Monday, March 27, 2017

Bullgill Therapy

Several months have passed since the last really good fishing outing for me here in SE Ohio.  I caught some fish here and there through the winter, but nothing consistent and not high numbers.  We've had some warmer weather recently in the area, so a friend and I headed out to hit a few ponds he knew hoping to take advantage.  We planned to bass fish, but I also carried my glass 3wt rigged and ready for bluegill if the bass were not playing along.  Early in the morning, the bass bite was pretty slow, so I decided to test the bluegills out that were rising to small black bugs coming off the pond surface.  I had a subsurface fly rigged, the infamous Squirminator in pink/chartreuse, and it quickly found a player.

I quickly changed to my number one topwater fly for bluegill because I couldn't ignore all the rises.  It's a simple black foam spider with bright yellow legs.  It floats well, is a quick and durable tie, and just plain catches fish.  I had seen a rise under the edge of a shoreline bush, and put a cast right in next to it quickly.  The fly barely landed and got blasted.  I set the hook and the fish didn't really move initially.  This porker put a deep bend in the glass 3wt and is probably the fattest bluegill I have ever caught. 

While my buddy worked hard and finally picked up a decent bass, I was picking out risers and hooking, if not landing, most of them.  It was like easy dry fly fishing for trout.  See a ring, put the fly near it, and the fish will do the rest.  And unlike typical bluegill fishing, when fish run pretty small, these fish were thick and feisty.

We finally moved on to another nearby pond where my friend typically does pretty well on bass.  The water was slightly off color and it felt like the pond was in a Boeing wind tunnel, but we quickly started getting strikes on our bass rods.  I was glad I took the 7wt when we found that wind, it helped to punch some flies out in the breeze along the cattails.  It didn't take long to land my first bass of 2017.

Bass were holding tight to the banks, and seemed concentrated on the wind blown side of the pond.  No large bass were caught, but there was no shortage of action.  We fished along there for about 90 minutes and decided we had enough of the howling wind.  The hot fly for me on the bass was a size 2 Murdich Minnow in my favorite color, an olive over white with some light blue splashed on the cheeks with some Laser Dub.

We discussed what to do next when our third stop fizzled out on us, and we decided to head back to the first pond in hopes the bass would be more "awake" with the warmer temperatures of early afternoon.  However, seeing the massive bug hatch going on and the water almost appear to be boiling with bluegills, I couldn't resist and had to sling the 3wt some more.  My fishing buddy eventually caved and did the same, it was just too easy and too much fun.  

Here's a quick recipe and pic of the fly that did almost all of the damage on the bluegill.  I like to add the little chunk of orange foam to the top as a tiny indicator.  This fly sits really low on thwe water and can be tough to spot at a longer distance.

-Hook: size 14 dry fly hook
-Tail: rubber legs
-Body: 2mm craft foam
-Underbody: Ultra Chenille
-Legs: rubber legs
-Antennae: rubber legs
-Indicator: small chunk of orange 2mm craft foam 


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing a fun outing. I would be in Bluegill Heaven if I were catching Bluegill that size. Thanks for sharing your pattern.