Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Fly Fishing the Surf: Flies for the Surf

Flyfishers prospecting the Texas surf should always have a good supply of Clouser Deep Minnow flies dressed in white, yellow, and chartreuse bucktail. Glass minnow patterns and larger profile flies like Deceivers also produce well in the surf.

Hazards and Precautions

Currents and Rip Tides

Flyfishers have discovered how productive it can be to fish in the surf and around Gulf passes. But deep channels, irregular bottoms, and moving tides make these areas extremely deceptive and hazardous. A personal flotation device (PFD), or vest, may seem a bother for wading the shallowest flats around these passes but it is a necessity for anyone unfamiliar with an area. It is also prudent for the coastal angler to recognize and respect the power of rip currents, or rip tides. These strong, narrow surface currents driven by the return flow of waves and wind-driven water flow laterally and then outward from a shoreline. They are most noticeable along the flat Texas coastline next to jetties and piers. Rip currents-another reason for anglers to wear PFDs when fishing the surf-usually diminish when they move into deeper water. Persons caught in rip currents should remain calm, stay afloat, and go with the flow. Avoid trying to swim straight back to shore against strong currents. Instead, swim parallel to the shore until free from the rip current. If the pull is too strong, ride the current beyond the breakers until it diminishes and then swim to shore.

Popular Surf-Fishing Sites

Galveston Island Beachfront

Fly-fishing guide Chris Phillips says some of the best fishing of the year comes in the summer months off Galveston Island. One of the places he targets are the rock groins along Seawall Boulevard."They are fly-fishing friendly, and you have a lot of room for your backcast," he says. He recommends walking out and casting Deceiver and glass minnow patterns into the second gut for trout, mackerel, ladyfish, bluefish, pompano, and other species that frequent the surf during the summer months.

He says shrimp patterns also work well when used with sinking fly lines. "The current will carry them, and it is just like free shrimping," he says.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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