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Crappie Flies
Post 22 Oct 2022, 21:59 • #1 
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Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
I’ve been having a lot of fun this Fall here in Eastern Oklahoma catching crappie on a nymphs fished under Pat Dorsey style indicators. I’ve been using some of my larger trout nymphs such as Poundmeisters and others but did some looking around on YouTube and other web searches for crappie specific patterns. Not finding a great deal, I remembered an old article in Southwest Fly Fishing which featured a fly tier from Manitoba.

The gentleman’s name was Gerry Beck and he had several nice patterns in the article but one was a damsel fly pattern that he had a great deal of success for crappie. Below are some photos of that article and his pattern. I’ve tied his pattern and some variants - and caught some crappie last night on Mr. Beck’s damsel. Tie some up…they work!













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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Oct 2022, 07:40 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
Thanks have had success with Skip's Dragon type flies and other generic weighted flymph type bugs.I have a hard time finding crappies in the fall around here.My best crappie bug is an inverted zonker .Lead body on top of hook.Mylar tubing over .Bucktail wing. Lead tape head with stick on 3d eyes The eyes are important if the eyes fall off they seem to stop working.Small cat whiskers are good in shallows.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Oct 2022, 09:29 • #3 
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Joined: 05/19/14
Posts: 3921
Location: USA - Illinois
SouthernRivers those are great looking bugs!


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Oct 2022, 11:08 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1751
Location: SJC
I have to try tying some of those. I bet the crappie and bluegill around here will love them. Thanks for the hints !


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Oct 2022, 13:01 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
Thanks all! Mr. Beck’s damsel is a keeper. Something about that lime green/chartreuse color that drives fish crazy. I didn’t have any Glo Brite floss and subbed Super Fine dubbing. Used silver French tinsel and Tiemco 5262 hooks in size 8 and 10 with bead head.

Hope you all tie some up and catch a few before winter descends on most of us (I think Odonata is warm in California all year).

If anyone has any specific crappie patterns, please post.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Oct 2022, 16:33 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 5551
Location: Relocated to the Drought Stricken West.
A white Marabou leadhead jig has been killer for me in the spring when the crappie are schooling, just as they come in from deep water.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Oct 2022, 19:22 • #7 
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Joined: 11/11/13
Posts: 769
Location: US-CA
SouthernRivers, those are some beautifully tied flies. I’ll bet those bugs would be successful for trout, bluegills, red-ears and bass. Well done!!!!


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 24 Oct 2022, 12:48 • #8 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/26/21
Posts: 383
Location: North West Georgia
Wow. Those look like killer crappie flies, and I bet they would work well on bass, panfish and even trout. Ill be trying those out for sure. Thanks!

I have great luck on crappie with very small clousers on size 12 hooks, and I tie beadchain eye pheasant tails on a size 10 hopper hook that work well for all manner of warmwater fish.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 24 Oct 2022, 19:30 • #9 
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Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
Thanks again for the kind words, Little kern golden and BrookieBoy. I think it would pretty cool to see Beck’s Damsel in use across the country. Hope you all tie some up.

The prevalence of damsel and dragon fly nymphs in the diet of crappie, bass, and other warm water species would probably surprise us all. Stillwater trout anglers have always understood their importance but for warm water, there’s less of a focus. Damsel and dragonfly nymphs definitely make up a great deal on insect biomass in most ponds and small shallow lakes.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 24 Oct 2022, 21:43 • #10 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
Definitely ,and big bass can also be caught on bugs too.I am sure they remember gorging on them as youngsters.Much of the water i fish is full of dragons and damsels.Have caught a few 2 lb+ crappies on nymphs in the rip rap during some massive mayfly hatches.Had many in our group switch from minnows to waxworms as they were keying on hatching mayflies on the lake we fish on our annual trip.I was outfishing live bait in chilly water at times..Crappies will hit on top at times and is really fun.In my waters i have better luck with brownish or pale yellow flies for crappies and black and olive for bluegills redears greenies etc.I will post some pics when i get a chance but my bugs are of a similar style as yours.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 25 Oct 2022, 09:19 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1751
Location: SJC
I typically tie up RLD's, and have caught some nice bass, 'gills, sunfish and crappie on them. Eagerly awaiting the glo brite in the mail, though. I enjoy tying and trying new patterns.

On one of the shallow lakes where I fish for crappie I find that a touch of red can help, for whatever reason. It might be that these guys are a touch more piscivorous.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 22 Mar 2023, 16:35 • #12 
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Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
No crappie today and no fiberglass rod today, as I opted for my trusty Sage SP 690 two piece due to high winds, but the fish are starting to get very active in the shallow waters. Fished numerous nymphs under Pat Dorsey style indicators and have been catching some nice bass in the evenings the last few weeks on large dragonfly patterns. However, today the Beck’s damsel was only thing they wanted. Caught about a dozen sunfish and small bass on chartreuse Beck’s damsel:











There’s something about that little green nymph.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Mar 2023, 10:04 • #13 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/26/21
Posts: 383
Location: North West Georgia
You know, I bet these would make great stonefly imitations for larger stone flies like salmon flies, and giant black and brown stones. Maybe even giant goldens. Here in north Ga, we get some BIG black stones that look like a salmon fly. The few times these things have come around the fish dont want anything smaller than a size 10 for the rest of the day.



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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Mar 2023, 11:13 • #14 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
Going to have to try that nymph should work here at the south end of the great lakes.Also Dave W's red fox squirrel nymph.Have not tied those in a while but am going to fish them often this season.Here are a few i tied the last few days mostly for my annual trip for mostly crappies but also longears bluegills redears etc.



crappie clousers sz 10 crappie zonker hybrid fished erratic like a tiny spoon.Have caught lots of crappies and bass on these.



little yellow glass eyed flymph type flies sz12




sz 14 barebless poppers in damsel colors.




