Spring Time in the Flats of Hilton Head

Andrew Mahoney - Friday, February 21, 2014

Fly fishing in Hilton Head Island in the spring is a true breath of fresh air, and this year it can't come soon enough.  This winter in the Lowcountry we have seen some of our lowest temperatures in years and we even experienced an "ice storm."   The prior winters have been mild and drawn out into the spring, so our hopes are high that with the extreme temperatures this winter, spring is coming soon.  This week we have gotten our first taste of spring with mid 70 degree temperatures, the fiddler crabs are beginning to come out of their holes and the redfish are starting to come out of this sluggish trans that they often get in during extended cold weather days.  For the next two months the redfish in our flats will become much more aggressive and will be apex predators among the gill bearing creatures in our marshes, and we are very excited at what the spring months have in store. 

Fly Fishing Hilton Head

Andrew Mahoney - Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fly Fishing in Hilton Head Island, caught by satellites.  Love this shot of our skiff on Google Earth that my friends dad found while looking at one of our honey holes.  You can see the shadow of my guest on the bow and me poling from the stern.  Gets me pumped!

 

Hilton Head Fly Fishing

Andrew Mahoney - Sunday, December 08, 2013
Fly Fishing Hilton Head Island with HHI on the Fly has been very exciting these last couple of weeks. The redfish are schooled up and the water is clearing up more and more everyday, giving us a lot of good opportunities and producing a lot of fish in the boat! I've made some great friends with my guests so far this year and hope to continue beating up the fish with them, through the New Year. We will be spending everyday possible in the flats the winter and are excited about what the Lowcountry Marsh has in store for us.

Bow presence

Andrew Mahoney - Thursday, December 13, 2012

One of the main elements in being a successful caster in the flats, is having a good presence of your surroundings while on the bow.  False casting from a skiff calls for much less weight shift and much less motion then if you were wading in a river or casting from a drift boat.  Mainly due to the wakes caused by the shift in weight while casting.  In cold, clear water months, the wake being sent over a school of fish in a foot of water, pretty much means game over.   When guests of mine have fresh water experience, and are stepping on the skiff for the first time, I will often see the wake from their casting motion go over the school before there fly even hits the water, scaring the school away without even a chance of a fish seeing the fly.  Another disadvantage with a lot of motion is while standing on a casting platform, feet above the waters surface, an angler is much more likely to be seen by the school, then if the angler were drifting a fly down a river, where you're standing at the waters level.  Having a compact cast, with good line speed is a great asset while fishing from a skiff, and will only improve your chances of a fish in the flats seeing your fly.

Winter Redfishing in Hilton Head Island

Andrew Mahoney - Friday, November 02, 2012

It’s been a cold week, and winter in the Lowcountry is right around the corner. Gin clear water will be soon to come, and easy opportunities to see huge schools of fish are waiting. Over the next few months some of the biggest redfish schools in the world will group up in our marshes. It’s an exciting time for me and my guests at this time of the year, to know what awaits us just a short boat ride away.

Fly Fishing for Redfish in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Andrew Mahoney - Sunday, October 07, 2012
Fly fishing for Redfish in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina can be one of the most rewarding ways to catch a fish in the Lowcountry. Watching a fish open its mouth and inhale your fly is an incredible experience. For help in witnessing this, you need some understanding of how the fish, or school of fish is going to react when a fly is near it. Having a 100 foot cast with a tight loop, though a great acheivement, and effective in tons of saltwater applications, can often times leave you scratching your head with the redfish. Seeing a redfish's direction, and making a quick accurate cast will prove to be way more effective. The way the fish sees the fly is everything. The majority of the time if a redfish sees something already swimming away from it then it won’t chase it down. It would rather see something swimming perpendicular towards the line it is swimming, and a few feet ahead of it. When it’s done correctly you will see the fish speed up to the fly as it crosses the fish’s path. The exception to that would be in the spartina grass, with a laid up fish in a pocket, where making a stealthy cast anywhere in the pocket will often times result in a bite. In all other situations a fly landing in a fish’s path and being stripped away from it, is just going to keep you changing flies mindlessly. Landing the fly past the line that the fish is swimming and waiting until it’s within distance to see the fly, then stripping the fly across its path, will make you a hero. To achieve this, an angler should wait to see if a good opportunity to see the fish clearly, presents itself. A redfish is one of the easier fish to get close to on the flats, when it’s looking down for prey it presents a great opportunity to ease the skiff close enough to make a short, accurate cast, past the line it is swimming. It is also very important to have an extra stealthy cast in these situations, due to the close proximity to the fish. Hopefully this helps next time you're on the bow.

Fly fishing in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Andrew Mahoney - Saturday, August 25, 2012
Fishing for redfish in the flats of Hilton Head is in full swing. The last few weeks I've been splitting my time between trips for lowtide schools and trips for high tide tailers. I've seen just about every client in the last two weeks hearts nearly beat out of their chests as they try to cast in the path of fish in inches of water. Very little has needed to be said to the experienced fisherman as the sight casting has been incredible, and working with the, "new to the flats" fisherman has been extremely rewarding. All saying, after they see their first bite, "that was awesome", and I can only agree. Many shots at tailing redfish have been over white sand, sticking out like a soar thumb with no real concern in their surroundings, only their to eat whatever swims within a couple feet of them, and every bite over the white sand is better than the last. Some great tides are happening and will continue to happen over the next couple of months and I can't wait to be poling the skiff in some amazing conditions.