Yesterday I took a spontaneous trip to go fly fishing for panfish. I packed up my Filson duffel with gear, and threw my waders and boots in the plastic bin. Armed with a 3 wt and 4wt I hit the road. I’d initially hoped to find some smallmouth bass, but high muddy water meant a change in plans. I ended up at a pond that has become one of my favorite spots this spring. During the afternoon I caught over 25 bass, bluegill, and crappie. My warm water fly selection was slim. I started off with a wooly worm, and also used a pistol pete, clouser minnow, wooly bugger, and popper. I broke my line on fish several times, so by the end of the day my options were limited. The bluegill were good sized, and put up a nice fight. I was surprised at what a good fight the crappie gave. It has been awhile since I’ve gotten into them. I spooked a big bass in shallow water, and had another good sized bass miss my popper twice. The heavier flies like the pistol pete and clouser worked best with a quick strip retrieve. Several fish were caught letting the fly sink and watching my line for the tell tale twitch of a fish.
Fly fishing for panfish can be a great way to introduce new people to the sport because there’s a lot of action. I plan on bringing a friend next time. Now, I just need to find more ponds like this one.