One pound bluegills
didn't get that way by hanging around close to boats and wading
anglers, so if you can consistently make 50 foot casts your chances
of taking large ones are greatly enhanced. Also be careful about
banging the boat bottom, dropping oars, or any other noises that
could move the old wise ones out of casting distance. When
feeding they will take both dry and wet flies with enthusiasm, but
can be choosy as to size and color, so carry a variety. Fish the
weed lines, around lily pads, off the ends of bars and back in the
bays, particularly weedy ones.
necessarily a schooling fish, they do group together roughly according
to size so sometimes it's necessary to move around to locate larger
fish. Drifting or paddling and trolling wet flies will often bring
results. When large fish are located, anchor and make casts about
10 feet apart in a circle around the boat, retrieving slowly with
frequent pauses. In Wisconsin it's legal to use two flies, and here
is a case where adding a dropper fly of a different type or color
can help determine which is the most productive at that particular
time. Two sunken flies will usually travel deeper than one also.
Rigging a dropper
fly that won't tangle is easy. Tie the fly to a six inch strand
of monofilament, a little heavier than the regular leader, with
a loop in the other end (similar to the old time snelled flies).
Then fold the strand around the leader, pass the fly through the
loop and pull tight just above the tippet knot Keep it short, five
or six inches is about right. The stiffness of the double strands
of material in the loop will hold the dropper out away from the
brown or green are good wet fly and nymph color for bluegills. Green
is usually effective in pockets in weeds and along weed lines. Peacock
heri nymphs are good, especially in northern lakes and are attractive
to bass also. A dandy peacock herl nymph can be made by trimming
the wings down to stubs on a regular leadwing coachman wet fly.
Fish them with a slow start and stop retrieve, being particularly
alert for a take while the nymph is
the most consistently effective fly rod lure for big bluegills is
a small cork popper on a number 10 or 12 hook. In the hands of an
experienced bluegill angler, fished early morning and evenings,
this floating lure is deadly all season long.
have a killer instinct that, chances are, the successful popper
fisher has learned to capitalize on. They use their dorsal finsto
slash anything they want to destroy, and even when not feeding,
they can't seem to resist trying to cut that popper in pieces as
it moves, then pauses on the water surface above them.
The tyro popper
fisher's standard complaint is, "I get hits but can t seem
to hook them". Well, the secret of hooking them is to put the
popper right back where the hit was immediately. Don't waste time
false casting. Shoot the line* instead and get the popper right
back in the same spot at once. Large bluegills will try several
times to kill the fly with their back fins, and usually by the third
or fourth cast, the fish becomes so enraged that it takes the popper
with a rush and hooks itself. Here is another instance where knowledge
about the fish you are seeking and accurate casting pays off.
full, stiff dry fly type hackle are virtually weedless when fished
slowly across lily pads and other pond weeds. Yellow with brown
or gray hackle and tail is the favorite of a great many successful
popper fishers. Brown hackle is apt to be stiffer and therefore
more weedless than gray.
surface feed after dark, but they will often take nymph flies for
an hour or more after they quit rising to poppers. A peacock herl
nymph is a good bet then.