Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Hello everyone...

I mostly fish ultra lite gear for Bluegills but once in a while I'll get out the fly rod and try my hand. The problem I have at times is setting the hook. The Bluegill at my lake hit extremely quick. I've tried 'Bite indicators' and watching the line but unless the fish are very aggressive... it's hard to set the hook... especially if you have a lot of line out. There is nothing like catching a bull bluegill on a light fly rod... Any suggestions appreciated

Regards

Rob

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I assume you are using a floating fly line?
Complete your cast. Drop your rod tip to about 6"-12" above the water, and as quickly as possible, retrieve enough line to get the slack out of the line. Once the slack is gone, you can use whatever retrieve cadence the fish like (jerk-jerk-pause, for example). As soon as you see the strike on the fly, or the end of your fly line will stop or move backwards away from you, you can set the hook. Many fly-anglers like to use a "strip-set", which is simply pulling the fly line toward and behind you. The advantage of this is that if you miss the fish, the fly is still in the vicinity of the fish.
You can also set by lifting the rod tip quickly, just like you would to make another cast. This pulls the fly away quickly, so your fly is no longer in the vicinity of the fish if you happen to miss. But with your hand still on the line, you can usually quickly cast the fly right back into the same spot.

Try some different ways, and see what works best for you, and that you are comfortable doing quickly. Soon, your successful technique will simply become second nature.
i try to keep my rod at 10'o clock ,but sometimes the situation ie under trees exc will not allow this.
the higher rod angle lets the rod take some of the shock of the strike and with light tippets ,it is easy to break off a good fish if you are not careful.
the strip set that Mike spoke of allows you to set the hook with out putting too much strain on that light tippet,again allowing the rod to do it's job.
i use a lot of floating line ,but i also use intermediate sink,and fast sink,without getting to tied up in this line watching thing. if you start with a good floating line and learn to watch that line you will pick up the lightest strike,it just takes time behind the rod.

gators can't fly
I would miss a lot of strikes when fishing wet flies deep with a floating line due to the bend in the leader from the bead head fly sinking while the fly line stayed on the surface. I since switched to a sinking line when fishing deeper than 8 ft and have increased my hook ups exponentially. Hope this helps.
gillbum here,

I've been fishing for gills for almost 70 years. I also do a lot of trout fishing too. One thing I've noticed about gills, unlike trout, is that often, when live bait fishing, they are in what I call a "hit and spit" mood. It's like they want to taste or feel the texture of what it is they are taking in their mouth before they take it for good. They come up to it, hit and spit it and then take it for good if it seems right to them. My son in law has a farm pond and I've spent hours just watching gills and tossing them a variety of things from Japanese beetles to grasspoppers, little pieces of a stick, or buds from a small plant, small piece of worm, etc. It is amazing how fast they can get rid of something that they don't want. It's one of the reasons why I think so many folks miss strikes. The bobber will bounce slightly a couple times and then go down for good. Striking at the first movement of the bobber is when they have spit the bait out. Wait until they take it for good, the bobber goes completely under and starts to move away. You'll connect a lot more. Of course this applies to live bait fishing.

With artificials I like to fish dry flies because I like surface fishing and a regular trout fly has more of the soft feel of a real insect than a hard popper. I've always done better with flies than with poppers or hard lures. They seem to hold on to a fly that extra half second longer. It's also a lot easier to let the little ones go when you hook them in the mouth consistently rather than have them gut hooked.

gb

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