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Old 03-02-2013, 04:32 AM
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Default Need panfish fly advice

Hey guys... Doing a week long trip to southern Indiana late this month with a bunch of guys to fish primarily for big blue gills. Water should still be really cold but at least no ice by then. I have a zillion trout, salmon, steelhead flies but need some suggestions for panfish flies in the above environment. Any suggestions would be great!

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Old 03-02-2013, 06:57 AM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

ANY trout fly will catch bluegills and since you have a zillion of the them youre good to go
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

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Originally Posted by flytire View Post
ANY trout fly will catch bluegills and since you have a zillion of the them youre good to go
x2. Think nymphs, little buggers, etc. Some chironomids might be good. Put one off a dropper.

Have you got a line to get it deep? That would probably be wise.

I'm about the same latitude in Kansas and have caught them on what looked to be a kind of caddis at that time of year. Standard elk hair caddis matched it. I've also got them on a foam rubber legged spider that way.

Surprisingly, on warm, sunny afternoons early in the year, I can often catch bluegills on the surface. Methinks they are taking advantage of water that warms up a degree or two.
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Old 03-02-2013, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

Jonc, I'll concur with what the others have said, you probably have what you need already on hand. I used to make some jigs & flies for some folks who fished in some Indiana reservoirs for big Bluegills & Crappies. Don't recall what part of the state however. Some of the Crappies those folks caught were over 3 lbs!

The flies were nothing but a black bead head with a chenille body, and rubber legs & tails. They had a soft hackle collar too. I used strung saddle hackle & included some of the fluff at the base. Black body & collar with lime green round rubber legs was a killer pattern.
I changed them up too sometimes with black sparkle chenille that had pearl mixed in.
They were tied in sizes from 10 to 6. The jigs were the same (black painted heads) except I painted fluorescent green eyes on them.

I've also had some great success in the early spring with small streamers here in MD. Bluegills will eat smaller fish when they can, particularly the bigger gills. Biggest Bluegills I ever caught were in Florida, and were 12-13" long. Caught them on a simple white marabou streamer while fishing for bass.

Here's some simple flies I like to tie. These are all on a size 6 hook, about 2 to 2 1/2" long but you could tie them smaller. I primarily tie these for Perch & Crappies, but bigger Bluegills will eat them too!

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Old 03-02-2013, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

nice flies bigjim!
i'll bet the crappies love em.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

The absolute best Bluegill and Crappie fly I ever tied is simple.

Hook: Small wet fly hook in a 12 or 14.
Thread; Red
Tail: the straight fibers from the end of long marabou. My favorite is white.
Body: Chenile. My favorite is Chartreuse. Make a distinct red band between the body and tail. I tie in thread to match the body and make the head match.

You can add weight to the fly. You can make the body out of foam so it either floats or sinks really slow. I also do a foam body spider and use it like a hopper dropper.

I have also used the small insider tube jig lead heads and paint them with Protec powder paint. You don't want to use a very big one but they work awsome. If I told you what happened the first time I used these you would think it was a fish story. It was good enough that I only tell the story when I have a witness with me. It was Crappies then though.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

Thanks guys for the tips and advice as I believe I have everything here to try them all. I'll be about two weeks earlier than the first fly hatch in April but you never know with the crazy weather we have here. Last year it hit 85 in March but it could just as easily snow too.

I have a couple of spools for my three weight and I'll rig one up with a sink tip to get deeper. I'm a new member to this forum and what a great resource. Plenty of experienced guys more than willing to assist.

Jonc
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Old 03-02-2013, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

This isn't modest, but I'd put my catch-rate of bluegill and pumpkinseed around here against anyone I know.

I use mostly soft hackle patterns -- not fished on a swing, but "twitched" with the rod tip in very short 1" strips with pauses. They usually hit on the pause.

Try any of the "partridge and orange" or "partridge and yellow" or a "partridge with peacock herl" as the body. They all work great.

For the life of me, I don't know why more people don't use soft hackles for sunfish since they imitate a wide range of insects - which comprise most of what bluegill eat. Of course, I also catch them on minnow patterns, foam bugs, and just about anything else. Soft hackles just seem to ALWAYS work, even when my buddies aren't catching anything.
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Old 03-02-2013, 10:39 PM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

Agree with every fly you guys posted! Coldwater gills I like any scud patterns especially pink and one with flash. Like icefishing without the ice!
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: Need panfish fly advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver Dan View Post
The absolute best Bluegill and Crappie fly I ever tied is simple.
yup! plain & simple foam & rubber

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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
This isn't modest, but I'd put my catch-rate of bluegill and pumpkinseed around here against anyone I know.
me too
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Poor quality materials are destined to discourage beginner tiers and cause greater expense when the time comes to replace them.

YOUR way is not the ONLY way when tying flies!

Fly tyers can be masters of making things complicated!

You're only limited by lack of imagination. Be creative, experiment.

http://flytyingnewandold.blogspot.com/
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