North Carolina Saltwater Fly Fishing Guides
Full day 8 hrs
Includes a signed copy of my book, lunch, water, fruit.
1/2 day (two persons) 4 hrs
1/2 day (one person) 4 hrs
Joe Guide Outfitters – North Carolina Saltwater Fly Fishing
Way out in the back country of North Carolina and South Carolina thousands of acres of saltwater flats you can find me out on my skinny water Redfish skiff. I have posted a photo here so you can see it.
Friends, this is a unique, one of a kind skiff that I designed on a napkin, while studying at the Naval War College in Newport, RI back in 2009.
The D3 Marsh Master Flats Skiff (19.9″ x 69″) and is pushed by a powerful Tohatsu 50 hp (2 Stoke) engine.
My sponsors include: STIFFY maker of Graphite Push Poles for the hard working guide, ATLAS, maker of their famous- Micro-Hydrolic jack-plate. Power-Pole, creator of the Hydraulic boat anchoring system, and Minkota, maker of the 55 pound thrust 12 volt trolling motor. M y YETI Cooler (keeps Ice “Chilli Willi Cold” for three or four days! H2O Inshore Spin casting rods 7ft (1 pc) fast-action is my light tackle favorite, and I love my Shamino Inshore Spinning Reels.
Fly Fishing I use only the best, and that is Royal Wulff Fly Lines! They created the exceptional (Saltwater Bimini Triangle Tapered- Fly Line) which is simply epic! I have a SAGE, and some other Fly Rods through out the years, however I really enjoy my customer service and myTFO Fly rods, as well as their excellent- Spin and Casting Inshore Rods! Friends you need to look at all my sponsor’s products via their websites, and get you some… of these great fishing and equipment needed to get out way back into the wilderness back country waters and catch you some bigger fish!
I also support outstanding programs- such as “Project Healing Waters Saltwater Fly Fishing Programs” for our Veterans and also occasionally am requested for speaking engagements. I encourage you to look at their website. NOTE: I assisted in getting PHWFF- approved for working at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD back in September of 2011, when their Founder and National Director- requested my assistance. Great fly fishing personalities such as USA Veteran Mr. Lefty Kreh also assists occasionally with PHWFF programs, and he also served his nation during WWII.
Did he ever tell you I’ve got a better looking beard than Flip Pillot? I would say that Flip can cast about twenty-five feet better than me, however most of our shots in North and South Carolina inshore flats are at tailing fish which are normally < 25 feet.
I use two skiffs. My D-3 MARSH MASTER 20 ft with my 50 Outboard for larger numbers or when traveling greater distances; and I also use a 16×60 “Go Devil Surface Drive Boat” with a GDSD-35 Mud Motor rig for skinny water back country fishing and throughout the rail bird hunting season.
JOE GUIDE OUTFITTERS specializes in (Inshore Fishing the back country flats), especially exciting is sight fishing or wade fishing with both Light Tackle and fly rods. We use Flies by SPIRIT RIVER.
Flies…I got plenty of flies if fly fishing is your thing. My favorite fly? It is a Sz. 1 Numero Uno “Crabby and Shrimp Flies” (purple/black) with the large Gold bead eyes. Look at them on their website. Did you know that over eight IFGFA World Record – Speckled Sea Trout and Big Redfish were caught on the Number Uno- Saltwater Crabby-Shrimp flies. I tell you right now…that they certainly work- mighty fine- in calf to knee deep Spartina Grass on tailing reds!
We offer INSHORE FISHING charters all months of the year, and during the summer and early fall months, many of my clients enjoy “wade/sight-fishing for tailing redfish”in our vast Spartina Grass Flats. Now if ya’ll think you might enjoy stalking a red outside the boat, just remember to bring a good sturdy pair of ankle-high wading boots! You can use anything from High-Top Converse to fancy wading boots by Patagonia, and LL BEAN..or ORVIS… to a pair of jungle boots. Your guide prefers his $45 RAY GUARD wading boots found only on ACADEMY SPORTS website- look under- Wade Fishing Boots and please tell em that Joe Guide sent you to them!
