Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Relating the Prolific Bluegill With my Childhood

 I was reading the local newspaper yesterday about the bluegill, probably the most underrated fish that swims in warm water. The bluegill is the fish I started out fishing for when I was a little tot no more than four years old. My Mom would tell my brother and me to watch the cork and then pull up on the cane pole to set the hook and then retrieve the fish. We were landing some of the larger ones in a creek channel that feed into our small pond below our house. We were excited little boys, to say the least watching that cork go under and then playing the fish to the bank. Another fun part of the trip was catching the green and brown grasshoppers we used as bait. This same scenario would play out on weekends when my Dad was home and not working. As I get older I find myself reliving those days more often. This spring my Grandson Bryson’s will go on his first fishing trip with me and I plan to use the same tactics that my Dad and Mom used with me and my brother when were little. He will be 4 years old and ready for the outing. Of course, it will not be all fishing we will have to do a little exploring too. He loves the outdoors.
 As most of you know I have been challenging myself for the past two years to land 100 supersize bluegills during the spawning season. Well, this year I am going to add a new twist to the quest; I am starting my challenge early in March and ending it the last of June. This early start will give me the chance to land some monster bulls before they ever spawn. No one in the area fishes for these fish until they go on the bed, so the early start will give me the edge. I will be using nymphs in the form of wet flies and weighted nymphs. This means fishing much deeper water as oppose to the spawning depths. The rod weights will also have to be altered as well to compliment the nymphs. I like to use at least a 5 weight when I am going down under and a 4 weight when I am fishing the dries and poppers. I intend to use more dries this year along with the tiny poppers, especially in the clear waters of Smith. I feel the dries will help attract the bigger gills off the rock walls early with all the insect activity happening there.
 One of the best nymphs to use off the deep banks early is the famous bugger
 The black bugger is deadly
 How could I do this post on bluegills and not mention the Black Gnat, as I have said many times the best-wet fly I have ever used for gills-sorry the company that tied this pattern has gone out of business, I bought all he had left, which was close to 50 flies.
 The Humpy will be one of my go-to dries throughout the spawn this year, this fly should be a killer is size 10 or 8
 The Muddler Minnow is another excellent surface fly that will get results
 The Bett's Popper in chartreuse, white and black all three are productive
This little popper is one of the best Betts poppers that I use. I especially like the black/white leg pattern.
Just one of the big bulls I landed last year--10 weeks to go before the quest begins!!


  1. Bill,
    I'll be happy to help you land a few if you'll take me out with you.
    As for the photo uploads, I been confused by this before to. When you bring up the add photo window, you have to make sure "Upload" on the left is highlight in red. once it is highlighted you should be able to find the "choose files" button at the top of the window. I didn't even know that was menu on the left or that you could find photos from your own blog until recently. Maybe that will help you.

  2. My best luck is with betts poppers. Although I caught my biggest gill yet last year with a stealth bomber.

  3. Jay
    April and May are the prime times on Smith for some great bluegill fishing. We will line up a trip during those months. The highlighted red tag "upload" doesn't work for me, I am using another browser to get the pictures to load for me now. Thanks for the comment

  4. That's quite an assembly of flies to aid in your quest.
    I agree on the tenacity of the Bluegill,

  5. Kevin
    I have heard of this fly but wasn't sure what the pattern look like after seeing the fly tells me that I may need to add a couple to my arsenal. Thanks for the comment

  6. Alan
    This may sound off the wall, but I would rather land a pound plus bluegill over a large bass. Yes the tenacity is there, and the large gills are like smallmouth on steroids. Thanks for the comment

  7. Hello Bill,
    Sounds like you've got a good plan for the year. I have to admit that although not my first love, I certainly get excited with one of these guys on the line. Good luck in your quest.

  8. Now, Bill, your talking to my heart here and getting inside my mind with this big Bluegill stuff. Keep it up! I love fishing for Bluegill and I don't care who knows it. Some neat looking bugs here to try. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Howard
    I have to admit that 10 years ago that the bluegill was my go to fish for the fly rod.
    My first trout fishing trip was about 7 years ago. That one trip turn my fly fishing completely 360. With that said the trout is my number one go to fish for the fly now, but I still have a passion to fish for the bluegill. Thanks for the comment

  10. Mel
    You and I are in the same lane when it comes to the bluegill. The trout and the bluegill are my two favorite fish when it comes to fly fishing. I only fish for the bluegills from March through the last of June. Then the trout fishing for me takes over from July through November. I am lucky to have the tailrace here near my home to fish for the trout. It is the only place in the State to fish for trout. Thanks for the comment

  11. Nice collection of flies..I really like the look of that Black Gnat!

  12. Penbayman
    If I had to choose one wet fly to fish warm water it would be the Black Gnat. It is one amazing fly! Thanks for the comment

  13. great write up man, looking forward to following your quest this spring.

  14. Hey Bill,
    I caught five last year at our friends rock quarry that I had to hold with two hands. Wooly buggers are killer. Although I do love to fish for them on the rivers with my Tenkara rods.

  15. Casey
    Can't wait to get started with the quest in March. Thanks for the comment

  16. Hi Lance
    Yes the bugger is one of my favorites. I am hoping to get in on some Coppernose this year which are super size. Thanks for the comment

  17. Bill
    Those upside down bream killers will help You greatly on your quest this season.... You should try a trip wirh me this summer

  18. David
    I knew when I first saw this fly on Breambugs it would produce. I like the hook position on the fly because I can use it in brush. I will be in touch come spring. Thanks for the comment