Redfish Rattle Toad
Hook: 1/0 Gamakatsu SC15
Thread: Brown and Orange Flat Wax Nylon
Tail: Tan Craft Fur
Body: One Brown hackle, Tan EP fibers
Belly: Medium Mylar Gold Tube, Small Glass Rattle
Eyes: Large Bead Chain
Weedguard: 50lb Mason Mono
This pattern is totally up for interpretation for your area and different situations. It can be changed to dark colors, larger weights, different tail material (Marabou, Rabbit Zonker, Hackle). The key features are the rattle and the EP body. The mylar tube is tied into the bottom of the hook with the hackle, and reattached behind the eyes after the body is made. When you buy glass rattles they will have a tear drop on one side. I take my wire snips that I use on the bead chain to knock this off so the rattle is less likely to come out of the mylar tube. The EP body gives it a very durable and solid profile in the water. The EP is tied in the normal toad fashion on the top of the shank.
I use this fly for everything. Tied heavy you can use it to dreadge pot holes or channels when the tide drops out. With more flash you can blind cast mullet schools. And tide as above for tailing fish.
I went out with my Dad for an afternoon trip to look for some Redfish up on the flats. He is not much on fly fishing as it takes up a lot of space, (and when I am casting a fly rod I’m not polling the skiff). I assured him that I was not “planning” on doing any fly fishing, but if the opportunity presented itself I would give it a shot. As a peace offering to allow the fly rod on the skiff I showed him that I was only bringing one fly with me… The Rattle Toad.
Fishing in Tampa Bay we have to play the winds. The forcast was showing a north wind. For us that is a lower low tide, and it holds the tide out longer. For Redfish this is the perfect recipe to get shots at tailing fish. The wind ended up being more out of the east blowing out the flat making shots hard. It was a trade off between being blown into the fish, or casting into the wind. After three or four attempts at making shots at fish it was decided to stake out the skiff and do some wade fishing. This was my oppurtunity to get out the fly rod. The fish were not really schooled up, and only tailing as singles or doubles. I started walking down the flat and a double popped up in front of me. On my second shot I was able to get it in front of the fish. Waiting for the tails to go down before moving the fly I started to pull the slack out of my line. To my suprise I already had an eat! I guess there was a fish laying down in front of the tailers that I did not see. No complaints here.
That was the plan all along though. Only needed one fly to accomplish my goal for the day.
Thanks again Vince for letting me contribute here on the SWC blog. I look forward to contributing more fly patterns and trip reports!