Charlie´s Foam flies
By Charles Garwood
|I purchased a copy of Skip Morris' book on tying flys for bass and panfish and another of his books on foam flies. His books
are excellent and I recommend them above all others for beginning tyers. The pictures and instructions are superb!
Skip's book is my inspiration.
A popper I bought and used last summer was yellow in color, with long rubber legs
and yellow marabou tail. I've used foam, ostrich herl and rubber legs to
closely approximate my purchased "popper".
||12-16 down eye wet fly hook
Panfish is a broad category for fresh water fish approximately the size
of your hand. They are found largely in lakes and farm ponds and include
bream, crappie, sunfish, etc. They are different from small mouth
bass, large mouth bass, and striped bass.
When I was a small boy of 10 years or so, my Dad would take me to a
pay-for-fish pond close to our house. He would fish for bass, carp,
catfish, etc. I took a cane pole and would sit close to the supply water
feeding this small pond. Generally, I out fish my Dad by catching lots
and lots of "panfish". These were treasurable times and will always be
I'm 45 now, trying to give my kids (two boys) some of the same
rememberances given to me. Last summer, I camped at Boy Scout Camp John
J. Barnhardt with my eldest son. I'd restricted myself to trout fishing
until this week long encampment. Knowing that Camp Barnhardt is located
on Badin Lake, NC, I carried my fly rod and purchased some "popping bugs"
as I didn't know how to tie flys for small fresh water fish.
On a Thursday afternoon, in a matter of two hours, I caught 18 "panfish".
They hit hard. It was another memorable experience.
||Yellow marabou and flash (optional)
||Tying thread and a strip of foam on the top
||Strip of yellow foam
||Yellow or white rubber legs
||Peacock herl covered with brown foam
||Clear glass beads
- Press down the barb
- Tie in a tuft of yellow marabou as a tail. Length approx. 1½ times hook shank.
- Cut a narrow strip of yellow foam
- Tie in the foam on top of the hook shank. Leave space for eyes and head.
- Wind the thread forwards over the foam.
- Fold the rear half of the foam forwards and tie down
- Cut surplus
- Tie in two rubber legs as an X. Length approx. as tail
- Cut a narrow triangle of brown foam
- Tie in foam over hook eye pointing forwards
- Tie in the eyes on top of the hook shank
- Cover the base of the eyes and underside of head with peacock herl
- Fold the brown foam tightly backwards over the head
- Tie down and cut surplus
- Whip finish and varnish.
Above a fly with flash in the tail.
Below a detail showing the shape of the brown foam.