Fly Fishing For Crappie

Crappies aren’t very picky on patterns. Any small streamer or bucktail pattern that resembles the local baitfish will work to some extent. Some good classic patterns to try are the Black-Nosed Dace, Black Ghost, Nimrod Bucktail, Ballou Special, Baby Brook Trout, Nine-Three, Susan Postmaster, Iris #2, Small Wooly-Buggers, Creek Chub, Goldie, jr., Olive PSS, Alewife, Spectra Streamer, Muddler Minnow, or any streamer pattern tied on #10 or #8 streamer hooks, especially if they are in the crappie’s favorite colors of white, yellow and chartreuse.

While most streamers will take crappie, two patterns are of special note. The first is Bob Clouser’s outstanding all-around pattern-the Clouser Minnow. This fly catches anything that swims, in fresh or salt water,  that eats minnows. It has a fantastic action in the water, is durable and is almost a can’t fail pattern. No fly box is complete without several of these, in various sizes and colors. If I could only have one fly to fish with, this would be it, hands-down. For crappie, you’ll want it in a size 10, in yellow, chartreuse and white. It has the added advantage of riding hook-up, so it is somewhat weedless for fishing in cover.

The other pattern worth special mention is Al Campbell’s unbelievably successful Crappie Candy. This fly is the ultimate bait for crappie. They will hit this fly when they will ignore even live minnows. It can be tied in a variety of colors. My favorite colors are fluorescent green and chartreuse in the spring, fall and winter, and yellow in summer. I always put a little white on them because white seems to trigger strikes.

You will normally find crappie around some kind of structure, mostly in 8-10 feet of water, except for summer.  Next time you want a mess of fish for the deep-fryer, try fly-rodding for crappie. You may never be the same, again!

Happy fishing!

To get the full “Fly Fishing For Crappie” article you’ll need to download it here.

Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

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