First of all, Happy New Year to all. May 2011 bring you many fly fishing memories to cherish.

The winter pattern of big reds on shallow flats continues, and it will

Mike's Low Tide Red Fish

continue until March. The water temperature is varying between 40 and 50 degrees, with the coldest temperatures right after a front passes, and warming until the next front. The best fishing is usually three or four days after a front has come through. The wind is usually calm, and the water is clear. With calm winds and clear water, we are seeing schools of red fish of just a few to as many as 50 or more fish on the low tide. When the water is up to about 50 degrees, it is not unusual to see the fish high in the water, finning, tailing and eating. As the tide comes in, we scout the oyster rakes and sight fish to the red fish as they are floating above the oysters. Tons of fun.

If we are careful, keep low and stay quite, many times we can get within 20′ feet of these fish before spooking them. It is normally better to make longer casts, but if you have trouble casting long distances, you still have a chance to hook up.

I have been throwing a new pattern I call the “St. Simons Scampi” with great results recently. It needs a little more field testing and tweaking before I publish the recipe, but keep checking back. I expect to post the pattern on my flies page in the next week or so.

It seems the weather pattern has returned to a little more near normal. The forecast for the first of January is highs in the 60’s (although the sun is out and the temp is in the 70’s as I write this) and lows in the 40’s. The water will warm up, and the fishing should be great. So if you get a chance, come on down to St. Simons, help me test the St. Simons Scampi, and hook up on a few of our big reds.

Tight lines, strip strike and practice the double haul.
Capt. Dave