How To: Fly Fishing for Monster Bluegill

by Jack T. Wilder

A lot of people think fly fishing is done only for trout and it needs to be super expensive. They’re wrong. Some of the most fun you can have on a fly rod is catching smaller pan sized fish and bass.

Here are a few tips to get you going:

Find A Good Fly Fishing Rod And Reel

There are a lot of inexpensive fly rods and reels out there. The quality isn’t always the best, but for our purposes anything under $100 bucks for both a rod and reel is all you need to get you started.

Cabelas has a nice starter pack rod & reel for a great price. A good four or five weight rod will work perfectly for bluegills and bass.

Once you get your kit, watch a couple YouTube videos on casting your new fly rod and put in some practice in the front yard before you head out to the pond.

Get Some Popping Bugs

Bluegills love popping bug flies. In the summer bluegills haunt the shallows of ponds and lakes looking for grasshoppers, bees, dragonflies and other insects to feed on. A yellow or black or blue popping bug can be deadly for monster bluegills.

Bass Pro Shops always has good deals on popping bug flies and you should play around with different colors to see which one triggers the best strike.

Betts Popping Bugs. Photo: Bass Pro Shops

Hit Your Favorite Pond!

Whether you’re fishing from a boat or on the shore, be careful with your rod as they are easily breakable. Take your time and watch your backcast. Hooking a tree or your friend’s ear is never a good start.

Cast your fly out near a submerged log or lilypads and let the fly sit on the water. After a few seconds give it a little twitch. If you don’t get a hit within a few more seconds lift your fly lightly off the water and then cast it back out to another spot nearby. Cover lots of ground and find where the fish are feeding. Usually they will smack it within seconds of the fly touching down on the water.

Once you catch one, hold on! Bluegills are scrappy little fighters and pound for pound can match just about any other sportfish. They’re also quite tasty. After scaling, gutting and de-heading them, throw them in a frying pan and enjoy.

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