As you are probably aware; bluegill are found in nearly every lake and pond in the US, so it makes perfect sense to make them a target for fly fishing. Not only are they great fighters, but they are terribly easy to catch.
My Favorite Bluegill Fly Patterns
Frankly, bluegill are not picky when it comes to flies, so whatever you have will probably work fine. I have found all varieties of foam trout flies will work great, such as: Chernobyl ants and hopper patterns. You also can’t go wrong with stimulator patterns and just about any classic parachute pattern.
Nymphs and Small Streamers
The classic muddler minnow in a small size is always a good choice for the frisky bluegill, but any small nymphs and midges will work great when slow stripped in the vicinity of this species. Unlike trout, bluegill are opportunistic eaters and will attack just about anything that will fit in their mouths. These voracious feeders are curious and territorial, if your fly spends enough time in front of them, they will probably eat it.
A good choice of line size for most bluegill fishing situations is 4-5x. You will never have to go any lighter unless your bluegill are fished for a lot and have all been hooked a number of times. A standard 7.5-9’ 4x leader available at any sporting goods store should do the trick. I would hang on to your expensive fluorocarbon leaders for trout fishing, and stick with cheap monofilament leaders for these fish.
If you are looking for an extra thrill, I would advise you to fish for the hard fighting bluegill on a 3-4 weight rod, they are truly fun to fight on a lighter sized rod, but if you have a 5-6 weight already in your arsenal that would work great. There are some rod companies that make specialized bluegill fishing fly rods, but unless you are going to get really serious about this, your standard trout rod will work perfectly. If you want a dual purpose warm water rod for bluegill and bass, I would buy a crisp 6 weight to cover both bases.
While bluegill aren’t that glamorous of a fish, they are certainly fun to catch. There is no better fish species to learn to fly fish on than bluegills. The sheer quantity, availability and aggressive, often careless nature of this species makes them easy targets for the fly fisherman. If you or your children are interested in learning to fly fish, bluegill are a great way to get started and learn the ropes. You are almost guaranteed to catch some fish on every outing!
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