Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I don't know if fly throwers are welcome on this site. I fish mainly for trout, but I also like to fish for bluegills, crappie and smallmouth bass.  I always enjoyed fishing for bluegills and it's been a long time. I decided to start tying poppers and fishing for bluegill. I just realized I'm not sure how to dress the foam poppers I've made. I have them glued on hooks, but I'm not sure what to tie on the shank behind the foam. Looking at photos of these huge gills has me a bit intimidated. I've never caught them that big around here.

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Welcome to the site, Bruce!

Yes, fly-fishers and fly tiers are more than welcome.  I just recently took that plunge myself.

I've learned that Bluegills will eat just about anything, but they specialize in insects and small crustaceans.  Basically, any pattern that mimics a bug, either nymph, emerging, or adult, will work.  Terrestrials are also fair game.  Some of the more aggressive sunnies, like Hybrid Sunnies, Green Sunnies, Warmouth, etc., will also take minnows/streamers.

I have personally caught sunnies on nymphs, small poppers, foam hopper patterns, a variant of the Gurgler called a Gurgle-Pop, a pattern from this website called a "Greasy Monkey", and lately, Bead Head Wooly Buggers in olive.  I have a Bead Chain Wooly Bugger in olive, but haven't fished it yet.

There are two fly-oriented "groups" here on BBG.  The "Fly Tying and Specific Instructions" group, and the "Bluegill Fly Rodders" group.  Just click the like at the top of the page for "Groups".

Thanks, Allen. I can't wait to get out for some gills. I hope this weekend.


They sure are, Bruce! There are lots of fly fishers here in BBG, and I have more fun catching bluegill on a fly rod than any other way. I haven't historically had the greatest success at it, but that's owing strictly to my poor fly casting skills.

My last time out, I was getting nowhere with anything in my fly box, so I resorted to using Gulp Maggots on a bare hook on my fly rod and eventually picked up enough 'gills for lunch. It wasn't pretty, but it worked :-)

A Bluegill on the bank is worth two in the water JB.....I say go with whatever works!

Nice improvisation....

I started tying up some small poppers, but I need some ideas as to what to tie behind the foam. I'll have to do some searches. Lee has given me some ideas.


 I like a little hackle spun behind the body with some stiff hair like bucktail or squirrel tail in the back, marubou looks good but when wet it wraps around the hook. Most important thing is it has to have Rubber Legs, Bluegill Love em!

Good point about the marabou. I was thinking of using it, but I'm glad you responded.


Do you recommend bright stuff like krystal flash as part of the tail?

  I mix a couple strands of krystal flash in with the rest of the tail, maybe it helps the fish to focus in on the Hook end of the bug maybe not? It's kinda like eyes and spots on poppers, looks good to me but maybe the fish don't care :)

 The Gurgler that Mark mentioned and the Stealth Bomber are also Great Topwater patterns that work well anytime the fish are looking up. Both are an easy tie, here's a link to the Stealth

there are lots of different ways to dress your poppper.  FIrst choice for me is several saddle hackle in the tail then a collar of saddle hackle palmered forward to the back of the popper body. If I tie in legs I tie them behind the body before the collar and work the collar around them.  I catch lots of gills on legless poppers like my shad popper, if minnows are the meal of the day.  some days gotta have legs! second choice is marabou/rabbit or some other thing thats wavy even some rubber skirting, and some kind of collar either saddle hackle or sometimes estaz.  I tend to use cheaper stuff like strung hackle and marbou in my poppers I frequently add crystal flash or flashabou the tail. This shad popper has white marabou, pearl crystal flash and a collar of blue dun hacle (no rubber legs) and is one of my best producers.

 Very Nice looking popper Mark! The hook and body proportions are perfect.


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