Tying the Popsicle Fly

The Popsicle has been around since the 1980s, when young George Cook was guiding in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, and it’s part of a group of patterns he created called the Alaskabou Series. Cook, who is now a well known casting instructor and industry representative, used marabou as a base for the pattern and added some flash. The result is a gaudy fly that offers a lot of lifelike motion and plenty of flash in the water, and it has been catching steelhead and salmon for almost three decades. It’s extremely easy to tie, is quite durable, and has proven its effectivness wherever anadromous fish are found.

This video, by Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions, offers clear, step-by-step instructions for tying a Popsicle. As usual, Tim offers concise explanations of why he ties the way he does, and he serves up some tips and tricks that you can apply to other patterns, as well. Check out the way he folds the fibers of the marabou plume just by rubbing his scissors along the stem. Then he shows how wetting your fingers helps to control the unruly material. Finally, when you see the fly moving through the water, you understand how the materials work together to create lifelike action and undulations

Popsicle Fly from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.


          The Popsicle
          Hook: Tiemco 7999, size 2.
          Thread: Red, UTC 70 denier.

Body: Mylar tinsel, medium.
          Hackle: Marabou plumes: fluorescent orange, red, and purple.    
                 Flash: 3 strands of Flashabou. 
Adhesive: Head cement.       

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2 thoughts on “Tying the Popsicle Fly”

  1. I enjoy tying marabou by the tips as but 30 year guide Dennis Dixon has made a study and determined that tying the marabou by the butts (also trim rather than strip for durability) is more effective.

    Also a down eye hook will hook better than the up eye unless you connect with a Turle knot. Dave Whitlock and Dennis Dixon have studied this.

  2. I tie my version of the popcicle fly and fish them on Lake Huron Tributaries in Ontario Canada. I use them in the fall and spring. They are very good for Cohos, Steelhead, and Browns I have caught lakers on them in the fall. I tie in a articulating pattern with beads orange pink red and purple.

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