Arden Damsel

Fishing poppers for trout is not exactly new, not exactly traditional either. It's not a magic-catch-all-the-fish-in-the-lake method, but it's great fun and sometimes popping one of these small bastard across the surface brigs up a few trout when everything else fails.

I need a few black ones in the box, which is why this step-by-step is done with a black popper - I also use, yellow, white, chartreuse and olive, which are all effective colors. I can't really say if one is better than the other under certain circumstances - sometimes they work, sometimes they don't :-)

It's not exactly a hard fly to tie - hell, it's hardly a tied fly :-). Tie in tail and flash and rubber and push on a popper head of choice, and you're done :-). You can glue on eyes, you can drill small holes in the head and thread rubberlegs through etc, but the basic tie is this:

Small Popper
Hook: Light wire, large gape - here Mustad C47SD size 4.
Thread: Uni 8/0 - color to match.
Tail: Marabou and Gliss 'n' Glow flash on the sides.
Legs:Rubber - here chartreuse and black barred.
Body/head: Rainy's PeeWee popperhead.

Step 1This is the PeeWee popperhead from Rainy's - there are other interesting models from size "very small" to size "very large" for pike poppers and big saltwater poppers.

Step 2The front is semihollow, so to speak, in lack of a better word, and if you tie in (glue on) semi-hollow face forward, you'll get a noisy little popper that splashes and dives. If you tie in with the tapered end facing forward, you'll get more of a sliding action from the fly - both can be effective.

Step 3Slide on the popperhead to see how far back on the hook it ends, attach the thread with a few wraps and take off the popperhead again.

Step 4Tie in a clump of marabou - keeping it short(ish) reduces the number of "short strikes", and tie ina few strands of flash on both sides of the tail. Tie in a piece of rubber on both sides of the tail and cut off excess rubber.

Step 5Now you're ready for the popperhead - put on a dab of superglue on the hookshank, and push the head in place with a quick, firm hand - be careful - the glue bites straight away on the rubber - done!

Happy Poppin' :-)

Lars Chr. Bentsen (Viking Lars) ( is a medieval archeologist flyfisherman - possibly the first. When not plundering, he either flyfishes the salt "concentrating at all times" or else investigates ruined castles, abbeys and burial mounds (this is true-life stuff). He is an FFF Certified (or at least certifiable) Master Flycasting Instructor and has a bag fetish. Lars lives with Pauline and their daughters, Anna and Elvira, and they try to live with him.


Return to whence you came
Return to home page