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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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Bugle 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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