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Rob G

What's your favorite topwater fly for river smallies?

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It's been a little slow around here and I'm always a little curious what I'm missing out on, soooooo

OK, so what's your very favorite topwater fly when you just gotta bring a smallie to the top?  And yea, you can throw in an honorable mention if you  want.  (Pics are always welcome) 

Would it be

a cupped popper like a Boogle Bug?

or a flat faced popper like a Krebs popper or blockhead ?

a Crease fly, a Gurgler, or a stealth bomber?

Dahlberg Diver? Deer hair bug?

dare I say it,,,,,,,,,,,,, a dadgum Jude Bug?

What do you have the most confidence in if you're going to be carrying only one (or two) topwater flies?

 

 

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 for years it was the sneaky pete. then came the gurgler.   i have found the stealth bomber to be too foamy as the fly will move when a fish rushes it= more misses.  i have seen the jude bug just catch fish after fish. funny but for shabbona ,sliders and divers work best in the am and poppers in the pm. same goes for spinnerbaits in the am and buzzers at pm.  been that way for years

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I risk repeating myself. The one topwater for me would be my Streamer Stealth Bomber. It is a 4-in-1 fly. Depending on how you work it it will slide, dive, pop, or rise and fall (on a a sinking line. Favorite size is #4 Mustad 3366 shown here. The legs are optional. PS on the rise it has a nice wobble.

40882824490_e49999d5ff_z.jpg4wayPopper by Michael Gerharz, on Flickr

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Boogle has been working well for me.  I think the Dupage smallies like the rubber legs.  

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These work really well. Its a blockhead dressed like a sneaky pete. Size 1/0.

Blockhead 1.jpg

Blockhead 2.jpg

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I like the blockheads but so far this year nothing seems to out fish the Jude Bug.

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I'm not sure where this recipe came from, but I tied them on Double Barrel popper heads last winter. I have not used them in a river, but have used them in weedy areas in still water. The hook rides up. In open water the back portion hangs below the surface somewhat like the Chug Bug does. They work fairly well.

20180615_090226.thumb.jpg.024de1b27a93107a4ba0d6101d79a9e5.jpg

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Is there a hole in the popper body to  thread your line thru in order to tie to the hook directly or is there a loop or hook shank within the popper body?  So many questions, but I really like that black one.  Does that free hook in the rear really swing side to side with that rabbit? 

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Rob, the rear will dangle below the head when sitting still in open water. If there is a side to side motion it is only slight. It does not move side to side when in weeds. The hook is an Eagle Claw L091G-1/0 connected to a Fish Skull 3/4" articulated fish-spine shank that I pushed through a medium double barrel popper head. The white one had been colored yellow with a marker, but it faded with use. The deer tail is wearing thin as it has been in a number of mouths. I hope that helps. I cannot for the life of me find the recipe, so I'm not sure that those were the actual materials called for.

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Do you get better hook ups with the hook hanging low in the rear ? What is the advantage ?

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2 hours ago, Rob G said:

Do you get better hook ups with the hook hanging low in the rear ? What is the advantage ?

The dangling backside of a chug bug seems to entice fish so I thought this may as well. I have been using it in areas of heavy duckweed. It seems as though the hookups have been better when the tail end slowly dips below the surface. Hookups have been poor when it is on heavy matted weeds. The heavier spin gear weedless baits have produced better for me in heavy cover. Probably because they are heavy enough to move more water and be noticed. 

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John, these double barrel poppers look great and will be interested to hear how these work  after the water gets back down.

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On 6/24/2018 at 2:33 PM, Bart Durham said:

John, these double barrel poppers look great and will be interested to hear how these work  after the water gets back down.

Bart, they have been working well for largemouth. Haven't had a chance for smallies yet.

Rob, the ones first posted and tied with rabbit strips are called slop busters.

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This smallie and several of his friends today voted for my Crease Fly and I probably have to agree with them.  It seems that an erratic wounded minnow imitation is often hard to ignore.

 

DSCF0395ac.jpg

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9 hours ago, Rob G said:

This smallie and several of his friends today voted for my Crease Fly and I probably have to agree with them.  It seems that an erratic wounded minnow imitation is often hard to ignore.

 

DSCF0395ac.jpg

Rob, we truly think alike sometimes. I was nailing large whites on a large half and half when suddenly the water changed from white roils to bronze. The smallies wouldn't  touch the streamer so I took out the crease fly and skittered it through the riffles  Landed 3 small bronze and lost a good one right before the heavens dumped a bucket of water on me and ended my morning fishing.

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I got to try that stealth bomber recently. I really like it's action. Picked up some small bass and sunfish with it while fishing a creek. I think it may become a favorite.

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John, if you truly believe that we sometimes think alike while on the water, I can think of no higher compliment given to any fisherman, seriously. 

As to those white bass on a fly rod, I spent some time down at Lake of the Ozarks this summer and was catching those huge fighting whites on a hollow fly and having a ball. 

I whipped up a few more Crease flies last night using standard 2 mm foam, a mallard feather for the tail, all on a Gamy off set shank #2 worm hook.  About 10 years ago I purchased those Crease fly cutters for our fly tying group down this way and only wish I had gotten the one size larger, the 1/0 rather than the #2 though it seems to work OK.  I used to for years would coat each fly with epoxy or Sally Hansens Hard as Nails but have been leaving it off recently and the flies still hold up pretty well.

 

 

DSCF0401ab.jpg

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Rob, you are too kind. Your flies always look great. The mallard feathers look very nice as a tail. The few crease flies I have tied (they do seem to last) all have different tails. The next one I tie will have a mallard feather tail.

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