Like most of us my default setting is “trout on the brain”, and I can simply forget other flyfishing options in the summertime. Bass on surface poppers is one I never forget – it’s a blast sitting in a float tube on a local pond and waiting for a bucketmouth to inhale a big fly!
We’ve got hard foam bass poppers in the shop in several sizes. The 5wt Traveler or Nomad will easily handle the medium and small size poppers, and even do a credible job with the larger poppers. You can reach a bit farther with a 6 or 7wt, and the stronger butt section in the Amp series helps set the hook and lift the bass from weedy bottoms.
Be sure to use a short (4ft) and stout (0X) leader, and use the non-slip open loop knot to give the popper freedom to move about.
In addition to larger impoundments like Lonetree and Boyd, the front range is well-populated with reclaimed gravel pits that produce sizeable and numerous bass. Try River’s Edge in Loveland, or Pella Crossing in Hygiene. St. Vrain Ponds in Longmont are another good option.
I especially like taking them out at sunup or sundown, when the air is cooler and the bass are looking up. Throw it near rocks or weeds and let it sit until the ripple settles, then chug it once or twice, hard, so it throws some water and goes “plunk”, and then let it sit. Sometimes you get a big slashing take, but often they just suck in under, so pay attention!