Green and Yellow Panfish Fly
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing For Bream
Bream exist in just about every type of freshwater in the United States and Canada. For many anglers,
fly fishing for bream is the first type of fly fishing they undertake. For many anglers, fly fishing for
bream is the only type of fly fishing they every do. It is a very enjoyable sport. Fighting a large bream
on a light fly rod can be exciting. Watching the take a popping bug or fly from the surface can be

First, let me explain what Bream are because they have many different names. Even the name bream
is pronounced differently in the South than elsewhere. It is pronounced "brim". Bream are also called
panfish, bluegill, perch, redbelly, redear, yellow belly, redear, shellcrackers and many other names.
They are all different species of sunfish. The bream flies these fish are caught on also have many
different names from bream poppers, bream bugs, panfish flies, bream flies, sunfish flies, and many

Bream grow in just about every type of warm water that exist, from farm ponds, to lakes, reservoirs,
creeks, rivers and even brackish water. That is one reason fly fishing for bream is such a popular
sport. Rarely does anyone live in an area they can't fish for bream within a few miles of their home.

Bed fishing for bream during the spawn is the best time of the year to go fly fishing for bream.
Sometimes you can see the beds and sometimes you can't, all depending on the type of water and
depth. When you  do find them in shallow water, the fishing is usually fantastic. Most live bait guys use
crickets and worms and you can use the same thing in the form of bream flies. There are a lot of other
type flies that make fishing for bream on the bed, even more exciting. It is the most popular time to use
a bream bug or popping bug made especially for bream. If
the beds are very shallow, you should use a  smaller and lighter fly. If they are deep, say three to six
feet, you should use a fly with that is heavier or weight your tippet to help get the fly down to the bed.
You should get the fly down on the bottom and work it slowly across their beds. When your fishing the
deeper water you can usually detect a strike by feeling tension on the line that shouldn’t be there.
They usually take the fly and move it off the bed and you have no problem knowing you have a fish.

You can also use dry flies when your fishing for bream on the bed. They water needs to be fairly
shallow, say less than three feet, for that to work well. Sometimes they will just come up and  slap at the
fly to kill it and when that happens they are often bream. Even in shallow water, you will often catch
more bream using a sinking fly that gets down in the bed. Never-the-less, most fly anglers use small
popping bugs or dry flies to catch bream on the bed.

If the lake or stream your fishing has vegetation, you should normally try to fish the edges of
vegetation. Most of time the grass is about two to five feet deep but it all depends on the type of lake
and type of vegetation. They use the vegetation to hide from their predators. Sometimes you can cast
into the vegetation without getting the fly hung up but here again, it depend on the type of vegetation.
In this case, slightly weighted bream flies work best. Most of the time it is best to strip in 1”-3” of fly line
at a time. This gives the fly, usually a nymph, a little movement or action that helps to entice the bream
into striking the fly. It makes it more realistic from behavior standpoint.
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