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breambuster

Nymphs For Bluegills

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As far as nymphs used for gills, a friend of mine who targets big bluegill and is very particular, swears by a larger prince nymph.

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Lost track of this thread, but I second a large prince nymph.

And, I will see the LARGE Prince Nymph and raise you to RIO Grande King TRUDE, as Bluegills in Sandhills and North Platte River system, seemingly go for Black & Orange schematics, but PEACOCK is also Deadly on waters I have consistently fished....

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The Bitch Creek is a favorite around my neck of the woods. Use rubber legs for antennae and tail, you should have a hard time keeping the gills and small bass off.

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The Bitch Creek is a favorite around my neck of the woods. Use rubber legs for antennae and tail, you should have a hard time keeping the gills and small bass off.

+1

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I have not read the book you are referring to, however I have always had good luck with weighted versions of olive rubber legs and traditional copper johns. Bluegill are a great introduction to fly fishing for any angler and a great way to test the newest fly creations you come up with on your bench.

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Not blue gill's obviously. But I have been having some good success on a #8 black and pink nymph with deerhair wing and marabou tail while fishing for tilapia. Any colour works as long as it is black and pink.

 

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A few large size chironomids

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Copper nose bream...bout 7' in open water under strike indicator(winter pattern suspended)

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I caught a bunch of gills on nymphs drifted behind an indicator in the lake I live at this spring before it got real warm. Just about any worked, but my best producers were greenie weenies. I ended up tying a chartreuse version of a stonefly pattern that really worked well for me.

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I dont care what anyone says about the lowly Bluegill. They are, pound for pound tougher than any bass. Imagine if a bluegill grew up to 10 pounds. They would whoop a bass's tailfins.

I use a chenille sinking spider and various bead head nymphs. I tied a bunch of Micro Clowsers with rubber legs to try out. My typical set up is a 5 wt with a hopper or popper and use the nymphs as a dropper. Depth of the water will dictate how far under the popper,the dropper will be.

Death on Bream.

Last weekend, I caught two bass on that Hopper/Dropper rig. That was quite fun!!!

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Interesting thread. I have seen this never-ending discussion on other forums as well. There have been dozens of absolutes listed here which should prove that bluegill as a rule are easy to please. It is true that very often, bluegill will eat anything that is put in front of them. Part of that reputation is from their tendency to school up for different reasons at different times of they year. But big bluegill did not get to be over 10" by being stupid.

 

Much can be learned from watching them on a camera while ice fishing. In winter, the fish don't travel much, don't eat much, and barely take in what they do eat. There are lakes where you can catch bluegill all day long on anything you put in front of them. But the bigger ones hang off to the side, seem to eat early and late in the day, and generally prefer larger prey. When small gills are being caught as quickly as you can get the bait back down, sometimes taken on the fall, I usually switch to larger ice flies, micro lures, or even small spoons. The catch rate decreases significantly, but the size is much larger.

 

In the Midwest in early spring, pre-spawn hungry females can be found staging at the deep edges of shallow water flats that will soon be their spawning beds. Clousers, small wooly buggers, weighted nymphs are best for those situations. These areas are rarely in casting distance from shore. Males then enter the spawning beds and begin clearing and dishing them out. Females lose interest in eating and the males can be caught on anything that enters their 10" of territory. Part of it is hunger and part of it is protection. The biggest males are on the deeper, prime real estate and the smaller ones are in the less favorable shallowest water (often less than a foot deep). Big, 9-10"+ males are common and are best fished with high floating flies. I often use deer or elk hair caddis, wulff style dries, Griffiths gnat, anything that floats well through multiple battles. This is a critical stage in health of a fishery and the largest should always be released. It's not about numbers of bluegill hatched, it's about genetic quality of the hatchlings.

 

After the spawn, bluegill scatter through the deeper parts of the lake as by this time, there is weed cover everywhere. Trees, docks, and other structure can hold numbers of fish (often suspended) but they are more scattered. It's back to big nymphs including prince (peacock, flash, color contrast), damsel nymphs (favorite summer food source) and small minnow imitations are my favorite for the bigger gills. That is until grasshopper season. Once they are out in full force, I go shallow again with floating hoppers or a hopper/dropper rig.

 

Late fall, as the weeds drop, they can concentrate around available hard cover (rocks, trees, docks). It's back to nymphs until winter.

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Thanks for resurrecting this thread. I find Bluegill to be like people, they become stupid when breeding. Otherwise the big ones are hard to catch.

 

My most effective flies are a Cajun Coachman and a Modified McGinty. I tie them both with calf tail wings, sometimes, which usually works just as well. I also use a Professor fairly often, and a PT soft hackle. I use these in a Popper dropper combo to keep them from hanging up as much.

 

For Crappie I use a Carey Special with some success. I troll those with my Kayak, usually on a sinking line. For clear water, I use a Denny Rickards' all purpose nymph.

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I caught a lot of crappie on a "Gimp". This year, two of the lakes I frequent have very good year classes of 11-12" crappies. So far, a size 12 bead-head black wooly bugger with a couple strands of gold crystal flash caught the most, closely followed by the Dublin Special I just added to the fly database. Tomorrow I will try a different streamer. Nymphs too small seem to call up more bluegill and red ears. This time of year, I much prefer the crappies.

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Generally, I fish top water for sunfish. In my local creek we have bluegill, pumpkinseed and green sunfish, plus an interesting mixture of hybrids. They all tend to spawn in the same areas. If I fish nymphs, they will be size 8 or 10. Last year mop flies were my best producer, mini-mops tied on size 10, and larger ones tied on size 8 or 6. I also fish large soft hackles, tied on size 8 hooks with a good success.

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