Miyawaki Beach Popper

Discussion in 'Fly Tying Step by Step' started by Big E, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    Most likely the innovator who brought the idea of using surface poppers for salmon to Washington, Leland Miyawaki, can regularly be found stalking the saltwater beaches for topwater action. Stogie in hand, Leland has been a wealth of information and doesn't mind sharing. It is a great honor for me to do this SBS of his fly...hopefully I've done it justice.

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    Recipe:
    Popper Head for Searuns: Rainy's Pee-Wee Pop
    Popper Head for Coho: Rainy's Mini Me Pop
    Front Hook: Mustad 3407 #6
    Stinger Hook for Searuns: Gamakatsu "Octopus" #6
    Stinger Hook for Coho: Gamakatsu "Octopus" #2
    Any color 3/0 tying thread
    Silver "Holographic" Flashabou
    Krystal Flash "Mixed Colors"
    Grizzly or Pink Hackle
    White Icelandic Sheep
    Light Olive Icelandic Sheep (eliminate when tying pink)
    Peacock Herl

    Tighten the Mustad hook into your vise. This first hook is only used to hold the material as you will cut the hook off above the bend when finished. Dress half the hook. Be sure not to go any further back past this reference point.

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    De-barb the Gamakatsu. Double over a 6" piece of Fireline, Beadalon, or 25lb. Maxima and insert both tag ends through the back of the eye, drop the loop down over the bend and pull forward until the loop tightens behind the eye. This is the business end of the fly and should be about 1-1/2 to 2 inches long depending on the size of fly.

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    Tie the Stinger to the top of the shank with the trailer hook facing up and feed the Fireline thru the hook eye. Double the line back over and lash down the sides of the shank.

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    Apply some superglue over the wraps. This is essential if you don't feed your line thru the hook eye.

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    Advance your thread halfway to the eye.

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    Select two grizzly hackles and make sure you pair them with the concave sides facing each other.

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    Tie in the two grizzly hackles. They should be about 1/4" longer than the trailer hook.

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    Double over two strands of Flashabou.

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    Tie the Flashabou in and cut the back so they are uneven.

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    Do the same with two strands of Krystal Flash.

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  2. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    Tie in a clump of white Polar Bear or sub (Icelandic Sheep). You can experiment with how full you tie the fly. This example is a sparsely tied one.

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    Top the white with a small amount of the olive Icelandic Sheep. Note: If you are using long Icelandic Sheep and want to add more material you can use a veiling technique. Like in the pic below, if I wanted more olive, I would take one wrap in the middle of the sheep and fold it back over on itself before binding down.

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    Clip off the Icelandic Sheep and add two strands of Peacock Herl. Clean up the head.

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    Widen the hole in the head with a pair of scissors.

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    Test fit the head. When satisfied, add some super glue or head cement. Gently slide the fat end of the popper head over the material until the hook eye peeks through. Make sure the pointed end of the popper faces forward (I know, it’s technically a slider, but what the heck). A friend of mine has turned the head around (a true popper) and makes more “noise” on the water. I prefer leaving a subtle wake rather than chugging pops.

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    Alternatively, you can also dress the head.

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    After the popper head is on, remove the fly from the vice and snip the hook off just under the popper head at the shank above the bend and behind the tying thread and hackle (don’t go cutting off any of your tying materials).

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    You should have a fly that's about 2 inches or so long, with one hook at the tail, that's easy to cast on any 6wt rod.

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    Enjoy!
     
  3. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    is there a difference in the way the popper head is oriented, i.e. sould the slant be on the bottom or top, I noticed you have them both ways, but in order to have it float with the trailer hook up it looks like the head should be oriented in the way you have the non painted ones.
     
  4. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    Haven't noticed any difference. The fly orients itself dependent on where the hair is tied and what little weight there is on the hook that was cut.
     
  5. Eyejuggler

    Eyejuggler Beech Nut

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    Thanks for the post, very nice and much appreciated!
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    This is one badass beach fly, but don't overlook it to take other toothy and warmwater species too.
     
  7. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Really nicely presented, the photos are great, too. Thanks for posting this, I watched Leland tie his fly once and forgot some of the techniques.
     
  8. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    Wow! Guys, Eric has done something here that I haven't been able to do in all these years. This is a definitive photographic "how to" step by step by one of our great tiers. Thanks Eric!

    A few notes: If you have a need to catch numbers of fish, use a subsurface streamer. If you're going to whine about the number of misses and short strikes, forget this fly and go to the dark side. If you like dry fly fishing, do the popper. If you like fish pouncing, jumping, slashing, ambushing, following and chomping at a surface fly, this is your baby.

    Use a 9' 0X or 1X leader and a dryline. Let the current put a belly in your flyline and move the fly forward. Strip long and slow for searuns. For coho, speed up your strip if you get an excited salmon chomping at the bit.

    Strip set. Do not trout set - ever.

    This is the most fun you can have on the beach with your clothes on!

    Leland.
     
  9. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Excellent! The paint job on the popper heads is great. What process are you using for painting the head?
     
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  10. Kcahill

    Kcahill Active Member

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  11. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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  12. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the kind words Leland. In addition from the fish hitting it from below, be careful of the seagulls doing "Death From Above" manuevers...luckily a 6wt switch can handle the flying rats as well.
     
  13. Jeff Peacock

    Jeff Peacock Member

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    Great post Eric, and thanks for the added comments Leland!
     
  14. Kcahill

    Kcahill Active Member

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    Stippling is a skill I can not seem to grasp, i just glued a bunch of large poppers together and am going to attempt to airbursh them, if they turn out horrible it wont really matter since I am just going to use them for barracudas!
     
  15. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    How does the circle hook work on this fly? I would think it would have a hard time getting a hold unless the mono bending lets the fly dig in.
     
  16. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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  17. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

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    That's my understanding Leland and from what I've read it's "let the fish swallow it and then reel the hook to the corner of the mouth and it will dig in. I didn't think the standard fly fishing hookset would work.
     
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  18. Big E

    Big E Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been playing with both types of hooks. Really haven't noticed that much difference but haven't had that much opportunity.

    Thinking was that fish slash at the popper (grab and turn) and that is where the circle hook excels.
     
  19. High Flyin

    High Flyin Member

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    Thank you for posting. Tied it tonight. Leland, you are a fly fishing god, Sir.
     
  20. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

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    Excellent SBS Eric !!!! I think you have just inspired alot of folks to tie up some of Leland's poppers, and for good reason....
    Great fly !!!!

    Thanks,
    Mark
     

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