Tie a Shrimp Popper Pattern

Mangroves Shrimp Snook Tarpon

The form of this experimental Popper Idea flowed from the earlier success of a  simple Creature Popper Pattern on Bass.  I saw some amazing video of Tarpon blasting a low lying Gurgler Shrimp Pattern as it struggled in the surface film, plodding along at a steady pace.  I want this Popper to lie low in the surface, even slowly sinking.  The slated face would bring it up to the surface with each short strip.  The amount of surface disturbance can be controlled by the speed and length of each strip.  The upward acceleration and the slow fall would move the marabou, flashabou and rubber legs in a way intended provoke game fish.  If this fly were jerked while under water it would actually push out a bigger Infra Sound Pulse to the fish's Lateral Line, even while potentially making less surface disturbance. 

The Popping Wedge and Foam Diver patterns Have been my most effective patterns to fish the Mangroves for Tarpon, Snook and they took a few of each of 6 other species that happened to be around.  They are floating divers, the exact opposite approach to get active up and down movement to trigger fish to bite. 

Popping Shrimp

  • Hook:  Short Shank, here a VMC 9356BN 1/0 Modified to turn the eye down & open the gap
  • Optional Tail;  a Thread Tag & a downward slanting, large Golden Pheasant Tippet Center
  • Tail:         Full Tan Marabou 4X hook length, one long Silicon Leg on each side of marabou
  • Shoulder:  Center tied (45-55) clump of dubbing, Master Bright-Sparkle Yarn Blend
  • Flash:       Black Dyed Pearl Flashabou, 4 strands folded to each side behind dubbing
  • Rubber Legs:  4 more Silicon Legs folded to each side of dubbing shoulder
  • Head:    14mm diameter Tan Cylinder, Face cut angled 40 degrees forward from vertical


Not shown is Black Pearl Flashabou

If you are going to make lots of poppers from cut cylinders, make some jigs or a DIY Miter Box.  Simple cuts like this you can just eye ball it and do a good job.

If it doesn't fit, redo the dubbing clump tie in a bit further back or forward.  This one is a little tight.

Here I used 4 strands of flash on each side, cut longer than the tail.  4 Rubber legs on each side tied in as long as i could, with the foremost one on each side shortened by 3/4 inch, the 2nd foremost pair shortened by 3/8  inch.

I have used these long tailed-short forward hook poppers and divers and found then very effective for all predators, the only fish that might not get hooked or refuse at the last second are trout species.  Missing strikes is a total non issue.  Hooking fish in the gills is a concern so I break off the barbs and find the short shank hooks offer little leverage for them to shake the hook.  If they jump, keep the rod bent but lower the tip down to side, right down to the waters surface.  Most fish that come off, are lost when I pull up hard at a high angle trying to get a look at the fish.

I have not tested these but I tied these to float but not high.  You might use a 30lb Fluorocarbon Bite-Abrasion Leader on 12lb Fluorocarbon leader with a floating, intermediate tip or full intermediate tip.  All those choices are going to affect whether this fly continues to float or slowly sinks.  Some foam could be removed from the upper corner of the back face.  If you curved this cut to run smoothly tangent to the upper edge of the cylinder that could create some lift when it is pulled through the water.

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