Back in 1993 I was gearing up for a 7 day hike into the Rocky Mountains, and in preparation for such a trip I recognized the need to master the art of fly fishing. The only thing that resembled a trout in northwest Iowa was the creek chub, so I decided to unleash my fly rod practice on a well known species for these parts – the bluegill. The initial idea was to get my casting down. If I indeed catch something, that was just a bonus. As I made my first cast I found out pretty quick that a fly rod is actually pretty deadly on bluegills.
I have found on countless occasions that my fly rod actually out fishes a worm and bobber. Also fishing with a fly makes for some awesome top water action. Using a fly for bluegill is the equivalent to using a top water lure for bass. You are visually fishing the bait and get the satisfaction of seeing the surface explode as the fish nails your fly. As all of you already know, the bluegill is no slouch when it comes to a fight. Put that fight on the end of a fly rod and you’ll have yourself a hoot of a time.
It seems all flies work to some degree but the cork popper seems to produce the best. It also gives you the best chance for a bass. If you tip the popper with a piece of nightcrawler you can make the fish hold on a bit longer in order to set the hook.
Fly rods also work great for landing fish. Often bluegills hang out at the edge of moss lines, the long fly rod gives you enough length to be able to pull a gill straight up and over the moss. This makes the fly rod a practical choice, not just for fun.
During the spawn you may want to switch to a “wet fly.” A wet fly is a fly that sinks instead of floats. Bluegills aren’t necessarily actively feeding during the spawn but they are sure quick to attack anything that invades their spawning beds. If you can find some spawning beds cast a wet fly into their territory. They will for sure hit it, and since a fly is so small they can’t help but get it entirely into their mouths when striking. You can cast just about anything into a spawning bed and get hits, but when they hit that tiny fly you will for sure get a good hook up.
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand in fly fishing there is no reason you need to take a costly trip to the mountains. We have fish locally that are willing to give you and your fly rod a good workout.