Fly of the Month – Brain Dead Popper

Written by Paul Beel: J. Stockard Pro Tyer Team Leader and owner of FrankenFly

For this Fly of the Month I explain how to tie a simple Brain Dead Popper. This is a simple popper using the new Brain Dead Popper heads. You can tie them fairly quickly and they are a real fish catcher!

Brain Dead Poppers are block style poppers. Please see the previous blog on more information on these poppers, because you can turn them different ways to achieve various effects in the water. In this post I am just explaining the popper way.

Materials list:
Hook: size 2/0 Ahrex PR330 Aberdeen Predator or TP615 Trout Predator Long
Tail: Marabou Blood Quill
Tail: Legs of your choice
Body: Chocklett’s Filler Flash
Eyes: 8.5mm Surface Seducer Dragon Eyes
Head: Brain Dead Popper

Tying Instructions:
1. Place a hook in your vise.

2. Use Zuddy’s Leg Puller or a bodkin to poke a hole in the Brain Dead Popper so you will be able to slide the popper on the hook shank. It is better to put the hole lower so the popper will pop in the water column better. Please see photo to see the direction you need to place the popper on the hook.

3. Slide the popper on the hook shank temporarily. We are just doing this to mark the position of where the popper will be so we can tie our materials up to that point. Once you have the popper on, just wrap some thread up to the back of the popper. You may have to slide the popper out of the way and hold the position with your thumb or something.

4. Now you can slide the popper off and move your thread back by the barb to begin to tie in the tail. (You will have some bare shank near the front where the popper will go later.)

5. Take a marabou feather (you can use two if you want) and lay it flat on top of the hook shank with it extending from the bend. I usually make it as long as the hook, but you can make it a little longer if you want. Make thread wraps to hold it in place and cut off the stem if it extends pass the mark in the front.

6. Take two rubber legs and tie them on the side of the shank behind the marabou. If you make wraps in the middle of the legs, you should have enough to fold them around to the other side. The ends should extend to about the length of the marabou. Tie both sides down so you have two rubber legs on each side of the marabou.

7. Take your Chocklett’s Filler Flash and tie the end down behind the marabou and legs on the shank and then run your thread up to the front where your bare shank starts. Start wrapping your Filler Flash in wraps that butt up against each other all of the way to the front where your thread is. It may help to use your fingers to brush the Filler Flash back each time you take a wrap. Once you reach your thread tie it off and snip off the excess.

8. It’s time to make some thread wraps in the blank shank area you left so you can have something for your popper to slide over to be held in place. So build up some thread wraps and cover all of the bare shank to the hook eye. Keep making wraps back and forth so it builds ups a bit, but make sure your popper can still slide over it snugley.

9. When you are ready, make a whip finish and cut off your thread. Get ready to slide your Brain Dead Popper on, but first take some Krazy Glue or Zap-A-Gap and brush some over the thread wraps you made. As soon as you put the glue on slide the popper in place. Do it quickly, because the glue will dry fast and won’t allow you to slide the popper all of the way on. Make sure your popper is level.

10. Now take a Zuddy’s Leg Puller or needle, whatever you are using to help you pull legs through and make a hole in the back of the popper. You can see in the photo where I put mine. Stick it through. Put two or three legs through the hole of the leg puller and then pull them through the popper. You can put a spot of glue near each side to make sure they never come out.

11. All that is left to do is put your eyes on. I use Loctite Gel Super Glue for this. Just put a little dot on your eye and stick it on.

12. Your popper is now finished.

Fly of the Month – Clouser’s Half and Half Variant

J.Stockard Pro Tyers: John and Katie Demuth of Kingsport TN, Find Demuth Fly Fishing @:

demuth newclousers1 72 dpiThis is a fly originally designed by Bob Clouser as is obvious by the name. This is how Bob himself describes the fly.

“A combination of the two most effective flies we ever used; the rear is Lefty’s Deceiver and the front portion is a Clouser Minnow. A proven big fish fly especially for big bass and stripers or saltwater species. All with epoxy protected heads, metallic eyes and appropriate flash material.”

This is a very well known fly that J.Stockard Pros John and Katie Demuth recently spent some time on and showed how they tie their version on the Whiting Farms Facebook page.

Materials list:
HookAhrex SA 220 size 1
ThreadSemperfli 6/0 Classic Waxed Thread – Fluorescent Pink
EyesHareline Double Pupil Brass Eyes – medium
Tail / palmered HackleWhiting Farms Freshwater Streamer Saddle Grizzly dyed Fluorescent Green Charteruse or Keough Dry Fly Grizzly Half Saddle
FlashSemperfli Semperflash
WireSemperfli .2mm bright gold tying wire
BucktailFluorescent Hot Pink /  Fluorescent Chartreuse
Head Cement – Sally Hansen Hard as Nails

Fly of the Month – CDC and Elk Hair Caddis

by J Stockard Pro Tyer: Luke Stacy, Virginia Beach, VA, find Luke on Instagram

Brief: The CDC and Elk Hair Caddis has been a pattern that has worked exceptionally well for me when the Caddis are coming off strong here in Virginia. I think the combination of the wing profile from the elk hair paired with the “bugginess” the CDC provides in the thorax area makes this fly irresistible to trout. This pattern is fairly easy to tie once you’ve tied a few and I think it is far too effective not to have them in your box. I usually fish this pattern on a nine foot, 6x leader, with a soft hackle or lightly weighted nymph tied on behind it. Give the pattern a shot and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Continue reading → Fly of the Month – CDC and Elk Hair Caddis