Know Before You Go

Never been saltwater fly fishing before? Here is what you can expect: 

The Set-Up

I will be pushing my shallow water poling skiff along the flats with a 21’ push pole. You’ll be on the bow, hunting for redfish, trout, black drum, sheepshead and more in mere inches of water.

From an elevated platform above the stern of the skiff, I will typically spot the fish before you can and call out a direction and distance to allow you the best chance to see the fish before we take the shot. As you prepare to make the cast, I will adjust the angle of the boat to give you the highest probability of a successful cast and presentation.

This is where your adrenaline will kick in. In this scenario it is very common for the angler to get “buck fever”. I pride myself on guiding with a calm demeanor and will coach you through the shot while keeping you relaxed, yet focused, on putting the fly where it needs to be. Making the cast is only one piece of the puzzle. 

Once the fly is in the water, it’s time to feed the fish. Through a series of commands, I will tell you exactly how to manipulate the fly in order to entice the fish to bite. If all goes as planned, you’ll be hooked up to an extremely powerful fish! A bent rod and the ability to let the fish run when it decides to surge is critical in landing any of these fish. After a quick photo with a wet, healthy fish, we will release that fish back to feed and carry on doing fishy things. Now it’s time for high-fives, chatting about the previous shot, things we can work on, and…rinse and repeat!

Catch and Release

All fish on all Dodson Fly Fishing charters will be released. I’m fine with keeping a fish occasionally for a great meal back home, but that is up to you on your own time. 


You will be using hand-tied flies that are proven to be effective. My flies may not win a beauty contest, but they are easy to cast, move well in the water, and catch fish when presented correctly. All of my hooks are barbless. This is for your safety (and mine) as much as it is for the overall health of the fish once it is released. All fish can be hooked and landed on a barbless hook. Barbs are dangerous and can easily ruin a fishing trip. If you bring your own flies and would like to try them, please remove the barbs before the trip.


Experience is not required for you to be successful out on the water. I’ve guided countless beginners and had a tremendous amount of angler success over the years. That being said, if you’ve never fly fished before or have never fly fished in a saltwater environment, I would suggest taking at least one casting lesson before your trip. Whether this happens at your home fly shop or with me at the park the day before your charter, it can be very beneficial. Many times we experience our best fishing in the morning. Without being prepared, this window of excellent fishing is spent getting comfortable and familiar with the cast instead of capitalizing on hungry fish feeding on the flats. Regardless of your experience level, I will be working with you on your cast throughout the day.

What to Bring

  • A Texas “All Water” or “Saltwater” fishing license. This can be purchased online through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Website
  • A good pair of polarized sunglasses (brown, copper, or rose lenses work best)
  • Ball cap or visor (floppy sun hat will fly off during boat rides)
  • Buff or face covering
  • Sunscreen
  • Lunch/snacks
  • Rain Gear
  • Optional
    • Drinks other than water (no glass, please)
    • 9ft. 8 wt. fly rod with a saltwater floating line

What is Provided

  • Cold water in stainless-steel Yeti bottles and gallon jug for refills
  • Cooler with plenty of ice (please leave your cooler in your vehicle)
  • Orvis Helios 3 rods and Mirage reels matched with Orvis or Monic fly lines. I also tie all leaders and flies specifically for where and how we will be fishing.