A few weeks back I wrote an article called "Crappies and Light Colored Flies"
and asked for readers to let me know what flies worked for them. Well, as I
expected, I definitely got a response and would like to share some of those
responses with all of you. Maybe some of these hints and patterns will help
you catch a few more fish.
Don Pendleton, who lives in central Illinois, over by the Terra Haute, Indiana
border had theses suggestions: "We have found the estaz grub or minnow pattern
either in yellow, root beer or especially white as a great material......We
tie the pattern as follows: a small dumbell eye on a cheap Wal-mart gold
minnow hook (they bend easy for getting out of the brush),, tie on a marabou
tail,,, of same color as estaz
body....wrap estaz all the way over the dumbell and tie off at the hook eye.
Fishing....a slow steady retrieve at different depths catches more fish than
erratic jigging.....set hook slowly and steady not a
jerk. I also use your before mentioned white dry fly...many people think I am
nuts when I tell them I can catch crappie on top water dry or small white cork
poppers. (I've) caught a lot of crappie on black wooly buggers also, but the
white or yellow gets tied on once we find them."
"We fish alot of old coal strip pits, limestone quarries and a few local farm
ponds for crappie. I occasionally fish Mill Creek Lake and Lincoln Trail
State Park near Marshall but mostly stay on the small waters in our float
BassFlyGuy, (Greg Hardig) has a few more suggestions:
"I live and fly fish nearly year round here at Beaver Lake, Arkansas and am no
stranger to catching crappies on the fly...two years ago I caught one 16" long
on a white wooly bugger (size 10, gold bead head, weighted, medium white
crystal chenille body, gray hackle palmered, gray marabou tail with a few
strands of Flashabou or Crystal flash). I have recently tried (and tied)
small jigs to cast with my fly rod (1/100, 1/64) with decent success.
Obviously, springtime is the easiest time for me to catch them when they are
more likely to be in the shallow water. I have (also) caught bluegill, black
bass, small mouth bass, spotted bass, white bass, catfish and crappies on it
here at Beaver Lake, AR (northwest Arkansas, Benton County).
Depending on how fast I want it to sink, I'll wrap lead wire around the shank
(usually .030) in the tying process. When the white bass are schooling, I
like to tie it on a Mustad 34007 saltwater hook in various
sizes (match the hatch) which gives it additional weight.
Steve Haun of Sioux Falls, SD writes:
"My favorite is chartreuse and white Clouser minnows. I also tie a chartreuse
marabou muddler. I use chartreuse deer hair and chartreuse marabou. For the
body, I wrap the hook with red copper wire. I originally tied this for small
mouth bass but found that crappie like it as well. I am originally from ohio
and cut my flyfishing teeth on small mouths. I now live in SD and now fish
primarily for trout and pike. Unfortunately, the streams in eastern SD are a
silted mess so there isn't much small mouth fishing."
Okay folks, there's some more ideas on catching a lot more pan fish. It kind
of covers the central midwest area. If there area others out there who'd like
to add something new to catching Pan Fish drop me
an Email .
No attachments, please (I'm a little
paranoid with all the viruses out there) but a good description of how you tie
your favorite pan fish fly and how you fish with it will really help. Hopefully, in
another month or so, I'll have my tying area "back up and running" and will tie up
some of your suggestions and include the in future articles. I really
appreciate your responses and I'm sure that others will benefit from your
input. Thanks! ~ Randy Fratzke