One of the most inspiring discoveries of Southern Saltwater Fly Fishing Magazine’s recent sweep through the Lowcountry was the stratospheric level of the fly fishing guide services in the region. As much as anything, the knowledge and quality of the professional fly fishing guide willing to share the secrets of the Lowcountry have turned places like Beaufort into virtual hubs of long rod angling adventures.
Captain Tuck Scott is one of those top shelf Lowcountry fly fishing guides who are responsible for the current angler interest in these waters. An Orvis Endorsed Guide, Tuck as he prefers to be called, has helped turn a largely ignored coastal fishery into a glittering, five-star destination.
“Our mission is to provide our clients with an outdoor experience and education about the Lowcountry’s fishery while providing the best fishing the Lowcountry has to offer,” says Tuck.
Do you want to know what makes the coastal waters of South Carolina unique to other southern coastal waters? It’s the Lowcountry's large fluctuation in tides accompanied with over 50 percent of the United States East Coast marshland water, all residing in South Carolina, makes for a very healthy, unique fishing environment.
Tuck and company provide two different schools in Beaufort; the Redfish School and the Orvis School. These saltwater oriented schools are geared to make clients better casters and saltwater anglers. When there or when you book a fishing trip, they supply everything clients need to match the target species in the local waters. Tuck and his team of guides run high-end technical poling skiffs. These crafts allow access to super skinny water where local species can be targeted. These skiffs enable the best sight casting possible.
“My clients want shots at fish and they want to do it with a fly rod,” says Tuck. “They also like being educated about our fishing and environment, and to have a fun day on the water.”
“I grew up fishing this area as a kid with my father and my grandfather,” says Tuck. “Everything I worked toward always ended with me wanting to be back on the water I grew up on, so I returned and became connected to Bay Street Outfitters and the head guide at the time Captain Doug Gertis who I was able to train under on my way to becoming a guide for the Outfitter.”
According to Tuck, most of his clients want to come fish a flood tide for tailing redfish from April through November. Many also schedule visits from late April through June to take advantage of sight casting to Cobia inshore. Increasingly popular also is winter fly fishing the big schools of redfish found on the mudflats at low tide.
A day in the skiff with Tucks typically begins with meeting him at one of a number of different boat landings. Beaufort County has a cache of well-maintained boat landings that cover the area’s expansive watershed incredibly well. Trips include bottled water on ice on half and 3/4 days, and lunch on a full day. As noted, tackle and flies are provided.
“To those new to fly fishing the Lowcountry, I strongly recommend practicing with an 8 wt. or larger before you head this way,” says Tuck. “Spend some time working on a double haul. You will find that mastery of this is helpful for enabling you to take advantage of shots at fish.”
“The other thing to practice is accuracy, but not for hitting stationary targets. When you come here, many of your opportunities will be at moving fish. Practice as if the target is moving so you will be able to lead fish with your cast.”
“South Carolina’s Lowcountry fishery is a one of a kind resource,” says Tuck. “Unique shots at hard fighting saltwater fish is what the Lowcountry is all about. All of our guides strive to not only show you fish but to make sure they provide an education for each client to become a better angler.