Published Dec 22nd 2008

A great fly in a neat color - tied with stolen hair


The Jiggy where it belongs

Bornholm 2007. The conditions are perfect. The weather shows its nicest side and I am on the ferry with my friend Jens on our way to the Danish island Bornholm to meet Martin, Ken, Henning and Jorgen. It is the annual fishing week for our small group. The fantastic four have been on the island for three days - with no fish to show for it.

That is what they say and what they send us in their text messages.

It cannot be true. Not in this water. Not under this sun at this time of the year.

They must be kidding. When we arrive they will tell us the true stories. There will be slide shows that should never have been showed giving us visual evidence that they have had a great three days. And for dinner tonight? Fresh trout with crispy salad, of course.

But the truth is sad. The fishing has been a disaster so far. Henning is the only one who has had a take - for three days in the peak of the season!
Sadly it's still not a record. Some guys I know, have been fishing for a week without the slightest contact. In the end they actually didn't want to have a take as it would ruin the mystery of that week.

We set up our gear and eagerly enter the water - well, some more eagerly than others. After a few casts a kilo-fish grabs my Grey Fred and jumps immediately. Of course there are fish! It is all about skills…

The fish comes off quickly after the jump. That will be my only take for the next three days.

Thinking back. What did we do wrong or what didn't we do right? We experimented with the flies. We found the fish. We saw them hunt for sand eels. We cast sand eel imitations at them - even the Epoxy Miracle, which was my most productive fly 2007, did not tempt these strange fish.


Two Norwegian guys were fishing from float tubes some 100 meters from the shore. Their rods bent so we prepared an ambush. We found a car with an "N" on the license plate in the parking lot and stalked it.

The Norwegian - We were shown this fly during our stay on Bornholm and were told that it had nearly emptied the Baltic. Martin grabbed a quick spy shot.
The Norwegian
By coincidence Henning went for a walk along the beach as they paddled in. A streamer with a cone head, white and orange bucktail was the medicine, they said. A Jiggy. Shown in Bob Popovics' excellent book "Popfleyes". Martin quickly shot a spy photo of the sample fly in a window sill.

Upon return from the dreaded trip, I wanted to tie some of these killers. I did not like the color combination but wanted a more natural version. I could not find the right olive color tone anywhere so I had one dyed specifically for me. For some reason I was in a hurry and did not pick it up as agreed with the shop owner.

Another fly tier entered the very same shop to pick up some hooks and some flash. He was astonished by this perfectly colored bucktail behind the desk. The owner mentioned something about a Dane, living in Sweden and not to be relied on (who me!?).
The tier said that he knew about that guy, and now that he was here he would like to buy the bucktail and the deal would be done anyway - with a different buyer of course.

Some weeks later I logged on to our internal report site saw that it was my good friend Ken who had bought my bucktail and tied my Jiggy.

It is a poisonous fly and should be in many fly boxes if you fish for large predatory fish no matter if it is in cold or warm water.

TypeCold saltwater fly
Bob Popovics
Target species
Largemouth bass
Pike perch (zander)
Sea trout (sea run)
Smallmouth bass
Steelhead (sea run)
Striped bass

HookStainless streamer, size 6-2, bent to shape
Tying threadThin mono
ConeSilver to fit the hook
WingWhite, olive and black bucktail with a few straws of flash
EyesStick on

Tying instructions
See the images for the tying sequence

The flies are tied by Ken Bonde Larsen.

Prepare the hook. It's a good idea to make several hooks ready at once before tying the flies. And after having tied the fly and added the eyes, set the fly aside, tie some more and epoxy a bunch at a time.

Prep 1 - bend the hook - Use two sets of pliers or pliers and the vise to bend the hook slightly
Prep 1 - bend the hook
Prep 2 - cone head base - Make a small cylinder for tying thread for the cone head to rest on
Prep 2 - cone head base
Prep 3 - varnish - Use glue or nail polish and slide the cone head over the still wet thread
Prep 3 - varnish
Prep 4 - weight - Add a few wraps of weighted wire behind the cone
Prep 4 - weight
Prep 5 - place wire - Push the wire into the hollow back of the cone
Prep 5 - place wire
Prep 6 - secure - Add a dab of glue or varnish inside the cone head to secure both it and the weight
Prep 6 - secure

After having prepared the hook, you are ready to tie the fly itself.

Step 1 - start thread - Start the thread right behind the cone head
Step 1 - start thread
Step 2 - white bucktail - Prepare a sparse bunch of white bucktail, measure for length and trim the butts.
Step 2 - white bucktail
Step 3 - tie in - After trimming, tie in the bucktail right behind the cone
Step 3 - tie in
Step 4 - white done - Tie down the bucktail to keep the wing slender
Step 4 - white done
Step 5 - flash - Tie in a few straws of flash, bend back and secure
Step 5 - flash
Step 6 - olive bucktail - Prepare a small bunch of olive bucktail
Step 6 - olive bucktail
Step 7 - olive done - Again, keep the wing sparse and slender
Step 7 - olive done
Step 8 - black bucktail - The last bunch of bucktail is even smaller than the previous two
Step 8 - black bucktail
Step 9 - wing done - Cover the butts of the wing with a layer of smooth and tight thread
Step 9 - wing done

