I know all of us who fly fish have our favorite flies and poppers we use on a regular basis. These favorites are the ones we always pluck out of our fly box first because of their success rate. I did a post sometime back on fishing with your top 6 flies and poppers for warm water and cold water species and the tiny popper I am discussing in this post was not one of them.
There are fishing trips where all of your favorites do all the work and we never have to search through our fly boxes for that game-changer pattern. For me, the tiny popper has been that pattern. I have found that bluegill especially the big ones can be very finicky at times, even when they are spawning. In fact, I have moved my boat within casting distance of numerous spawning beds in the spring and dropped a fly in the spawning area and get no reaction at all mainly as a result of a cold front.
Hand-tied feathers and hackle
Excellent on bright days clear water
Cold fronts can be a killer during this time of the year and no matter how aggressive the fish were the day before they can practically turned off the next day. This is when you go small with tiny flies and poppers. It also helps if you have a lot of patience on those days because the longer you let the fly sit without movement the better chance of coercing a super-size bull bluegill to nail your tiny offering. During this particular time, this is when I go to the tiny popper, which 90% of the time produces. As for the other 10% of the time one might want to tie more flies, clean fly lines, and get ready for the next outing.
Size 14 work best especially on those slow days, as stated patience is the key with these little gems. I didn’t notice when I started working on this post that the world record bluegill was landed in
Bream aficionados recognize that the world record bluegill
was an Alabama behemoth that
weighed an astounding 4 pounds, 12 ounces. In Alabama ,
the record remains a respectable 2.95 pounds, and if interested, you can
qualify for an Florida FWC “Big Catch” certificate
by weighing in bluegill that measures at least 11 inches in length or weighs
at least 1.25 pounds. It’s interesting to note that a good spawning shellcracker
averages a pound or more. However, if you’re looking for a record, you’ll have
to beat out the
giant that weighed 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The Florida record currently stands at
4.86 pounds, while any shellcracker weighing at least 2.25 pounds or measuring
12 inches warrants that “Big Fish” certificate. Can you guys imagine landing bluegill in the 4 lb. range?
Who knows some of us this season may hit that mark. Good Luck!!! South Carolina