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Why so few tadpole flies?

Rob G

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As I was wading a local pond today, I came upon a couple nice big juicy tadpoles, two or more inches long, and it occurred to me that you don't really see a lot of flies that imitate the swimming amphibian other than the occasional popper. You know the smallies and largemouth must feast on these things and the shape would not be difficult to emulate, a pair of olive or dark hackles coupled behind some bloated oval material that might swim just subsurface. Got any ideas or am I missing patterns that do just this?



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I think tadpoles are the forgotten baitfish.

A fat woolly bugger is a close match. I just started tying and successfully

fishing a thing called a spoonfly that just about every fish in the river is going wild over.

It's profile could be mistaken for a tadpole.

Here's a link to the pattern.


I have used black,silver & gold but I'm

working on some purple and chartruse ones.

Anyone know a source for a cheap epoxy drying wheel?

Spinning them on the vise by hand is a little time consuming

but I don't want to spend $60 to $70 on one.


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Guest rich mc

we get buckets of them from the rearing ponds at shabbona each year the raccoons , opossums feast for a long time. i asked the biologist if we should place them in thelake too. he said no reason to. i asked about using them for bait and he said the bass prefer the whole frog . they normally dont each tadpoles as they are 95%water and no protein. he advised to use crayfish or baitfish. rich

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After helping with the pond draining and fish stocking at Shabbona last Saturday. I had my minnow bucket full of crayfish from the

Largemouth pond and tadpoles from the smallmouth pond. 12:30 -6:30 dad and i drowned all of the bait, to no avail. Couple short strikes on the

crayfish, but nothing on the tadppoles. I thought for sure the tadpoles were gonna be the ticket. Hopefullly the fish i helped stock into the lake will

touch my hand later, when there much bigger than they were.

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A while back Michael T did his Woolly Bully with a stacked wool body. I did mine here with a woven bohemian chenille body-Bohemian Bully. I think it looks like a tadpole when wet. Sculpin flies like the Muddler Minnow and other flies like the Hairy Fodder also have that fathead profile. Since pollywogs are clumsy swimmers, I am sure bass will take them for an easy meal.

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Well here it is, my imitation of a tadpole. Don't count on these being available commercially since it took me an hour and countless tries to get the deer hair spun to a reasonable shape.




A floater?

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I currently don't have a rotisserie but that would sure be

cheaper,and I could use it for more than one purpose.

Maybe I will start a new TV show called

Grillin & Tying


A drying wheel for flies is on my wish list too.


Here is what I found so far:


Good: Rod finishing rotator from Netcraft, $75.

Pro: can be used for rod building also.

Con: have to make adaptor for flies.


Better: BBQ rotisserie from Walmart $25-$75.

Pro: can be used for grilling.

Con: have to make adaptor for flies.


Best: Cabela's Stonefly Fly/Jig Dryer-$40.

Pro: ready to go; can be used for rod building also.

Con: can't be used for grilling.


I just added the dryer to my Cabela's wish list.


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Mike, the adaptor for flies is very easy to make, I used a few inch piece of wooden dowel rod which you can quickly file to fit inside the receiver and attach large foam disk that you pick up at Walmart or any hobby lobby for pennies. A lot of times you can find a cheap electric hobby motor for not too many $ and I even had a friend who used his variable speed drill held in a vise with a foam disk pushed down on a bit secured with tape.



How could I forget the Muddler, doh!

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My bad. We seem to be at the point of hi-jacking this thread by turning it into a discussion of drying wheels. Let's start another one for drying wheels.


Back to the topic. Bottom line, I think a Bugger on a regular shank hook with a longer mirabou tail and longer hackles palmered on the body would be all you need to mimick a tadpole though more elaborate ties like the Muddler, Hairy Fodder, and the Bully flies by Mike amd Mike would also work.

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