Friday, January 8, 2010

The Ultimate Fly Rod Fish

What to do on a warm summer evening after work?  For me, it’s go in search of the perfect fish for fly fishing. Nope, I’m not talking about any member of the family Salmonidae.  I’m not even talking about the mighty largemouth bass.  The perfect fish for a warm summer evening with a fly rod is the lowly bluegill.

Pick up your 3 or 4 weight fly rod, a weight forward floating line, a handful of poppers and head off to the nearest pond.  Fishing for bluegill is the true essence of fishing.  There’s no stress involved, you’re almost guaranteed to catch some fish, you don’t have to worry about matching some obscure hatch, nor does one need a degree in Latin or understand the full life cycle of the mayfly.  All you really need is to have an honest desire to have fun fishing, and enough security about your own fishing abilities to put up with the laughter and jibes from the trout purists.

Fishing for bluegill with a fly rod is nothing short of being a kid again.  How many of us can say the first fish we ever caught was a bluegill? Come on, be honest with yourself, I know my first fish was a bluegill.  In fact, it was with my father and grandfather at Prisoner’s Lake in Kentucky.  I don’t remember the exact day but I know that was the first place I remember fishing.  I don’t remember exactly what we were using but I can say without much of a doubt that we were drowning a gob of worms hung under a bobber.  Even to this day, I still enjoy soaking the occasional worm under a bobber but the love of my life is catching these fish on a fly rod.

Why do I love bluegill so much?

What is not to love? All bluegill, regardless of their actual size, think they are a trophy fish.  Bluegill are among the scrappiest fish in the water.  What they may lack in size compared to a 20” brown, or a 5lb bass, they more than make up for in their never give up attitude.  One word of caution, when you’re using poppers for bluegill, it’s not unheard of to have a rather large bass explode on your popper.  The biggest bass I’ve ever landed on a fly rod (7lb 6oz) came on a 5wt and a popper.

To make it even better, bluegill are easy to catch, aggressive, and when you catch one, there are likely more to be found.  I find the most satisfying way to catch bluegill is with a popper.  This is by no means the only way to catch a bluegill, but if you don’t get a thrill watching one slurp down a popper, you better go to the doctor and have him check for a pulse.

In the end, they are easy to catch, just about any pond will have a healthy population, they fight all out of proportion to their size and a pan full of fried bluegill is one of the best culinary treats one could ever imagine.  Bluegill (lightly rolled in a mixture of flour and corn meal with a light dash of salt and pepper), hush puppies, some fried potatoes and a frosty cold beverage of your choice (sweat tea is my favorite) is one of the finest ways to end a summer day.

The next installment of the fly tying series will showcase some poppers you can use for catching the perfect fly rod fish!

Wonder if my buddy, Mr. Anonymous will approve of poppers and bluegill?


  1. Hi
    I really enjoyed your article on bream fishing. I am an avid fly fisherman. I am really impressed with the flies you have been displaying on your blog. I will continue to check out your blog. Thanks for all the information.

  2. Traderhorn,
    Thanks. I'll be getting some poppers up next week.

    I'm going to try some deer hair bugs too. I'm not much of a deer hair spinner so I'll mainly be posting for critique and comments.

  3. Jeff

    I really like your site. Keep it up!!


  4. nungNtree,
    Thanks. I got my poppers tied up and will be putting them up in the next couple days. Just have to get the time to organize the photographs and get the write ups together.

    I'm glad some of you guys are enjoying the blog. I have a lot of fun writing it.