Lately, the "craze" I have noticed online is for the Double Barrel popper heads from Flymen. I'm sure they are a fine product, I use and swear by a ton of the stuff that Flymen sells. Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-foam...I'm just pro-deer hair. I know that premade heads are faster, easier, probably get a louder pop with the cupped face, etc..., but I still would rather spend the time and make a deer hair bug. So, I sat down and decided to mimic the head shape and profile of the Double Barrel heads using some deer hair. Ordinarily, I tie bass bugs finishing with the deer hair, but I went opposite on this one. I wanted to be sure the deer hair didn't mash down the collar I planned to use, so I tied the deer hair head first.
The tail on this bug is a mix of three colors of marabou. I simultaneously wrapped white and pink to blend the two colors together a bit, and topped it with gray marabou. I used a complex twist for the collar on this bug, combining white and gray schlappen with silver Polar Chenille. Once the tying was complete, I used my face gluing technique to finish off the bug.
And here is the finished product, with the glued face trimmed down, eyes added, and rubber legs threaded through the body.
Next on my agenda was a trial pattern for something I have been pondering for a while. Sliders like the Sneaky Pete are tremendously effective, but I wanted to make the body of a slider much longer to more closely imitate the profile of a baitfish. To do this without using an extremely long-shanked hook, I used a 55mm Flymen articulated shank with a size 4 octopus hook trailing off the back. The tail is arctic fox, a little Flashabou, and a sparse Estaz collar tied onto the hook. The larger collar is the same complex twist from the bug above tied onto the rear of the 55mm shank. The tungsten bead is secured "belly scratcher" style with mono to both keel the fly and to promote a little more weight near the head.
And here is the finished product. As with all "new" fly patterns I test, I'll stop at less than 2 flies to be sure the fly behaves the way I want it to behave in the water. If it tests well, I'll make more to fish with. I'd like to get this fly in front of some fish before the weather really cools down, but I'm not so sure that will happen this year.