Flood Tides & Popping Corks

The flood tides are here to stay and the venerable redfish is again making it's pilgrimage onto the flats to irreverently wave it's golden tail at onlooking fisherman drooling at the chance of tossing a small crab fly within reach. 

Well, here in Charleston, they're on the flats but still being the sneaky bast**ds they so love to be. We recently released our new Pusherman hooded sunshirt (you can find it here) and took the opportunity to get on the water and create some new content. That conveniently lined up well with the ongoing flood tides! 

The weather here has been rough recently, but hey, you take what you can get. We made our way out and started perusing one of our local redfish hangouts. The gist of things is we had a few of our regular shots, but nothing to write home about. We decided it was time to pack up and head out as the tide was starting to wane. Making one last ditch effort, we slowly motored past one last flat hoping to hook up with a buzzer beater. 


As we were about to give up hope, we saw one of the devil's creations casually bobbing up and down across a deeper edge of the flat; it was a popping cork. We observed the cork for a moment, figuring we'd do Mother Nature a favor and pick it out of the water, when we saw it take a dive for the depths. Oh yeah, Mr. Fishy was there to play! Alex hopped on the bow and made a few quick casts at the cork. A nice casual strip set into a tangled mess of braid and BAM! you've got yourself a redfish on popping cork on fly!

Talk about a healthy fish. Popping cork or not, this sucker wanted a fight. After a few minutes of back and forth, we boated the fish to find a double whammy. Not only did we save this fish from death by popping cork, but he was tagged too. 

If there's one thing that's true about fly fishing, no two days are ever the same. Did we expect to be casting to a cork with a fish on it? No. But was it a hell of a good time? Absolutely.

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1 comment

  • Have you thought of developing a “popping cork” system for flies? Before snarling in disgust too much :) … I mean something along similar lines as a hopper-dropper setup for trout. From my early days of following the likes of Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin, I used a double lure setup at times for largemouth: popper or floating minnow with trailing plastic below. When I came to trout on the fly, the hopper-dropper never seemed to relate to this bass tactic because you don’t necessarily twitch or otherwise activate the hopper as it floats through the stream more like an indicator or second options for trout to take. The hopper does act at times as an attractant, sure, but the difference between the bass tactic and trout hopper-dropper rig is largely due to the use/action on the part of the fisherman. Only recently have I been thinking of how to emulate the effectiveness of the “tourist rig”/“popping cork”/“deadly duo” setup for the fly. Perhaps something as simple as a popper-dropper would suffice? A popper or slider trailed by a shrimp or crab pattern, in other words. I don’t live near the coast most of the year so haven’t been able to attempt to even cast such a setup. Maybe y’all can give it a try and let me know how it fits or doesn’t fit within fly-fishing ethics!

    Ryan Parker

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