The Miyawaki Beach Popper
Here are the tying instructions. If you have any questions, let me know.
THE MIYAWAKI BEACH POPPER
The popper head, which technically, is a slider, is called a Dink Component and is made by Edgewater Fishing Products in Clearfield, Utah. The other materials are grizzly hackle, Holographic Flash, Krystal Flash and polar bear.
The fly is a two-hook setup. The front hook is only there to be held in the vise and hold the materials. I use Mustad 3407 or 34007 hooks. I use as small a hook as possible, preferably #6, in front to keep the weight down. The hook point above the bend will be cut off when we are finished. The trailing hook, or stinger, is a #4 and I use a #4 Dink Component up front
TYING THE POPPER
1. Take a #6 Mustad 3407 (or 34007) and secure it in the vise. Donít sweat pinching down the barb, it wonít matter.
2. Attach your tying thread. Itís OK to use a fat thread like 3/0 or G. The color doesnít matter as itís going to get covered anyway. Donít worry about keeping the wraps thin and pretty Ė it all helps hold the popper on later. And donít come to close to the bend (see step #14).
3. Take a #4 hook and pinch down the barb, bend the eye up and push two ends of a 5" length of 25 pound Maxima through it and pull the hook through the loop. This is the business end or stinger.
4. Leave the hook to trail about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Keep the hook point up. Tie all the way down and back up the shank.
5. Now, hereís the important part: Double the two tag-ends back over on itself and wrap it all the way back to the bend and back up. This will keep the stinger tight to the hook and wonít pull out when the big boys hit.
6. Trim off the excess mono.
7. Tie in two grizzly hackles (back to back). They should be a tad longer than the stinger.
8. Tie in some Holographic Flash. Vary the length. Keep it scraggly.
9. Tie in a few strands of Krystal Flash. Mixed Colors will do. They should be a touch longer than both the hackle and Holographic Flash. I think they imitate bubbles.
10. Tie in a small clump of white polar bear. Keep the materials sparse. Weíre not tying a herring imitation here.
11. Whip finish.
12. Smear head cement all over and around the tied down materials on the shank.
13. Jam a Dink Component over the shank with the pointy end forward.
14. Take the fly out of the vise and trim away the hook point all the way up past the bend. Donít cut into the materials, or youíll be tying this little puppy over again.
FISHING THE POPPER
I fish the popper on a dryline with a 12' leader tapered to 2x. I retrieve it with a two-handed retrieve giving it short little jerks. Vary your speed with slow, medium and fast strips. Try them all. I prefer a two-handed retrieve because I can do all the different speeds while pulling steadily and I am able to use a strong strip set to bury the hook in the hard salmon jaws.
Keep an eye on your fly because this type of fishing is totally visual. Look for following fish. If you arenít watching, youíll miss all the fun of fishing on top.
If you get a follow, first, try not to swallow your heart, then strip faster, or slow down, pop it, or change the direction with your rod tip. If the fish hits but doesnít stick, play dead then give the fly a twitch or two, or retrieve twice as fast with short fast strokes, or change directions Ė anything to provoke the fish into taking the fly. This is what makes surface popper fishing for salmon or searun cutthroat so much fun. They are are predatory and aggressive and will always come to the fly. Your job is to make them want to eat the popper by manipulating your rod and line. Make your fly act like a wounded fish that is trying to escape becoming a main course.
Always retrieve your fly all the way in. Just before you pick it up, stop and make a quick change of direction with your rod tip. Sometimes, fish follow the fly without showing themselves. If a fish boils, drag the fly across the water parallel to the water with the rod tip. That should do the trick.