So we started searching for the bedding bluegills in all the nooks off the main channel. The first 4 or 5 nooks different produce anything but small fish in the form of little females and some little spots out of the slot, which is below 12 inches. As we moved from nook to nook we finally connected with a small band of gills bedding out from the bank near the overhanging tree line on the right side in the image below. Ivan landed the first of 6 nice bluegills in this area using a popper that I didn’t have in my fly box.
The bluegill were bedding 10 to 12 ft. deep here in this area and the minute they nailed the popper they would take off for deeper water. Ivan’s 4 weight really got a workout. I didn’t land a single fish here using a black Bar Nun popper. These fish were so aggressive that they were coming out of the water like a bass to take the pale colored version of this popper, which is very unusual for bluegill on Smith.
I tried a number of flies trying to get a hit as we sit there fishing for this group of bedding bluegills, but nothing work for me. I tried nymphs, dries, grasshoppers, even different colored poppers which proved to me that these fish were taking nothing on this day but this size 8 pale chartreuse Bar Nun Popper. So yes color and pattern makes a difference when fishing for bedding bluegill.
This bluegill will get counted for my quest which puts me at 34 away from making the quest for this year. Congrats to Ivan for finding this fantastic popper that enabled him to have one of his better bluegill fishing days on Smith.