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Fox's Poopah
Illustrated Recipe by Harry Mason,

"The Poopah came about in the early 90's (I think 1990) when I was out fishing the Sacramento River and had caddis pupa crawling on my waders and emerging, leaving their shucks on my old neoprenes. The color of the pupas was amber and that's when the wheels started churning in my mind. The only material that looked right (a tapered body) was vernille. Looking at San Juan Worms and another caddis pattern from a friend, I started trying different things and came up with the early poopah (I didn't call it that yet). Finding the right shade of amber required Doug Brutocau to dye it for me. I tried different materials for the head, underbody and antennae, but found that ostrich worked best for the head and wood duck for the antennae. Pearl tinsel seemed great for the underbody, it added flash like an air bubble but was covered up by the vernille and the legs as to not be too flashy. It worked well. It obliterated fish. I've caught trout, steelhead, salmon, bass and bluegill on it.

Sometimes I tie it on a heavier wire hook for bigger fish. I've had reports from customers all over saying how it is the "crack cocaine" for trout. Wonderful! I've tried different colors and sizes and found size 14 in the amber (tan) and olive to be the best colors. Coming up with a name was just trying to find something that people could remember and if humor helped out, so be it. Pupa is pronounced 'pewpa' as far as I know, but a lot of people call them 'poopa', hence the name, easy to remember. Having the poopah in The Fly Shop's catalog helps with people's familiarity with the fly and when fishermen try it, there's no going back to other caddis imitations." ~ Tim Fox, creator of the Poopah.

Materials List: Fox's Poopah

    Hook: TMC 2312,2302, 12-14-16.

    Thread: 8/0 to match body.

    Body: Vernille, olive, tan, ribbed over.

    Legs: Partridge.

    Throax/head: Ostrich herl.

    Antennae: Wood duck.

Tying the Poopah

1. Tye in the wire rib on the underside of the hook to a point between the hook point an barb.

2. This point on the hook shank, like for most ties, is the end of the body,start of the tail and the beginning of the rib wraps. For a vast number of ties, this point is crucial in the maintenance of proportion through out.

3. The tinsel is tied in at the end merge of the rib and thread. Tie in gold side up (facing tier).The tinsel wraps will be in a "normal" direction, the tinsel will be bent or kinked at the tie in point and brought under the hook toward the tier and advanced forward to the thorax area. The first turn over the top should cover the tie in point.

4. The wraps are evenly spaced and firmly laid down.

5. Bind the tinsel at the thorax area as shown above. Don't be shy, wrap it good.

6. Cut a short piece of micro chenille, this is medium, draw the chenille toward the flame...Not the other way around! It will not take much to singe the chenille. Do this before you tye it onto the hook! It's a good idea to make a bunch ahead of time, plus you won't incinerate the finished bug if you try this step at the end.

7. The finished burn, again it does not take much heat to do this.

8. With your right thumb and index finger pinch the chenille and measure it on the hook. You want the "burnt" end to extend a bit past the bend.

9. Switch hands and again,pinch the chenille in place. Note the thread is already in position to tye in the chenille at the thorax.

10. Looking at the body after I did this I would say it is a bit long...but hey, I'm easy. Remember to trim the chenille at an angle. Avoid square or right angle cutting.

11. Here the ribbing is about half done. Five to six turns is plenty. Maintain good pressure on the wire. I have made the chenille body a bit longer than Tim Fox', the flys originator, usually does... for no other reason than that's the way it turned out. I don't think it makes a huge difference to the fish, but this is one place you could experiment. ery little is chiseled in stone when tying flies.

12. Completed rib. Flatten the cut end of the wire and cover the cut end with thread. Head cement here is not out of the question.

13. I used Grouse on this fly which is only to say that one could use just about any "webby" feather as the beard/legs. Partridge, Pheasant, Grouse, they all will work.

14. Gather the tips into as dense a bunch as possible.

15. Measure the "beard" or legs from the "backside" of the fly. The thread torque will bring the fibers under the thorax and into position as legs. You can place the legs in position first but the thread will tend to bring the fibers up and onto the top of the thorax area.

16. Legs/beard are in place, bind well.

17. This is the center line stem of a wood duck flank with the barbs slipped back. Snip this end piece out and save for tailing if you like.

18. After the center stem is removed, you can, with a bit of effort, manipulate one barb free from each side of the center stem. These will form the horns.

19. Place the "horns" on top of the thorax area. Align the "crotch" of the fibers at the back end of the thorax area.

20. Here the antennae are tied in.

21. Tye in the ostrich herl like you would a dry fly hackle. If possible align the herl so the natural curve of the feather faces toward the bend of the hook.

22. By aligning the herl curve side back the barbules "point" back when wrapped. This allows for a more dense collar or head.

23. Tie off the ostrich and finish the head and you're done!

24. Finished fly.

About Harry:

Harry Mason is the owner of which has wonderful flies, and excellent tutorials. Harry is also a Sponsor of FAOL. Thanks Harry!

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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