As summer progresses in much of the country, many of our favorite trout lakes get too darn hot to responsibly fish until the water cools off again in the fall. Largemouth bass and other spiny rays are much better suited to this tepid environment and are often at the peak of their activity in July and into August. There are few fly fishing pursuits more enjoyable than watching a big bass crush a noisy popper chugging along the quiet lake surface and now’s the time to do it around these parts. Tying poppers can be an elevated art form. Some of the true masters of spun deer hair like Dave Whitlock and Chris Helm or Walt Cary’s exquisitely painted hard bodied poppers are things of beauty to behold. A well-made popper can last you for years and through scores of aggressive fish jaws bent on squeezing the life out of whatever frog, rodent or dragonfly they suppose it to be. I don’t mind putting an hour or more into crafting a bass popper because I know it’s likely to survive more than a few outings. There are times, however, when I’m getting ready for a trip and short on flies or need to supplement a buddy’s box and can’t obsess over the myriad of details I’d like to.
Enter the Easy Double Barrel Bass Popper. This is a pretty down and dirty quick fly that works about as well as anything. Glitzy paint jobs catch a lot of fishermen but a lot of the detail work is on the top of the popper where it’s not going to be truly appreciated by the fish. The Surface Seducer Double Barrel heads come in a variety of sizes and colors and pop like nobody’s business. Turn them around so the cupped popping surface faces the rear of the fly and you have yourself a more subtle and less noisy slider. Try tying a few of these next time you get the urge to chase some bass, you’ll be surprise by how fast you can put them together.
Easy Double Barrel Bass Popper
Hook: Flymen Surface Seducer #2
Thread: 140 Denier Chartreuse Ultra Thread
Popper: Medium Chartreuse Green Surface Seducer Popper Head
Tail: Yellow and Olive Saddle or Neck Hackle Tips, Chartreuse Krystal Flash
Collar: Yellow and Olive Saddle or Neck Hackle
Legs: Rainy’s Olive Barred Grizzly Rubber Legs
Confluence Beer Pairing: Black Raven’s Samish Haze is our beer of the month for July. It has a lot going for it. Firstly, we got a sixer as a generous gift from a customer. Free is one of our favorite qualities in a beer. Secondly, it’s actually really good, as are most of the brews from this Redmond, WA brewery. Fruity and citrusy with a bit of IPA bitterness. A very drinkable hazy IPA during the heat of summer.