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Top 5 Redfish Flies for Fly Fishing in 2022

When most think of this facet of angling, Robert Redford and Brad Pitt’s “A River Runs Through It” comes to mind. Montana, Yellowstone, Freshwater Trout, and mountain streams comprise most of what the general populace understands of fly fishing. 

What most have never seen or even conjured up mentally is a large redfish rocketing to the surface of a shallow salt marsh and lighting a fly up with its powerful strike. 

Fly fishing can be a difficult but rewarding way to angle for redfish, so below are the best redfish flies to help guarantee your success on the water. 

Our Top Picks 

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Best Overall
Clouser Minnow Fishing Flies - Chartreuse - Mustad Signature Duratin Fly Hooks - 6 Pack (Hook #6)
Best Crab Fly
3 Pack | Camo Crab Saltwater Fishing Fly | Permit, Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish | Mustad Duratin Hook #2 (Assortment #2)
Best Shrimp Fly
Shrimp Fly Rigged - Size 5/0 - Yellow/red - 10 Packs - Item # 376
Feature 1
Mustad Duratin Fly Hook
Mustad Duratin Hook
Mustad Duratin Hook
Feature 2
Assortment of color schemes and hook sizes
Multiple color schemes
Capable of being incorporated onto a Carolina Rig
Best Overall
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Clouser Minnow Fishing Flies - Chartreuse - Mustad Signature Duratin Fly Hooks - 6 Pack (Hook #6)
Product Name
Feature 1
Mustad Duratin Fly Hook
Feature 2
Assortment of color schemes and hook sizes
Best Crab Fly
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3 Pack | Camo Crab Saltwater Fishing Fly | Permit, Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish | Mustad Duratin Hook #2 (Assortment #2)
Feature 1
Mustad Duratin Hook
Feature 2
Multiple color schemes
Best Shrimp Fly
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Shrimp Fly Rigged - Size 5/0 - Yellow/red - 10 Packs - Item # 376
Product Name
Feature 1
Mustad Duratin Hook
Feature 2
Capable of being incorporated onto a Carolina Rig
best redfish flies
Source: Canva Pro

Top 5 Redfish Flies for Fly Fishing

1. Clouser Minnow

Best Overall

No matter where you are in the Redfish’s vast habitat, there will be a single source of sustenance that is a constant – minnows. 

Redfish range from the shores of Mexico to well up onto the Atlantic seaboard, and throughout that entire range, small baitfish such as mullet, minnows, and other species young are first on the menu. 

The Clouser Minnow is a weighted fly that sinks rapidly with its tried and true design. With a multitude of techniques to implement during retrieval, including bouncing, pauses, or a rapid return, this flashy, lifelike fly will be sure to “hook” the attention of any hungry Redfish in the vicinity. 

This particular fly comes in first place for three reasons. 

The first is its lifelike resemblance to a common food group of Redfish. 

The second is its weighted eyes. It can sometimes be difficult to lure Redfish to the surface where much fly fishing occurs, so meeting them lower in the water column has its advantages. 

Finally, its Mustad signature Duratin hook can handle everything from Croaker to Tarpon and will easily handle large Bull Reds.

Additional features:

  • Mustad Duratin Fly Hook
  • Lead Eyes
  • Assortment of color schemes and hook sizes
  • Salt and Freshwater capable

2. Camo Crab Saltwater Fishing Fly

Best Crab Fly

3 Pack | Camo Crab Saltwater Fishing Fly | Permit, Bonefish, Tarpon, Redfish | Mustad Duratin Hook #2 (Assortment #2)
  • Weighted Top so the Crab Rides Hook Side Up
  • Mustad Signature Duratin Fly Hooks
  • Hand tied by qualified professionals

Another staple of a Redfish’s diet is crabs. These crustaceans move up and down the water column, sidewinding their way onto voracious Redfish’s dinner plates in nearly every corner of their habitat. 

However, there are a variety of crab species, so it’s critical you select a fly that works well in the environment you are angling in. 

There are three ways to fly fish for Redfish with a crab fly. 

Lightly weighted crabs which are somewhat buoyant work well in narrower, shallow bodies of water while weighted flies will sink to the bottom. 

When retrieved, incorporating bumps and pauses, the weighted flies simulate a crab retreating along the bottom, stimulating the predatory instincts of the Redfish. 

The third option is a steady retrieve through the water column, replicating a crab sidewinding.

