Saturday, May 12, 2007
The Sunfishes By Jack Ellis
I finished reading through my second Jack Ellis book, this one entitled "The Sunfishes". The first Jack Ellis book I read a couple of years ago was "Bassin' with a Fly Rod" which suggested some radical ideas such as the use of soft plastics on a fly rod rather than just purely flies to catch bass. In my opinion, if I am going to be using soft plastics, I'll use a casting rod to make it more effective.
While "The Sunfishes" does mention the use of plastic worms since bass are essentially sunfish; for the most part it describes using flies since Mr. Ellis would never use soft plastics with trout and he considers large bluegill to be discerning creatures like trout. Based on this attitude, I did like this book much better that the previous book of his that I read.
I also like this book for the intellectual level at which he pursues bluegill. This book is short but packed with a lot of insight into catching trophy bluegill and contains just the kind of careful tactics and technique needed to catch one. The book doesn't contain extraneous and unnecessary text about casting or a lot about tackle but just enough about those things to be helpful.
Mr. Ellis describes the ecosystem in detail that bluegill live in and what they eat and what they like and don't like. He mentions one thing I have known which is that bigger bluegill fall more often for subsurface flies than dry flies though he like I agree that watching a smashing take on a topwater fly is a heck of a lot more exciting!
One of the things I think I will take away from the book more than anything else is to observe the waters I fish much more. That is, slow down and occasionally stop fishing long enough to study the situation or not even start until I have observed my surroundings well. It's obvious that Mr. Ellis does that a lot which has provided him with a lot of data to make him the well rounded angler that he is.
If there were any negatives about this book it would be the lack of color photos of the flies described or the various insects and sunfish. Also, I have heard the fact that a lot of the tactics and tips he offers are localized for the East part of Texas but being I live and fish in Central Texas that to me was actually a positive thing but I can see that not being the case for the folks up north.