May Fly of the Month: Bluegill Gurgler

May Fly of the Month: Bluegill Gurgler

Spring and summer are exceptional times to grab your lightest rod, a floating line, beverage of choice and ramble on over to your favorite spiny ray lake for an afternoon of catching. While often neglected in neighborhood of more glamorous salmon, steelhead, trout and char fisheries, bluegill, pumpkinseed, bass and various members of the sunfish community provide excellent sport on a fly rod.

Big bluegill are incredibly fun for adults and kids alike and the experience is only made better by fishing for them on the surface. Bluegill eat a lot of the same bugs trout do, but have a particular penchant for small popping bugs that kick and sputter on top, an explosion of vibrant colors and rubber legs. The Panfish Popper is one of many variations on Jack Gartside's infamous Gurgler fly pattern. It pops and wakes when retrieved, breathes and jiggles enticingly when motionless. Big bluegill simply love it and so do we. Don't be surprised when a 3 lb. largemouth slurps in your Bluegill Gurgler deep within the maze of shoreline lily pads and you really have your hands full on the 2 or 3 weight rod you're fishing.

You can tie this one in any variety of color schemes you'd like, but black, yellow, chartreuse, purple, tan or white are some of our favorites. We almost always use a white foam back, but yellow or orange work well too, especially when there's a lot of cottonwood seed drifting on the lake. 


Bluegill Gurgler Recipe:
Thread: Chartreuse 140 Denier Ultra Thread
Hook: #10 Gamakatsu B10S
Tail: Fl Yellow Marabou and Pearl Krystal Flash
Body: Chartreuse Ice Dub
Back/Popping Lip: White 2mm Foam
Legs: Yellow Medium Round Rubber or Grizzly Flutter Legs



Confluence Beer Pairing: We plug a lot of local northwest brews and there are a lot of great ones to choose from, but we whole-heartedly endorse drinking Oskar Blue's Dale's Pale Ale while you whip up a few Panfish Poppers for your next outing. Dale's is refreshingly hoppy for a pale but not too overtly bold to go down easy on a scorching hot day. We can tie about 6 poppers per beer so you'll have a few extra to pack along for the lake. Warning: Consuming beer while fishing from a float tube may be hazardous to your wa

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