Step 10 - whip finish - Whip finish the tying thread and cut it
Step 10 - whip finish
Step 11 - trim - Trim the tying thread
Step 11 - trim
Step 12 - red thread - Start the 3/0 red thread close behind the cone
Step 12 - red thread
Step 13 - whip finish - Take a few close turns, whip finish and trim
Step 13 - whip finish
Step 14 - one eye - Mount a self adhesive eye on one side of the fly right behind the cone
Step 14 - one eye
Step 15 - second eye - Make sure the other eye sits right opposite the first
Step 15 - second eye

When the fly is done, it's ready for epoxy. Set it aside and epoxy several flies at a time. It's easier and is far more economic with the epoxy.
Step 16 - ready for epoxy - When the eyes are in place, the fly is ready to be coated
Step 16 - ready for epoxy
Step 17 - epoxy - Apply epoxy to the gap behind the cone, over the eyes
Step 17 - epoxy
Step 18 - smooth epoxy - Distribute the epoxy so that it creates a neat, little head as a natural continuation of the cone
Step 18 - smooth epoxy

Last step - curing

Dense head, long wing. The Jiggy

User comments
From: Thomas Høgsberg · hogs·at·cool.dk  Link
Submitted January 28th 2013

My favorite patterns are a green/white and a Micky Finn (red/yellow) pattern but also pink/white is great in the winter and early spring. They have quite a few sea trouts on their conscience. A great fly on the danish coast and it will always be in my flybox.
I first saw the fly in the DVD "Salt sea trout on a fly" (i think) but was introduced to the fly by a friend in Norway during summer hollyday, where we went on an early morning trip to a small fjord. I didn't catch any trouts that morning, but a few garfish couldn't resist it. Back in Denmark i tied a few of them and they were testet on the danish east coast with succes.
For sure one of my favorites....

From: Cornelis · Corneel77·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted March 1st 2010

fished this fly in Norway for pollack. ( works great in yellow/white). But , fishing in rocky areas , the head comes lose...anybody has a solution to make an even more durable head on this fly ?


From: Western Fly flipper  Link
Submitted January 12th 2010

Nice Pike Fly easy to cast with short leaders and larger lines... One that feels right when you use it in Pike colors... Just seems fishy. Also good for late season big lake Macinaw in the shallows in Western Lakes white with red and black head.... Ever seen a bad Popovic Fly? Me neither...

From: John Kingma · kingma_john·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted September 28th 2009

Hi Kasper,

A great fly. I tied some for fishing Sea Trout in Norway. This was the only fly that worked. After catching some nice trout I gave one Jiggy to a fishless Dane. Same evening he caught 3 fish one of 2kg.
Instead of Buck Tail I use Craft Fur. Beginning with white, some stands of crystal flash pearl, than a little pink finish with olive. Trying different color schemes I found out that pink makes a difference. No pink, no fish. Maybe only in that sea pool.
In a few weeks I will try them out in Denmark. Maybe they will work just as good.

From: Paul Kispert · Paul.H.Kispert·at·hitchcock.org  Link
Submitted February 7th 2009

this fly is easier to tie with an eagle claw bendback hook. I fish for striped bass on the new england coast and have had good success with it. For some reason, pink bucktail is particularly effective. Get Bob Popovic's book - Pop Flyes. It is terrific and will save you a good deal of money in tying your own. Much more satisfying when you catch fish with your own flies? Glad to hear they work on salmon.

GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·globalflyfisher.com  Link
Submitted January 15th 2009


The reel is a LAW-reel, made by British Lawrence Waldron. You can see more about Lawrence and the reel on Hans Weilenmann's page.


From: sebastian · bassbug10·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted January 15th 2009

I have a question what brand is that reel from ?

GFF staff comment
From: Kasper Mühlbach  Link
Submitted January 2nd 2009


the hook used here is a Partridge JS Sea Streamer.


From: jan ole willers · olewillers·at·web.de  Link
Submitted December 30th 2008

Hi Kasper,

nice fly with good pics/descriptions - will be in my box soon... Just one question: What is the used hook or the shank length 2x or 3x?


From: Robin Fagerström · rf8406·at·yahoo.se  Link
Submitted December 22nd 2008

Thank you for sharing all these great stories and patterns!! Highly appreciated.
I live in Sweden, at the mörrum river in Blekinge, and find that the biggest seatrout take similar flies without a doubt!! Great fun indeed. At first I had a large trout that attacked my 15 cm pike baitfish and after that event my heart never recovered and my troutflybox is full of fish patterns :)

Yet again, thank you very much for this entertaining and learnful writings of yours.
//Robin F

Want to comment this page? Fill out the form below.
Only comments
in English
are accepted!

Comentarios en Ingles
solamente, por favor!

Your name Your email
Anonymize my information. Name and email will not be shown with comment.
Notify me on new comments to this article on the above email-address.
You don't have to comment to start or stop notifications.

All comments will be screened by the GFF staff before publication.
No HTML, images, ads or links, please - we do not publish such comments...
And only English language comments will be published.
Name and email is optional but recommended.
The email will be shown in a disguised form in the final comment to protect you against spam
You can see other public comments on this page