The other day I spent the morning making bass and bream poppers form simple wood dowels. That's right, I went old school for this one. Instead of going to the fly shop and purchasing a bag of pre-made poppers, I went out to the garage, found me a spare wood dowel from the corner where I keep extra wood, and cut them into small, popper sized sections.
I then too them over to my band saw and sliced notches in them for the hook placement. After that I took out my Dremel and did a bit more shaping before I took them over to the vice and attached the # 8 hooks. After that it was back out to get spray painted them back in to get all the feathers and legs attached. I was half expecting to test them out this weekend but once again work gets in the way. Hopefully next week I will be able to test them out.
I know a lot of you are thinking why would I go through all the work of making my own poppers bodies instead of just going down and buying pre-made bodies - or for that matter just buying the whole pre-made popper, feathers and all? I have done that before and they worked good but sometimes you need to create something just to prove to yourself that you can. So the answer is a simple one for me. I enjoy the process. I like to feel that this fish that I catch is not just being caught on a store made mass produced lure. Like most fly tying anglers, I like to feel that this fish is being caught by a fly that took time to create. It is being fooled into thinking that this fly I created is actually an edible morsel. In the creation of this fly, I am ever more a part of the fishing process and I feel that much more satisfied in every fish I catch. Its not just about catching the fish, it about how you caught that fish and it goes beyond the thrill of the tug. It goes beyond just how big a bass you haul in and into how well your creation performed. (OF course a big bass on the line doesn't hurt the 'process' of creating flies)
On the flip side, if my 100% home made poppers completely fail to catch fish then it is that much more of a realization that the fish just might be smarter than me. That sort of knowledge hurts.