Friday, July 10, 2009

First visit this year to the Land of the Nuclear Sunfish

When water levels are high (as they are in New England right now) I turn from river trout fishing to bass and panfish in local ponds. My favorite was named by my brother as the "Land of the Nuclear Sunfish". For the life of me I can't figure out where the smaller sunfish are. Really, truly, 90% of the sunfish I catch are between 8.5" and 9.5". Granted I use fairly large flies. And maybe the rules of the pond are the big 'uns get first crack at any food source. Well, whatever.

I had a great first day and took a few pictures (link below), including a photo of the fly I caught all the fish with. The top one in the photo is a virgin fly to show you how it looks after tying. The conehead gets it deep, and the fly is tied with only one material: rabbit fur from a pelt or from a zonker strip.
The instructions are simple: (1) a patch of fur tied in as a tail, about the length of the shank, (2) dubbed body using a dubbing loop and fur cut short (or just use pre-made rabbit dubbing) and (3) a collar of fur applied using a dubbing loop. I get a big kick out of fishing real simple flies! (I plan to take some step by step photos one of these days, but it is a pretty straight-forward pattern.)

The bluegill pictured below was one of 3 that measured (plus or minus) 10". Total take on the one conehead fly this day was about 60 sunfish with a few perch mixed in.

You can see more (7) and bigger images here:


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