Fly Fishing Guide in West Georgia: the Flint, Chattahoochee, and around the southeast

 

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Foam Popper

This popper is tied on a 1/0 or 2/0 long bass-bug hook (I especially like those from Feathercraft with precut foam bodies). Sometimes I cut my own bodies from old "flip-flop" soles - they're very durable and have some interesting color combos, too.

I normally use it with a white body, grizzly hackle, and bucktail or squirrel-tail and a couple of hackle feathers with a little krystal-flash, mylar or such mixed in. Note that the body should not extend all the way to the hook point as this will narrow the gap and impair hook sets. The one in the photo is colored with waterproof markers, but plain white generally works fine. 

Bass and hybrid love this foam popper - big ones, too. It makes quite a commotion
on the surface and bass will come from way down deep to get it. Work this like any topwater. Irregular retrieves are usually best, though if I'm searching (or throwing to
schooling fish) I work it pretty fast. Sometimes, in quiet water and prime spots, I cast it out and let it sit (as long as I can bear it - smoke one if you're patient), then gently give it a little "plop", and let it sit again.

When a big bass takes, there's usually no big surface splash, the popper just disappears in a sucking whirlpool that suddenly materializes underneath it. The smaller bass will jump all over it, sometimes knocking it out of the water. It may take a fish two or three passes to get hold of it, so use a "stripping" hookset. If you set with the rod-tip, you may pull the fly completely away from and out of the fish's field of vision; the strip-set will set the hook if he's there, but allow him to come back for it if he missed it.

 


 

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