Low Country Fly Fishing

Fly fishing the Low Country of south Carolina with Scotty Davis of Flymen Fishing Company.

Three post hunting season Preps to make 2021 even better.

I, like many others, am mourning the passing of the 2020 deer season. Now its time to pull stands, cameras, and blinds. In other words the not so fun part of season, but still a part of the experience nonetheless. However there are things we can all do to insure a successful season in 2021.

Mark new stand locations now– After all the hours in your current stands you have seen either new stand locations or a better place for your current setup. Those late fall/Winter trails won’t be easy to remember in 8 months. Once green up starts those late season trails will disappear. By now you know how the travel patterns change from early season to when the acorns fall and late season. More often than not the stand locations from October are not in optimal places for a December hunt.

Study your local food sources– Deer don’t move along a certain corridor by accident so when the season is over take a walk and figure out what made the deer move along those secondary travel corridors. Was a an adjacent crop field? Was it a lone source of water? Knowledge is power and since you’re no longer “hunting” deer now you can study those deer. Once I had an abrupt change in travel corridors that made no sense. After season closed I found that the neighbor has a large dove field every December. Thar winter wheat was enough to change the deer’s travel patterns during the late season weeks..

Tree stand maintenance- Once season is over and you have pulled tree stands its time to actually look at those stands. I am a ladder stand kind of guy so I am forever looking at welds, bolts, nuts and noting anything that makes noise when I move. After the season replace anything with broken or cracked welds

The Outdoor Edge 3.5 Razorlite edc

Over the years I have developed a fetish of sorts for knives. I have boxes full and none really became a true Everyday carry knife for an outdoorsman. I am an outdoorsman so i never fell victim to the “tactical” knife trap. I want a functional knife that I can open a package, dress out a brace of upland birds, or dress a deer. Several years ago a purchased a havalon brand knife but the blades were a pain to change, especially with wet hands. Then in 2019 I came across the Outdoor Edge 3.5 inch Razorlite EDC. The knife only weighs 2.8 ounces and the blades are simple to replace. Outdoor Edge designed a release button for the replacement blades rather than make the operator fight with the blade and risk injury.

The replacement blades are stiffer than the other brands and lock in tight leaving zero movement in the blade assembly. The replacement blades are made of 6mm thick 420 J2 stainless and they are literally razor sharp. I carried this knife for over a year and the blades stay very sharp for a long time. We dressed and deboned 4 whitetail on a single blade. It comes in a couple colors but I prefer the black/blaze orange for field work.

If I was rating this knife on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the best it would be a very solid 5.

The Double Barrel Popper Review

I have always been a lover of “dry flies” or poppers. As a predominantly warm water fly fisherman poppers have always had a large presence in my box. That being said, I have been tying my own flies for decades so, I tend to stay on top of new head styles and materials that hit the market. A few seasons ago I stumbled across the Double Barrel popper head from Flymen Fishing Company and have loved them ever since. The design allows for great noise in the water and that makes them perfect for feeding fish. When on feeding fish my poppers used to get lost in all the action, that is a problem I no longer have. They are also very light so casting them is a piece of cake, I almost exclusively use a 6wt Redington predator for bass fishing and it handles these with no issues,

The Double Barrel popper heads come in several colors and three sizes.

The heads appear to be two cylinders welded together with uniform cupped face. That design moves a lot of water and can make some noise! The recessed sockets for they eyes keeps them from getting knocked off on the bite, I use Loon Outdoors UV resin over the top of them. The orange heads are my go to for smallmouth and the green for largemouth. The blue color has had some success on redfish in the gulf as well.

If your not a tyer you can still get the Double Barrel Popper from Flymen Fishing company as a complete fly. Give them a try and you will not be disappointed!

After two season of using these I can give them the highest marks!

The anatomy of a popper part 2: Tail material selection.

Poppers, be they bass or panfish, are the staple pattern in many fly fishers boxes. They are also the most misunderstood patterns on the market. You can actually manipulate not only the profile of a popper but the noise it makes with the material you choose for the tail.

A dense tail material can make your fly ride nose up. This makes the “pop” louder and more obnoxious, which is perfect for feeding bass. Natural furs are dense but the right furs add a lot of action to a stationary fly. Plus the naturally translucent tips give the fly more of a minnow appearance. The down side to fur is that it tends to hold water and water is weight. They also make the fly set lower in the water as a whole. The upside to natural fur is durability. A properly tired in tail will last you through way more strikes than the more standard marabou.

The above is an image of Finnish Raccoon fur. I use this on most of my Double Barrel poppers from Flymen Fishing Company. These popper heads are ideal for natural fur tails as they are extremely buoyant and have a larger profile in the water. Note: When tying this material you have to be cognizant of tail length as long tails will foul on the hook during our cast. When I need longer tails I use a mono loop to keep fouling to a minimum.

My double barrel poppers tend to be larger and I like a low profile in the water. Finnish Raccoon is nearly always my tail material of choice.

Finnish Raccoon can be a challenge to find and it is expensive. I buy in bulk because its one of those materials worth its weight in gold.

Craft fur is a synthetic substitute for natural furs. Its readily available about anywhere from fly shops to craft shops, comes in just about any color you can dream up, and it’s very reasonably priced.

I don’t care for it on poppers for a couple reasons. First it does not have the uniform and translucent tips that natural furs have. Second is it has a tendency to just hang behind a fly in a straight bunch. This is perfect for certain saltwater or carp patterns, but is not an attribute to a fly that 90% of the time will get eaten while its setting still. Now there have been times when craft fur under a natural fur tail has been the ticket. Large pike plies are a great example of that. Again if you choose to use craft fur tail length is paramount. A long tail will require a mono loop to prevent fouling.

Marabou is the most common or most traditional of popper tail materials. In the early days this was the standard material for most top water patterns. The two main advantages of marabou are density, in short tails, and undulation in the water. Marabou is so pliable that you can get a better tail on shorter patterns. Its harder to get that bulk with natural fur without having to large of a tie off point on the hook. Marabou also has great action even when a fly is stationary.