Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Greetings from Kentucky,

I would like to know your prefered fly rod, Wt. and length, for bluegills. Additionally, a list of your favorite flys, surface and wet, would be helpful.

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I use 6 wt. 9 foot rods, a Gander Mtn. Guide Series I'm told they are St. Croix and I love it,a Jerry McKinnis Fishing Hole graphite from Eagle Claw that is over 20 yrs. old and still feels great. Got a new one for X-mass a Sage ZXL with a Sage 2550 reel, looks like overkill to me but I can't wait to use it. Must have been a better boy than I thought! First 4 pc. rod and I hope that I like it as all my other rods are 2 pcs. I like to use a sponge spider on top with a small nymph as a trailer. Never know which one they will take and the sponge acts as an indicator too. What fun when you get one on each at the same time. 6 wt. since they can handle the occasional bass, cat, or pike that may come along, I do tend to pick up a number of pike each year and land a fair number of them even though I only use 2 & 4 lb. leaders.
Mine is a 2wt TFO, just about the only rod I use here in Okla, even for trout & crappie.
I made a fly this spring I called the Naybee and it's on a size 10- 3X with a short sparse black maraboo tail, peacock hurl body and 6 strands of pearl flashabou tied in on front of hook
for wings (cut short). Silver bead chain eyes. The only problem is the blue gill really tear this up and I have to tie a new one nearly every time I go out.
That fly sounds rocking!!! I am looking into a TFO 2wt. Finesse or other model?

For the fly... try fibbing that sucker with fine wire to protect the peacock. It saves most of my flies from the fish, at least before I lose it in the trees :-)

Any pics of the fly, Jen?
If I could find some one to loan me gear and teach me how to do it right, I would be able to answer this threads question!


Hint, hint, anyone!
I love fly-fishing for bluegills, my rod is a little heavy, 8# because I use it for bass as well. Typically I use a foam spider or popper to fish with. It ts a great thing when they want to hit the surface. It is just alot of fun.
I am new here, but love to bluegill fish with flyrod. I have a 5 wt myself but am looking for a 3 wt. I like the 5wt when fishing waters that are full of bass and bluegill cuz you never know when a bass is going to hit...I have actually caught a bass that was a tad over 5 lbs on the 5 wt. I try to use a leader that is equivelant to 4 lb test line. We use a lot of rubber spiders and I like to tie my own little black and brown fuzzy flies. They are really just a fuzzy body with wings tied in...They look a lot like just about any little gnat that you see hitting the water. They are easy to tie and they are even easier to change the pattern on...I can vary the size of the fly if they are looking a little bigger or smaller. I can also make subtle changes to the coler pattern of the fly. Plus it makes it more fun to observe what is going on and then tie my own fly and then have it work for me.
I live on Kentucky Lake and love to fish from a kayak as well as a boat. I use a 7" 3 wt that is about 30+ yrs old. I plan on upgrading to a TFO 3 wt that is longer. I use a sink tip line a lot as well as a floater. When the fish are in shallow, I use a 5' furled leader with 2-3" of fluorocarbon leader- usually 6 lb Vanish, since it's lots cheaper than regular leader material. Big fish here seem to prefer nymphs and cricket flies fished wet. I am working on a snail fly to go after the big redears. Since we have lots of bass, I also use 5 and 6 wts. This past December, my son and I boated and released over 100 mixed white, yellow and largemouths using minnow flies on sink tips.
My favorite rods now are a 7' one wt and a 8' two wt five rivers sig III that I made last winter.I landed a 20 " largemouth on the one wt. I've got a three wt on order.
I use a, G Loomis, GL2, FR1085, 9 foot, 5 weight, 2 pc. with a small hand crank reel, loaded with a Double taper, 5wt. floating line,with loops tied to each end, for the leader, I use MAXIMA, Ultragreen line 2lb. most of the time, for topwater may go up to 4lb. MAXIMA, Ultragreen, I use mean Streak marker on my leaders with ACCARDO SILICONE over the top of that so the leader floats, this set up lets you see your hits when fishing sinking bugs. I have loaded pictures of some of my favorite bugs to this site, I ty all my own flies, except poppers and I buy them.
My favorite rod for bluegill is the TFO 8' 3piece 2wt professional series. Does anyone remember Uncle Homer's green rubber spider? I hate it that I can't find those open cell spider bodies any longer. I get by with tying them using the closed cell foam and a little weight to sloooowly sink them. I like the Wilson's bully bluegill, and a small version of Jack Gartside's gurgler tied with craft foam. Then, there is the # 14 elk hair caddis, pulled under and stripped back if they won't hit it in a couple of minutes sitting still. I also really like fluorocarbon for tippit material. It's got my blood up just thinking about all of this! I can't get to the water for a while.
Here is a copy of the sheet, I give to the people I teach to fly fish: Hope it helps:

Wet Fly Fishing Tips
For the first time Fly Fisherman it is best to start out with a 9-foot, 5 or 6-weight rod. This rod can be used for bluegill or bass. The fly line should match the rod. Buy a #5 double taper floating line. It will say DT5F or DT6F. The leader material, Maxima Ultra Green (2lb Test). Use a 9-foot leader to start.
On the leader, put Mean Streak (a white marking pencil from an office store). Start 1 foot above your hook and put it all the way up to the fly line. After you put on the Mean Streak, put Accardo Fly Line dressing on the Mean Streak. This will make your leader float. If you forget this wax your leader it will sink and you will not see your hits.
When fishing do no pull your leader back into the fly rod guides. This will knock the Mean Streak off of your leader. Always keep your fly rod pointed at your line and down close the water. Then when you get a bite you can set the hook very quickly. If you hold the tip of your rod up in the air, like you were shooting a squirrel, you will have too much slack in your line and miss too many hits. It is important to concentrate on your leader where it breaks into the water, as that will be where you see your hits, (bites)
As you fly sinks, continue to watch the point where your leader breaks into the water. Do not watch your fly line, as it will not move. Do not strip your fly line: let it sink as bluegills like the bait on the fall. Your wet fly should have at least 15 turns of .020 lead or it will not sink in the wind. I put 17 turns of .020. And a No# 12 hook and 20 turn’s, on a No. # 10 hooks. If fishing is tough, change the color of your fly. Also you can add 1/6 of a Berkley white Power Wiggler to your fly. If you want to use live bait, get a cane pole. Once you learn this method of fishing you will out fish 95% of the fisherman on the lake.
Good fishing, Darrell Duff Johnson
Since I purchased a St. Croix 4wt. outfit last year I'm never going back, how exciting to battle the fiesty panfish on a light fly rod. It's a totally different experience than my old 6wt. I experiment everytime I'm out to find the hot colors and patterns, I guess my "go to" fly is the Humpy in a variety of brighter colors. It has lots of fluff and floatability and twitches well on the water. During the warmer summer months I usually stick with some smaller sized Betts Poppers, the gills can't resist them, and I have connected with an occasional largemouth, I'm always suprised how a big bass will hit a small popper, but this is a bluegill forum, lol, sorry.

One note about lite rods, you don't have to fight the fish to exhaustion, it's better not to, I usually let them put on a show for a few seconds then guide them in and scoop them out of the water while they're still fiesty so they go back without expending all their energy.

Nothing beats the topwater action with large gills, those of you that chase them with dry flies know what I'm talking about, they displace water like a bass, like the old article said "If they only weighed 5lbs".

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