Fly Fishing Links
& Resources


The Hook & Hackle Company encourages support of those "Wounded Warriors" who have suffered physical and/or emotional injury as a result of their service to our great country.

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Rose River Farm, Virginia's finest private water trout fishing experience, has just gotten even better. Now in addition to over a mile of private water managed for Trophy Trout (all strictly on the fly and catch and release) they have added luxury rental cabins. As an introductory special ....

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The Hook & Hackle Company highly endorses this fine bonefish, tarpon & permit fishing destination. Our recent visit there exceeded our expectations many times over.

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David Ruimveld, is one of my favorite "Sporting Art" artists.

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From time to time, we will feature different folks who are making a difference to fly fishing, conservation, outdoor art, helping others & so on. We welcome your suggestions for this column.

Peter C. Thompson, artist, writer, fly fisher & conservationist is our current feature.

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Wilderness North – Ontario Canada's Premier Fly-in Adventure Provider!

Deep in the heart of the Northern Ontario wilderness lies an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts and anglers seeking a definitive Canadian adventure. Accessible only by floatplane, Wilderness North offers a haven for those who want to reconnect with nature.

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Pumpkinseed, September 2014, Fish of the Month!

A Brief Note to Our Readers:

A brief note about this family of Fishes: The Sunfish family includes a large number of very North American species. We're including many of them here (in spite of their often small size) because they make excellent warm-water training species for young anglers and because adult warm-water fly-fishers are likely to often take them as incidental catches and would like to know what species they've brought to hand.



Lepomis gibbosus

Local Names:

Sunny, Common sunfish, Kivvy, Kibbie, Yellowbelly, Quiver, Roach, Sunfish, Sun bass, Punky

Average Size:

7 to 8 inches

Distinguishing Field Marks:

(See the illustration.)

North American Range:

Map to the right shows approximate range in North America.


Throughout their lives, Pumpkinseeds feed almost exclusively on immature and adult aquatic insects and other invertebrates. They often feed at or near the water's surface.


Genus-typical winter aggregations of Pumpkinseed sunfish break up at water temperatures of about 50 degrees F. when mature males move to shallower areas, choose and defend nesting territories, and begin fin-fanning the bottom to open nests that are situated very close together.

Water temperatures in these shallow nesting areas rise quickly inducing spawning that may last from June well into August. With the completion of the nests, females will begin entering the colony and males will rush to them and commence a courtship dance which involves their swimming in circles around and over the female with which they choose to spawn. When the pairs are ready, they begin circling the nest and then the female tips her body, with the male remaining upright, and their vents touching. Small batches of eggs and milt are released and settle into the bottom of the nest. The pair then goes back to circling the nest in preparation for another spawning. This ritual may go on over the course of a day or two. Females may mate with several males and breeding pairs may also spawn over nests which are not their own. The eggs, guarded and aerated by the male parent, incubate for a period of from 3 to 5 days, and the male remains at the nest site, protecting the newly-hatched fry for a short period.

As adults, Pumpkinseeds are found in shallow rocky or weedy areas of lakes, ponds, and slower portions of some streams.

Fly Fishing for Pumpkinseed:

Now widely distributed in the United States and southern Canada, the Pumpkinseed is one of the most frequently caught members of its genus. This colorful, aggressive, hard-fighting species is very willing to take a broad range of small offerings. Wet and dry flies, and small poppers, will all entice Pumpkinseed to strike.

Fly fishing gear in the 3 to 5 weight range is best for handling these fish. As Pumpkinseeds frequently take food at the surface, occasionally gain good size, and are very strong battlers, using their deep slab-sided bodies to their best advantage when hooked, using small foam bodied poppers on a floating line is a very enjoyable sight-fishing approach to taking these rather elegant fish.

Significance to Humans:

One of the most common of our small sunfishes, the Pumpkinseed is an excellent sport fish for its size and is also a fine fish for the table. It is also another of our small sunfishes that can thrive in the habitat of a home aquarium.


Thriving throughout its broad North American range.