Bluegill Fly Fishing Overview
Fly fishing for bluegills is somewhat uncommon but a world of fun. Often assumed to be a strategy to catch trout, fly fishing is a great way to catch bluegills and other members of the sunfish family. It is both exciting and amazing to see how hard a small bluegill with fight using a fly rod.
Spring Bluegill Fly Fishing
Generally, fly fishing works best in shallow water areas. The best time to catch bluegills by fly fishing is when fishing in spawning bed areas in the spring or along the edge of weed beds later on in the summer and fall. Poppers, floating flies or rubber-legged insects will usually be your best bet while fishing in the early parts of the morning or near dawn when bluegills move up into shallower water to feed. Flies and poppers come in all sorts of styles, colors and sizes. It is a little less imperative that you use natural-looking baits that are common food sources than it would be for trout fishing. However, if you are having trouble getting interest, switch up your fly to another style.
A thin, tapered leader, common for most fly fishing, is also mostly unnecessary for bluegill. A few yards of 2 or 4 pound line is usually sufficient leader material as bluegills tend to be less spooked by line or surface disturbances. Cast beyond your target area and move your lure/fly into an area where fish are likely feeding. Try imitating an injured insect if using a dry/floating bait.
Later in the year, fly fishing can also be effective in catching summer bluegill when they tend to be in deep water. The best success comes from using a wet fly or weighted lure. You can also add split shots or sinkers to light/dry flies to gain the same effect. Again, cast over the areas that you wish to cover, allowing the bait to sink down to deeper levels. In most lakes, 10 or 15 feet are prime summer bluegill depths. Retrieve back your bait slowly. Keep a close eye on your line and set the hook as soon as you feel any tap or movement.
Best Bluegill Fly Fishing Flies
There are an endless number of fly fishing flies available for sale. Every color, style, hair fiber type, and body type you can imagine. The best flies, in general, do three things:
1. They look like actual bait
2. They move like actual bait
3. They have the proper hook size and hook location.