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Panfish on the Fly

Are you looking to add a new twist to your fishing game? Well, I've got a hot tip for you: try fly fishing for panfish!

What are Panfish?

Panfish, also known as pan fryers or pan sized fish, are a group of small freshwater fish that are popular among anglers. These fish include species such as bluegills, crappies, perch, and sunfish. And let me tell you, catching them on a fly rod is a blast!

Fly fishing for panfish is a great way to get started in the sport as it is relatively easy to learn and requires less gear than other forms of fishing. Plus, fly fishing allows for a more natural presentation of the bait, which can lead to more strikes from the fish.

Gear to Use

When fly fishing for panfish, you'll want to use a rod with a light action and a small reel. A rod that is between 6 and 8 feet in length and has a line weight of 2-4 is perfect for panfish. The reel should be able to hold at least 50 yards of line. I personally use a 9ft 4wt Orvis Clearwater rod, but any 2-4 wt should do the trick. Even the cheapest one you can find from Amazon like this one:


The type of fly you use will depend on the species of panfish you are targeting and the conditions of the water. For bluegills and sunfish, a small dry fly such as a Goddard Caddis or a Royal Wulff can be effective. For crappies and perch, a small streamer fly such as a Clouser Minnow or a Wooly Bugger can be productive. Some trout flies would work well too. Check out this video below:

When and Where to Fish

When fishing for panfish, it's important to pay attention to the water conditions, time of day and location. Panfish are most active during the early morning and late evening. They also tend to be more active in shallow water and around structure such as weed beds and logs.


After casting your fly, be sure to make a slow and steady retrieve. This will allow the fly to move through the water naturally and entice the fish to strike. Also, use a light tippet to avoid spooking the fish.

All in all, fly fishing for panfish is a great way to add some excitement to your fishing game. With the right gear and techniques, you'll be able to catch these delicious fish in no time! If you plan to keep them that is. So, grab your fly rod and hit the water, let's catch some panfish!