggestion of another guide, I tied some in purple with a blue tail. They work as well.  I have described it in the right hand column.  Another good option is a gold spoon.
We have one or two more sessions of tailing red fish in October.  Don’t miss it.  Go out and enjoy the best time of the year.
    If you can’t be here for tailing red fish, look for the fish on low tide.  They are on the low tide flats chasing shrimp and eating flies.  September to December is a magical time for fishing in St. Simons.
PS:  Trout fishing in clear water is on fire, too.
Give me a call to enjoy some of the finest fishing for red fish on the east coast.
Capt. Dave Edens

Simple Tailing Red Fish Fly
For many people, the most difficult part of tying a toad style fly is tying the body.  Many people find it difficult to figure 8 the strands of poly on the hook shank.  This fly solves that problem with a Puglisi brush.
    Start by tying in a bunch of blue craft fur or other soft material.  Tie two grizzly hackles opposite of each other curving outward.  Tie in some flash if desired.
    Tie in some orange estaz.  Make three wraps of estaz.  
    Wrap thread forward and tie in lead or bead chain eyes.
    Wrap back to the estaz and tie in a Purple of Black Puglisi brush w/ micro legs.  Wrap forward to the eyes.  Tie off behind the eyes.  
    Tie in a V shaped mono weed guard in front of the eyes.
    Whip finish and cement the head. (I use thin CA glue for head cement.  Try it.  You will like it.)
    If desired, trim top and bottom of the wrapped brush to create a flat "crab" type fly.
    Or simply fish it as is.  It works fine.  

Get the fly a few inches in front of a tailing red fish, and hold on.

(Thanks to Captain Scott Dykes for the idea of the contrasting tail and brush body.)

The above photos were taken by client/friend Troy Anderson on an evening trip. Thanks.
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Late Fall, Early Winter Outlook and Forecast

Fall and early winter provide some of the best fishing of the year.  As the water cools, the water clears as the organic matter dies and settles to the bottom.  The shrimp move out of the creeks, the Red Fish form big schools, and the fishing begins to get RED HOT.

    We continue to hunt tailing red fish as long as the water remains above 70 degrees.  After it cools, we turn to chasing these fish on the low tide.  It is not unusual to see schools of 25 to 50 red fish moving up and down the bank with shrimp jumping out of the water in front of them.  Sometimes, the birds diving on the school gives them away.  This is clear water sight fishing at its best.

    Trout school up and become viable targets for the fly angler.  The only fly you need is a chartreuse and white clouser.  Cast to an oyster bank, and slowly retrieve the fly.  When you feel a tappa, tappa, tappa, set the hook.

Fall and early winter offer some of the best fishing of the year.  I can hardly wait.

 If you come to St. Simons for a family vacation,  a business meeting or just to hang out, be sure to give me a call so we can go: 
"Hunting Fish in the Marshes of Glynn"

Tight lines, remember to strip strike and practice the double haul,

Capt. Dave Edens                cell:706-540-1276 best     home: 912-289-1061
This is the back window of my Silver Toyota Tacoma truck.  It is pretty much unmistakable.
If you see me riding around St. Simons or anywhere else, stop me, say hello and let's talk Fly Fishing.