Fly fishing for crappie by Terry and Roxanne Wilson

Fly fishing for crappie by Terry and Roxanne Wilson

When I began reading Terry and Roxanne Wilson's book entitled "Crappie Fly Fishing: a Seasonal Approach, " I began to think about the late Ray Fincke of Kansas City.

Back in the 1960s, Fincke was one of the primary forefathers of Midwest finesse fishing for largemouth bass.  He was also the proprietor of Kansas City's  finest tackle shop, where scores of talented bass anglers,  crappie anglers, temperate bass anglers and trout anglers regularly gathered to exchange tidbits about their tactics. And Fincke was the most versatile angler of them all. He was amazingly handy at wielding a casting rod, fly rod and spinning rod.  What's more, he was a master casting rod, fly rod and spinning rod builder and designer, as well as an artist at tying and creating flies and jigs.  During the last 20 years of  his life, he became a passionate  crappie angler, and, in fact, the week before he died on Mar. 15, 2011, at the age of 74, he caught the biggest crappie of his life.


To my chagrin,  I don't recall any of Fincke's tales about fly fishing for crappie,  but I think that Wilsons' book would have intrigued him, and he would have had several copies of them displayed on one of the shelves in his tackle shop.  I also think that scores of other anglers will be captivated by what the Wilsons have written about pursuing crappie with a fly.




This paperback book encompasses 111 pages in a six-inch-by-nine-inch format. The text is enhanced with 52 photographs and illustrations, as well as a useful index.

In the eyes of many anglers, fly fishing is seen as a rather esoteric and quixotic endeavor. But in the eyes of the Wilsons, fly fishing isn't an arcane and impractical way of catching fish. In fact,  the Wilsons say it the most enjoyable way to fish -- especially for crappie.    What's more, they write:  "There is no conventional-tackle presentation that cannot be replicated with the fly rod, most often in a superior manner with more productive results."  For example, the Wilsons even proclaim that a fly rod is a dandy tool to employ while trolling for crappie.


There is a 13-page discourse about equipment, examining  rods, reels, lines, strike indicators, waders, float tubes, boats and other ancillary  items.

The Wilsons  penned many words about how and where to  locate crappie in rivers, oxbows, bayous, farm ponds, streams, natural lakes and reservoirs during different calendar periods and water temperatures. Thus, the pre-spawn, spawn, post-spawn, pre-summer, summer, fall, and winter periods are thoroughly examined.   They also examine phenomenons such as turnover and thermocline. They even delve into night fishing.

As they catalogued the various seasonal locations and foraging habits of the crappie in a variety of waterways, the Wilsons provide details about what flies to employ.  Besides their detailed analysis about where and when to use particular flies, the Wilsons  explain how to properly present these flies to crappie throughout the year.

There are 14 pages that focus on seven fly patterns, including explanations on how to tie them and how to present them to the crappie. One of the flies is Wilson's Squirrel Spin, which is a fly that sports a No. OO Colorado spinner blade, barrel swivel and split ring that is attached to the  bend of a No. 4 Mustad 3366 hook. In addition to the spinner, this fly features a flashy body made of Quick Descent dubbing and ultra wire; its gills are made from red chenille; it sports a squirrel tail wing and a small cone head.  The Wilsons often use their Squirrel Spin  to troll for suspended crappie.

The Wilsons reside in Bolivar, Missouri, but their angling pursuits aren't limited to the Ozark region. Across the past seven decades their piscatorial exploits with fly rods  have  ranged from the Boundary Waters along the  Canada-United States borders to Pelican Lake and South Long Lake, Minnesota, to the bayous of the  southern states to Lake Okeechobee, Florida, and beyond.

Amato Books of Portland, Oregon, published Wilsons' book in February, and it can purchased at www.amatobooks.com for $19.95.  Amato Books' telephone number is 800-541-9498.  It is also available at Amazon.com.

For more information about the Wilsons see: www.thebluegillpond.com, and their crappie book is for sale at their Web site, too, as well as their books entitled "Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing: A Pratical Guide" and "Bluegill Fly Fishing and Flies."  In the weeks to come we hope to post a blog about their "Largemouth Bass Fly Fishing Beyond the Basics."

Recommended for You

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall. Bass

Using Crankbaits For Smallmouth Bass

Matt Straw - January 31, 2016

Crankin' is almost a necessity for finding bass on the Great Lakes from summer through fall.

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make an irresistible and addictive crust for catfish fillets Fish Recipes

Pecan-Crusted Catfish Fillets Recipe

By: Emilie Bailey

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make...

Catfish is meaty, juicy and holds up well in this soul-satisfying fried fish recipe with homemade chips and tartar sauce. Fish Recipes

Catfish Dinner with Homemade Chips and Tartar Sauce Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Catfish is meaty, juicy and holds up well in this soul-satisfying fried fish recipe with...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

Room Full of New Gear from L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean's Jeff Miller shares a room-full of new gear for 2020 with Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Softbaits for Smallmouths

Doug Stange uses softbaits from Berkley to entice finicky smallmouth bass.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers nationwide. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options. Other Fish

Best Carp Baits Today

Dan Johnson - June 29, 2018

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

See More Stories

More Midwest Finesse

This new finesse bait will surely help Midwest Finesse anglers catch more bass. Midwest Finesse

Bass Snax Custom Baits' Darter

Ned Kehde - July 26, 2019

This new finesse bait will surely help Midwest Finesse anglers catch more bass.

Midwest finesse fishing during the month of August. Midwest Finesse

Augusts of the Past

Ned Kehde - July 31, 2019

Midwest finesse fishing during the month of August.

September logs of Midwest finesse fishing. Midwest Finesse

Septembers of the Past

Ned Kehde - August 30, 2019

September logs of Midwest finesse fishing.

See More Midwest Finesse

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×