Fly Fishing Crappie: Best Tips And Advice

Fly Fishing Crappie: Best Tips And Advice

Table Of Contents

Can you fly fish for crappie?

Yes, you can fly fish for crappie. In fact, many fly anglers prefer the powerful fight and the sheer abundance of crappie over trout or bass. Crappie are known to fight hard when hooked and very forgiving to mistakes. They can be found in almost every state across the USA.

For beginners in fly fishing, crappie are an easy way to learn the basics and test your abilities. For skilled fly anglers, crappie offer an incredibly fun time packed with fish when trout waters are too warm.

What kind of flies do crappie like?

Flashy fly patterns with lots of motion tend to do best. If you don’t have anything flashy, you can tie on pretty much any fly within good reason. But, the best producers for us have always been small streamers like the classic Woolly Bugger, attractor flies with rubber legs, and flashy wet flies or nymphs. Crappie on small poppers is also a great deal of fun in the spring and summer months.

  • Woolly Buggers
  • Clouser Minnows
  • Flashy Jigs
  • Rubber Legged Nymphs / Streamers
  • Small Poppers
  • Soft Hackled Wet Flies
  • Basic Nymphs

What color and size flies for crappie?

Crappie are simple fish. They don’t require you to go out and get anything special. Our favorite sizes to fish are small streamers between size #8 to #12. Soft hackled flies and nymphs in a size #10 to #12 work great.

  • Streamers: #8 – #12
  • Poppers: #8 – #12
  • Nymphs: #10 – #12
  • Soft Hackled Wet Flies: #10 – #12

Crappie aren’t particularly picky when it comes to color. You will do just fine with whatever you find in your box as long as you present it with motion. Sure, certain colors may work best over others in your area. Water in ponds and lakes are usually murky, which means light doesn’t really penetrate past 6-feet making flashy flies not very effective. The good news is that crappie during the fishing season like to hang around the edges and more shallow areas waiting to ambush prey.

We’ve found that bright and dark contrasting colors do great. Pink, chartreuse, black, olive, and yellow are our usual go-to fly colors. Every hour or so we will rotate out to another color to keep the action going.

  • Pink
  • Chartreuse
  • Black
  • Olive
  • White
  • Yellow

What are some methods to catch crappie?

There are many methods I found that work well on a floating fly line. Slowly retrieving a small size #10 woolly bugger with a trailing size #12 soft hackle or nymph has been effective.

The second method uses a strike indicator or a popper (as an indicator) with a nymph rig trailing 3-feet or so below it. Adjust the indicator up or down for depth. But I like to make slow 6-inch retrieves and pause for a few seconds — that way it gives motion to the flies but keeps it right at feeding levels. Every time you retrieve the flies 6-inches, the dropper fly will rise up and then sink down — great for enticing crappie.

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