When the water warms in the summer your prey will get sluggish so start thinking topwater; the “Heavy Metal” of fly fishing
The most recognizable topwater fly is the popper with a concave face or cupped. These poppers are great still water flies.
Size does matter
Obviously, the larger the popper and deeper the concave both landing kerplunk, retrieve disturbance and noise increases. A mouse, frog, tadpole and baitfish would be examples of disturbances while ambulating in the water. Berries only a kerplunk.
A huge kerplunk would alarm a trout, bonefish, tripletail and many others and a soft landing popper with very little retrieve disturbance would not create curiosity for a cobia, seatrout, ladyfish or shark.
There are different shapes
A cone shaped popper, or sometimes called reverse popper, has a convex rear that’s either naked or tied with a trailing pattern. This structure presents a muted kerplunk and disturbance when compared to concave faced popper.
Crease flies are soft body flies that sit low in the water, they are not meant to kerplunk but are meant to ambulate like a subsurface jerk baits. That action is a go for finicky bass and panfish.
What about trout and poppers?
Well, the cat isn’t out of the bag here. Serious ‘troutsters’ already know about employing topwater flies. The best approach is to start small and move up in size. Hit the water’s edge and start and erratic retrieve. The cadence or speed will have to be adjusted almost hourly and certainly day to day. Your goal is to find what topwater fly type, size, color and retrieve speed and motion draws fire.
It’s no secret the larger topwater flies are not as enticing during the day, but come dark or before sun up and the bigger trouts will come.
A damselfly or dragonfly are big bugs, and when struggling in the water, they will bring any self-respecting trout to the surface at any time of the day.
You can find all the topwater flies pictured below at Saltwater Fly Tyers.com
The rat-mouse is available at Orvis