Red & White Pencil
by Jason Akl
As winters grip slowly loosens on
the landscape and the snow and ice retreat from our favorite lakes and ponds, the thought
of bass breaking on the surface for flies comes to mind. There are not too many things
more exciting to a fly fisherman than getting out for a day and casting poppers to
actively feeding bass. Violent strikes by fish produce surface explosions that can make
seconds seem to last for hours.
A very productive method to catching
summertime bass is to search the weedy or wooded areas with surface poppers. During the
warm summer months aquatic vegetation grows uncontrollably making it very hard to fish
these areas with conventional sinking flies. Fishing poppers is easy to do for any level
of angler. Simply cast the popper at your desired target and let the water settle where
the fly had landed then proceed to strip the popper back in. Striping the fly in an
irregular fashion seems to produce the best results. Varying the retrieve with sets of two
then three strips intermingled with some short pauses will most certainly draw attention
from those lurking below.
The red and white pencil popper is a
classic popper pattern that has been around for longer than most can remember. The
contrasting colors seem to have a good ability in getting the fishs attention while
the undulating action of the multiple hackles used for the tail along with the loud pop
made by the fly is great at getting fish to bite and bite hard.
The red and white pencil popper is an
easy tie and superb fish catcher; a definite must have for any serious bass fly fisherman.
Materials Used In the Red & White
Hook: Mustad Stinger 2/0
Thread: Uni-Thread 6/0
Tail: 4 Hackle Tips (2 White/ 2 Red)
Butt: White Marabou, 2 Hackles (1 White / 1Red)
Body: Spirit River Medium Pencil Popper Body
Body Coloration: Red Paint
Eyes: 3-D Gold Metallic Eyes
1. To start this fly get
out one of the popper bodies and spear it onto your bodkin. Take the cap off of your paint
and dip the popper body face first evenly into the paint. Carefully pull the popper body
out and place it onto your fly drier to rotate and dry evenly.
2. Place a stinger hook
into you vice and secure the hook in the vice tightly. Attach the thread on the hook shank
at the point above the barb, and clip off the tag end of thread.
3. From a white marabou
plume clip off the last inch or so of fibers and tie those onto the hook shank at the rear
of the fly. Make sure that this bunch of marabou stays on the top of the hook shank during
the tie in process.
4. Select two pairs of
similar saddle hackles, two from a white saddle grouping and two from a red saddle
grouping. First off tie down the two white saddle hackles (convex sides towards each
other) onto the hook shank. Repeat this process with the red hackles on top of the white
hackles and clip off all the tag ends.
5. Select one more white
saddle hackle and tie in down in front of the tail section you just created. Wrap this
hackle forward evenly and tie off the tag end.
6. Repeat this process
with a red hackle this time but after you are finished tying off this hackle whip finish
7. Place a small amount
of 5 minute epoxy onto the hook shank and slide on the popper body you made in the first
step. Make sure the body is centered and allow it to dry completely before attempting to
finish the fly. After the body has dried in place; epoxy on a set of 3-D eyes to the sides
of the popper body.
lines and Smooth threads
Jason Akl © 2004