3 or 4 or 5 weight. ( my motto: Fish when you can where you are with what you've got for what you think is there.) Size 14 black cricket, floated with a dash of fish attractant or liquid Gulp. A woolly bugger with a slow line strip.
crazy legs or foam beetles are cool top waters. I am not a purist, so I tip these with a half piece of Gulp waxie or tiny, tiny piece of powerbait.
For bigger flys and wind, I use a 9' St.Croix legend Ultra 5 wt. rod and Rio Select Trout 5 wt. weight forward line which shoots like a rocket. For more more fun, I use a 7'9" TFO 4 wt. Finesse rod with 4wt. double taper Classic line from either Rio or Cortland although I have overlined this with an Orvis trout weight forward #5 line at times for bigger leech and wooly bugger flys. The reel is an Orvis Battenkill Barstock#lll which is light and balances well on both rods. If I could justify it during these tough times, I would probably go for a lighter Battenkill Barstock #ll reel for the Finesse rod but my family for some reason thinks that food on the table may be more important although that reel is not outrageously expensive, relatively speaking. By the way, I have caught Kamloops Rainbow trout up to 9.5 lbs. on the Legend Ultra and Battenkill rig (with resulting bruised knuckles).
Favorite flys are the wet ant, bully bluegill spider, floating balsa slider, schumann water cricket(floating and sinking), Jitterbee, Mackie bug, dragonfly nymph, prince nymph and wooly bugger.
When I do Fly fish... I use a very similar outfit to Copperhead John 9' St. Croix Legend. Aslo similar imitations. I've found anything that looks like a Bee or Wasp on the surface can be deadly. Caterpillar style offerings can also be great. We have a certain type of tree at the lake where I fish that has caterpillars that make web like nests in them.. on a windy day (or you can use your rod to give em a whack) these caterpillars fall to the surface... Hold on tight the action can get crazy. If I could only fish with one fly it would have to be the Wooly Bugger... 2nd choice would be any 'Scud' look-a-like fished very slowly below the surface on a sink tip.
Over the years I always seem to go back to either my 7'6" 4 wt Shakespeare, yes, Shakespeare actually used to make a real nice fly rod or my 8' Fenwick World Class 5-6 wt. My all time favorite fly is a black ant. They loooove it!! Although that is my favorite, just about any popper, wet fly, dry fly or for that matter nymph seems to do the trick. Can't say I've found too many that don't catch gills!
I only fish surface for gills. I mostly use regular trout dry flies. Occasionaly I use wet flies if they won't hit on the surface. It is seldom that they won't. The ponds and small lakes I fish lend themselves to that kind of fishing. My choice of flyrod is the 7 foot, 1-weight that Cabelas sells, the Clear Creek. However, I understand they no longer carry it in their catalog. If I ever break it I would get the TFO 1-weight to replace it. If I only owned one fly rod it would be an 8 or 8 1/2 foot 5 weight so I wouldn't be overmatched when I fished for bass or larger trout. If I fished for gills exclusively I would always use a 1 or 2-weight. Anything heavier and you would be overmatching the fish.....and the fun.
6.5' to & 7',4/5 wt,although i just got a couple of three wt rods 7 footers,i don't know about a one or even a two weight weight fishing chinks in thickets.i just do not thank i could can keep them out of the roots with anything lighter than a three and i am not sure about a three weight yet.
i am fishing timber ,cypress and tupelo gum trees,with a lot of submerged roots also button wood thickets,i guess in open water a one or a two weight would be just fine.
a 11 or 12 inch chink(red ear ) with a hook in his jaw is a load.
I have two St. Croix 3wt rods , one is 7'9" the other is 8'6''. For top water I use Rainy's grand hopper and the Elk hair caddis both in size 12 most of the time , when I go under I use hairs ear and prince nymphs with rubber legs in size 12 also. I use the 3wt rods because some of the water I fish in Maryland for bluegill have smallies too.
I use a 5wt when there is alot of brush or stick ups. 3wt when there is not.
I use charnobyl ants, gurgle pops, spiders,black dry flies,gurgalator, f.e.b hoppers with furled tails. Wet i use soft hackles, morhair leech, boa yarn leech, few of my own creation, hairears,red butt ants, and anything with peacock herl
I use a 6'6" rod with WF-7F Floating line. Leader is 7.5 ft 6lb test (0.021" at butt and 0.008" at tip. (air filled) The reel I have on this fiberglass rod is Greys GSR-G1 ($39 at orvis shop).
I took my rod in and had the Orvis Pro select the line and reel for my rod. I was using a KMart reel number 33. The reel had seen heavy use and needed to be replaced.
I would just take my rod to an Orvis dealer and let them set it up. I told him I fished for bluegill only and he set me up. My father never took me fishing or showed me anything about fishing. I just learned on my own by trial and error. You can still fish sinking flys with this setup as the weather gets warmer.
I fish the Tennessee river just below chattanooga, tn.