We can go fish anytime that fits your schedule. Remember during the hottest days of the summer, I enjoy fishing a morning charter that launches about sunrise. During the lunar tidal periods, and if you are interested in chasing redfish around the spartina grass flats, you got to have the proper flood tide. I prefer to take my clients fishing prior to these flood tidal periods- where there are strong incoming high tides. We fish a half day (4 hour) charter- throughout the incoming full, and falling tides- these only occur throughout the full moon and new moon tide days which are needed to properly flood our spartina flats. Were you aware that there are dozens of primary and secondary food species for reds. Some are a higher priority than other months.
These are “shrimp and crabs”: crabby wise…these are the mud crab, the fiddler crab and smaller/jeuvie blue crabs. Then you have the white and later the brown shrimp migration throughout the estuary system. Prior to and following the flood tide- we can find reds staging or exiting along deeper cuts and oyster clump located near these exit cut and deeper drop offs.
A guide’s world has 80% throwing light tackle and about 20% fly rod affectionados! I must say that once you’ve experienced catching a big red tailing on a grass flat, you will see why so many people enjoy fly fishing the flooded spartina grass flats! When it’s really windy we switch over to the light tackle. So work on your practice casting to a hat at ranges of 25 – 35 feet shots.
My local saltwater range in southeastern North Carolina is from Bogue Sound south to the Cape Fear’s lower delta region where you’ll find thousands of acres of shallow flats with cuts, as well as miles of muddy creeks and deep channels that flood into expansive duck ponds and massive old rice fields now taken over by spartina grass where I take my clients wade fishing or poling them in my skiff while sight-fishing for redfish in skinny water!
I also book a “limited number” of CAST and BLAST (fishing and rail bird) hunting/camping trips are held way back in wilderness only five days each fall.
These wilderness salt marshes areas are located in areas as beautiful and as diverse as back country Louisiana delta you could ever imagine! Therefore If you plan on visiting the old port city of Charleston S.C., some time during the fall, and if you desire to book a Cast/Blast/ fishing/ rail bird hunt camp with an ol’ U.S. Navy Veteran and camp on a barrier sea island, enjoy a campfire or a good cigar and experience one of my unique cast and blast hunt camp outings. Take a good look at those rates, and see if you desire to book a overnight adventure- three hours of fishing in the evening, an evening meal, followed by some nice storytelling around the camp fire, a comfy camp experience. Breakfast prior to the next morning’s traditional rail bird hunt. **These begin at 1300 hrs, and you or your guest are returned to the landing: NLT 1230 following your next morning’s rail bird hunt. You are responsible for preparing your own birds- for travel, so you will need to have a cooler in your vehicle, however we will fillet your reds/speckled sea trout!
Inshore fishing trips – Charleston’s back-country require a minimum of two- (2 half day charters) – contact me, and we shall discuss the best tides and dates that are available and lock down those dates in my Guide Book. The Carolina Coastal back country is where I grew up hunting and fishing. My family and my wife and I still have property down there. Charleston is approximately- four hours o/w drive for me and due south of my current hometown in Wilmington, NC; however it’s these areas where I grew up chasing reds and waterfowl during the days of my youth.
I talk about all of these back country wilderness areas along coastal South and North Carolina Atlantic Seaboard as well as a great number of other redfishing communities, and some out of the way fishing areas in my Fly Fishing book: RED FISH on A FLY. You can get my book on (Amazonbooks.com), or you can contact me for a signed copy which I will send to you while supplies last, for $35 and S/H.
I am a Presbyterian (USA) Minister, and U.S. Navy Chaplain (Ret) following- thirty years of military service in peacetime and during war. This has kept me quite busy at times throughout my life.
Who do you want to guide you out on the back county flats?
Some guide with a slick flats boat, who’s never put his life on the line for our nation, or someone who’s served in times of war and peacetime- throughout the USA and the world? You just got to make that decision for yourself.
I’ve been fly fishing for well over forty years now, and am blessed to have lived throughout the world and the USA serving our great nation, yet I too am haunted by waters, and by memories of great flats not yet fished- around our nation and the world. Perhaps you see big redfish in your dreams?
You can book any guide, but I hope you will book a U.S. Veteran on your next adventure!
What better person to guide you, than a USCG Registered guide, and someone who’s a registered to guide in both North and South Carolina’s coastal inshore waters.
