Fly fishing in Mississippi offers anglers a unique experience with diverse fishing locations. The state provides ample opportunities to reel in various fish species from picturesque rivers to coastal waters. This article will explore the top 14 places to fly fish in Mississippi, highlighting each location's distinctive features, fly fishing spots, and the types of fish you can expect to catch.
Best Fly Fishing Locations in Mississippi
Mississippi offers a unique and captivating fly fishing experience that sets it apart as a destination for anglers. Its diverse waterways, including rivers, lakes, and coastal marshes, provide a rich habitat for a variety of fish species. The Mississippi River and its tributaries are home to abundant populations of largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, and sunfish, offering exciting opportunities for fly fishing enthusiasts.
Additionally, the coastal areas provide access to saltwater fly fishing, where anglers can target species like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Mississippi's mild climate and year-round fishing seasons make it an ideal destination for fly fishing enthusiasts of all skill levels. With its diverse fishing opportunities and natural beauty, Mississippi stands as a captivating fly fishing destination.
1. Back Bay Biloxi
Nestled in the heart of Biloxi, Back Bay is a prime fly fishing destination. The bay's brackish waters attract redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Anglers can explore the expansive flats and marshes, casting their flies to entice these popular gamefish. Remember to target the grassy areas during high tide for the best chances of success.
2. Barrier Islands
The Barrier Islands off Mississippi's coast offer fantastic fly fishing opportunities. These pristine islands boast crystal-clear waters teeming with redfish, jack crevalle, and even the occasional tarpon. Wading the sandy flats or sight casting from a boat are effective techniques here. Don't forget to pack a variety of baitfish patterns to entice the elusive trophy fish.
3. Bouie River, Hattiesburg, MS
The Bouie River near Hattiesburg is a scenic spot that appeals to fly anglers seeking bass, bream, and catfish. This slow-moving river winds through cypress swamps and provides plenty of cover for fish. Target fallen trees and submerged vegetation for the best chances of landing a lunker. Topwater poppers and streamer patterns work well in these waters.
4. Chandeleur Island Chain
Situated off the coast of Mississippi, the Chandeleur Island Chain is a fly fisherman's paradise. The clear, shallow waters surrounding the islands are home to redfish, speckled trout, and sheepshead. Wade the flats or fish from a kayak to explore the vast expanse of this pristine ecosystem. Shrimp and crab imitations are go-to flies for enticing these inshore gamefish.
5. Chunky River, Enterprise, MS
The Chunky River near Enterprise is a hidden gem for fly fishing enthusiasts. Known for its picturesque beauty, the river offers excellent opportunities to catch bass, bream, and catfish. Anglers can enjoy casting their flies in the river's riffles, runs, and pools. Woolly buggers and nymph patterns are effective in enticing strikes from the resident fish.
6. Gulfport and Biloxi
Gulfport and Biloxi's coastal cities provide access to saltwater and freshwater fly fishing. The expansive beaches and jetties attract a variety of species, such as pompano, Spanish mackerel, and bluefish. The nearby bayous and marshes also offer opportunities to target redfish and flounder. Pack a versatile assortment of saltwater flies to adapt to changing conditions.
7. Horn Islands
The Horn Islands, part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, are a haven for anglers seeking fly fishing adventures. These remote islands offer unparalleled opportunities to catch bull redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Wade the shallows or hire a guide to explore the vast grass flats and oyster beds. Crab and shrimp patterns are reliable choices to entice strikes.
8. Horseshoe Pond, West Point, MS
Nestled in West Point, Horseshoe Pond is a fly fishing destination brimming with largemouth bass and bream. This serene, private pond provides a peaceful setting for anglers to cast their flies. Target the weed beds and submerged structures for the best chances of hooking into a feisty bass.
9. Mississippi River
The Mississippi River in Mississippi is a prominent waterway that cuts through the heart of the state, offering a wealth of angling opportunities for fishermen. As the state's western border, the river provides convenient access to anglers across Mississippi and beyond.
The Mississippi River is teeming with a diverse range of fish species. Largemouth bass, catfish (such as channel catfish and blue catfish), white bass, crappie, and various species of sunfish are commonly found in its waters. These plentiful populations make the Mississippi River a haven for anglers seeking a varied and exciting fishing experience.
Anglers can explore the Mississippi River's reaches by boat or from the shoreline, casting their lines into its expansive waters. With its expansive size and diverse fish population, the Mississippi River offers endless opportunities for anglers of all skill levels.
10. Mississippi River Delta
The Mississippi River Delta in Mississippi is a unique and dynamic ecosystem that offers exceptional fishing opportunities for anglers. Situated along the state's Gulf Coast, this expansive delta region is renowned for its abundant fish species and diverse habitats.
Anglers flock to the Mississippi River Delta to target a wide array of fish. Redfish, speckled trout, flounder, sheepshead, and black drum are commonly found in the delta's estuaries, marshes, and nearshore waters. These prized game fish attract anglers seeking thrilling saltwater fishing experiences.
The location of the Mississippi River Delta provides convenient access for anglers from Mississippi and beyond. Coastal towns such as Biloxi, Gulfport, and Pascagoula serve as popular launching points for fishing expeditions in the delta.
