Idaho gills

Shawn West

Active Member
I took some vacation time off to visit with my wife and daughter. The first week was spent taking care of multiple issues around the house. That is what you have do when you work/live out of state. I also made arrangements for my family and I to spend a night at a cabin. This cabin just happens to be located at a lake that grows some awesome bluegills. I have been going to this lake at this time of the year for the past three years. By the end of June, this lake will be virtually unfishable. The weeds take over and make it impossible to use a water craft. This gives the gills a lot of time and food to help them get to a respectable size.

Neither my wife nor daughter wanted to use flies. They both used conventional gear. My daughter caught the first fish of the day. It was a small LMB.

My wife was next to hook a fish. She managed to land a small bass. I was going back and forth between the girls assisting them with hook removal and such. After a few fish, the girls were taking care of things on their own.

I grabbed my 2wt and tied on a small Gurgler for a little top water action. The fish wanted the fly to sit motionless. I was willing to play their game for a little while. This was my reward.

I was catching fish using the Gurgler, but I was lacking the patience needed to fish the Gurgler properly. I tied on a streamer pattern that has been killer for this lake. It was not long before I was getting strikes about every three casts.

My wife yelled out that she had a bluegill on her line. I kicked the Fish Cat over to get a picture. As soon as I saw her fish, I grabbed the net. This was no bluegill; it was gillzilla. I know there are larger bluegill out there, but this was the largest bluegill I had ever witnessed been caught. The smile on my wife's face says it all.

We were truly blessed that day. The fishing was good, but better yet was that the weather was perfect. The breeze kept things cool and also kept the mosquitoes away. Last year they were waiting for us at the launch. It was close to unbearable. The following morning would be different. The girls decided to sleep in. I headed out for a couple of hours to see what I could catch. The mosquitoes were waiting for me. I am glad I was prepared with some repellant. I tied on the same streamer as yesterday. This time it was the bass on the prowl. Yesterday, I had only caught two bass. Today I caught about fifteen bass. My largest LMB was fifteen inches. As soon as the sun hit the water, the gills turned on. I missed a lot of strikes, but I also caught my fair share. I switched to a baby perch minnow pattern. My first cast resulted in a nice gill.

I caught a handful of fish after that, but it was time to head back to camp. I had a good morning of fishing, but nothing compares to fishing with the girls. My time with my family is limited, so any time together is cherished. I hope to share the water with them again soon.


Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
WOW Those are very healthy looking blue gills. I have a soft spot for panfish, I learned to fly fish on a small pond full of bluegill pumpkinseed and crappie. Trout and salmon are great but panfishing is just fun!
Some very nice slabs there. I think that the crappie and blue gill are a treasure often overlooked by fly fishers. Scrappy little devils they are.
And warm weather doesn't seem to slow them down like trout.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Those are big bluegills anywhere let a lone from Idaho. In the South, when they get that big they were called "tittie bream", you have to hold them against your chest to unhook 'em. Well done.