If you like to use your own rod, that is fine, you bring it down, or you can use one of my light tackle or fly rods. Just let me know. as I have plenty of fly rods and light tackle rods. Fly Fishermen I keep a good selection of big ol’ Crabby flies, and Shrimp, and Spoon Flies, or you can bring your own if you desire. Light Tackle rods are 6.6 and 7′ MF action Spinning rods and we enjoy throwing top water plugs like Zera Spooks, YoZurri, Heldon, and even on old Frog… in the early AM during the summertime, and MR15, MR17’s, and Jig/Gulp, with our light tackle rods and reels.
My favorite areas to fly fish…
Friends, just take a while, and look at the Lower Cape Fear River’s lower Delta Marsh, and Bogue Sound Marsh which are two unique skinny water areas of approximately 34,500 acres of salt marsh back country bayous; with miles of flats, creeks, cuts, and thousands of acres of spartina grass flats, some tall, or short spartina- as well as hundreds of sweet little back country “saltwater duck ponds” suitable for wading.
It’s here…but way out in the back country wilderness where the big ol’ flats boats cannot get into- except during the highest of tides.
Your adventure in the Carolina’s low country is here behind our barrier sea islands, and there are millions of flats out there, and inshore fishing throughout the year. It’s here where you’ll find reds that come in pushing water, or tailing. Redfish need to eat one-half of their weight in crabs or shrimp each week to continue to grow at their rate of growth. (Research by Joe Guide;s RED FISH ON A FLY). It’s in the spartina grass flats where the small mud, fiddler, and baby blue crabs and the shrimp inhabit these estuaries.
Most of your shots at reds will be casts that will range from approximately 25 – 40 feet. You should practice yo’ casting before you come down.
These marsh complexes’ are where the red drum (Redfish) grows up. Friends, these areas will remind you of the back country of southern Louisiana, except in Bogue and the Lower Cape Fear Delta region, there are hundreds and hundreds of acres where you can wade and sight fish tailing reds.
*As you may already know, you can’t wade in southern Louisiana due to gators and deep mud.
The Carolina low country salt marsh has thousands of miles of back country flats and duck ponds where I will pole you around the flats, or if it’s summer or early fall, we will wade- fish, and you’ll certainly enjoy stalking redfish. We’ll find rat reds (< 24″), and some mighty big over slot reds to 32″ pushing water, or tailing depending on the seasons of the year.
We might be fishing along the flats, or back in the deeper creeks, or in the winter months in shallow mud and oyster skinny water bays near some deep creeks where they can warm up in the late fall and winter months. We also fish off the lower Cape Fear River’s back country flats for Flounder and Specks during the seasons when they are strong. You decide, and tell me what you would like to focus on prior to your charter.
We will get to them by poling my 19.9 x 69” D3 Marsh Master skiff, or we can wade for them – if you prefer to do that in skinny water flats during the warmer months. I focus on fly fishing during the flood tides from April – September. I guide from Bogue Sound – south to the Lower Cape Fear Salt Marsh complex. Now, listen to me, if you take some time, look at these areas on Google Earth, and you can see just how massive these salt marsh complexes are to navigate.
Perhaps you like to fish from a “fly casting forward platform”, or you might simply enjoy being poled across a incoming high and falling tides- chasing redfish in singles, or pods of 4-8 or 12 or more?
No matter the number, you with certainly experience fly fishing in a beautiful part of coastal North Carolina saltwater flats that lay just inside our barrier island’s back country!
WING SHOOTERS or WILDFOWL HUNTERS
There are four huntable species of rail bird, however in SE North Carolina we hunt the Sora’s and Clapper species (we refer to the larger Clapper Rail Birds as “Marsh Hens”). I am the only guide that charter’s hunts in the traditional method of hunting the noble Rail Birds during their seventy day season that runs from September and ends in November or December. Contact me and let me know what days you might be interested in, and I will let you know what rail bird flood tide date is available!
North Carolina Diver Hunting will only be booking limited number of morning or afternoon Diver Duck Hunting Trips in the month of January 2016.
I am on these waters a great amount of time, and I know these back country marshes and shallow bays like the back of my hand. You just got to see these back country areas for yourself and you will see just how beautiful they are with your own eyes. You will find that I am the nicest guide you’ll ever meet, and one who will always do my very best each trip, to get you where you need to be to be successful in your next outdoor adventure.
Wilmington, NC has a great deal of beaches, shopping malls, golfing, tennis, surfing for the kids and young people. Keep that in mind if you are bringing your family down this way.