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Rick's Favorite Bluegill Flies,
Part 2

Rick Zieger
By Richard Zieger, Iowa

Crystal Beetle

The Crystal Beetle is a fly that I like to use under trees and bushes. It is a foam beetle with small crystal chenille wrapped around the hook before the foam is pulled over. I tend to let this fly hit the water a little harder than the other flies. I think that it may act more like a beetle when it falls from the vegetation. I use several colors of crystal chenille under the foam for this fly. Let the fish tell you which one is working better. I used orange on this one so it would show up better. I have this with red, purple, green and yellow for the underbody.

Floating/suspending nymph

The Floating/suspending nymph is one that I came up with. It is a simple tie with a few changes that I put in. This fly is tied a little exaggerated for you to see all the parts. Depending on the width of the foam wing case and the dubbing used this fly can float near the surface or suspend in the water column. I fish this fly very - very slowly. A forty foot cast can take over 10 minutes to bring in if no fish hit it. When fish take this fly they usually hit it hard. Most of the gills that I have seen jump out of the water to land on top of a fly have done it with this fly, when it is floating at the surface.

Materials Floating/suspending nymph

    Hook - size 6 to 12.

    Thread - Black.

    Tail - Pheasant feather barbs or biots.

    Abdomen - Shaggy dubbing loosely wrapped.

    Wingcase - Foam (a small ball of polyester batting under the foam).

    Thorax - More dubbing to match abdomen.

    Hackle - Black.

The next is a pattern that I ran into some place and can not remember the name. If you know the name let me know. It is a simple tie of a thin red floss body, with one turn of peacock herl at the head and some wood duck feather barbs for a wing. This fly has worked best for me in size 12 to 16. I usually end up fishing it over shallower water. Most fish have hit it on the drop so I do not really retrieve this fly. I make short casts and keep making them a little longer each time to cover the area.

Rat Tail Grub

The Rat Tail Grub is a pattern that I received from Tony Spezio. It is a simple tie but sure works under any vegetation that hangs over the pond. The rat tail is a cord that comes from craft stores. I also use some super glue at the bend when I first tie this fly to help hold it. Fish hit this fly with authority. I cast it out and let it drop. I have not caught many fish while retrieving this fly. Many times I have to use forceps to get the fly out as the gills have taken it so deeply.

Materials Rat Tail Grub

    Hook - Hook size 10 to 12.

    Thread - To match body.

    Body - White or cream rat tail.

    Head - Black dubbing sparse.

Bailey's Nite Light

This is a fly that purists may not like. It is called Bailey's Nite Light. It is tied on a size 8 or 10 hook. You put on luminescent flash materials and then glue the two beads on. They are soft glow beads found in the walleye section in the Cabela's catalog. This is the only place that I have found them. This fly works at night and in dingy water. I use this fly a lot after it has rained and the ponds have a lot of matter in them. The beads also come in green. There is white flash material.

Pheasant Tail Nymph

The last is a Pheasant Tail Nymph variation that I use a lot. This is usually tied as a dropper on any of the floating flies listed above. I tie it as follows.: pheasant tail fibers for the tail. The body is from 4 to 6 colors of pheasant and turkey tail barbs intermixed to give a mottled appearance. The wing case is red peacock herl. The thorax is red dubbing on this one. I also use ostrich herl for this. This is tied on a larger hook so you can see more of the fly. I usually have these tied on size 14 to 18 hooks. I usually tie them so they are about a foot or so under the floating fly. Many times this is the first fly taken and then as the floating fly is moving around it is taken. I get doubles on this rig about 40% of the time. I think the fish come up to look at the floating fly and then take this one.

This is my list for this year and will change in the future. I am always trying new flies to see how they work and have some that have done well but have not replaced these. I hope that this may help you a little. I have a couple of dozen other flies that were close to these but were not in the top twelve.

I hope that you can get out on the water. ~ Rick ziegeria@grm.net

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