The crab fly claims its spot in second place for two reasons. First, its resemblance to indigenous bait in the Redfish’s habitat. 

Second, the two different hook styles. If hooked straight, meaning perpendicular to the fly’s body, a linear movement pattern is obtained. 

If hooked from the side, the angler will attain a sidewinder motion that is difficult for redfish to ignore. 

Additional features:

  • Mustad Duratin Hook
  • Multiple color schemes
  • Integral weight to ensure the hook side stays up during casting

3. Rainy’s Spoonfly Fly

Best Spoonfly

Not all that glitters is gold, but when fly fishing for Redfish, it might as well be. The spoon fly is a very popular fly designed to razzle and dazzle the hook right into an unsuspecting Red’s mouth. 

Emitting a low vibration when slowly stripped, this oblong fly is an attention grabber. It works well in murky or stained water, giving off a glimmer of hope of an easy meal for Redfish. 

Many come with a tail, some with eyes, and several have unique swimming patterns running the gamut of crippled minnow wobbles to fast, fluttery movements of a fish in distress.

This fly comes in third place because of its ability to stand out in murky waters, flashy style, and vibration emissions. 

Additional features:

  • Fluffy tail for attracting strikes
  • Large  colorful eyes
  • Wobbles simulate injured baitfish

4. Sanhu Shrimp Fly

Best Shrimp Fly

Shrimp Fly Rigged – Size 5/0 – Yellow/red – 10 Packs – Item # 376
  • Mustad Signature Duratin Fly Hooks
  • Premium Materials
  • Hand Tied by Professionals

Shrimp are a delicacy for both humans and Redfish alike. However, shrimps are seasonal and migratory depending on the angler’s location, so they can be one of the more fickle flies to work with. 

It suspends in the water and sweeps with the current replicating actual shrimp movements when hooked properly. 

Shrimp flies are multifaceted, meaning they can be manipulated in multiple ways in the water. If one retrieval doesn’t work, this lure allows you to incorporate just about every technique in your arsenal to great effect. 

Shrimp flies also work well for sight fishing for Reds, with their small footprint but enticing movements. 

Shrimp are a solid choice provided the correct color is used, and it’s a common food in the habitat. For these reasons, shrimp flies come in at a respectable 4th place. 

Additional features:

  • Mustad Duratin Hook
  • Comes in a 10 pack
  • Capable of being incorporated onto a Carolina Rig
  • Durable Poly Fiber material

5. Bass Popper Oversize

Best Topwater Popper

Fly Fishing Poppers Lures for Bass Panfish Flies Topwater Popper for Crappie Bluegill Kit (Bass Popper Oversize kit 10 pcs)
  • BREATHTAKING ACTION –This 10/24-Piece Popper Fly Assortment…
  • FISH LOVE THESE FLIES. — Everything you need for spittin’,…
  • CAN’T RESIST–The extra legs jetting out of the head make…

Redfish can be skittish and difficult to lure to the surface. However, if one locks onto the fly, it’s game on. Redfish light up topwater lures like few other fish and its truly a sight to behold when they strike. Because of this, Top Water Poppers can be effective in the right conditions.

The fly creates quite a disturbance with every strip with its concave face, while its bright colors make it impossible to miss. 

Originally designed for bass, this fly has had incredible overlap with Reds. Because of their skittishness, utilize long, strong strips in deep water to achieve a solid pop in deep water. 

Conversely, quick, short strips in shallow water should captivate a hungry Redfish quickly.

Because of its necessity for the right conditions, such as low wind, calmer water, and cloud cover, the Bass Popper is a solid choice but comes in at number 5 on the list. 

Additional Features: 

  • Multiple colors per pack
  • Hand-tied flies
  • Excellent crossover to Bass

Fly fishing for Redfish can be a tricky but rewarding experience not exclusive to freshwater streams and trout. 

As an angler, selecting the correct fly can be the difference between a bent rod and hard strips and a boring day on the water. 

Pick a fly that both fits the environment and works well with your experience in fly fishing. As always, best of luck on the water!

Jacob Pelle
Fishing Expert
Jake Pelle is a third-generation outdoorsman and Eagle Scout. He grew up fishing ponds and rivers in South Louisiana and Mississippi and graduated to fishing brackish/marsh and coastal waters for redfish, drum, and speckled trout. When not on a flat range, he can be found with rod and reel in hand searching for the next greatest fishing hole in South Louisiana.
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Articles » Freshwater Fishing » Top 5 Redfish Flies for Fly Fishing in 2022