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:


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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allen we got cats too and dogs,the dogs love deer hair.had a cat that liked to use my flyline on the reel for a scratching post.that was an expensive lesson

 I've got bugs and poppers I can send this weekend. I've also got several 'extra' fly reels I could donate one of those if needed. And finally I've got a fairly new 4 pc. 8' Martin rod, reel and line I'd be happy to donate if needed. I bought it for my Son-in-law and he decided it was too dangerous after burying the 5th fly in the back of his head. 

Thank you Earl. That is very generous

The flies would be great. You may have missed it, so let me share where we are with this:

We learned that we must restrict our efforts to sending a personal, unsolicited gift, one that must not exceed $40USD in value. If it is deemed to be worth more, then the recipient (Mathew) must pay duties on it. We have to keep it small and lightweight, too, to keep mailing costs down and keep interest in it to a minimum. Otherwise, customs people want to open it.

Small and light - no one cares too much.

Big, long and heavy and they want to start digging.

So fly rods, reels, etc. go beyond the scope of a gift. It isn't that we are looking a gift horse in the mouth, but restrictions exist which we must heed. Please don't be offended by this. We would love to have few bass and bluegill flies, though.

Thank you, again, for the generous offer and please understand.

I understand completely. I missed todays mail but have an envelope of bugs to drop in the mail Monday. It's a privilege to be able to help! 

just got in another package today from lord of the fly rod  and keith ritter!!!

Ok, I got some fishing-themed wrapping paper of a birthday card today.  I'll start making the Altoids fly box, and packaging stuff up.  Due to my work and home schedule, I probably won't be able to get anything in the mail until Monday.  I'll keep y'all posted.

OK, Altoids fly box is made and loaded with bugs.  All the bulk bugs that I've tied up the past few days are bagged up.  I'll try to get them out tomorrow, but there's no guarantee; my wife needs the vehicle all day, so I don't know if I'll be able to get to the P.O.

Youre doing a great job of this, Fuzzy! Thanks very much.

Maybe your wife could hit the PO for you?

Ok, everything is wrapped, packed, and ready to go to the P.O.  I wasn't able to actually do that today.  I'll do it first thing Monday morning.  Carl, I gift-wrapped my box to Mathew.  Inside that is an Altoids fly-box and some small baggies of flies.  It's padded, so it should slide around or rattle to much.  I also have a birthday card to hopefully throw off the Customs officials.  I left the card's envelope open, so you can sign the card as well, if you want.

Talked to Matthew, and found out what tool he needed. I'll be sending my auto jigs and survival file for him tomorrow as well. Carl, combine the auto jigs with other files so they won't rattle too much, and reduce the total weight.

thanks allen!!  be glad to sign it also!!    and leo-- I'll put your donations in a something; and place them inside the box ive made up for Mathew. making sure he knows  who its from to!  your stuff wont rattle to much- LOL !!  guys this is great!! everybody pulling together to help another angler!!

Give good people a challenge and the chance to help and this is what happens.

Makes me humble and proud to be a part of it.


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