Creekside Tidbits
& On the Vise

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Creekside Tidbits
and On the Vise

You might be addicated
to fly fishing when
"Just One More Cast"
turns into another
hour of fly fishing
Lepomis macrochirus a.k.a. the Bluegill.  The bluegill has a narrow body, light to dark olive coloring with darker vertical bars and back, the cheeks and gill covers are blue, and the ear is black ... they can grow to 12+ inches in length with the normal adult size ranging from 6 to 9 inches.  Most importantly, they will take a fly and are scrappy fighters.

During the spring, when shallow water temperatures reaches the mid-50's mark, it becomes necessary to grab the fly rod and head-out to the local water system for some bluegill action.  The pre-spawn period provides the fly angler an opportunity to catch large bluegills as they start to move and stage in shallow water as they dine on emerging insects, eggs and hatching fries of other nesting fish.

Seek out and focus your efforts on fishing structure (i.e. breaklines, points, edges of vegetation, wood) that has access to deep water and nearby firm bottomed spawning flats.  Also, being stealth (quietly and slowly approaching while keeping a low profile) and making good presentations is critical to avoid spooking large bluegills ... large bluegills, don't get to be large by being careless.

Bluegills will begin to spawn when the shallow water temperature nears the 68 degrees mark with 2 or 3 sunny days and high humidity ... late May or June here in Northwest Indiana.  The male will build the nest (disc shaped with a firm bottom of sand, mud or gravel in 2 to 4 feet of water) and the female will lay eggs which hatch with 30 to 35 hours after fertilization.  The males will handle the fanning of the eggs with their tail to keep them silt-free and defend the hatching fries for several days.  Bluegills on their first move into the shallows to spawn are quite skittish ~ again, it critical to approach slowly and quietly into casting position.

The tackle selection and setup is rather straight forward ... a 4-weight outfit is an excellent choice, it provides enough punch for dealing with windy conditions and doesn't over-power the fish.  The leader + tippet length should range from 8 to 10 feet, I will use a monofilament tippet for fishing surface flies and a fluorocarbon tippet for fishing sub-surface flies.

Bluegills, even big ones have a small mouth and are sight feeders ... therefore, I will fish flies that are tied on hook sizes 8 to 14.  Three productive patterns are the Foam Spider, Teeny Nymph and Beadhead Dark Hare's Nymph ... these patterns allows the angler to effectively work the entire water column froom top to bottom.  The Foam Spider is a surface fly and is highly effective when patiently fished ... slowly moving the fly with a short 2 to 3 inch strip, then allow the fly to sit several seconds (the strike usually occurs as the fly sits motiionless or when the fly start to move).  The Teeny Nymph and the Beadhead Dark Hare's Ear Nymph are sub-surface flies and extremely productive thoughout the water column ... once he fly sinks to the targeted depth, start with a slow hand-twist retrieve, incorporating several pauses to entice a strike.

White Foam Spider
w/ Red Legs

Teeny Nymph

Beadhead Dark Hare's
Ear Nymph
      Pond Hopping on the Fly (4/29)

Crappie on the Molly Mouse
    Weather Conditions - High 50's , 5 to 8 mph north winds, Clear sky
Water Conditions - 58 degrees F @ the shoreline, Clear, ~2 feet above normal water level

Out on a local pond with the 4-weight, it was a crappie day.  Crappies were staged on the first major breaklines off flats in 4 to 6 feet of water.  Takes were aggressive ... the hot ticket was a Molly Mouse (UV Black / Size 10) with a steady hand-twist retrieve working the fly about a foot off the bottom.  The outing total were 11 crappies ranging from 11 to 15 inches along with 5 bluegills (6 and 7 inchers) and 2 largemouth bass (10 inchers).  If the current weather and water conditions holds for the next couple days, this pattern should continue to produce and the shallow water (flats) activity should pick-up.  Tight lines and see you on the water.
size 12 shown
  Just a Chilling on the Vise ...
  Bream Killer, Yellow w/ Speckled Brown Legs

Hook - 2457
size - 8 to 12
Weight - 0.015 Lead-Free Wire
Thread - Dark Brown
Body - Yell0w Chenille
Legs - Speckled Brown Round Rubber (4 per side)
Wing - Grey Squirrel Tail
Head - Tying Thread
If you're target panfish this a must fly in your box.  The Bream Killer is a slow sinking fly
that has been around for quite a while but doesn't get talk about much and that a shame.
Also, don't be surprise if a largemouth bass hammers it.
Fishing Guide ...
Northwest Indiana
Lakes & Rivers
        Fishing Guide ...
Northwest Indiana
Creeks & Streams
        Indiana Fish
        Warm-Water Fish
Weight Formulas
by Length
Online Fishing
Licenses (USA)
        Fly Fishing
        Matching Tippet Size
to Hook Size
        Hook Chart (Daiichi,
Mustad, Tiemco)
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