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Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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2008/10/8 0:36
From Florida
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I have caught Smallmouth on streams and rivers using poppers, but only while fishing them on a dead-drift. If I didn't get a take on the dead drift, I would let the popper drift below me, then I would often twitch, or strip the popper back upstream. I've never gotten interest from the fish while doing so, though.

Other than dead drift, what are some other ways to fish divers, or other surface/near surface flies on moving water? Do Smallmouth care about drag or un-natural fly behavior, like a popper hanging in the current on a tight line below you?

All input is welcome. I'm looking forward to getting some smallie action soon

Posted on: 2010/6/3 11:21
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"When one feels the rush of cold water against his waders, and pits his skill against the natural instincts and wariness of the trout, everything else is lost in the sheer joy of the moment."

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Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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2008/1/21 19:15
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Michael,
Lot's of variables, but absolutely I have had success with poppers on moving water (we still have to hit the allegheny right below us). Although, I have found at times, even on still water, the smallies love a "still" presentation.
While I rarely "pop" back upstream (unless it is a slack water area), I have had good success popping across stream and downstream. This is typically better in slower or shallow water.
Different days, the fish will want different presentations from aggressive to dead drift. Experiment and let the fish tell you what they want in different locales.

Posted on: 2010/6/3 11:45


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?
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Quote:

David wrote:
Different days, the fish will want different presentations from aggressive to dead drift. Experiment and let the fish tell you what they want in different locales.



Yup, Ditto David's post.....try all types of presentations until the fish tell you which one is best.

Posted on: 2010/6/3 11:52


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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Like, literally?

Posted on: 2010/6/3 13:20
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Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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Yes.

Posted on: 2010/6/3 13:23


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?
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Jay knows, he's a fish whisperer.....if the truth be told, that's why he hunches down in the stream when he fishes.......to hear a little better!


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jpg  53_4be68adbd1c7f.jpg (18.07 KB)
53_4c07eb99e4f69.jpg 280X214 px

Posted on: 2010/6/3 13:48


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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From Bozeman
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In that picture, I was trying to look under rhodo, and also to see someone's fly.

In the others you've posted, I have no defense.

Posted on: 2010/6/3 13:53


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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From Delaware Co.
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All good info above Mike even from the fish whisperer

Posted on: 2010/6/3 14:17
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Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?
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Poppers will definitely work in broken water. In my experience, smallies in current are much more likely to nail a fast moving popper than largemouths in lakes/ponds. Diver type flies are favorites of mine and really get hit hard (although they have a poor hook up ratio due in part to their erratic movement). Most of the time, I like to fish poppers in rivers with a cross current or quartering upstream cast; strip the popper back with a rapid, chugging motion. Don't hesitate to fish the fly very aggressively making a bunch of commotion on the surface. Speed thrills in hot water! When temps reach 80 degrees, river smallies tend to like their flies big, crazy, and fast.

You'll have no trouble detecting strikes.

Posted on: 2010/6/3 18:33


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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2008/10/8 0:36
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Thanks for the feedback guys . David, I want to take you up on the offer; I'll send you a message.

FI - Are there certian conditions (ie - stained vs clear water, etc.) where you find that divers perform better at taking fish than poppers? Are there any styles of poppers/divers that you particularly like?

Posted on: 2010/6/4 10:46
_________________
"When one feels the rush of cold water against his waders, and pits his skill against the natural instincts and wariness of the trout, everything else is lost in the sheer joy of the moment."

- Ray Bergman


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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I've caught some smallies in heavy riffles on poppers and jitterbugs (when I chose to spin fish). It's a blast.

Posted on: 2010/6/4 10:54


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?
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Quote:

FI - Are there certian conditions (ie - stained vs clear water, etc.) where you find that divers perform better at taking fish than poppers? Are there any styles of poppers/divers that you particularly like?


Poppers are much better in clear water. When things are stained I usually switch to slower moving, dark colored nymphs and streamers. To some degree, it depends on depth - if in stained water you can still see bottom I'd still give poppers a shot. As for shape and style, I definitely prefer slender flies. I think too many commercial poppers (esp deer hair versions) are too fat and bulky. "Pencil" style poppers are favorites of mine. The best diver flies are ones that have an erratic, side to side wiggle, much like a musky jerk bait or Zara Spook surface lure.

Posted on: 2010/6/4 20:55


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Quote:

FI - Are there certian conditions (ie - stained vs clear water, etc.) where you find that divers perform better at taking fish than poppers? Are there any styles of poppers/divers that you particularly like?


Poppers are much better in clear water. When things are stained I usually switch to slower moving, dark colored nymphs and streamers. To some degree, it depends on depth - if in stained water you can still see bottom I'd still give poppers a shot. As for shape and style, I definitely prefer slender flies. I think too many commercial poppers (esp deer hair versions) are too fat and bulky. "Pencil" style poppers are favorites of mine. The best diver flies are ones that have an erratic, side to side wiggle, much like a musky jerk bait or Zara Spook surface lure.





I agree that in general, clearer water is best for poppers. I have run into situations where conditions were ideal (good flow and temp) for poppers, but a recent rainstorm stained the water (dirty but not really high water) and really POPPING large poppers on the surface had the smallies hammering them. I guess they were hunting for food by sound rather than sight. Great fun!

Posted on: 2010/6/5 7:22


Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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Those guys have more expereince with the bass than I do but one thing I have noticed is that bright sunny conditions are'nt the best under normal flow conditions- especially for top water action.

I have had more hookups fishing under neath.

Posted on: 2010/6/7 8:29
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Re: Fishing Poppers on Moving Water?

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From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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Just in general, I've had my best popper fishing in moving water by really making the popper move with occasional pauses. Rapid retrieve. But this doesn't always work and as guys have said, the preferences of the fish can change daily, if not hourly.

The poppers I've had the best luck with are smaller (by bass standards, say a #6) cupped face poppers that gurgle. Color doesn't seem to matter that much. Yellow, frog finish, white have all worked well for me. I've not done all that well on pencil poppers, but I tend to think that may be a function of the sorts of water I fish. I'm seldom on truly big rivers Like the branches of the Susquehanna, the Juniata below Lewistown or the main Allegheny. I have an inner ear disorder that occasionally plays hob with my balance and I wear about $5,000 of electronics in my ears. So, most of my bass fishing is done on big creeks.

One other thing I'd note, at least on the streams where I fish. Except for a very limited period of a summer day, there is always a shady bank and you can usually catch fish on poppers all day in the shade.

Posted on: 2010/6/7 16:43



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