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> > Fly fishing for crappie

Bagsam6April 22nd, 2008, 12:49 pm
Posts: 1I have been a fly fisherman for a lot of years but I have a problem finding the right fly pattern for the black crappie in the lakes around Laconia New Hampshire. Does anyone have any ideas and if so would you please share them. I also have a pattern that I tie that works great on west and east coast for rainbow trout if anyone would like it please let me know.

MartinlfApril 22nd, 2008, 5:49 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Clouser minnow?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SirharrykApril 12th, 2009, 5:39 pm
Posts: 1I do good using a green or brown woolly bugger tied with a little flash.
Brown seems to produce a little better.
CaseyPApril 12th, 2009, 6:53 pm
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
only crappie i ever caught was on a #16 fur ant cast to the fish in shallow water in a largish pond. biggest thing i'd caught up to then--exciting!
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
GoofusBugApril 12th, 2009, 8:13 pm
Posts: 31Growing up, we caught a lot of them on a fly rod pitching white marabou jigs.

So, if I were tying a fly, I guess I would tie up a white woolly bugger with a silver bead head. Or a muddler minnow.
McjamesApril 13th, 2009, 6:32 am
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
very small clousers tied with marabou... white and yellow tied on size 10 nymph hook
I am haunted by waters
RleePApril 13th, 2009, 2:39 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
I don't think the pattern matters that much, within reason. I was always partial to small white wooly buggers or a McGinty wooly worm, in size 10 or 12 (1XL). But I think virtually any fly with some white or yellow in it in these sizes will take a lot of fish.

What I think DOES matter is how you fish the fly. I've never done well on crappie with an active retrieve, as you might use for bluegills.

I think that, done correctly, fishing a sunken fly for crappie is first cousin to watching paint dry. Basically it involves flipping the fly out to the cover (the most impt. part of crappie fishing is finding them)and simply letting it slowly sink. keep in touch with the fly. A lot of the hits will come on the drop. Let it sink most of the way and if there are no takes, then simply lift the rod tip at about the same speed as a turtle crosses a dirt road. Just fast enough to make it move, maybe 2 inches a second or so. I mean slooooow.... Keep in touch with the fly and wait for the very gentle "tunk" of a fish picking it up.

I started doing this when I was a kid and used to take my fly rod crappie fishing with my Dad, who was usually fishing bait. When my Dad fished for crappie, he would catch a bluegill on a worm first and then set it on the boat seat, get his jack knife out and cut 1 inch long by 3/8" wide strips from the bluegill which was his crappie bait. He fished them on a slow drop on a small bait hook and then on an equally slow lift and it was murder on crappie. So, I started doing the same thing with my flies and it worked just as well.

If you're where the crappie are (again the most impt. part), you can fill a bucket in an hour doing this. It doesn't bear much resemblance to watching a fireworks display from a roller coaster, but it'll put crappie in the bucket faster than anything I know. And that has rewards of it's own...:)
TheFlyMasteApril 17th, 2009, 9:00 am
Duluth, MN

Posts: 3
I'm with RleeP on this one. I live in N. MN and a yellow/white or chart/white small clouser on a size 6 or 8 hook works great. Need to tie it sparse like the original. Unweighted or weighted, depending on where the crappie are located. Finding them is half the battle.

It's not a hard slam bit from crappies, but more of gentle tug. A lot of times, especially in the spring, you might just feel a little resistance and they are on. It helps to use a very sticky hook (in other words very sharp hooks). I use gama stinger hooks in size 6. Even if you don't feel the bite, it's much harder for the fish to spit it before you notice.

Good luck, crappie fly fishing is just starting to heat up in my neck of the woods.
Ouitdee Carson
Arrowhead Fly Angler
PatcrisciApril 17th, 2009, 9:19 am
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
Oh man, do i love fly fishin for crappie (and any panfish). I learned to cast a fly rod panfishing on the NYC reservoirs and in the tailwater streams. I had the most fun catching them on the surface using small poppers, size 10 or 8, tied with cork body, rubber legs, and hackle feather tails. Seemed like almost any color popper worked. In the streams we caught bluegills, rock bass, crappie on small bucktails and on wooly bugggers. A Clouser should do the trick. If you really want to have some fun though, try a popping bug. Cast it close to cover, near the shore. In spring when they in shallow water, you can find them on nests. Watch out! Your popper might get banged by a big largemouth bass!
Pat Crisci

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