Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

All BBG members:

We are organizing a donation drive for one of our new members, Mathew Blakeway. He is a hardworking young man, although like all farmers he is strapped for cash. As it turns out, he was given a VERY basic fly fishing outfit, and has taken to the sport like a duck to water. He is one of us, folks, a proud new member of the Fishing Family.

There is one problem, however, which he cannot overcome: Mathew lives in a very rural section of SOUTH AFRICA. There are absolutely NO opportunities for him to add to his fly fishing equipment.

He currently has a 6/7 wt. rod, some worn line and about 8 ragged, tattered flies - and that is it! At his current rate of usage, the flies probably wont last the season. He doesn't lack the will, friends; he lacks the means.

So we are trying to organize a small "Goody Drive" for him. I've packed up some flies to send - they should go out next week. That is PHASE ONE.

Carl Hendrix is gathering some tools and other useful items from his stash, to begin PHASE TWO. After talking to Mathew, here are the things most needed, in order of priority:

1. BLUEGILL and LARGE MOUTH BASS flies

Brim flies, nymphs, small streamers, soft hackles, Wooly Buggers, small poppers and popping bugs - that sort of thing is needed

2. Spare 6/7 wt. WF line

3. Hook hone

4. Hook remover

5. Neck lanyard and/or retracts for tools

Optional items:

6. Furled and/or tapered leaders in bluegill/bass sizes.

NOTES: Through a weird twist of fate, large mouth bass and bluegill were widely distributed in South Africa in the 1930's. First came the large mouth bass, then bluegill were imported to feed them. In fact, South Africa's conservation folks now consider bluegill to be invasive. And, unlike here in the U.S., virtually no other native fish exist there! Bass and bluegill are about it!!

(Mathew occasionally has opportunity to fly fish for the only native South African sport fish, a species of barb called, "Yellowfish." They are distant cousins of our carp. They are found in only a few rivers, pretty far from his home. However, he can get to them once or twice a year.

While in the same family as carp, the yellowfish are predatory in habit. They live in deep holes and pools and feed on invertebrates, crustaceans and small fish. They can grow to pretty impressive proportions - imagine a cross between a small mouth and a carnivorous carp and you get the idea. If you have any deep patterns common to smallmouth bass, your donation of these would be greatly appreciated.)

Shipping to SA is not cheap, so the list is restricted to small and LIGHTWEIGHT items. Carl and I will work out the shipping between us. We are just requesting whatever you can spare from the list above... anything YOU wish YOU had were there no chance of restocking your fly fishing gear.

Send all donations to:

Carl Hendrix

525 Autumndale Drive

Gallatin, TN 37066

Remember, BASS (large and small mouth) and BLUEGILL flies! We are shooting for a donation deadline of February 7, so send your goodies SOON. And thanks in advance!

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ive got Mathew a hat- plastic tackle boxes with dividers- forcepts- nippers- spool of mono line- plus some flies. any body have any leaders?? fly line? extra flies?? any thing to send him will be appreciated

Carl, after speaking with Mathew, I find he has forceps. Also, mono fishing line he can get... heck, he's already tying his own leaders! According to him, basic fishing items are obtainable. Floats, hooks, mono - that sort of thing. He said the things he has no access to are fly fishing specific items, like flies, line, tapered leaders, etc.

When is the donation box being sent out? I would like to add to the box. What weight rod is he using?

chris-- since its the weekend-- and it takes us a few days for the mail to deliver any thing--   how about a cut off day. say a week from this Wednesday. that way it will give most people all week- and just into the next week. that way;; I can get it into the mail by the following Friday.  the post office told me it will take at least 2 weeks for it to get to him there.

Carl, I added a time frame for donations - Feb 7! This is to give people time to read this, and mail in their offerings. The fly swap taught me to not rush. According to Mathew, he has a long season. He is getting by for now (went fishing this morning!), and says we should not hurry.

The deadline can be bumped up a bit, but we needn't feel rushed.

david-- I think I have some extra fly line in his wt. class..  flies-- I have a few to donate.  get him to tell us exactly what his needs are. 

I've chatted him up a good bit on the matter and the list I've compiled in the OP pretty much details what he needs.

We should make that our focus, I believe, at least for now. Brim flies, nymphs, small streamers, soft hackles, Wooly Buggers, small poppers and popping bugs - that sort of thing is needed. He will soon wear out his already worn wet flies.

He is also working with a single line, and no way to replace it should something fail. That's a crucial fix.

He's tying his own graduated leaders from mono, which he can get. But a few tapered leaders as back ups would be good. Honestly, with all the reading and learning off the internet he's come far and fast.

Beyond the list, almost anything that could be put to use with a fly rod would be good. Keith Ritter had a good idea, to make his fly rod into a dapping-style 'cane pole.' But the List is our starting point.

 Ok , I have looked in my box and I am donating a lifetime supply of fly line cleaner for floating fly lines, It's only one ounce, since Mathew is over in Africa I wonder if  he has some African porcupines running around, you know that where our porcupine quills come from.LOFR

Somehow, I had a feeling something like this was going to take place.  I'll scrounge around in my production box, and maybe my fly boxes, and what I can come up with.  I know I've got several Scuds that I can donate.  I've probably got some Gurgle-Pops I can send as well.  Do they have grasshoppers over there?

They do have grasshoppers, Fuzzy. He and I were chatting and I mentioned he try tossing some live baits - and he replied he had plenty of 'hoppers in his garden.

I got small reel to convert his fly rod into a dipping pole. Floats,hooks,weights and mono. That should get him the basics.

Thanks, Keith. Maybe you can add instructions for how to dip a cane pole/fly rod. I've talked to him about this, as an alternative, using live bait. He likes the idea.

Keep in mind, he can get floats, mono, hooks - the basic things are available to him. Im sure he wouldnt mind a few of these, though, if they came with instructions from a skilled angler like yourself.

What he cannot obtain are fly fishing specific items. Thats why we're focusing on those.

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