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Fly Fishing in the Lowcountry

The Lowcountry boasts a year round fishery and there are a  few scenarios, seasons and species that are more forgiving than others for both the novice and experienced saltwater fly angler...

Backcountry Hilton Head offers a fly fishing forward program meaning only the delivery system of the fly or lure changes when making a presentation to the fish.There is plenty of data to compile in one's ongoing fly fishing career without ever holding a fly rod. There is more to the hunt than the cast such as spotting the fish, feeding the fish and setting the hook!

Saltwater fly casting is primarily a sight fishing affair. The idea is to get eyes on the fish and make a presentation with a fly or an artificial lure. For the novice fly angler getting the fly out to the fish with efficiency, distance and accuracy is the first hurdle to overcome in achieving a hook up. This is where fishing becomes a sport and requires practice and skill development.The wind, angle of the sun and seas surface conditions all play a role in the success of the day.

Here are a few scenarios that are of interest to the Fly Fishing Enthusiast in the Lowcountry ...

Skill Level:  1 = Lowest   5 = Highest


Flood Tides

April - October

This is the novel Lowcountry experience for the sight fisherman. Surrounding the Full Moons and New Moons of each month and the majority of the Fall Season we experience higher than average High Tides. This allows fish to patrol the High Marsh for food. This phenomenon only occurs a handful of times per month from April though July and become more abundant nearer to Fall - the result is Tailing Redfish in the spartina grass with the sole purpose of eating crabs. There is an urgency for both the angler and the fish as the water leaves the flat as quickly as it came in. Trips typically run 4 hours.

Skill Level:  2


May - September

Jacks were put on the planet to simply mess things up. In other fisheries they have been considered a nuisance in their juvenile stage due to just how aggressive they can be and get in the way of another targeted species.

By the time these fish reach adulthood they become migratory and when they reach our shores they are giants.These fish are kin to the storied Giant Trevalley of the Seychelles on the other side of the world, a target species that fly anglers spend large quantities of money and days of travel to access.The Jack Crevalle that visit the Hilton Head area have come to be known as the Lowcountry GT as they average in the 20lb class.

Sight Cast to large schools of Jacks called 'Wolfpacks' on the surface off the beach and nearshore sand bars - these fish yield aggressive hook ups and long battles!

Skill Level:  3


Early AM Summer Sessions

May - September

Getting out at first light can be the key to success in the summer months. The water is as cool as it will be all day, in most cases the least amount of breeze, minimal boat traffic and the potential for a a top water bite. Sometimes the first 2 hours of the day can offer up the most action. This can be the fly enthusiast's opportunity at undisturbed feeding fish in shallow water. Without question the early morning hours provide the most privacy before jet skis, parasail boats and the rest of the charter fleet come out of the wood work..

Skill Level:  2.7

Fall Fishing

Late August - December 

A few important things happen middle to the latter part of summer approaching the Fall season! Flood Tides become more abundant as the vicinity of the moon is closer to our location on the planet. By Mid August water temperatures have peaked and fish have acclimated to it. Bio mass and bait are maximized and jumbo sized shrimp are pushed into tidal creeks. The previously difficult summer redfish are beginning to group up and are more inclined to feed in the shallows throughout the day. In addition, local gamefish begin to put on the feed bag in preparation for Winter. Wolfpacks of Jack Crevalle are in abundance, Tarpon are in full force, and Bull Redfish frequent the region for the annual spawn. Aside from the typical afternoon thunderstorm we are greeted with fair conditions overall. There is not a better time to visit the Lowcountry and to fish!

Skill Level:  1.7 - 3.5 


Winter Lows

November - March 

Winter in the Lowcountry is special! Large pods of redfish in ultra skinny, gin clear water. Sometimes these schools of fish number in the 50 - 100+ range. However, this is not shooting fish in a barrel and there is a noticeable difference between Early Winter and Later Winter. In the early stages, the fish are relatively easy to spot and can be as cooperative as redfish get. As the season progresses the fish slowly become spooky and selective. Longer casts and fly choice become critical until water temperatures begin to rise in the Spring.

Skill Level Early Winter: 1.5

Skill Level Late Winter: 4

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