Tag Archives: bass bugs

Hackle Cape and Saddle

Metz Grade 1 Brown Rooster Saddle and Metz Grade 1 Light Ginger Rooster Neck Cape.
Metz Grade 1 Brown Rooster Saddle and Metz Grade 1 Light Ginger Rooster Neck Cape.

This photo shows the difference between a Metz Grade 1 Light Ginger Rooster Neck Cape and a Metz Grade 1 Brown Rooster Saddle.
I like to use the Grade 1 Rooster Neck Capes for my trout dry flies because they help the flies float well, are easy to use and the Grade 1 has a great number of excellent quality small hackle for the smallest flies.
I use the saddles for streamers, large nymphs, a broad variety of smallmouth bass bugs and even the head hackle on my Mr. Rapidan Bass Skater Dry size 6. The best Saddles will have a fair number of hackle feathers along their sides for trout dry flies in sizes 12, 14 and a few as small as size 16. If you need to hackle flies smaller than size 16 a good Rooster Neck Cape will help you.

Calf Tail

Calf (Kip) Tail
Calf (Kip) Tail

Calf (Kip) Tail is a very useful material with many applications in tying dry flies, streamers and bass bugs. The yellow calf tail I show here is what I use to tie the wings of the Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly series.  The space between the two pencil-pointers gives us the hair which is easiest to make nice even dry fly wings. I hold these hair fibers by the tips and brush out the short, useless hair and the fuzz with an old tooth brush. Usually these hair fibers are even enough to tie in as they  are producing nice straight wings. If you like you can straighten these hair fibers in a hair evener, but I seldom find this necessary.  The long hair fibers on the tip of the tail make excellent streamers, bass bug tails and even sometimes wings for Trude dry flies. These come in many dyed colors and are inexpensive. The more you experiment with these in your fly tying , the more great uses you will find for them.

Surface Bass Bugs – Murray’s Fly Shop

Bass Surface Bugs - Murray's Fly Shop - Fishing a Popper close to the shaded banks will give you many bass
Bass Surface Bugs – Murray’s Fly Shop – Fishing a Popper close to the shaded banks will give you many bass

Surface Bass Bugs – Murray’s Fly Shop – Poppers and Smallmouth Bass!!  Here is the most dependable technique I use in my personal fishing with popping bugs and the method the anglers in my smallmouth schools learn quickly and catch many smallmouth bass with. My reason for developing this technique lies on the fact that many large bass choose feeding stations along the shaded banks where the water is from two to four feet deep flowing over a cobblestone stream bottom.  My goal is to fish my Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 on long drifts as close to these banks as possible with a gentle teasing action. I position myself 40 feet out from the bank and cast my Popper 20 degrees down and across stream so it lands very close to the bank.  Since the fast current between the bank and myself could quickly grab the fly line and pull my Popper off the bank it is imperative that I instantly mend the fly line belly back upstream.  This should be done with just enough force to cause the Popper to move only several inches.  This will assure that the Popper will drift naturally about 5 feet down the river very close to the bank over the bass’ feeding stations.  By this time the current will start pulling on my fly line again and I need to mend the belly back upstream.  However, I’m careful to use only enough force to cause my Popping Bug to move only several inches.  Again I’ll get another 5 foot natural drift along the bank.  Repeating this method the third time assures you that you have effectively fished your Popper naturally 15 feet along the bank. By wading slowly downstream and stopping every 15 feet to repeat this technique you will catch many nice bass.

Fly Promo 10% off

Fly Promo 10% off Stock up on your favorite dry flies, nymphs, streamers, poppers and bass bugs for the upcoming spring and summer.  10% off all fliesOffer good through March 15