Don's Fly Tying - the Big Bore Popper

[the Big Bore Popper]

I have had dreams about fly fishing in the Caribbean but have never as yet made such a trip! My friend and fellow trap shooter, Dave Upper, does break the winter doldrums by regularly flying to various locations in the West Indies seeking a variety of fish on the fly such as bone fish, tarpon, permit, snook, barracuda and many others! Must be nice to be a retired commercial fisherman who happens to love fly fishing as a retirement hobby!

Some years ago I happened to read an article in a Shotgun Sports magazine that made a positive imprint on my memory, although not for clay target shooting improvement! The article outlined how a Florida fishing guide, Lenny Moffo, used shotgun shell wads to create fishing lures that work for some of his area game fish! Now I have loaded thousands of shotgun shells for clay target busting because I can make shells that are less pounding to shoot yet will break targets as well or better than factory shells! One of the components for hand loading shotgun shells are plastic wads which hold the pellet shot charge in place. I purchase mine in cartons of 5,000 so the individual wads are quite cheap, in the two or three cent range. If you are not a clay target shooter but are lucky enough to plan a Caribbean fishing trip and wish to try the popper in this month's article, I am sure a friend that does load shotgun shells will give you a handful of wads gratis!

[A bonefish fly caught off the waters of Cuba]



The popper is a snap to tie. In fact, any large salt water fly can be used to fit inside and trailing the wad. Start by drilling a hole, large enough to easily push say a 20 pound leader through the wad center. Add stick on eyes to the wad, the larger the eyes the better. Now the wad wings can be trimmed back or left intact as seen in the article image which happens to be a 12 gauge wad. Smaller wad sizes can be used right down to a 410 gauge. The fly as shown is simply a number of mixed brown/black cape feathers tied to the forward part of a long shank hook. In this case, I tied a 20 pound leader to the hook with a nail knot before securing the feathers. Now the Florida guide says you can glue foam to the wad if you want to fish the fly on the surface. If you wish the popper to dive, simply cut the front of the wad at an angle! The guide also states that if several holes are drilled through the wad, it will tend to display a stream of bubbles when fished, thus adding to its attraction! As I am now suffering through my winters here in Kelowna, do let me know if you have success with this fly in warm southern sea waters!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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