Looking for some Crappie advice (sic)
I'm a relatively new fly-fisherman who's spent most of the winter casting in the grass (several times a week since September). Now that we are in a warm spell and the water has warmed up enough to make the fish active, I'm just itching to catch some fish. Most of my fishing (spinning) has been for bass/bluegill in streams and ponds. There are a couple of opportunities for me to catch crappies, and I'm not sure how to go about it.
The first location is my Dad's 1/2 acre pond, where I fished as a kid. It used to be a LMB/BG fishery, but someone introduced some crappies and following a fish kill 5 or so years ago, I think stunted crappies are about all that are in there. The pond is in the woods, so casting a fly rod, or anything else, is tough, but the shoreline will probably be most productive anyway.
The other location is the local 20,000 acre reservoir, Smith Mountain Lake. SML has had a growing crappie population in recent years, and I'd like to know how to tap into that. The lake is very deep, over 200 feet at the dam, and near 100 in the cove I fish with my canoe. It is also heavily covered by private docks. The shoreline is very steep and the bottom is out of sight by the end of almost any dock, even though clarity is typically over 5'. There are no weeds to speak of, and all timber within 13' of full pond was removed before damming, although the remaining deepwater timber was left in place.
I've heard that crappies don't usually take surface lures like bass and bluegill, and I know most people use minnows. I don't plan on switching from floating WF line, so maximum depth will be about 6 or 7 feet. Any deeper than that and I'll get my spinning rod out. So here are my questions:
What general type and size of fly should I use?
What depths should I target?
and How should I retrieve?