Pickerel On The Fly


canoe, fly fishing, delaware, sussex county,millsboro pond, ingrams pond, betts pond
I’m already out here was the response

Despite the rain on Sunday, Matt Dammeyer managed to get out and fish.  He is a member of the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware club and an avid fly angler.  He also is the brother of our fly fishing writer Micah Dammeyer from Knee Deep Fly Fishing guide service.  Matt has been preparing for a few days tying flies, perch flies.  Not flies to catch a perch mind you, but tying a perch pattern to catch pickerel.  He has the fever for slamming pickerel aka the green snot rocket.  One of my favorite fighting freshwater fish.  Matt and I have been going back and forth about places to fish for the these green snot rockets.  He and his brother have been competing online flying ties, that has been entertaining for sure.  Matt is using Google Earth to search out places around Delaware.  I have some favorite spots, but they are very private and hard to access.   Always fish public access unless you have permission to use private ponds.  You can get access to private ponds, but make sure you don’t take anyone with you unless you are allowed, and adhere to the agreement with the pond owner.  You would be surprised how many ponds in Delaware are not owned by the land owners surrounding them.  Some of these folks don’t even have access or permission to use the water next to their property.  Always find the actual owner of the water you wish to fish.


fly fishing, perch pattern, delaware, sussex county, millsboro pond,
Perch pattern fly by Matt Dammeyer

Last week Matt tried some areas around Prime Hook and had a little luck.  I saw him on Saturday at the fly tie meeting in Lewes, and he said “I’m headed out tomorrow, you know where if you want to go”.  I said I was down for that just let me get a few things finished up work wise and I will be there.   The next day it’s raining, nasty out and I had too much to do in the workshop.  Not to mention this three-week cold keeps popping back up that everyone has around here.  So instead of meeting him I got the play by play in messages.  “Hey are you headed out to fish today, looks like this may let up soon, which it was supposed to do hours ago”.  I get a picture text to me of a fly rod in a canoe, “I’m out here now, already landed two and am staying until the weather changes up.”   At this point I wanted to blow off the work,  drink half a bottle of NyQuil and hit the water, but I knew that would be a bad idea.  So I settled for a play by play in text.


fly tying, delaware, sussex county, perch pattern in pink
Experimental pink perch pattern by Matt Dammeyer

A few days ago Matt tied up a pink perch pattern as an experiment.  I wanted to know how that was working.  I am getting back into fly fishing this year, and tying will be the next step.  I already have the rod and reel, just need to finish rigging that up as well.  “The perch pattern is deadly, but I caught three on the pink one, and the last two pickerel were on a white and tan w lots of flash”.  Now if you know anything about pickerel they have some serious teeth and will destroy your rigs, especially flies.  They aren’t very good on your leaders or tippets either.  “How did the flies hold up?”  Matt … “It’s a good thing I tie, they ruined it (pink perch pattern) and it’s the only one I made.  It was a “science experiment” that worked really well”.   Good to hear that, now I need to learn how to tie up these perch patterns, they are a bit intricate but with some practice I am sure I will manage.  Even an ugly looking fly can catch fish, it is all about presentation, and if the fish are hungry.


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pickerel, fly fishing, millsboro pond, delaware, sussex county, saltwater fly anglers of delaware
One of the pickerel caught on Sunday on the pink perch fly

After a couple of hours of the play by play while I was tying rigs and getting things ready for the upcoming outdoor expos.  Matt sent his last text.  “We need to get you fly fishing this season.  I just finished up with my sixth fish, it was easily twenty-four inches.  The wind picked up,  shifted, and I’m outta here before the rain comes back”   I’m definitely down for some fly fishing this season, just have to find the time and finish getting geared up.  Hopefully I can talk Matt into tying up a few of these perch patterns for me, because they not only look cool, but they are deadly on the fish.   If you want to learn more about fly fishing in Delaware I highly recommend you check out the Saltwater Fly Anglers of Delaware club.  These folks will teach you whatever you would like to learn.   Getting out there is the best teacher, but having some knowledgeable guidance is a serious plus.

Fish On!

Rich King


fly fishing, fly tying, pink perch pattern, pickerel
Pink perch pattern after being hammmered by three pickerel


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