Bluegill Bully Spider Step-by-Step

Bluegill Bully Spider Step-by-Step:


As often as not, the flies included in these Step-by-Steps are selected due to either an upcoming or recent fishing opportunity.  Such is the case with this week’s pattern, the Bluegill Bully Spider. 

A favorite of southern panfish anglers, this slow sinking spider has proven particularly effective on the invasive Rio Grande Cichlids that now call New Orleans home.  So…with the 13th annual NOFF Rio Rodeo (more below) slated for Saturday, October 1, it seemed the perfect time to highlight this simple yet effective fly.

Consisting of little more than lead-free wire, chenille and rubber legs, you’ll be hard pressed to find an easier fly when stocking your panfish box.

Standard Nymph or Wet Fly (#10-12) 70 Denier (Color of Choice) Material Lead-free Wire
Materials Ultra Chenille (Standard; Color of Choice) Materials Rubber Legs (Color of Choice) Materials UV Resin or Flex Seal

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Bluegill Bully Spider Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:

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Tips and Tricks

  1. Sink Rate – Not getting the reaction you’re hoping for from your local panfish? Try varying the amount of Lead-free Wrap on your fly. The ratio of Lead-free wrap to body material (chenille) will determine the rate at which your fly descends through the water column. Consider adding additional weight when fishing deeper and less when fishing shallow.
  2. Substitutions/Experimentation – While there’s little need for substitution in a pattern that requires three main materials, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment. With the aforementioned Rio Rodeo right around the corner, I’ve begun tying Bluegill Bully Spider variants utilizing Vinyl D Rib and Diamond Braid in place of the traditional chenille. While remaining true to the original form, I’m hopeful that the varying texture & flash these provide might catch the fish’s attention.

NOFF’s 13th Annual Rio Grande Rodeo – October 1, 2022

While I made passing reference to the Rio Grande Rodeo above, I wanted to highlight this great event once more before wrapping up this post. Now entering its 13th year, this year’s rodeo will be hosted at No Wake Outfitters (1926 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA).

After registering ($15) on-site (7-7:30 AM), fly anglers will have five hours to compete in two categories (1) Longest Rio and (2) Most Rios caught. They’ll then return to No Wake before 12:30pm to submit their catch for weigh-in. Lunch will be served and commemorative plaques will be awarded to the winners.

If you’re free this Saturday and interested in attending, be sure to check out the link below:

13th Annual Rio Grande Fly Fishing Rodeo

Proof of Concept

While I’ve yet to land a Rio on this pattern, it has proven effective on bluegill from time to time. With any luck, I’ll be able to add to that species count come October 1st.

Tight Line!


Bluegill Bully Fly Step-by-Step
Species Caught on the Bluegill Bully Spider to Date:
  1. Bluegill
  2. Spotted Sunfish
  3. Spotted Tilapia
  4. Mayan Cichlid
  5. Pike Topminnow

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