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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a lake I go to that has a whole bunch of small bluegill. The lake is stocked with trout every year, but bluegill really seem to be spreading. They're aggressive enough that it's difficult NOT to catch them when fishing a small (size 14 or smaller) fly. With a larger fly, you get a lot of "nips" from the bluegills, and end up trying to set the hook a lot with no results. And forget keeping a dry fly on the surface, the little fellows will come up and sink it in moments.

Last weekend the water temperature was around 68 degrees. Small bluegill were visible in every area of shallow water I tried (visibility was nice and clear). I did see what looked like trout out in the deep water rising right at dusk. This lake has some large shallow areas (5' deep or so) and quite a large shelf area of about 15" deep max. Then there's a central deep area that goes to around 25 feet or so. The bottom is really soft silt though, and it's very unclear how deep the silt goes. My depth finder got very confused, finding a hard bottom down around 130 feet or so, and the soft bottom at 15'. Makes me want to drop a heavy weight on a really long line and see just how deep this lake goes.

While catching the little 4-6" bluegills is kinda fun, when I head back there in July, I'm hoping to have better luck on larger fish. Does the presence of so many small bluegill imply there may be larger ones available as well? Would night fishing for them along the shoreline using poppers be the best approach?

For the trout, I figure by that time of season if the water continues to stay warm, I'd have to target them in the depths, just above the thermocline, and plan to keep what I catch, since they'd be unlikely to survive the experience. (not a big issue, since I don't mind eating a hatchery trout or two, particularly when cooked over a campfire. :) )

I've never tried fishing for larger bluegill, but it could be a lot of fun. I'm just not too sure of where to start. The recent issue of "Fly Fisherman" magazine had an article on catching large bluegill, but the whole thing could reasonably be summed up as "fish dropoffs, going deeper later in the season." there's a few more details than that of course, but the article did a lot more to peak my curiosity than it did to answer questions.

Any tips or suggestions?
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