I have been checking one of my local haunts every other day for several weeks now, waiting for bluegills, and other fish to move into the shallows in catchable numbers. Over the past few weeks it has been a fish here a fish there but nothing consistent. That all changed yesterday, we had our second day in a row where daytime temperatures crept into the seventies. In addition to the warm weather, we have had clear, sunny skies and light winds. These conditions gave the water a chance to warm up. The fish, both panfish, and bass, have left the sanctuary of deeper water and are starting to explore the shallows.
I broke out a tenkara rod, grabbed a box of soft hackles and headed out to the lake. The fishing was hot right from the start. There was constant action in the shallows anywhere near shoreline structure. No big bull bluegills yet, but a steady stream of hand sized fish inhaled the soft hackles all afternoon. There were takes from several chunky largemouths, but the soft tenkara rod I was fishing was not up to the task.
The fish were not too particular about flies today. I used nothing but soft hackles tied on the sparse side. The most effective pattern was a light colored pattern with an oversized thread head. The large, light-colored head acts as a trigger, like a hot spot on a Czech nymph pattern.
My hope is that our weather will stabilize, and the fish will be in the shallows to stay. If that is the case, the big bluegills that are prevalent in this lake will start their pre-spawn migration into shallow water and then the real fun begins.