11. Ross Barnett Reservoir
Ross Barnett Reservoir, located near Jackson, is a popular fly fishing destination in Mississippi. This large reservoir offers excellent bass fishing opportunities, with largemouth and spotted bass being the primary targets. Fly anglers can target the submerged structures, weed beds, and drop-offs for a chance to land a trophy bass.
12. Saltwater Flats
Mississippi's saltwater flats, particularly those near the barrier islands, are ideal for fly fishing. These shallow areas provide ample opportunities to sight fish for redfish, speckled trout, and flounder. Wade or pole your way through the flats, casting to tailing fish or cruising schools.
13. Ship Island, Cat Island
Ship Island and Cat Island in Mississippi are two stunning barrier islands located in the Gulf of Mexico, offering anglers a unique and captivating fishing experience. These islands are accessible by boat from coastal towns such as Gulfport and Biloxi.
The waters surrounding Ship Island and Cat Island are teeming with a variety of fish species, making them a haven for anglers. Redfish, speckled trout, flounder, pompano, sheepshead, and Spanish mackerel are commonly found in these waters. Anglers can target these prized game fish, whether casting from the beach or venturing further offshore.
The location of Ship Island and Cat Island in the Gulf of Mexico allows anglers to experience saltwater fishing at its finest.
14. Strong River in D'Lo
Situated in the heart of the state, the Strong River is easily accessible to anglers from D'Lo and surrounding areas. This river is home to various fish species, making it an attractive destination for fishing enthusiasts. Largemouth bass, bream (including bluegill and redear sunfish), and catfish (such as channel catfish and flathead catfish) are commonly found in the Strong River's waters. These fish populations provide ample opportunities for anglers to reel in their catch.
What Fly Patterns to Use in Mississippi
Best Redfish Fly Fishing Flies For Mississippi
- Plantation Crab - Size 1/0 or 2/0
- Chernobyl Crab in brown or white - Size 1/0
- Hopedale Crab - Size 1/0 or 2/0
- Sandbar Mullet - Size 1/0 or 2/0
- Clouser Minnow - Size 1/0.
- Deceiver Minnow - Size 2/0.
- Electric Bunny Fly - Size 1/0 or 2/0
- Electric Slider Fly- Size 1/0 or 2/0
- Topwater Shrimp- Size 1/0 or 2/0
Best Speckled Trout Fly Fishing Flies For Mississippi
- Borski Sliders - Size 2 to 2/0
- Clouser Minnow - Size 1/0
- Shrimp Imitations - Size 6 or 4
- Peanut Bunker- Size 6 or 4
- Seaducers in hot pink or chartreuse - Size 6 or 4
- Gartside’s Gurgler - Size 1/0
- Deceiver - Size 2/0
- Woolhead Mullet in red-and-white 2/0 or 3/0
- Woolhead Mullet in Black 2/0 or 3/0
- Crazy Charlie in hot pink or chartreuse- Size 6 or 4
Best Bass Fly Fishing Flies for Mississippi
- Double Bunny - Size 4
- Coma Cocaho - Size 4
- Y2K - Size 12 & 14
- SR71 Seaducer - Size 2 thru 1/0
- Bass Bully - Size 4
- Dahlberg Diver - Size 6
- Boogle Bug in Carolina Blue - Size 6 & 8
- Peanut Envy - Size 6
When fly fishing in Mississippi, you'll need a 5 to 8-weight fly rod, depending on the target species and fishing location. A quality fly reel with a smooth drag system is crucial to handle hard-fighting fish. Choose fly lines suitable for fresh and saltwater environments, depending on your chosen fishing spots. Leaders and tippets with various strengths are essential for presenting your flies effectively. Don't forget a selection of flies that mimic local baitfish, shrimp, crustaceans, nymphs, and terrestrial patterns. Polarized sunglasses, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing for the weather and terrain are also necessary.
Additional Facts about Fly Fishing in Mississippi:
Mississippi offers year-round fly fishing opportunities, with different seasons presenting varying target species and fishing conditions. The state's coastal areas provide both saltwater and freshwater fly fishing, allowing anglers to diversify their fishing experiences.
When fly fishing in Mississippi, local regulations and fishing licenses must be adhered to. Stay informed about the specific rules for each location. Fly fishing clubs and organizations in Mississippi offer a wealth of information, camaraderie, and opportunities for learning and sharing experiences with fellow anglers.
Where is the best place to fly fish in Mississippi?
Determining the best place to fly fish in Mississippi depends on your preferences and target species. However, some popular and productive locations include the Chandeleur Island Chain, Horn Islands, Back Bay Biloxi, and the Mississippi River Delta. These areas offer diverse fisheries and abundant gamefish, making them favorites among fly anglers.
Where is the best trout fishing in Mississippi?
While Mississippi is not particularly known for trout fishing, the best opportunities for trout can be found in the coastal waters, including the barrier islands, the Chandeleur Island Chain, and the Mississippi River Delta. Speckled trout are the primary target species; fly fishing for them in these areas can be highly rewarding.
Where are the biggest trout in Mississippi?
Mississippi is not known for producing exceptionally large trout. However, the coastal waters, particularly the Mississippi River Delta, can yield decent-sized speckled trout. It's important to note that trout sizes can vary depending on factors such as season, fishing pressure, and individual fishing spots.