Bass and Bream 9-11-12
There is something to be said about the simplicity of fly fishing for bluegill. I love tossing a popper, letting the rubber legs quiver and being greeted by that classic slurp. If you were ever looking to get in to fly fishing this is surely the way to do it. Any rod from a 3-6 wt is proficient, and it doesn't have to be technical. I have been known to use a straight section of 6-10 lb test monofilament as a leader, no tippet involved. Yet time after time, I have success, but more importantly, I have fun. This morning was no different.
I started out slow, only catching one small bluegill before daylight. It took my Bea Bea Bug after I placed a cast on top of the seawall, and tugged it to land very lightly in the water. It wasn't a big fish, but a good start. After sun up though, it was like a switch flipped. I paddled on over to a spot that is oddly consistent for me. It has no distinct features that are visible from the surface, so I am suspicious of some submerged structure. Anyways, almost immediately I hooked up to the biggest gill of the day.*
He measured in at a touch over 9 inches. A few yards down the shoreline I had a perfect cast into some vegetation. I was greeted by a much bigger pop than the usual bream kiss, and the subsequent jump gave away this largemouth's identity. He really inhaled the bug, and put a solid bend in the rod.
This particular canal that I fish is laid out in a very urban setting. It is part of a water management area, and serves as a drainage system for quite a large area. As a result, it provides excellent fishing in the late summer months. The rainwater flushes out the canal, oxygenates and cools the water, yet pours over a spillway into a larger bottle of water before the levels can get too high. Another benefit of being part of a water management area, is that many retention ponds and storm drains flow into this canal by way of culverts. After any period of steady rain they begin to flow and where they flow, the bass like to lurk. I tossed a popper under the first culvert I saw and was instantly greeted by a second bass for the day. This one was about the same length, but had a much fuller belly.*
I managed to wrestle this fish out of some lily pads with a 6 pound test leader. I must say, I don't understand typical bass fishing rigs. I don't have any need for 50 lb. test on a baitcaster when I can catch a nice 2 pounder on a size 10 fly. After this fish, I began working my way back to the launch. On the way back I caught two of the most colorful, beautiful shellcrackers. I was surprised to catch them on a topwater, as most of their food comes in the form of snails and other mollusks. They also put up quite a different fight, making fast runs where a bluegill will tend to turn to its side and use the natural drag of its body.
This fish, the larger of the two, went just over 10 inches. The smaller was right at 9. The colors were amazing, and this picture barely does it justice. I rarely catch these in this canal so catching two nice sized specimens in one day was quite a thrill. The Bea Bea bug slowly became less appetizing to the fish, so I switched to a bead headed nymph to wrap up the day. I tend to catch more fish with the nymphs and today was no different, however the quality of fish is slightly less. I attribute this to the smaller fish being more aggressive and getting to the fly quicker, where with topwater flies there are many times a smaller fish will peck at it but not be able to get it inside of its mouth. Anyways, to finish off this post here is the largest gill I managed on the nymph...
Not a great fish but a fun way to end the day. I have a feeling I will be sitting down and tying a few scuds for a few more trips coming up! Until next time, keep those rods bent!
keep up th efishing looks good www.flystiles.com drew
Originally Posted by Pmoconnor89
Fly fishing is wonderful because it turns the most mundane event, like catching a bream, into an amazing show, especially on poppers.
Great report looks like you had a good time.
I'm envious. What a relaxing, good day.
Looks like a great day to me, nothing better than some Bream and Bass on a Flyrod!
Caught some bluegills that size in an oversized retention pond one day up here near the Suwanee. I hadn't done much at all on the pond, until one day I ran into a man that worked at the market by the pond and found out he was a fly fisherman. I met him down at the pond the next day, just for a place to do a little fly casting, and got a big surpise. We were about a hundred feet apart and I was getting the usual action(zilch), when he came back up to where I was and asked if I had another fly to give him. He had left his box at home and I had loaned him a rod and the fly that was on it, a little brown nymph. I found another similar fly and gave it to him and then tied one on my line and followed him back to where he had been fishing, just to see what was going on. We had stumbled into a school of bluegills that were acting more like piranha. We stayed in that one spot for the next two hours and got bites on almost every cast. We weren't keeping them, but could have had enough to have a good size fish fry if we had. I went back several times after that to the same spot and for two weeks there were still a lot of nice size bluegills there, although the action was not quite as fast as the first day, it was still pretty good. I got to try out a few more different flies to see what worked or didn't and found a few more that the fish seemed to really like. One was a little green butt with cactus chenille front end and rubber legs, and the other was a buzzer nymph that I copied out of an English flytying manual. both of those were size 12. I made the buzzer with a black body and a red body with a peacock thorax and both seemed to work pretty well, though the red did a little better. There were a lot of other flies I wanted to tie and try out, but the fish seemed to disappear after a couple of weeks. Either they moved to a different section of the pond or the canepolers got them all.
Kept just enough for a meal: