Beckum Outdoors
Flyfishing In The South

Do you want Fly Rod Action?
Do you like to catch a lot of fish?

"Pan Fish and the Fly rod are the perfect combination"

"I fly fish for pan fish because I like to see my rod bend."

The sheer act of fishing with a fly rod can be a most enjoyable day. The peaceful calm water on a quiet windless morning on a beautiful black-water lake or river with the almost magical flight of the Fly line cutting thru the still morning air! The reflective black-waters stillness is broken by your top water bug and you watch & listen for that next strike that has you on edge. You know you are going to have a good day ahead, full of fly fishing action! You know that today will not be a day for fishing and meditation. You are going to be busy, so much for the calm peaceful day. For today you are fishing for Bluegills (Lepomis Macrochirus) one of the most plentiful of the sunfish tribe and ounce for pound one of the meanest fighters around! The Bluegill is one of the most important game fish in the U.S. and matched up with a 3-5 weight Fly rod is all the sport you can ask for!

There is a mythology about Fly fishing; a lot of people believe that it is a sport for only the wealthy and not for your average person! Most people believe that you need to travel to far away mountain streams to catch "trout"! The truth is that trout streams are scarce in most areas and crowded and take a lot of time and travel expense. On the other hand Bluegills and other pan fish give you the same fun and are plentiful and you burn no vacation time or travel time in most cases! Sometimes we chase after things we don't need and have all we need close by!

The enjoyment level may be higher fishing for panfish with fly rod because not only did you catch more fish you did so without spending much money and you fish more often! I like to fish a lot and trout streams are too far away for me to be happy! Also, Fly-fishing for panfish is a year round sport here in the deep south!

Some people believe that fly-fishing is too difficult to learn. I have taught people to fly fish in about one hour and they would go out and catch fish that day! People tend to believe that fly fishing is too expensive. It is no more expensive to fly fish that to use conventional tackle! I've heard people say that it is more of an "Art" form than a serious fishing tool. The fly rod is a most serious & deadly fishing tool. A lot of times it will surpass conventional style fishing. So the effective quality of a fly rod is a very positive thing to a fisherman anywhere.

Anyone who buys a fly rod owns that rod and is free to fish with it anywhere.

Another reason to fish with a fly rod is that you get a tremendous fight from the long limber rod which adds to the enjoyment of fishing! Match that with a one pound plus bluegill and you got a fight. The world record bluegill was taken on Keytona Lake in Alabama and was 4 pounds 12 ounces. Catch that on a 5 weight fly rod and see what happens! And the number one reason to use one is pure fun! Bottom line the question is am I having fun! If you are catching lots of hard fighting fish then I think your answer would be yes! The fly rod is fun, it is deadly effective and it is for you! Also, in my opinion the very best combination in fishing is the fly rod for panfish. The fly rod is probably the best fishing method that an avid panfisher could have in his arsenal! That rod will deliver those tiny-lightweight flies to the panfish tribes with a silent gentle deadly approach. Nothing else can do this better! And panfish are the most abundant fish from coast to coast in this country! That adds up to a lot of fish catching. Bluegill, redear (shellcracker), crappie, redbreast, bass, perch etc. These are only some of the abundant fish available to the average fly rod fisherman. Most people live within short reach of a place to fish for panfish. You can pursue this year round without having to store your fly gear away until the next season. Especially down south the fly rod is king all year long; salt water or fresh.

One of the first writings on fly fishing in this country was written by two confederate brothers from Georgia who wrote about their adventures with flyrod in Georgia and Florida in the 1870's. Their names were Maurice and Will Thompson. They caught fish by the thousands and this story adds credit to my believe that the fly rod is at home in the swamps and blackwater rivers in the south just as much as it is at home in the mountain creeks of Colorado. If only people get the right information they will open up to the many pleasures of the timeless fly rod.

Fly Fishing Tips & Techniques
  1. Enjoy it all, breathe in the life of a fly fisherman, we don't live forever.
  2. Don't take more fish than you need, remember the fly rod is a serious deadly tool, so let's return some fish for tomorrow!
  3. Let's take care of our rivers, streams and lakes, nobody is going to do it for us!
  4. Fish your South winds and West winds and remember the old poem - when the wind is from the north don't go forth, when the wind is from the east the fish bite the least, when the wind is from the west the fish bite the best, when the wind is from the south it blows the bait in their mouth!
  5. Fish your full moons and new moons especially in the spring and early summer.
  6. Look for the oak worm drop in the spring (April) this can put those panfish in a frenzy!
  7. Look for the fall web worm nest over the water in late summer early fall for concentrated fish action. One small area can be a bonanza for catching panfish with the fly rod.
  8. Use a long fly rod, it gives you more leverage, casts easier and farther than a short rod.
  9. Get in the habit of using your line hauls. This will come natural to you and help on long cast and windy days.
  10. In the winter time try to fish on a warming trend and fish during the warmest part of the day. The fish tend to be more active during these times.
  11. In the deep heat of summer (Dog Days) fish early and late for the coolest time of the day for best action.
  12. Overcast days are great for all day fishing not only for crappie but all other panfish as well.
  13. Use your sinking bugs in winter and deep summer for larger panfish.
  14. Use tampered leaders 7.5-9' but splice in 24" of tippet material with a loop to loop connection. Now you will make that tampered leader last 20 times longer and keep a strong connection to your fish.
  15. (Rods - 7 ½ -9' 3-5 weight) (Line - weight Forward Floating 3-5 weight any color) Reel - light weight with a good drag system, you don't want to hook a 6 pound bass and not have a decent drag! You want a chance to boat this fish and it will happen. Bass live in most bluegill waters and will hit small bugs!
  16. Accessories. = A good pair of line snips (clippers) so you can cut the line off at the hook eyes not just close! Hemostats - for removing hooks, most panfish have a small mouth and you don't want to injure your fish unnecessarily. I grind off the locking device and that gives me more control when I open and close the hemostat pliers. Sometimes it will lock when you don't want it to so grind off the locking device. Fly line lubricant and rubber tab for pulling your fly line straight. You need to stretch your fly line before you fish and this rubber tab is great, just pull the line thru and heat up line, it will straighten out then lubricant for a cleaner smoother cast and your line floats higher on the water with less drag.
  17. Use a popper/dropper combo - a top water bug like the Accardo Wild Cat with a 20" leader tied to the hook of the wildcat and a sinking bug tied to this say a Lidgon Bream Killer No 211 my favorite, try this its great!
  18. Also bass fish and bream fish in one cast = use a Peck's bass popper with a leader off the popper hook with a Lidgon Bream Killer sinking bug for panfish - double your chances for catching!