Fly Fishing for Bluegill, Crappies and other pan fish

Fly fishing for the smaller species of fish can be fun and a good starting education for the small fry (no pun intended) and the experienced fisher too. Even at my age, I still enjoy sitting in a rowboat on a quiet lake fly fishing for Bluegill or Crappies. When I was growing up in Wisconsin, we called them “sun fish” or “pan fish” and grouped them in that category. Even Bass could fall into that category even though they were a little larger and didn’t hang around the pan fish much.

Fishing for Bass, both largemouth and smallmouth is another specialized category and has a following second to none. You can view Bass Pro and find thousands of products just for Bass fishers. From specialized rods and reels to fast bass boats to clothing so everyone knows you are a bass fisher and probably what rank you are in the bass fishing community. I just made that up, but I do know they are a very clannish bunch. It’s like a fraternity and they are very serious about it. They have TV shows on bass fishing. They have contests for bass fishers with some very large prizes including but not limited to new bass boats with very large and fast motors because you want to be the first one to the best fishing spot. First place money is nothing to sneeze at either.

Me, I like to take it a bit more relaxed. That’s what I think fishing is all about. I couldn’t take fishing on the Kenai river here in Alaska, when the King Salmon start their run, that’s called “combat fishing” and I don’t want any part of it. Like I said before, I’ll take a rowboat ( maybe one with a small motor) on a calm lake with a lot of fish and just enjoy the sunshine and slow pace of it all.

Fishing for these pan fish can be a good start for any young inspired fisher, boy or girl. I think my one daughter was more tuned into fishing than my two boys were, and much more so after she won 1st place for largest Perch caught (weighing in at a whopping 1lb7oz) at our yacht clubs annual “Take a Kid Fishing” event. I’m sure she thought she had landed a whale, but she had the 1st place ribbon and all the bragging rights that went with it. She is married now and has two boys of her own, and still enjoys fishing and teaching the boys to fish also. What I’m saying is she is perpetuating the sport of fishing and the wholesomeness of it, all the time spending quality time with the youngsters. Her husband is an avid fisher too and has a hand in their fishing education. I have no doubt both of those boys will be fishers for life and in turn will teach their children, should they have any, to fish also.

I also believe teaching kids to fly fish from a boat is a very good way to introduce them to fishing. No branches to get your line fouled, don’t have to cast with a lot of accuracy and you get the rhythm down so you progress with the process.

Every kid should have his or her own fishing gear. It doesn’t have to be expensive but should be substantial so they don’t get frustrated trying to make it work. It will be an investment well worth while and something they will treasure for a long time to come.

If you have no children of your own, there are always the neighbors kids. You probably know some where the parents are to busy to take them fishing, so you do it. For the kids, it will open up a whole new world and you will have gained a new friend for life.

Target the panfish, they are easy to catch and are really good eating.


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