Bluegill – what can you say? Bluegill, or some other related small but spunky fish, is how many of us begin our fishing life. Then we “progress”. We progress to what we think are greater things, or better things, or more profound things, or cooler things. It is a perceived evolution. Well I never evolved I guess. Maybe I’m just plain simple, but spending an afternoon casting a fly to a bunch of voracious bluegill – especially if the occasional one is a chunk with a silhouette like a plate – is just as fine way to waste the time as any, and better than many. Don’t be afraid to devolve.
On this day I walked the pier and paved shore of a lake in a state park while the kids swam. I was lost for hours. I fished until my hands ached – for real. Those big gills put a bend in a long tenkara rod and they set the line to singing. If you’ve never heard the singing then string your tenkara rod up with some level line and head to the gill pond. It will be music.
I will not say that the fishing was hard and that the fish were selective. But it takes a knack to get the hookset timed, and so if you have to make excuses to do a day of panfishing then just chalk it up to “practice” for the more serious piscatorial pursuits.
Somedays they take the fly on top like mad and somedays they don’t. I won’t pretend to understand it. On this day they wanted it subsurface. And it had to be big and it had to be cast with a splash. A delicate presentation with a dainty little fly was not rewarded. Buggers, stonefly nymphs, that kind of thing was in order.