Will add some garside sparrows and a few others .This lake we go to has an excellent mayfly hatch and the crappies as well as everything else will hit nymphs on a sunny afternoon.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 23 Mar 2023, 19:07 • #15 
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Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
Those are very nice Hersh. Red Fox Squirrel was one of Dave’s favorites and that he created.

I tied the Beck’s Damsel Nymph in two versions and two sizes, 8 and 10z. First version was Mr. Beck’s original with Globrite chartreuse floss:



The second was dubbed with a mix of chartreuse Superfine dubbing and some green Ice Dub:



Both are wrapped with small silver French tinsel. Aesthetically I prefer the Globrite but the dubbing is much easier to work with if you crank out a dozen or more.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 24 Mar 2023, 08:38 • #16 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
Thanks SR .Never used nor heard of glowbrite floss but like the look.I think I have everything else.I met DW and we had a nice chat.The show he was at was not well attended so he had time.His RFS nymph was one of my first tying attempts.I plan on fishing several of his warm water patterns this season.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 26 Mar 2023, 09:02 • #17 
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Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4961
Location: US-MT
I like the pinched flat barbs, ty

Not only do they come out of fish easier, it's also nicer removing them from me and my dogs :)


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 16 Apr 2023, 09:25 • #18 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/10/15
Posts: 385
Location: US-NJ
This is by far my favorite Crappie Fly.

The Little Crappie Fly


https://youtu.be/huBZsTs8ui0

For some reason its Pickerel will not leave it alone either. :)


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 17 Apr 2023, 14:18 • #19 
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Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
Very nice. I’ve never seen that fly before and will have to tie a handful and try here in Oklahoma. Prime time crappie and sunfish fishing incoming.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 17 Apr 2023, 17:14 • #20 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
Just returned from my annual crappie trip in So Illinois.Been going down there for several years,I fly fish some but with 3 in the boat and usually wind conditions not an easy task,There were not a lot of people this time so many of the ancient wood boat docks were empty where we stay.Has great success between boat rides fishing from i dock and casting under the next one.Caught 40-50 keeper size crappiesand a few bass on 1 fly.Was using 6' browning sila flex 5wt with 6wt wf floating and 6 feet of 8lb mono.Could roll cast under the docks next to the wood posts.IIt was non stop at times.Forgot my camera as i had every intention of lots of pics.Here is the fly i used sz10 crappies clouser.Never changed the fly.




Here are a few prototypes i was making over the winter,Anxious to try these locally.



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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 17 Apr 2023, 23:38 • #21 
Guide
Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
Nice Hersh! Sounds like a great trip. I like your fly patterns too.

I’ve been tied up and haven’t made it out much the last few weeks. Hoping to make it out later this week.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 18 Apr 2023, 07:59 • #22 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
My pics are awful but nothing like a new fly that works and works well.A simple tie except for glueing the eyes on the brass hour glass eyes.Rode perfectly.Was very snag resistant and durable.Nearĺy 50 fish and bouncing off the docks. The best part is this trip has been going for 40 years.A large group goes and may have a few converts to the fly rod as they could not believe I was catching so many nice fish right where they were parking their boats.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 21 Apr 2023, 09:20 • #23 
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Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2490
Location: South of Joplin
carlz wrote:
A white Marabou leadhead jig has been killer for me in the spring when the crappie are schooling, just as they come in from deep water.

That white marabou crappie jig is my best warm water subsurface lure/fly for all seasons, crappie, rock bass, Neosho bass, big bluegill, green sunfish all love the thing. There are occasional days when yellow will out perform white depending on turbidity and sunlight.
It is very hard to cast with the fly rod in sizes over 1/32oz though.

The Beck's Damsel looks like a good fly to have and I'll try to find some bright green yarn, but if I had seen it and not known it's name and history, I'd have said "oh a soft hackle on a long shanked hook" - to me it has that generic look that most of my flies take on after trying two or three "by the book". I tie a similar thing in yellow and shades of orange, but with no tail or hackle barb tails, perhaps a more sparse collar. On a #14-16 2XL hook I tell myself the trout think they are caddis.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 21 Apr 2023, 09:47 • #24 
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Joined: 02/27/16
Posts: 2317
Location: US-IL
I also tie lots of little jigs but the clouser in nearly any form rides differently than even a weight forward/balanced jig.The only thing i did differently on thes was i used a 3x hook as opposed to a standaed hook like larger clousers.The grass dumbells gave it just enough weight.This fly did NOT hang up at all and very few crappies that hit it did not get hooked.No one was more surprised than me by how well this fly worked.The fishing was not outstanding as the water was murkey and it was 80 degrees and full sun. I will not fish jigs on a flyrod ,i have no problem fishing them on UL spinning and of course they work well.I tie several nymphs flymphs etc with bead chain in muted colors and they are my favorite bugs in deeper pools and along weed edgesI can also tie jig versions of the same.I pretty much fish the same areas no matter what gear i am using.


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Re: Crappie Flies
Post 29 Feb 2024, 15:32 • #25 
Guide
Joined: 02/23/11
Posts: 237
Location: Tulsa, OK
I snuck out of the home office last Tuesday afternoon, ahead of the incoming front and was surprised that the crappies and sunfish were very active. This is the earliest Spring I can remember as it is in full swing here in eastern Oklahoma.

Beck’s Damsel was still the favorite of the fish, over a more traditional dark marabou damsel:








Early Spring.


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