Spiny Rays

Hey is it too early to start fishing for Bass, BlueGill, and Crappie? I was thinking about going up to Silver lake in Cowlitz Co. They do stock bow's up there but I wanted to try the other too. and what's a good fly for Crappie? I do pretty good with a wooly worm for blue gill.
you never know, but IMO, it's too early for fly fishing westside spiny rays. i usually dont see consistent sunfish success until later around June, although im no ace either. bass seem to turn on over there a little earlier, especially the smallmouth. but you wont get many on topwaters thi8s time of year. even with gear they can be difficult this time of year. especially with flies though. for crappie this time of year id use a little bead head, pattern is probably less imperitive than size. by the way, i once caught an 18" crappie on a size 10 Yuk Bug out at spring lake. so that maybe a pattern to look for.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Not too early for some smaller shallow lakes that warm up sooner than bigger lakes.
On Sunday, a friend and I fished Swofford Pond, working the shoreline from our separate canoes, and caught alot of small(6"-9") largemouth bass, a few bluegills, a couple of small perch. My friend C & R'd a nice 15" bass, using spinning gear and a small floating/diving minnow plug.

I was using my 6 wt. and a #6 Wooly Bugger, olive with dark badger hackle, cast towards the shoreline on a clear intermediate sinktip and slowly stripped with short, quick strips and long pauses, and released over a dozen small bass, four bluegill, two small perch. I kept two 9" bass and a larger bluegill for an afternoon fry, as there seemed to be alot of small bass and bluegill there.

Go for it!



Be the guide...
Crappie will take a bugger with gusto. I used to do really well with black, but I'm sure other colors work well too. The trick is usually finding them. But if you do, fishing is usually pretty hot. Fish the cover. Downed trees, stumps, etc. Not sure about the timing question though. If you have trouble finding them shallow, move deeper and slower.
Tried for about an hour for some Bass at my local small lake last night. While I was there a few Bass seemed to be a moving around but none were really out feeding. May have been the weather last night with the temp drop and the winds. Did catch one planted trout while out there and had some type of fish hit the fly in the shallows.
If we get another warm day I will be ready to try again some evening.
thanks for the info. the lake I am going to shows the deepest part of the lake is 10 feet. I figure could be starting to warm up pretty good there by now.
I know that at Lake Kapowsin, the bass were up very, very shallow in super tight cover at the north end of the lake two weeks ago, and again last week. I have to think this is pre-spawn behavior, because I don't believe full-on spawn should come along for a couple more weeks. I caught one bass in the two pound range, but I was cheating (it was not fly-caught).

I've done very well for crappies on a little size 10 conehead bugger, red conehead and black marabou, although I've just wrapped marabou all the way up the shank, and left off the hackle. I have caught a lot of crappies on yellow and white, too. Crappies don't mind cooler water, they often suspend off dropoffs.

I'd been meaning to ask lately - what is a big bluegill for this area? I've only caught small ones, less than 5". Are there lakes that produce 1/2 pound to 3/4 fish? Man, some of the farm ponds I've fished in the midwest turn out these fish and they are serious scrappers!

You can be a fish recycler, too. Let 'em swim.
I know this sounds wierd but when they get that big they freak me out! they put such a good fight when there small but when they get bigger they act like there coming out the water after you! like there going to kick your a$$ LOL


The dumb kid
i got a 1.5 lb bluegill out of cassidy lake a number of years ago on spinning gear. and i thought i had fun of the 4 inchers! those blimps, if used well-matched gear ( a 2 or 3 wt) will fight as hard as anything in my opinion, minus long runs. they are a ball. some of the lakes have been heating up on the spines alot latley, hitting one tomorrow with some freinds. just keep those buggers tight into the cover, its good if you fished alot of bass. and who knows, a TON of trout sit in the weeds and sticks too, alot more than people think. its the only lake fishing i will do, cant stand cronie fishing, or trolling, ect. i need the cover

Does anyone know where I can find a reference book/website for bluegill fly patterns?

"No angler merely watches nature in a passive way. He enters into its very existence." - John Bailey


Active Member
CWUGirl, You might try going to the Fly Anglers On Line web site and picking the Warmwater heading. There are some devout spiny ray guys on there and they occasionally show some dandy patterns.
From my limited knowledge crappie like small surface poppers, and slow sinking small buggish patterns. I like Dark purple bunnie leach patterns (3-6 inces up to size 1/0) with maybe some flashbau tied in for bass.
I have heard pretty good things about Silver lake and it should be good right now since we have had warmer weather recently.

Good luck, hope this helps.

darrin ><>

"Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs."
-P. J. O'Rourke-

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