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:

1. BLUEGILL and LARGE MOUTH BASS flies

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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guys - this is great!!  seems like everybody is  donating to Mathew!  To take a moment - the real reason we can do something like this- is because of Bruce Condello! he had the vision of starting this site some time ago; and at his expense as well as time;; we have a site we can all enjoy together.   We all owe Bruce a lot more than we could actually say..  Bruce- for what its worth buddy-- you did real good!!

david-- just found some fly line!!  WF8F !

Perfecto! From what I can see, the "dams" (ponds) he fishes are small and not deep. That should work out well.

Ok, I had a thought while I was at work today.

David or Carl, do either of you have a guesstimate on what postage is going to cost from the States to South Africa?  If it's horrendously high, I'd be willing to chip in a few dollars for postage as well.

I was thinking last night.  With this kind time-frame, I might end up tying some more bugs.  I'm thinking some size 12 Soft Hackles, and more Gurgle-Pops.  A few of the big size 2 Gurgle-Pops, for the Bass, and several of the size 8s, as they will catch both Bass and 'Gills?  I know space/weight is limited, and I'm already sending quite a few.  Foam bugs will compress a big, and they're lightweight.  Size 12 Soft Hackles aren't that big anyway.

allen -- buddy I went to the post office last Friday and asked that question of = how much??  what I was told-- a 2 pound package cost a little over 25 dollars  and 5 pounds cost over 55 dollars.. so ;; no its not exactly cheap;; but its for a real good worthy cause in my opinion.  and thanks for all you have done buddy!  your ties are some of the best!  a little envious of your work!!

Ok, I'll chip in some money postage when I send my stuff.

"...a little envious of your work!!"

I know what you mean!

No idea what the cost is yet, Allen. Without a final weight, its impossible to tell. Ive sent metal detectors to Australia, and they cost about $45. My guess is this will run in the twenties - but there is no way to know as of now.

If you are inclined to tie more bugs, well - thats mighty nice of you. It shouldn't be needed, but it couldn't hurt.

Mathew is already blown away and humbled that we care enough to do this for him. He's a swell young fella, that's for sure.

Sounds like fun to me. I can donate a few fly's that I know are proven gill catchers. I also have plenty of floats. You cannot have too many of either of these items. 

Great observation, Vince.

Mathew understands fly fishing concepts, but that is about the extent of his angling experience. His fly outfit was given to him and he's taken to it with it with gusto. Kudos to him fo rthat.

But fishing in general is not popular there, as it is here. He might never think to jig a fly beneath a float if we dont tell him. I suggested he get some live bait, for example, and use his fly rod like a cane pole. So what happened? He caught a bass on a cricket from his garden!

Some of those Yellow Butt Brim Flys' might be nice. Thanks again for chipping in.

allen  thanks buddy !   actually none of us really have any idea exactly how much it will cost- so- my idea is to pay for it myself. then I will post the amount- and if any one wishes to contribute;; we can all do it here- and make it an equal amount to be fair to everybody. other wise- there is a great possibility of being overpaid!!  and the way I half way see it;; this may be the only time we can do something like this.  so what we send him will have to last for years - proably!! as for me - im going to empty what I have.  some rascals; spiders; attempts of auto jigs; where ever I have on hand.  I can make more-- he cant! 

And that is the point, Carl. We are blessed with an abundance of angling riches, he is not. Sharing the wealth is what this is all about. Again, thanks for your hercul

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