Captain Robert Szychowski
flyfishsavannah@gmail.com
912 441 0320      

Coastal Georgia saltwater fly fishing is a relatively new sport. When I moved to Savannah 20 years ago most people I met fished bait, a few fished artificials, and it was nearly impossible to find someone to show me what I was seeking. Needless to say, after several years of searching I saw my first Redfish tailing up in the marsh in less than a foot of water - I was excited, to say the least.

In the years since I have collected a few friends that share my passion for wetting a fly and we have discovered a challenging and special fishery. Of course more anglers are chasing Reds with fly rods than they were two decades ago, but the pressure is still light. The best fishing with flies occurs between June and November, while December and January can also be quite good. Coastal high tides range from 6 – 9.5 feet but we get excited when they go above 7.5. Those “spring tides” bring the Redfish up into the spartina grass of the marsh to feed on fiddler crabs and the fish average 22″ to 27″. They move in water that won’t get your knees wet and tail and splash with abandon when they spy a crab trying to make its getaway. The sight fishing is incredible; see a fish 25 yards away, make a stealthy approach, a decent cast, and you may be hooked up to a good sized Redfish.

I fish a 22 foot Panga Super Skiff, but when the tides are right for chasing fish in the grass, the boat is just a taxi because the best fishing is done on foot. Wade fishing in water sometimes so shallow you wouldn’t believe a two foot long fish would be there. This is the best of hunting and fishing rolled into one and when I release one of these beautiful fish back into the flooded grass I know fishing doesn’t get any better. Casts need not be long, but accuracy is rewarded. Seven to Nine weight rods, floating lines and a few flies are all that’s required. Although polarized sunglasses, a hat with brim and footwear that protect the feet make the outing more productive and comfortable.

In late fall the fish begin to school up for the winter and the fishing changes as well. In November I stay in the boat and concentrate my fishing on the bars and mudflats at low tide. Schools of 25 to 50 fish inhabit shallow water for protection from dolphin. While not as easy to spot as they were in the summer marsh, the fish are available to the fly fisher. The weather is more of a factor, but Georgia fall days can be pleasant until late December or Early January, effectively lengthening the season by 1 or 2 months.

Tight Lines and Happy Tails,
Captain Robert Szychowski

 

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