Elite Pro Profile - Chris Karwacki

By Sage Fly Fishing

Chris is a lifelong angler who grew up fishing the Chesapeake and coastal bays of Maryland and Virginia. During the 1990's, he began exclusively fishing Tangier Sound to pursue the speckled trout, striped bass, and redfish that thrive in the region’s islands, marshes, and grass flats. Tangier Sound serves as a model for clean water and healthy bay ecology. It is possible to catch several different flats species during a trip on the sound, making it one of the premier shallow water fly fishing destinations in the mid-Atlantic.


Crisfield, MD

home waters

Tangier Sound, Chesapeake Bay

local fly shop

Tochterman’s Fishing Tackle

target species

Speckled Trout, Striped Bass, Bluefish, Redfish

perfect setups

For speckled trout: Sage SALT HD 690, Sage SPECTRUM LT 5/6 with RIO InTouch Outbound Short I/S6

For Stripers, Blues, and Redfish: Sage SALT HD 890 and 990, Sage SPECTRUM MAX 7/8 and 9/10 with RIO InTouch Striper 30 FT Sink Tip

career highlights

It is an absolute privilege to make my passion my profession. Any time I provide an experience in which my clients can learn something, whether that be a new skill or insight into conservation, I feel that I have done a small part for the fly fishing community.

conservation work

Strong advocate for catch and release angling; teach anglers how to identify egg bearing fish and the importance of releasing them.

philosophy on fly fishing

Keep it enjoyable. Whether you are the guide or the angler, there is no sense in doing this if you are not having a good time. Offer/ask for help; always be willing to learn something new. Keep your ego in check. This sport has a way of humbling even the best of us when we least expect it!

one tip to improve one's fishing

Relax and let the rod do the work for you. Rod designers have spent countless hours making this concept possible.

perfect day

Cool mid-October days. Birds crashing on bait; marking schools of fish. Clean, emerald green water racing along the marsh edges and grass flats. Almost every species in the sound can be caught this time of year and they will aggressively strike flies throughout the day.

a good fishing story

One early spring day we took the boat out for a shakedown run and came across a massive school of bull red drum cruising along a grass flat in the Virginia portion of Tangier Sound. This event was completely unexpected, and we only had minimal tackle on the boat. To put it short, the fish annihilated everything we threw at them. There were so many fish just gorging themselves on bait in the shallows. We could feel them knocking into the bottom of the boat’s hull as we quietly drifted along the flat. It got to the point where we stopped fishing and just stared at the spectacle before us. This was in 2004, and I have since then not witnessed a school of reds appear like they did that day in the sound that early in the season.

contact info

Email: ckarwackijr78@gmail.com
Phone: (443) 722-1333