Crappy fishermen


Ignored Member
Anyone a crappie fisherman? I have been wanting to try for crappies with a fly rod and would appreciate any tips on fishing for these tasty little fish. I was thinking of tyring for them in either Sunday Lake or Beaver lake. Have you fished for crappies with a fly rod before? Got any pointers?


Active Member
I catch them at my local mid-summer put and take lake. I know there are experts out there, but I catch them at about the same rate I catch other panfish and perch just throwing small damsel patterns around weeds, docks, brush, you know places little fish hide from bigger fish.

I hear they are more prone to chase streamers than other panfish, but just throwing the above stuff to the above places puts me into them.
I had some great success this last year throwing a weighted black woolley bugger of about a size 10 around weedbeds for crappie. By the end of the day the fly was nothing more than some wraps of lead with some patches of marabou.
Try small baitfish imitations. My favorite crappie fly is something called "Crappie Candy." Sort of a small clouser minnow-like fly. You can find the recipe on

Chartreuse, and supposedly fluorescent pink ones work well.

I think the toughest part is figuring out where they are. If you can do that, they are usually pretty easy to catch in numbers. And damn, they make for a good fish fry, too.

Post some pics if you do find them!


Be the guide...
Crappie seem to especially love the up and down jigging type action from a tiny clouser like atomic dog posted.

But really the biggest trick is just finding them. Once you find one, chances are there are many more near by.

Cast and slowly strip in your small weighted fly - aiming for structure like docks, pilings, but especially overhanging branches and trees in the water.

I've also caught them on BH Prince nymphs and olive willies among others. Try some panfish poppers too.


Active Member
Kerry -
I have been a "Crappy" fisherman for years. In spite of that I have also spend a fair amount of time fishing for crappies with the fly rod.

The old classic was a tear drop shape piece of Chamois skin (3/8 by 1 1/4 inch). But generally I have used simple woolly bugger type flies - again mostly on size 10s and 8s using marabou for a tail and the body and a few turns of hackle at the front. I would tie the marabou in for a 1/2 inch tail and then pull it forward wrapping with thread. Best colors have been olive marabou with brown hackle and purple with black.

During the day I fish them on a sinking line on the outside edges of weed lines, submerged tree tops, deep docks, etc. Just at dusk the fish will move to the surface and inshore to the edge of the pad fields and weeds. There surface dries work well - unless there is big hatch going on I general just use a small muddler greased to float well and slowly twitch it along.

Several good lakes up your way. Sunday has been good but also have done well on Big, Clear and McMurrary. I begin looking for them at the start of the spawn (water temps in the upper 50s) and fish them all summer. With increased fishing pressure has made finding nice sized fish tougher - used to be that 1 to 2 # fish were a daily catch in Big now anything over 9 or 10 inches is nice fish.

I hope to get out some this spring/summer.

Tight lines


Active Member
Something crazy charlie like in the same color scheme as atomic dog's fly. Just make sure it has lead eyes so it sinks and rides upside down and put a good weed guard on it. Then cast it into any sory of nasty stuff and jig it out. Beavers build awesome habitat!
Used to get a lot of crappie around the Tri-Cities when I lived there. A #6 or #8 green and griz wooly worm tied with a little lead. Crappies are very delicat biters, I used a strik indicator and if it so much as wiggled, it was a fish. I remember using pencil bobbers and jigs, often the pencil bobber would just lean over a little bit! Anyway, if you are not using an indicator, you are missing fish.
The Arboretum area on Lake WA puts out some nice size crappies. Potholes also has some nice size fish. When they are in a spawning frame of mind I've been successful on a small white popper.

From my limited experience with crappie on the fly, they like minnow imitations a lot. They are voracious feeders, but as mentioned above they are soft biters. I've seen them hit a fly and spit it out, then turn and take it again. Sort of taste testing maybe.

They also travel a lot, in schools, so once you find them, there are probably several more in the area. Once the bite stops, it usually means they have moved on, and you need to find them again.

chartreuse and grizzly woolly bugger
grey ghost streamer
grey and white marabou
gray and white clouser
white and pearl woolly bugger
anything that looks like a baitfish.
Marabou crappie jigs you buy at Wal-Mart. Anchor next to a tree and let it drop through the branches.

I probably caught 50 limits (15) of 9" or better crappie from reservoirs as a kid in Missouri. A couple years, my dad and I really had it dialed. We fished mostly plastic tube jigs on light (NOT ultralight --you need 6lb test to straighten the gold-plated hooks when they get caught in the flooded standing timber or bushes) spinning rods, though sometimes we used fly rods as well. One of the times I did fish an ultralight, I caught a 6.5lb bass on 4lb test, in standing trees. I was 11.

David Holmes

Formerly known as "capmblade"
My biggest crappy was the size of a dinner plate, caught in Lake Sawyer a couple of years ago, right near the bank. Olive WB.