We’re really lucky to witness a pretty spectacular phenomenon each season on the Naknek River – Home to our Rapids Camp Lodge Operation. Each spring, salmon smolt from the millions of salmon that have spawned throughout the Naknek River system make their way towards the ocean. Large, hungry, rainbow trout await the migration each year creating a massive feeding frenzy known by the initiated as the annual ‘Smolt Bust.’
As predatory rainbows wreak havoc on these schools of snack sized salmon smolt, the smolt are often herded to the surface creating the ‘bust’ favored by both anglers and birds alike. This makes for some pretty epic topwater action, and our own Dan Herrig showed us a clever way to target these glutinous trout using standard foam popper bodies. Here’s how..
- Thread a Rainy’s foam popper head onto your leader (white or green is best).
- Tie on a simple unweighted streamer pattern in typical salmon ‘smolty’ colors – Whites, pearls, grays, etc. According to Dan, simple is best here, even so much as only a few wraps of white crosscurrent bunny strip.
- Slide the popper head down to the fly, nesting it over the eye of the hook.
- Find the bust, make a ruckus on the surface (imitating a panicked smolt), and hold on!