One fly that was quick to make it around the world , I think, was Bob Popovics’ Surf Candy and the reason was simple. It was innovative, imitated a more or less universal saltwater prey (the sand eel), it was durable, fished better with less tangles than almost any other sand eel or baitfish imitation of the time and just looked plain awesome.
I believe the fly was conceived in the late 1980ies by Bob Popovics and first published in the US in 1990, and I know that I was tying them in the mid 1990ies for Danish saltwater sea trout. And I’be been tying them ever since, and and so has thousands of flyfishers around the world of course.
Another impressive aspect of this fly is the fact that it’s really undergone very little change and to be honest, the changes are probably mostly cosmetic and probably doesn’t mean much to the effective ness of the fly. One change that I actually like and have incorporated into my Surf Candies are the new “Candy Foils”. An idea that I think also originally came from Bob Popovics, which makes it easy to imitate the fully visible, silver belly sack of the sand eel and other baitfish.
The nice thing about these foils is that they incorporate eye, belly sack and side line in one foil, so they don’t really add to the tying time, and they just make the flies look so much cooler.
The new Candy Foils from Pro Sportfisher have more features than others on the market and they’re very easy to use. The fly in the PoD is tied using them and apart from using DNA HoloFusion instead of the original Super Hair, Bob used, the tying is the same (okay, I’m also using UV-resin instead of epoxy).
The fly can be tied in lengths from just an inch up to as long and big as you can cast them. The smaller the fly, the softer materials I use, but the tying technique remains the exact same. And they’re easy to cast. The one in the PoD is tied on the new Ahrex SA 280 #4 and is app. 4 inches long and it’s easy to cast, even on a 6-wt rod.
Off to the vise - I’m getting the box ready for spring when the sand eel will occur in numbers again, and I need a couple of handfuls int he box in different sizes.
Have a great weekend!