Crappies have more aliases than a convention hall full of career criminals. Calico, chinquapin, lamplighter, and ol’ silversides are but a few of the nearly 60 colorful monikers we’ve encountered over the years. Imagine the surprise I felt when I was invited to fish a private lake full of “strawberry bass” decades ago only to discover we were fishing for crappies. While anglers can disagree about what to call crappie, most agree that its black markings on a silver body and enlarged fins make it one of the most beautiful freshwater species. Fly fishing’s long and limber rods, capable of delicate presentation and subduing the swirling thrusts of the fish without tearing its soft mouth, make the flyrod the most efficient tool for catching them. A large, deep pond with a rip-rap dam was chosen for a float tube crappie trip. Before launching, I cast parallel to the dam exploring various depths to locate the fish. When fish were encountered 4 feet deep, I paddled along the dam face at a comfortable casting distance and counted a white/silver Mini Minnie to that depth before imparting action. A lift, drop, strip retrieve that caused the fly to mimic a wounded minnow proved lethal for 16 “slabs” or whatever you choose to call them.