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Fly Fishing For Crappie - Is it Possible to Catch Crappie Fly Fishing?

Sep 16, 2008
If you've never fished for crappie with a fly rod, then you've really missed something. In my opinion, crappies, and other panfish, are the ideal fly rod quarry for the following reasons;
There are plenty of them.
They are almost everywhere.
They are scrumptious!
They are incredibly willing to smash your fly (most of the time) and do battle.

Unless you live in Alaska or Hawaii, chances are good that you live within one or two hours from a body of water than has crappie in it. Crappies are seasonal migratory predators. I won't go into their seasonal habits here because that is a subject unto itself. Suffice to say it helps to know your quarry.

It's pretty simple for most of the year. If you find em..you'll catch em. The notable exception is summertime, when crappies get moody, sulk and suspend in open water. They frequently get lock-jaw at this time and will even refuse a live minnow dangled right under their nose!

You don't need a $1000.00 fly rod to catch crappie (or in my experience, any other freshwater fish). A $19.99 Wal-Mart special will catch just as many crappies as an $850.00 outfit from G. Loomis. For crappie, you want to go light. A 6-1/2 to 8-1/2 2 or 3 weight fly rod is perfect for crappie. If you want to chase crappie during the summer, you may want to move up to a 5 weight rod with a sinking line, to get your fly to the depths quicker.

All you need is a single action reel, and it does not have to be an expensive one. Next, you will need a WF2F, or WF3F, or ST fly line, or maybe a DT5S for summer. Top it off with a 5 tapered leader (crappie are not line-shy, so a long leader is not necessary) and a 4X or 5X tippet, and your almost ready to go.

If you need to learn how to fly fish, I'd like to recommend the premier website for all things fly fishing FlyAnglersOnline. Here you will find all the information you need, and then some, for learning how to properly fly fish, find your quarry, and make and maintain your equipment. There are thousands of proven fly patterns there, with complete directions and step-by step instructions for tying them. There is also a forum where you can ask us any questions you want.

A few accessories are nice to have. If you fish from a boat, and plan to crappie fish all year, a good depth finder is a necessity. You'll want a landing net, because crappies have very tender mouths and can tear-off easily. For the same reason, a floating fish basket or live well is good to have, because crappie can tear off of a stringer easily.

You'll need a lantern for night-fishing. If you don't have a boat, you might want to look at the various models of Belly Boats, or Float Tubes. They are great for crappie fishing in still waters.

Now, for the most fun part of flyfishing selecting your flies. You have two options: You can look for a supplier that ties the patterns you want, or you can do what the rest of us do, and tie your own. This is as much fun as fishing!
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best crappie fishing information possible. Get more information on The Evening Secret here: http://www.askcrappiefishing.com/editorials/EveningSecret.html
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