Friday, February 1, 2008

The Scoop on the Poopah

As promised, we're here today to talk about Fox's Poopah - a deep caddis pupa imitation. After being grilled for many hours yesterday by no less than 5 attorney's, all complete with suits, ties, shiny shoes, and yellow legal pads.......and armed with lots of stupid, repetitive questions, I'm well-rested and taking a break from reviewing my testimony. Stupid questions you ask? Heres one that was also repetitive, ad nauseum -

The attorney in this case has a deep resemblance to Woogie - remember Woogie? Who can forget the hive covered Woogie in "There's Someting About Mary"? Yes, him, respendent with red blotches on his face......holding up the last page of my report, he says, "Mr. Grobert, is this your signature?" "Yes, it is." More questions....... then 5 minutes later - "Mr. Grobert is it true you signed this report?" (holds up report) "Yes, in blue ink." (got to keep them guessing) A while later...."Mr. Grobert, did you sign this report?" (holding up report) "Yes, I believe we have established that already"......."Mr. Grobert, is that a Yes or a No?" Sigh..........poor Woogie, didn't understand my report so he hammers away at my signature......"Step into my office, YOU'RE FIRED!" I have to go back for more in two weeks, that was only my testimony for the stone facades. I still have to be there for the roofs, siding, drainage and vents. It's actually fun, sort of like a chess match without the pieces. Oh, and if that's enough, I start classes next week.....back in college, again. Will I have time to fish? Time will tell, but I do feel a road trip coming up is good.

Now for the super duper, caddis poopah................Fox's Poopah.

I first heard of this creation last summer on my fishing junket to Northern California. Actually, I had heard of it a couple of months before when researching what fly patterns I should tie for the rivers we would be fishing. Once there, this fly produced fish after fish on the Lower Sacramento, and also worked quite well on the Upper Sac.

The haze you see in the photo is because the air temperature was 103-105 that day. Apparently, digital cameras don't like the heat - even when its a "dry" heat. My camera was in the boat. We were fine though, standing over the boat and the 52 degree water was like air conditioning. SUNCREEN? Gobbed on!

The fly I fished had a tannish amber color chenille body and a dark brown thorax - it imitated the masses of Hydropsyche caddis that hatched and oviposited daily in the early mornings and evenings. It is also be tied in an olive- green, and I'm sure you could adapt others colors to match other species of caddis.

This pattern is a dead ringer for the Hydropsyche caddis (commonly known as a Cinnamon Caddis or Speckled Sedge). In the mornings on the Lower Sacramento these caddis would hatch en masse along the banks of this huge river out in front of the lodge from sun up until about 9AM. I'd fish my tan caribou caddis (#16) with a 5X tippet and take several nice rainbows before the hatch would sudddenly cease, as if someone flipped a switch, and the trout would stop rising.

On two of the days, we drifted the big river (175-225 yards across/13,000 cfs) and fished Poopah's, Bird's Nest nymphs, and Rubber-legged stonefly nymphs. We had a different guide from The Fly Shop each day, both of whom were great and not only managed the boat well, they were great company. On both days we floated, I must have hooked around 100 trout, landing maybe half of that due to their sheer strength and size and that fact that once hooked they had a ton of water to manuever in. Fun stuff, for sure!

In the evening, I'd fish the river's edge out in front of the lodge and the caddis would be at it again, this time hatching and ovipositing. (You should have seen the size of the spiders in the riverside reeds!) A well presented caribou caddis or Lawson's spent caddis would take a few fish before dark, with my stomach crying out for dinner. Oh yeah, dinner. If you ever go out to Redding, ask me about the Thai place and the steak joint...........nothing like good fishing and good food. The wines weren't bad either....Napa Valley, that's another story.

Once back in the wonderful state of New Jersey, I fished the Poopah with good results both here and in the Catskills. I haven't tried the olive-green pattern, but I will this year and I'm guessing it will work well, too.

The recipe:

Hook: Tiemco 2302 or 3769
Thread: Black
Underbody: Gold flat tinsel over hook shank
Rib: Fine gold wire
Body: Tan ultra chenille
Thorax: Brown ostrich herl or dubbing
Legs: Dark mottled hen
Antennae: Woodduck flank fibers

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