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Panfish Flies

Mark K

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First a couple of good links with good patters:



Ward Bean is from Iowa and his flies work on Illinois waters. Nothing exotic, but good solid patterns and his instructions on how to tie them are top notch.



Has a forum on flies and there are some good patterns on this site that you can look at.


As far as published : There are several good ones out there;

Flytying and Fishing for Panfish by Tom Keith, Frank Amato Publishing is good albeit black and white


Flies for Bass and Panfish but Dick Stewart and Farrow Allen is good but no tying instructions, just a lot of pictures and recipes


And then there is the world wide web and the gang who hang out here in the ISA forums.


Also for patterns: I'd suggest that you have the following:

Yellow spider: Yellow floss with a partridge hackle

Foam spiders: any color with legs

Tiny poppers, usually white or glow in the dark work well

Tarantula: size 10 or 12

Damsel fly nymphs - these work very well on most lakes

I carry a few bead headed prince nymphs as well.

I also tie a couple of other flies that work well, Hum Bug, Silver Wonder, Brim Bug Eye and the Marabou Miss.

And for going deep, I tied tiny wooly buggers, size 12 and itty bitty marabou clousers.


Hope this helps.








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Mark, I enjoy catching the pannies on the top using standard foam spiders, beetles, dry flies, and even an elk hair caddis, but I find I catch more fish under more conditions if I go subsurface such as a Bully blue gill spider, wet soft hackle flies and nymphs. Quite often you will see me using a hopper and dropper in attempt to get the best of both. YMMV

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I had a place that I used to fish for bluegill, all the time. I came to find that the three main lifeccle representations for the caddis were best, overall. I have come to find that I HATE carrying 200 different fly patterns when 6-8 will do! What's more, a caddis larva is so easy to do, a 3 year old could do it! It is one of my best early season patterns, and cheap too! Occationally, they might want the soft hackle version....(usually after I have caught most of them twice!!)...and, it's not tough totie either. Then, later, they can be very aggressive towards the elk hair caddis dry. Now, I'll be the first to admit, they can hit many different patterns. HOWEVER....I'm ALSO looking toward durability. I caught them quite well using a Royal Wulff dry. But, their tiny teeth will shred them in short order. I caught them on a Yellow Humpy. But, again, floss...they shred it in no time. The three caddis patterns I noted above are more durable than most, cheap, easy to make, and double for trout too. Stick with sz 12 hooks. Size 14 hooks tend to get swallowed a lot, and larger sizes often result in missed strikes, because they can't get them all the way in their mouths.


I have also had great luck with scud patterns. I've used both tan (hare's ear dubbing), and orange (dead scud). Another good pattern that I have used is a yellow wooly worm, sz 6. Admittedly, though, the yellow wooly might be something for just the water that I fished, and it's palmered hackle can be broken after just a few fish. But, I think it's still worth having as by-catches, I also caught an 18" crappie & 6 lb largemouth!

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Guest rich mc

craig's m and m is my go to panfish fly. a very simple fly. in size 10. add small bead chain eyes ,lower wing of blood marabou and top wing of another color. pink over white with gold eyes for crappie . gills prefer black over olive with blk eyes . keep it sparce as its just like a tiny clouser rich m

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