Many years ago, I read an article on bluegill fishing in Florida. The author was a professional fisheries biologist and had made quite a study of different artificial baits. He found that small, dark-colored jigs (1/16th ounce or smaller) tipped with a white pork rind or similar substance seemed to get the most strikes/casts. I tried it and was quite successful with an ultra-light spinning rod. Then I transferred the idea to fly rod baits by using dark nymphs tipped with white. I found a white leather golfing glove (not a golfer) and cut it into tiny "pork rind" strips. The leather does not dry as hard as real pork rind. Another good material can be made using very fine nylon mesh and white silicone caulk. Just smear the caulk thinly on the mesh on a piece of wax paper or saran wrap. After it sets up, cut it into strips. This stuff never dries out. The fly rod is my favorite bluegill tool. A 7-foot 3/4 weight with a weight-forward floating line, tapered knotless leader, and as light a tippet as I can see to tie is my choice. Gets kind of exciting when something bigger hits the jig. Now, I don't throw rocks at crickets and wax worms either. Dry flies over a shallow spawning bed create some excitement, too.
Loren you are right ,i guess if i would admit it i catch more gills and chinks on darker nymphs than any other flies.
i sometimes thank we fly fishers tie flies as much for us as the fish,thus the bright colors and wiggle legs.although these will catch fish if you thank about it,the reality is there are not to many bright colored nymphs .
you sure make a good point,simple and plane still catches fish just like it always did.
Black ant nymphs or flies also work well. You are correct in the lack of color in aquatic insects and their larvae. They mostly fall between light tan and black. Bait crickets are tan and mayfly larvae are of a similar hue. Now, why do wax worms or maggots in the lighter colors work so well? How about red worms, too? Guess sunfishes must be omnivores. I still like to tip the darker lures with a strip of white leather or similar material.
i have always wondered why blue gill have such an affinity for the color red,it seems that red but flies always do better on gills than most.
but i catch a lot of fish on dragon fly nymphs,and scuds,both of these are dull colored for the most part.
i guess that is why i love the sport of fly fishing so much,you are always learning ,i know i am even after fifty + yrs. i am still amazed at the learning curve of this sport.
some of the new flies i have seen work well too,and i must confess i do love to tie and fish them.
what a great sport we have here in fly fishing and the mighty gill, is in my opinion built for the fly rod.